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CapriUni Mudcat Poetry Corner (597* d) RE: Mudcat Poetry Corner 26 May 15

These two are really a pair. And as a preface, here are links to my source tales: Tom Thumb and Hans my Hedgehog


The people tell me I'm a lucky one,
'Cause even though I am a wish-born child
(Those never come out normal, like you want),
At least I'm human-shaped from head to heel.
Not like that monster, Hans, the next town, over,
Who's just a prickly hedgehog, snout to waist,
So he must spend his life behind the stove,
On a moldy bed of straw, with bugs to eat.
A burden to his father such a shame!
And then, they start to argue: When's the last
That anyone had caught a glimpse of him?
Some hope he's finally dead, and so at peace.
The people tell me I'm a lucky one,
'Cause even though I'll never grow a whit,
At least I'm handsome, and I'm clever, too.
And I can help to drive my father's cart,
Whispering commands in Dobbin's ear.
They say I'm blessed. I grit my teeth and nod,
Not like that poor boy Hans, the next town over.
My parents love me like a wish come true,
And listen to me when I have ideas.
My father built a bed that's just for me.
My mother stitched a coat that's just my size.
My supper dish may be an acorn cap,
But I have had my fill of bread and cheese.
They tell me to be glad I'm not like Hans.
And I am glad. I wish they'd notice why.


I've heard the rumors-- how my story's told.
First things first: it did not end that way
(My skin all milky white, and hair all gold,
My father proud until his dying day).
And second, tell me, how would I have known
All of the things I'd need to "Break the Spell,"
When I'd been left to die in straw on stone?
As if I'd even want to. Go to hell!
That's just the yarn they spin to quell their fears,
And I've remained a monster sixty years.

I ran away from home, that much is true.
But never with a gift from "dear old Dad."
I stole those bagpipes, and the black hen, too--
The only friend I ever really had.
It's true the king was lost, and heard me play,
Though, like I said, I never had a plan.
But when he told me he would gladly pay,
And pulled one of those rings from off his hand --
He asked me if I'd like his pretty hat.
(Can you imagine -- velvet on my head?)
And really, what would I have done with that?
But he was loved! 'Twas what I wished, instead.
So yes, I said: "Give me a living thing--
The first to come and greet you at the door."
I never thought: "The Daughter of the King"
Might be his dog, for I'd seen that, before.
And after that, I let myself forget--
Until the day my dear old chicken died.
That was the first I ever felt regret,
Though not the first time I had ever cried.
I really didn't think 'twould do much good,
To try and claim a worn-out I.O.U.,
But there was nothing for me, in that wood,
And there was nothing left for me to do.
They kept their promise-- that's the magic thing,
When they could have lied, or had me killed.
I married her. And now I am the king,
Though I still have my snout, and all my quills.
For we can't shed our pain, like some old shirt,
To throw onto the coals, until its gone.
I'm less than half a man, without my hurt
Yet, truly, I was changed, that coming dawn.
'Twas neither flames nor salves that transformed me,
But She who saw my full humanity.

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