Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Snark Makes a Terrible Din.

By the slow-running river that runs along the fold in the map, lies a tangled up garden with a grim little cottage buried beneath thorny, stinging plants.

Inside the cottage the Snark awoke with a start. He jumped out of bed and ran to his kitchen, grabbing a huge pot from the sink, and a spoon from the floor.

Outside his house he set to with banging and hammering, clattering and rattling. The Snark was making a terrible din.

Up in the village the Grufalump heard. He poked his head out the window and listened a little, but the din was terrific and set his teeth on edge.

"Here boy," the Grufalump called to little Billy Rabbit, throwing him a quarter, "Go see what the Snark's at and come back right quickly."

Little Billy Rabbit bounded away and in no time at all he was back, under the Grufalump's window. "The Snark is making a din," Billy Rabbit said.

"I can hear the din, boy," the Grufalump said, "But why? What's his reason? Why such uproar?"

Little Billy Rabbit shrugged his confusion. "He wouldn't say, Mr. Grufalump. Just keeps beating his pot. When that tires him, he drops it and commences to hooting. When his throat closes over, it's back to the pot."

The Grufalump sighed and put on his tie, popped his hat on his head and took up his cane. He would visit the Snark and ask him, politely, to refrain.

Outside the Snark's garden the din was tremendous and the Grufalump did his best to curl his enormous ears closed. "Mr. Snark!" the Grufalump called. "Mr. Snark, may I have a word?"

Shortly, out from the briar and the nettles, the Snark appeared, frantically banging his spoon off his pot. Not a word did he say, just fixed his beady eyes dead upon the Grufalump's own great orbs.

"Please, Mr. Snark, can't we be civilized?" the Grufalump asked. "This din is atrocious and leaving me agonized."

The Snark stopped beating his pot and cocked his head in thought. Then he was back at it, harder and faster than ever before. The spoon spat tiny wooden chips as it drummed off the pot.

The Grufalump, fast as you like, darted out a mighty hand and grabbed the spoon away. The Snark's mouth fell open, the Grufalump's too. Making a din is one thing, but grabbing is impolite.

The Snark reached for his spoon, but the Grufalump whipped it away, hiding it behind his broad back. Turned on his heel the Snark vanished back into his garden, but was back in flash with a pot in each hand. He pounded the pots, near hammered them flat, the din so intense it knocked off the Grufalump's hat.

So the Grufalump killed him. Pounded him flat as his pots. Then he scooped up the body and threw it in the river.

Back at his home the Grufalump lay on his bed, holding his hands over his ears to drown out the drumming, the beat of well-wishers hands on his door.

"Well done Mr. Grufalump!" they said, "Whatever did you tell the Snark to make him stop?"

The Grufalump lay in his bed, overcome with guilt. Eyes closed, head buried under his quilt. But still he heard the drumming.

That night came a storm, and a terrible racket, but as midnight faded so did the drumming. The Grufalump heard another sound as the wind beat the trees. He heard a scratch, scratch, scratching at his door. It might have been a flailing branch, bucked by the frenzy. It might have been litter, tossed by the air. But the Grufalump knew what it was.

The Grufalump knotted a noose, took a run at his window, and dived through most elegantly. The rope broke his fall, but also his neck.

The call went up when they found him at the first light of day. They swung on his feet, and heaved on the rope, but the Grufalump's bulk was too much to shift. The piled into his house, and hammered his stairs, crowded his bedroom and filled everywhere.

They sawed at the rope and he fell with a thump, and they crowded around him in a bewildered clump.

"Why?" went the cry on everyone's lips, the hubbub rising to impossible height. They were making a terrible din.

Only Little Billy Rabbit wasn't questioning the corpse. He stared at the the Grufalump's door in wonder. There on the door, just where the latch is, whatever had made those terrible scratches?


  1. Looks like you fixed it.

    The accused? Lmao. Cute. Just cute.

  2. Suddenly it was working again! Not arguing, just glad I don't have to learn html...

    You're cute.

  3. Wow...we can leave comments now. Forgot all of the vile things I was going to say earlier.

    Interesting parable. Very remeniscent of a certain Poe story.

  4. Ha! The accused. What does that make me? A member of the jury? Remember 'Twelve Angry Men'? I loved that movie.

  5. I really enjoyed this story! It's nice to see the dogs back too. :)


  6. Heh. Thanks!

    12 Angry Men is one of my favourite films ever. Of course my theory is that Fonda was just being awkward and would have asked for the death penalty if everyone thought the punk was innocent.

  7. 0f course, where is high drama without a bit of conflict (awkward bugger, he was).