The Legend Of The Jackal

—by Nathan on February 9, 2009—

Past mountains old with jagged domes,
Past glen and field and swampy bog,
Past the kingdoms of Men and their homes,
And through the forests filled with fog.
There lived a Jackal, cunning and brave,
And all who knew him thought him a knave,
For he plundered and picked the fields of Men dry,
Making all of the farmers wishing he would die.

Yet when hunters were sent to kill him from Un,
He'd hide and slink and never be found,
And if he were shot at he'd evade every one,
Then dodge into the darkness with a bound. "He's too fast," Men would say, "he's just too quick!
"And we can't follow him for the trees are too thick,
Let us go to the king and complain of the beast,
He'll surely send a Man to kill it at least."

So they rode, at full speed, to the king's great palace,
But were denied an audience for being in tatters,
Then the farmers began to shout with rage and malice,
Until He came out, to see what was the matter.
"Oh, Lord," the Men cried, "we are plagued by a Jackal,
Who wolfs down our food and laughs with a nasty cackle,
Could you send a Hunter to help us in our time of need?"
And they fell down in the dirt and started to plead.

The monarch stared at them a minute or two,
Then said, "Allow them entrance to dine with me,
And while we eat I shall say what I'll do."
So the farmers merrily went in, full of glee.
The farmers went to dine and were surprised at what they saw,
A table full of food, and water dripped down each jaw,
There was large loafs of bread and huge slabs of meat,
And a second table devoted solely to sweets.

"Now," the king said when the meal was done,
"Tell me of this great predicament of yours."
So the problem was told, of the beast of Un,
Then the king ordered the doors to be closed.
"There is a Man," he told the farmers,
"One who bears many titles and armors,
Go to the Wishing Well of Shella-Fano, And he shall be there, waiting for you."

So the Men went quickly to the place the king had said,
They found the waiter and explained their plight,
"I shall come," he said, "and I want it alive not dead,
For I am going to expect an amazing fight."
So they went back and found the town in fear,
Somehow the monster had gotten in there,
And killed the chickens, left folk's faces void,
"Oh!" the Men cried, "we want it destroyed!"

The Hunter unsheathed his knife and away he walked,
To find the menace and to stop its breathing,
But along the way he found himself stalked,
And turned to see the terrible Jackal, seething.
It was big for its size and had yellow eyes,
A look on its face showed it was surprised:
Never before had Man shown such valor,
To stand before it and not flee in terror.

The beast attacked first, teeth at the ready,
But the Hunter dodged, he was prepared,
The Jackal spun, claws sharp and deadly,
It would see how its next attack fared.
Lunging with speed, it gave a confident bay,
To show he was confident he'd win the day,
But the Hunter was sure the onslaught would die,
Here with the Jackal's ferocious last cry.

The Man jumped to meet his foe of fear,
The Jackal growled, this was the end,
But for who, it is still very unclear,
For this story continues, my anxious friend.
The blade flashed and the Jackal gave a cry,
Never had he'd ever been close to die,
Never had anyone pierced its hide,
For the wound was deep in its side.

But as it staggered, it made a plan,
For the beast was far from through,
It planned to win and kill the Man,
By cutting him into two.
Springing up, the Jackal slid into shadow,
Hiding to confuse the giant fellow,
The Hunter began looking around,
Yet it was gone and was nowhere to be found.

But a snapping branch from behind,
Warned of the Jackal's foul plot,
He whirled around with half a mind,
Of finishing the creature on the spot.
There came the lunge, the roar, the steely flash,
The howl of the Jackal receiving a gash,
Across the brow, it ended the brawl,
And became the Jackal's final fall.

It dropped to the ground, hissing in pain,
He began to lick the fatal cut,
He didn't want to perish, that was plain,
His heart grew quieter, and then gave up.
The Hunter carried the body back to the citizens,
As a trophy they gave the body to him,
Then they sang of his deed all through the daylight,
And danced merrily all through the shining night.

The next day, the Hunter had to depart,
But not before hearing praises so true,
He accepted them from the people's heart
And kept them all the way to Shella-Fano.

—Tags: Fantasy, Fiction, Poetry

Also read Nathan's blogs at Geeks Under Grace.