David Lewis Paget
The Incredible Tattooed Elephant - Poem by David Lewis Paget
The Harold Remarkis Travelling Show
Had been doing it tough of late,
They'd been snowed in at the carnival grounds
Of a town in Washington State,
They were bogged in mud in Ohio, where
It rained for a week and a half,
Where the folks just wouldn't come out and pay
To look at a two-headed calf.
Remarkis studied the poor receipts
And he said: ‘It's not looking up!
If things don't happen at Mitchell's Bluff
I'll be looking for acts to cut!
The Hairy Woman will have to go
And the clown with the giant nose,
The trapeze twins keep falling off,
We'll have to get rid of those! '
Then Raj Matahj in his turban thought,
Came up with a bright idea,
‘What if we've got the only act
For a travelling show round here? '
He said he'd tattoo his elephant,
Would make it an artist's dream,
‘With so much hide to cover, ' he sighed,
‘We could make it a walking screen.'
‘His trunk we could colour a Barber's Pole,
His ears, the sails of a ship,
His eyes could glare with a bright red stare
And blue on his lower lip,
We could tattoo scenes of their greatest fears
That would make them shiver and cry,
They'd come in droves, Yes or No?
Isn't it worth a try? '
Remarkis chomped on his huge cigar,
‘We'd need a professional!
Who do you know with an artist's flair
Who could paint a confessional? '
Matahj knew one in a nearby town
Who would do it all for a fee,
‘We'd have to tie the elephant down
So it doesn't go stomp on me! '
It took a week for the tattoo king
To cover the hide in scenes,
The elephant bellowed a hundred times
But they paid no heed to its screams.
It took three weeks for the hide to heal
And they led it through Mitchell's Bluff,
Under a huge tarpaulin so
They could see, but never enough.
‘It looked like a Magnum Anthromorph, '
Said a woman who'd swallowed a book,
‘More like a walking dinner plate, '
Said the eye of an a la carte cook,
It roused the town's curiosity
They were all determined to go,
The Incredible Tattooed Elephant
Was the focal point of the show.
It was walked around in the circus tent,
Away from their prying eyes,
‘It's such a pity there's only one,
Three more would be a surprise! '
‘We'll do it with mirrors, ' The Turban said,
‘We'll range them around the ring! '
‘Now that'd be swell, ' Remarkis said,
‘And certain to pull them in! '
That night, the tent was packed to the gills
With a thousand wild eyed sharks,
They'd paid ten dollars for just a glimpse
Of the Loxodonta's marks,
The mirrors were set for the final scene
And the elephant came in view,
To the oohs and aahs, under the stars
And even a scream or two.
The elephant gained the centre ring
And he looked around in a daze,
There seemed to be elephants everywhere
And his eyes began to glaze,
A demon grinned from a shoulder
And a witch took off with her broom,
And each one stared with a bright red glare
At the only one in the room.
He bellowed once, he bellowed twice
And he raised, two feet in the air,
Then coming down, he stomped on a clown,
He was gone, beyond despair.
He crashed his way through a mirror, stomped
Along on the bottom row,
Crushing and mashing the patrons there
As the blood began to flow.
There was fear and pandemonium
As he crashed up through the seats,
Making his way towards the back
Where sat the town's elite,
He fell all over the local mayor
And the town clerk's head was crushed,
Then scrambled over the cheaper seats
Turning them all to mush.
They say there's a tattooed elephant
Hid out near Mitchell's Bluff,
It only ever comes out at night
From the woods, and that's enough,
He forages through the garbage bins
And he roams, both up and down,
While the council put out an ordinance,
There's not a mirror in town!
31 January 2013
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