The Dandy Lion

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imageI told her I’d meet her on Dandelion Fields where the lion who wears the tatty jackets and the purple polka dot neckerchief lives.

It rained probabilities over there, actual numbers, ones and twos, decimal points and fractions. You can stand up there and hold out your tongue and feel the figures drop into your mouth and then dissolve into a particular kind of liqueur, not sure which one, perhaps, Drambuie?

To get there I had to cut past the fairground with the three interconnecting Ferris wheels, all lashed together with ropes and wooden wedges, so when you set one going it automatically powers the interlocking next one and so on.

I walked through the pines until I came to a circular clearing, with a wind sock dead centre. The sock was multicoloured, red, vanilla and peach. I think the colours were these, or maybe sprout green instead of red, or instead of peach, I can’t remember.

Hammered into the grass, about five meters or so away from the sock, but exactly parallel with it, was a little wooden sign that read, in a graceful Prunella Trieste font, “Don’t shout obscenities at the wind sock.”

Of course there was a fella there doing just that and I ran up to him, wildly flailing my arms about and yelling, “Hey, didn’t you read the sign man, I mean, can’t you read?”

The guy pleaded ignorance and scarpered and I could hear his hobnail boots clip-clapping as he hit the Roman Road that ran directly to the left of the clearing. I stared up at the sock, as it hung limp against the white metal pole, a breeze brought it to life a moment and it fluttered to its full length, before settling back down.

“Don’t shout obscenities at the wind sock,” I chuckled to myself, as I walked on.

When I got to Dandelion Fields Polly Lillianlion was there.

Gee, Polly Lillianlion, how can you not fall in love with a girl with six ls in her name?

Polly was sat on the ground, cradling the Dandy Lion’s head in her lap. It looked like he was dying.

Two crows scattered from the tree behind me.

I got over to them and he was all torn up, his jacket was in tatters, the boutonnière in his top button hole had wilted and was all brown and his pinstripe trousers were ragged at the bottoms. It was raining so both of our macs were covered in multi-coloured numbers, but he was covered mainly in blue nines.

The Dandy Lion’s paws were full of cuts and the white tape, from boxing I suppose, wrapped around them was bloodstained and unravelling. His top hat lay to his left looking like it had been punched straight through and someone had snapped the metal stretchers out of his umbrella.

I waved my hand in front of his face, tugged at his whiskers and peered into his eyes but registered no response. Polly shook her head. He seemed to come to for a moment and he breathed out and said, “I’ve seen some things in our world, but this really takes the cake.” Then he turned over on his side to face away from Polly, brought his knees up towards his chest and died.

Polly looked at me and said, “Let’s bury him and then go home.” So we buried him and started home.

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