Once in a land that was far, far away
In a cave buried under a mountain of clay
lived a terrible dragon that no man could slay
His name was… Ephraim.
Ephraim had an armour of scales,
enormous wings as big as sails,
a heavy belly, a giant tail…
when Ephraim laughed, the ground would quail.
And just to reinforce the dread:
The dragon Ephraim had seven heads.
That’s right. Seven heads.
One day on that high mountain course,
along came a knight on a great white horse.
He drew his sword and called: “You knave!
Come out, Ephraim! crawl out of your cave!”
For I, the knight Isaschar goldenheart,
Have come to challenge you dragon, to fight!
Ephraim’s seven heads laughed out loud,
They all seven laughed in a terrible crowd.
“Oh you small insignificant foolish young knight,
You dare to challenge the dragon to fight?
The powerful dragon, with armour like lead,
Whose nostrils breathe flame and who has seven heads?!
Run away, little knight, run as fast as you can,
before I get mad and the shit hits the fan!”
But the knight Isaschar, who was noble and brave,
Did not fear, didn’t flinch, His resolve did not wave.
“Come on out, dragon! fight me, you craven!
I don’t have all day, so you’d better hasten!
And if you stay in like a scared little shrew,
Then I, as a knight, will come in to fight you!”
And because a knight’s threat is not lightly spoken,
And because a knight’s word must never be broken,
And as Ephraim stayed deep in his cavern,
The knight Isaschar had to go fight the dragon,
He walked into the cave and let go of his horse.
Did he have a choice?
The cave was dark, and it was deep,
The path was rocky, it was steep.
The knight Isaschar marched on through it all,
with many a stumble and many a fall,
But he always got up and went on with his stuff,
A knight doesn’t quit when the going gets tough.
And when he finally arrived,
somewhat sweaty and sleep deprived,
He swung his sword and called: “Listen to me!
I’m giving you till the count of three!
Ephraim said “Just a moment there, you!
My good sir knight, take a moment to sit,
Would you like to eat, drink, and rest for a bit?
You must be exhausted, your journey was long
And fighting on an empty stomach’s just wrong.
It’s just 9AM, it’s a little too early
For swordfights and duels and all that hurly-burly.
That’s not polite sir, in fact it’s just rude,
Won’t you just have a coffee, and maybe some food?
The knight examined the dragon’s form,
From the terrible tail to the heads like a swarm,
He looked at the belly, the scales, and the back,
and quietly asked, “could you please make it black?”
So Ephraim made coffee, a full cup of black,
And added some sugar he had in a sack,
And served out some cookies and other baked goods,
And joined the meal like all good hosts should.
The knight Isaschar, of the noble spirit
Took his one cup of coffee and slowly drank it.
One cup for the knight, and as for the dragon-
It’s easy to guess his number of flagons.
Because how many cups must a table feature
To satisfy a seven-headed creature?
And if you should ask, as is perfectly right,
What happened to duelling? And where is the fight?
I must lower my head and sadly confess,
that nowadays stories of dames in distress,
Have an unfortunate habit to end out.. not great:
The lady gets left to the mercies of fate,
So that’s how we lost all our tales of brave men,
Who ride in to rescue a princess or ten,
Because though, by and large, all these knights may be bold,
You can never trust men when there’s coffee involved.