From: (Elspeth)
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: FTSD: Lizard People
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 08:13:38 -0500 (EST)
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I was swinging through the branches
=A0=A0of my oboe-playing tree,
contemplating the expanses
=A0=A0of the world surrounding me:
'Twas the vast Saharan desert,
=A0=A0windblown dunes of endless sands,
so immense, it can't be measured
=A0=A0by my tiny human hands.

We were making steady progress
=A0=A0surfing down the drifty dunes
where there used to be a forest
=A0=A0back a hundred million moons,
and we came to the oasis
=A0=A0where the lizard people dwell
sadly biding 'mongst the traces
=A0=A0of their ancient citadel.

Now the lizard folk are colorful,
=A0=A0but scaly and grotesque;
yet the tales they tell are wonderful
=A0=A0~ so strange and arabesque.
After greeting us sedately
=A0=A0with a pensive, tristful air,
one inquired, slow and stately,
=A0=A0would we take the waters there?

I descended to the sands
=A0=A0and curtsied low and formally,
''Twould be well to take this chance
=A0=A0to offer -you- a cup of tea!'
And I saw the lizard smile
=A0=A0as he gestured to his vale,
'Turn aside with us awhile;
=A0=A0I shall tell to you a tale.'

So we gathered on the grasses
=A0=A0by the waters 'neath the palms,
and the teapot made its passes,
=A0=A0and my tree intoned his psalms;
and the lizard king held court upon
=A0=A0an ancient throne of stone
just as downward rolled the setting sun
=A0=A0and upward rolled the moon.

'Ah! Behold the stones about you.
=A0=A0It is sad to watch them grow.
-- Though so well they grow, and proud too!
=A0=A0('Tis the desert heat, you know.)
Here the young may move so freely
=A0=A0though their elders don't approve. . .
They forgot their water dreams, you see . .
=A0=A0forgotten why you move. . .

'They say, "Water is a gadfly
=A0=A0who can never learn a thing
since she moves forever -- madly!"
=A0=A0But the young aren't listening.
Furtively they try to work themselves
=A0=A0where waters like to go:
onto gully slopes or runnel shelves
=A0=A0in hopes to catch a flow.

'Thus, despite the many dangers,
=A0=A0they desire to see the world,
maybe settle where they're strangers
=A0=A0so to fly their flags unfurled;
and though family ties are strong in stones,
=A0=A0some few do make away,
and they carry scars upon their bones
=A0=A0to show their young one day.

'But as stones are growing older,
=A0=A0they grow more conservative.
You will never hear a boulder
=A0=A0boast of where it used to live.
Moving's risky --=A0if not sinful.
=A0=A0Staying put is where it's at.
Thus the most distinguished pitful
=A0=A0mark their time by getting fat!

'And on clear and balmy summer nights,
=A0=A0as pebbles dream aswoon,
their elders whisper soft in fright,
=A0=A0"Behold again! The Moon!
How it glows and whips across the sky
=A0=A0and changes shape so bad!
How it pulls at us to follow. -- Why?
=A0=A0It is a stone gone mad!"'

Then the lizard king arose upon
=A0=A0his frowning throne of stone,
'Let us rise before the rising sun
=A0=A0and dance beneath the moon!
Ho there, tree! Pipe up your oboe!
=A0=A0Play a charming, winding tune.
Let us dance the mad bolero
=A0=A0for the loony, crazy Moon!'

So we danced in the oasis
=A0=A0where the lizard people dwell,
and we danced among the traces
=A0=A0of their crumbling citadel.
And I saw the lizard weeping
=A0=A0streams of water from his eyes
as the dunes were dream'ly creeping
=A0=A0under endless windy skies.

Based in part upon Richard Shelton's very short story "The Stones".