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evan m horetsky

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Bacchus
By evan m horetsky
Thursday, December 22, 2005

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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This is a satirical mock epic about a lamb named Bacchus and his struggle to gain back his love with the golden fleece, Goldie. If you have read the Aeneid, the Odyssey, or the Iliad this will make more sense.


I sing of farms and of a lamb: his lust has fallen upon him war!


Armies swarming with war-torn horns thrusting at his homeland’s door.


Bound by hate and confounded by treason,


This sheep finds too late that passion rules reason.


His friend, now foe, fights for the frail reward,


Rumbling the heavens calling down strength to move thee forward.


He will lose his companion, his friends and at times his own,


To find that fate has found him a fight to gain back his home.


A lamb loses to light in his bout to find higher living,


Find he will fall if he takes without giving. 


Tell me, god of knowledge and writes


What is this lowly sheep’s plight?


As Phoebusido brings arms to his lap, brimming with anger


An old friend, now foe, from the farms north of his, in Bangor


Over a woman? How could they fall so fast


Friendship crumbles quickly proving evil can outlast


There's always a foe, ever a friend. 

Always new beginnings, an eternity of ends.
 


Opposites aren't as simple as ebony or pearl. 
But tainted both ways, an angel’s feather has its curls.


So less are they far apart, then are they foul twins. 
One to help you when you lose, the other to kick you when you win.


One to tuck you in at night, the other to keep you up. 
One sees it as half full, the other just breaks the cup.
 


Your actions dictate which man you are to follow, 
But what may the difference be from heart of gold to one hollow?


Each man finds in himself capacity to know each creed, 
While the twins wage wars of braun or wit, its Bacchus, the lamb, who will lead.


What do the divine humans find to be the stronger as my mind wells up in fog 


Bacchus, noble sheep king, or Phoebusido, a mangy dog.


Both fighting for a woman fleece of richest gold,


As if her love can be changed, given, or even sold.


Destiny will find the place for these riches to finally rest,


But first, we embark on the first of many trivial tests. 


In Dublin, where this unfolds, the farms are with war aflame


Animal upon animal for one woman, yet to be named.


OK. It’s Goldie, I couldn’t help myself but inform,


A beautiful female ewe, nothing at the entire norm.


For she was born divine, from the god of beauty,


Only Aphrodite could dream up this little cutie!


Not only is she attractive, but also her coat is of pure gold,


And not only does it make the farm gods rich, it never gets cold.


This fight is for her now, as Phoebusido begins his assault


Charging down on the lowly town as the guard horses lick their salt.


Phoebusido thinks he has the upper hand with his dashing surprise


Finding Bacchus’s defense stripped with wide-open eyes.


The first death, dear Manalis, gorged while closing the gate,


It saved one thousand young ones, but for him ‘twas too late.


From his chambers Bacchus hears a dreadful call,


“Master, Phoebusido has come to end us all!


Please call us to arms, raise the flag, and let your voice be known,


For in this hour of darkness you may end up losing your throne!”


Bacchus knew that this was not what Phoebusido is here for,


And instead rushed Goldie hurriedly into the secret chamber under the floor.


The hoofs connected, the sirens blared!


There was an epic bout on these grounds declared!


The hand went to Phoebusido for the spur of initial surprise,


But Bacchus does not scare easily, you can tell by the fire in his eyes.


For he has given to him special minions just for the occasion,


Flying chickens with deadly eggs drive back the invasion


And his watchmen are of the greater stock, hoofing hounds on high


This fight is soon tipping back, as Bacchus turns the tides.


On the eighth day Phoebusido surveys his wounded and dead


To his dismay they only multiply as he walks ahead.


He knows but one way he can have the favor, and that’s to visit the oracle


Only it can give him his much-needed miracle.


Down the river Conges Phoebusido travels, to the altar of the gods


Huge murals of wise men, these breeds divine, although odd 


He walks into the chambers, and encounters the one he seeks,


Rats with cloth around his eyes, and ooze dripping from his beak.


His name is Tyrome, and his stature is demeaning,


But in his eyes of void, creatures find great meaning.


For in this man is the road yet followed, the answers to the quest,


Tyrome gives animals guidance, so they can do the rest.


Phoebusido lays his sacrifices a trait of his greatest warrior to get this information


Though this one weakness imbued on his strong bull can lead to his armies elation.


Tyrome imbues upon the bull one weakness, in his tail,


Only by harming this part with this raging titan fail.


In exchange Tyrome tells Phoebusido of his fate this day,


“Goldie will be yours, but at great cost to you,


For greed and hubris may now obtain the golden hue,


But one day your chest, puffed out, will fall to the floor


As the man who lost everything will return to settle the score.


Go now, with this potion, which will give all birds the flu,


Know that this is so potent the human have no antidote to use.”


Phoebusido returns to his army with his newly crippled bull


And tells his mice to disperse this poison to the chickens in full.


The toxin does his job and the aerial assault is halted


Bacchus is in a rut, as his horses too become faltered.


Phoebusido’s foxes creep in to the palace and start looking for Goldie,


Bacchus is trying to hold the front lines, attacking wild and boldly.


A captured dog gives them the information of Bacchus’s compartment,


And Phoebusido procures Goldie from her locked apartment.


“You will be better off with one as strong as me” he tells her proudly


All Goldie does is yell and scream quite loudly.


Bacchus hears his loves voice, but is caught in the heat of battle,


As he turns to run towards her, he is skewered by opposing cattle.


He falls to the ground, and before his eyes close he sees his wife leave


With the evil dog, this weasel, this hog, Phoebusido, he swears will be cleaved.


Four years later, Bacchus recovers from his wounds,


To find his town too, has been suffering from the doom.


The profits Goldie’s fleece made no longer support the town,


And the lack of men gone from the fight makes golden fields turn moldy brown.


There is only one thing Bacchus can do to halt this putrid depression


He must travel far and wide to gather men to battle his repression!


The milkman comes to take his rounds, and Bacchus has an idea,


He grabs his elite pigs, the oinkalons, and his companion Mesenea.


They run to the back of the milk truck, stash away behind the crates,


And let the milkman guide them, as they know they will follow fate.


Their first stop is in Dankrine, a farm allied with theirs,


He is welcomed gladly by King Marmon, his long friend of many years.


“You looked troubled and rugged, Bacchus, how may we help?


We heard from Dublin screams, and moos, and even terrible yelps!”


“Marmon, my house is laid to shambles at the hands of Phoebusido”


“I know not of this tyrant well, but tell me, what can we do?”


“I need you to help me with support of our town,


Phoebusido is not assaulting for the crown.


But for the love of Goldie, for as we were young, Phoebusido and I were friends,


In front of his father, even, we made a blood pact ‘till the end.


But as old King Phoebus waned in the living, his son stopped giving,


And his dishonorable rage is not capable of forgiving.


For now an old Love spills blood of many men,


Hatred spawned, can't stop, won't bend.


Searing insides with sword in hand,


This one organ as if they were man.


They toy with you like girls and boys,


Sarcasm and betrayal but still I am poised.


For the game is played both this way and that,


'Tween prince and pauper, fool and bureaucrat.


But Lo and behold that both shall win,


They'll still fight or divorce in the end.


For no principle against purgery or treason,


Precedes the notion that passion rules reason.


And now Phoebusido fights for Goldie, ancient love,


He feels through raising hell he can push himself high above.”


“We have been friends since I have known, Bacchus,


And I know if Phoebusido were to attack us,


You would support us too, and help us in our need.


I do not make this request out of simple greed,


But we will need payment of yours in exchange, for my men will request”


“We have very little, we need some, but you can have the rest”


“I only want Goldie’s fleece but once a month,


That silky gold is worth more than of normal gold, a ton.”


Bacchus had to tell him he could, even though there was no way he can


Will lying to save your country save this lamb of a man?


Or will he fall to his own devices, terrible indeed


What kind of man lies to King’s, then turns around and leads? 


Off to his next trip, a small white mouse stops him, rudely


Standing on two legs, with full clothes on, although dressed crudely.


He greets the mouse in turn and the mouse looks at him quite oddly.


“Why are you guys all rhyming? This is kind of weird. We’re here sweating our rears off trying to help you, and your prancing around with your oinkalons and your very skeptical friend who is a boy Mesenea. His name doesn’t even sound like he’s that manly. No one speaks in couplets anymore, especially in Ireland. Even your narrators doing it! Get back on your milk truck and talk like a normal lad. Have you no sense boy? Go on now, find your allies and take back your lovey-dovey lassie. Yes, I know you don’t have her. Don’t worry, I won’t tell King Marmon, you’re fate is already sealed.” And with this the mouse transforms into a blue dove and flies away. Startled and shaken, but turned away from the use of couplets, Bacchus gets back on to the truck.


      Whilst reclining in relative comfort in the back of the milk truck, Bacchus is troubled. “Where we shall visit before our eventual return home is beyond me, yet we must insist that the driver make haste for my crown and our lives are on the line. I have been noticing omens since our departure and they are not just results of my medication. I fear that we may encounter many dangers on the way to reclaim our homeland.” Before he can express the rest of his doubts, the truck begins to come to rest. Bacchus is then startled by something Mesenea says, “OH MY GOD! We’ve been taken to The Park! It is a place so heinous that no animal dare venture within its confines.” And with this most disturbing of comments, the truck rattles to a halt and the journeymen are forced to disembark into the unknown terrain.


      A sight greets the group most foul. Carcasses of fellow animals hang from rafters while others char upon large metal spits. Large aluminum drinking vessels adorned with all manner of icy mountain ranges littered the path to the nearest dwelling close to impassable. After coming to terms with their surroundings, the animals ventured into one of the aluminum siding hovels to further investigate their situation. Bacchus pleads to any who will listen, “Somebody, please deliver us from this place of suffering and torment! Any who heed my call will be rewarded most generously.” However, this pleading only worsened the situation of our stalwart friends, for at his sound a slumbering giant was awakened.


      “Who done awokened me from my deepest of slumbers? I was dreamin of shootin a huge twelve-point buck from the window of my ’67 Hemi Cuda. Ah I see that the gods have delivered me a fine meal of tasty lil Yankees for me to eat.” This giant looked like a god-human, but he prays to them as well? Upon hearing this, a very confused Bacchus turns about to see a group of strange men curiously dressed in ancient armor and looking very confused. Seizing the opportunity, Bacchus directs his oinkalons into a remote corner of the trailer cavern to pay witness to the impending devastation.


      After spending the worst night in animal history under the most disgusting couch in existence, Bacchus reviews the situation and develops a plan of escape. “Pigs, roll about under yonder cushioned sleeping place. Once thou hast become covered in the linty residue that shall be our salvation, report back to me and I shall impart the rest of the details upon thee.” Once the oinkalons had accomplished his commands, Bacchus proceeded to convey to them the terms of their escape. “Being covered in giant lint, you shall all resemble sheep akin to Mesenea and I. Using this to our advantage, we shall escape at first light when the giant one with the neck of red emerges from his hazy slumber and ventures forth to survey his kingdom.”


      When the instant of their liberation occurred the next morn, Bacchus led his legions on their escape, but an unexpected occurrence altered the plans. During the night, the giant had taken it upon himself to feast on some of the oddly dressed humans. The others, who obviously did not want to share their brethren’s fate, concocted a plan of their own. Essentially they upside-down piggybacked on the oinkalons in an attempt to beat a hasty retreat. Upon seeing this, Bacchus cried out, “You fools! Leave my pigs be, for a sagging midsection will surely give us away!” The men paid little heed to these warnings and in doing so sealed their own fate. The giant was no fool, and even with the severely blurred vision he was experiencing was still capable enough to inspect each animal on its way out. Holding true to Bacchus’ concern, the giant let out a large belch upon discovering a few of the men hidden under some of Bacchus’ compatriots. Watching in horror as many of his oinkalon friends were devoured, Bacchus had no choice but to lead the survivors out and away from this terrible place. Upon reaching a safe distance from The Park, Bacchus bids a bittersweet farewell to the leader of the humans, a seriously disturbed man named Bartholomew (he said his name was Noman, but Bacchus did not believe him).


      With no milkman in sight, Bacchus contemplates a means of conveyance to continue on his crews sojourn home. The instant this thought enters his head, as if from the gods, the sound of a ’67 Hemi Cuda could be heard in the distance. Quickly Bacchus leads his men up a tree to hide in wait for the vehicle. “Now pigs, when the time is nigh I shall give the signal and thou shall pounce upon the roof of the automobile so that we may continue homeward.” Bacchus’ instructions fell upon open ears and the oinkalons prepared for the maneuver. Having trained for such an event many times, the pigs made the transfer effortlessly to the roof the car and were instantly lauded by the sheep companions for their daring and skill.


      Their travel was an uncharacteristically smooth one, compared to their earlier travels. The companions arrive to yet another intimidating locale, but Bacchus remains confident. The giant gets out of the car, and stumbles into the rickety, old building and up the stairs. The animals begin to enter, but are halted by an ominous purring sound coming from the back yard. It sounds as if there is a disturbance occurring in the rear of the building. Newly accustomed to such bizarre circumstances, Bacchus decides it is best to investigate. As the animals round the corner, a most unusual scene greets them. A sleek and very feminine feline was tending to a flock of humans. To Bacchus, she was one of the most beautiful creatures he had ever laid eyes on and from the looks he saw in the oinkalon’s eyes, they agreed. He knew that he must proceed with caution and not do anything brash, yet before he could pronounce any orders, the pigs had rushed the cat expecting to catch her off guard. To their surprise, she had been lying in wait with a most horrible spell that she cast on the oinkalons. Directly in front of Bacchus’ eyes he watched his brave pigs become transformed into humans. They had looks of terror and confusion on their new faces, and Bacchus was unsure how to proceed. His decision was made up for him, however, because shortly thereafter the humans ran off into the surrounding wilderness. Bacchus then spoke to the cat, “What is this evil you have cast on my pigs! I am on a journey to save my homeland, and through your witchcraft you have robbed me of my most valuable warriors and companions.” The cat then responded, “I have not harmed your pig warriors, I have given them a newfound power and abilities that may further enable them in the future. For now though, you must remain with me for I am a lonely creature. The power I wield intimidates most of the male species around these parts and I have thus been found without a companion for quite some time. While it may seem that I am hindering your journey, the time you spend here will not have been lost on frivolous diversions. I pay you honor and realize your troubles both home and abroad.” Upon hearing these kind pronunciations, Bacchus felt a soothing sensation flow over his entire body and he lost all memory of home and any sense of urgency that accompanied it. He realized that he felt no enchantment but still felt compelled to linger and learn from this kind creature. She then continued, “I know what you seek and I will provide what aid I can, though it pains me to think that one day I will see you go, for the gods have demanded that my time with you be finite and I allow you to continue on your way.”


      As time passes, Bacchus learned much from his feline host. After what seemed like an eternity, the cat informed him that his time to journey forth had come. While it pained him to leave his most generous companion, he knew in his heart that he must return and liberate his farm from bondage. Whilst Bacchus prepared to embark, the cat aroused Mesenea from his long imposed spellbound slumber, which had endowed him with supernatural wisdom for use in the future. The two compatriots bid their hostess farewell and set out to continue their quest.


      As Bacchus arrives to the outlying borders of his farm, he finds an outpost. He knows this must be a band of scouts or spies from Phoebusido seeing how Bacchus’s farm is fairing, so Bacchus and Mesenea creep in for the kill. Bacchus lunges onto the spies who have settled at the dinner table, and is about to wreak havoc on them but as he sees the face of his victim, he realizes that it is his old friend from the stables. “Why are you not rebuilding the farm and preparing for retribution with King Marmon?” Bacchus exclaims. The friend rebuttals, “Bacchus, oh reverent one. We are all that is left of your once-mighty town. All is lost. Go see the old owl, Athalena, for the story, she will be able to indulge you with the details you need.” Bacchus continues into the outpost to find the aforementioned owl. She greets him with immediate concern. “Bacchus, I see you’ve been having your fun.” “My life has been one of trials; of hell! Do you see the companions I brought with me on my quest? They have dispersed as enchantments or death have bejeweled their senses. I stumble back alone to recover my lands” She cuts Bacchus off. “…And your love. Your greed has destroyed your palace, Bacchus. Do you not know the role you must adhere to? Yes, you may have become stronger on your journeys, but your weakness has sprouted darkness we may not be able to surpass. King Marmon discovered that your promises were like your mugs; empty. Phoebusido gave him an honorable offer, and in our moment of need they defected. Do you see what you have made for yourself? We are a conquered race! WE HAVE NOTHING!” At this Bacchus collected his thoughts, “Athalena, in your wisdom I am humbled. However, out of nothing, creation begins. Our land may be in shambles, but we have each other. We have truth and honor on our side.” “And justice, Bacchus.” “And justice, milady.” At this her voice became suddenly distant. “I see your struggle, and your will is strong, my king. But there is but one way you can rekindle this town. To invoke the resurrecting phoenix, you must sacrifice yourself. Go now, and find your demise. Hold firm to your wisdom, to our wisdom, and you will know life once again. Yes, out of nothing creation begins, but out of creation the breakdown begins. Soon you will know the weight of words.” With this Bacchus began his preparations. This time Mesenea will not travel with him. This agony will only be reserved for him; his pains have been imbued on his companions far too long. He approaches his friend, and begins his tidings, “My friend, I must go on a perilous journey. I want you to stay and watch what is left of our town. Know that in your absence, goes a part of myself. Please, stay here and do not fight! This will only bring certain ruin.” Mesenea held his head high, and said nothing. Bacchus then began his journey of atonement.


      With as many loose ends retied as possible, Bacchus waited eagerly for the god of milk delivery to arrive with his white box chariot to ferry him to the gates of the underworld. The milkman could see the look on Bacchus’ face and decided it was best to make haste to his destination before he lost his wits. However, the ride was not to be a smooth one. In his furious attempt to deliver the sheep to the gates of Hades, the deity of milk and milk related substances/byproducts lost control of his white box chariot, careening off the road and soaring off into a chasm whilst on fire. Luckily for Bacchus, he was thrown clear of the flaming wreckage and was able to continue on his journey albeit thoroughly shaken and terrified.


      Finally arriving at the gates to Hell itself, the McDuseldorfenstein Meat Processing and Childcare Facility, Bacchus begins to have second thoughts about what Athalena told him, but the faces of his fallen brethren suddenly flood past him, and with newfound resolve ventures forth through the gates and into the abyss. Once through, Bacchus instantly realized that all the stories he had been told as a young ewe were true r than he could have possibly imagined. Everywhere around him were slaughtered corpses of animals, both friend and foe, hanging from gruesomely efficient hooks and moving along demonic conveyance systems. Bacchus felt instantly ill and a creeping sense of delirium swelling up from inside him. He gathered up every last drop of courage he could muster and continued forth through the gore-drenched hallways.


      Upon entering a chamber of frozen animals, he found the prophet, Tyrome. Confused, Bacchus approaches the rat and begins his inquiries, “What has become of you, old prophet? Has death caught up to your vision of fate?” Tyrome is puzzled. He groans, “You think the likes of Tyrome can be easily dispatched from this world? I am simply perusing this realm, for anything to help my job to fulfill the fates. I am but a slave working for his master. I am of neither world. I exist in all walks of life. I am the method behind the magic.” Bacchus contemplates his words. After deliberation he asks the prophet, “Where should I look for my answers, wise one? Where is the solution I seek?” The rat rebuttals, “Your problem, little ewe, is that you are looking at the problem, and not the solution. Look further into this chaos, and find the voice that once held peace and justice between your lands.” At this, the rat scurried off. Not knowing exactly what was said, Bacchus simply continues onward. He finds a crate marked, “Lamb chops.” He feels this must be the place where lambs go to find rest! He walks further and is halted in shock. Before him is his adopted father, his mentor, his enemy’s man-lord: King Phoebus. He drops to his knees and whimpers, “Phoebus, I have failed you. Phoebusido and I, friends and blood brothers, are now at wits end. He stole my love, and ravished my farm. The peace and tranquility you knew as you reined is gone, as two brothers rival for a woman. What have I done, Phoebus? What have I done?” The king drifts forward on the conveyor belt and speaks to his young, “Bacchus, though you may not be of my blood, you are more than family to me. I have seen you through your times of grief, and times of joy. I saw when you first laid eyes upon the lamb when the humans sent her to me. Instantly you were entranced, as would any little ewe. Goldie herself allowed me and the human-gods to split our farms in half. I knew all along I would have my son rule my country, and you take the throne upon the fledgling. Living with your love, the farm prospered and all was good. But what has come of my son? Has passion, greed, and jealousy overwhelmed his sense? To come to the depths of hell takes a man of much power, where have you found this magic, young one?” “Lord, I went to find recruits to save my town, and at one place I stumbled upon this beautiful cat. As I stayed with her she taught me of the ways of magic and we had a relatio…” Bacchus’ words were halted by his own realization. He lowered his head, and continued, “Oh my, father, I am no better than him! I have lusted against my love, and in so doing have lost her. I was too greedy for my own power and well-being that I led my farm to ruins. I know now I must change everything.” The King held his hand on Bacchus’ back and responded, “No, son, you were only trying to do what was right. Sometimes we question what we have done, but you will soon find that sometimes all you need in life are loyal friends, and you can conquer every evil. Go now, and take this collar with you. With it you will have a terrible bite capable of searing flesh from bone. Know that Phoebusido has studied the dark arts. He, too, has brought his minions down here.” Bacchus thoughts went hurriedly to Tyrome. “He will be a match for you, so be prepared. And remember, sometimes all big guys need is a hit to the rear to make them fall.” Puzzled with these cryptic messages, Bacchus parts ways with his inherited father, and leaves the dungeon of death. Upon leaving, he sees the ghost of the horse that shut the doors in the battle for Goldie. The horse bowed to his king, still reverent even in his death. Bacchus felt inspiration from this horse’s honor, and said a prayer for him as he walked out. He sees a truck coming from his farm, and he is worried.


      His walk home is one of contemplation. How will he make it home? What will he find when he returns? He started running unconsciously, trying to speed his arrival. There was so much he let slip from his hooves, he didn’t want his last friends to be one of them. As he started to arrive, he again sees Athalena. She hurriedly flies by his side, and screams to him from afar, “Bacchus! Bacchus!” He knows exactly what has happened. “Bacchus, Mesenea got word from the prophet that he was to have his epic battle, and indeed he did! He donned your armor and came down to fight Phoebusido. His efforts were valiant, until Gary the bull came. Gary is invincible, Bacchus! We are doomed!” Bacchus tries to calm the bird, “What is of my companion, Athalena, has he moved on to the next world?” Bacchus asks a question whose answer he already knows. “Bacchus, my friend, you are left now with only me to aid you. We are a lost race; there is nothing we can do. As Mesenea died, he said only, ‘fly in his face and get nip it in the butt,’ whatever that’s good for.” Bacchus knows exactly what he is to do. He brings Athalena forward and begins his plan.


      Bacchus shears his wool and fits himself to look like a mangy, junkyard dog. He proceeds to enter Phoebusido’s palace. The walls are of the purest marble, and the pool out front gleams of a thousand dewdrops. He enters, only to quickly dodge a chair being tossed at him. Surprisingly, Phoebusido and Goldie are locked in a heated argument. Each demands that the other relinquish power and remain subservient. Neither backs down so Goldie is given an ultimatum. “Either you prostrate yourself before me, or I shall send forth Gary to wreak havoc and destruction upon you.” Upon hearing this, Bacchus steps forth and demands that he be allowed to challenge the mighty steed in Goldie’s place. Phoebusido agrees out of pure inquisitiveness, due to the fact that nobody sane has ever demanded a fight with Gary, no matter what the circumstances. Gary is brought forth and immediately charges Bacchus. Having already been told the plan, Athalena swoops into action, creating a mighty diversion that leaves the enraged bull’s hindquarters temporarily vulnerable. Enough time is given to allow Bacchus to make use of his golden super bite collar and shear the mighty animal’s tail clean from his body. With a shower of blood and other things of a foul and unmentionable nature, the terrible tyrant’s right hand enforcer is slain. The court was dumbfounded. Never had they expected a canine, one of junkyard lineage for that matter, to defeat their champion in unarmed combat. Horrified and foaming with rage, Phoebusido demands that the visitor reveal himself and allow the court to pass judgment upon him. “Tis I! The one true ruler of this land. I return from my long exile a wiser, stronger man and wish to rid the farm of this terrible catastrophe know as Phoebusido. All who side with him shall die; all who side with me shall live. For I have the gods on my side, even he who delivers the nectar of white milky delights from within his white box chariot that temporarily burst into flames and flew into a chasm! If thou doth not believeth me, then bring thine hand upon me in battle and watch thyself get smote upon my wretched brow!” Everybody was clearly confused by the language the Bacchus chose to use at this moment in time, but none of Phoebusido’s court were about to argue with him for they were mostly old or gimped.


      Bacchus thought this battle was over, but he thought of all but one thing. King Marmon had crossed him, and now runs in with his band of men. One lamb is incapable of destroying this band of evildoers. His death seemed imminent, but this lamb was ready to go down a martyr. “I may lose Goldie, but I will fight to the death for my country, no matter what odds.” Before yet another soap box speech of Bacchus’ could be finished, sparks dazzled the palace. The resulting chaos left Bacchus temporarily blinded, but upon regaining his vision he saw a spectacular sight. All the King’s men, including Marmon himself, were turned into large chicken eggs. Bacchus stands befuddled. Over the chaos, he sees standing in the doorway a sight of wonder. There stands his old feline friend, flanked by a band of humans to each side.


      The cat talks, “Bacchus, I see why you have left me. Know that true friends overcome the demeaning qualities of each other, and are simply there to help. When I was young, my mother told me a saying, “Friends will help you move, but true friends will help you move bodies.” This has been the basis of my honorable friendship since. Now, Bacchus, lord and friend; let’s go get Phoebusido.


      In this time of chaos and firefight, Phoebusido had slinked off into the dark recesses of his palace in search of Tyrome. Once found, he demanded that he be given a weapon with which he could be at equals with the newfound might of his former step kin. Tyrome sneered at him, cackling, “It seems the gods have even turned against you, my friend. I would love to help you with this, but I can not. It seems you’re fighting on your own.” Enraged, Phoebusido runs to greet his new visitors.


      He is met in his grand foyer by a magical cat. Her arms are raised and she is muttering an incantation. Phoebusido has a feeling his time on this earth is up. Suddenly, Bacchus screams, “No! This is my battle, my feline friend; I want to handle this myself.” His friends crowd around him, as Bacchus takes off everything, including his magic collar. “This will be like old times, friend. It’s just you, and me, and these hooves. There’s only one thing I have to ask you, Phoebusido, and that is: are you feeling lucky, punk?” Goldie looks at him and says, “Bacchus that was the most unintelligent thing I think you’ve ever said. I actually feel less intelligent myself just hearing you say it.” Bacchus shrugs off this teasing and begins his fight.


      The fight is over shortly, as Bacchus has always been the stronger man. Phoebusido is crushed on the floor with a hoof on his right eye. He spits out blood, attempts to turn his head up to Bacchus, and says, “Bacchus, ol’ buddy ol’ pal. Can’t we just get along? I don’t even want your palace, or Goldie, or anything. I did this just because daddy always loved you more. I mean, he even gave you advice in this fight, what did he give me? The mange? Come on Phoebusido, just let me live.”


      Bacchus decides to let Phoebusido go, and tells him to run the farm. Bacchus and Goldie go off to have their second honeymoon, and the cat goes to train the oinkalon humans to do all sorts of neat things. Phoebusido is giving what he wanted, the power to rule the lands in Bacchus’ stead. Bacchus wasn’t too sure how wise of a move this was, but he just got back Goldie, so he’s not complaining.


      For the lovers have returned, and the old friend is spurned,


      Now Bacchus reaps the awards in which he earned.


      The world has spun, and a new age has begun,


      Gone are the days of the weaknesses of one.


      The farm will rebuild, though many have been killed,


      Grain continues to be made, wheat continually milled.


      The sun will shine tomorrow, just as it always has,


      “SHUT UP!” as the mouse scurries into the beautiful sun setting resolution background. “No poetry. Not now, not when the little lambies go off to repopulate the world, not ever. Are you dense? Go to the pub or something and sing there, you crazy minstrel. Some people.” The mouse stumbles off shaking his head. 
 
 
 
 


       


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