Archive for December, 2010

ODOP: Old Danilo (23)

Subtitled:The End

The next day Ivan made the home of
Vasilisa, to live happily thereupon
And by his strength to ease her life. The
Rags of Danilo’s cloak healed the wounds she
Had received among the robbers and then
Served as patches for her little sister’s
Kirtle. She and all the children wrestled
And adored him, whereupon he confessed
That he was no more a tsarevich.

“But I told all and sundry that you were
A prince!” said Vasilisa. “Good thing
We never believed you then, dear,” said her
Mother. And said her father, “Anyhow, you
Promised him.” “I know,” said Vasilisa the
Tall. And so they were married at once.
And never again, I imagine, was
Ivan plagued by bad dreams in his nights,
For Vasilisa was a very pretty girl,
And not the sort that squicks too easily.


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ODOP: Old Danilo (22)

Baba Yaga cackled how she had been
Deprived of other prey, but recompense
Was here: a stout youth now for her palate:
Foolish to come, but fair to eat; boon for
A witch in hard times. She would call her hands
From the unseen gloom now to hold him fast —
He glanced at her darkly. “Even without
My brother-hounds, I am still Ivan the
Appetitacious.” And Baba Yaga most
Amiably gave him to eat and drink.

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ODOP: Old Danilo (21)

Subtitled: Bah humbug.

Whatever his looks, the people he passed
Bowed toward him as he tramped back home, a long
Way, and covering many days, and as
He neared Vasilisa (so close) he saw
That same hut, lit in the spot in the woods
Where the way was weariest. Near he drew,
In he went: Baba Yaga and her oven
Greeted him with merry flames. “Dinner!” For
There were Russian bones on the floor, Slavic
Blood on the doors, skulls along her drive.

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ODOP: Old Danilo (20)

Ivan cursed madly, howling in the air
All the way so that, fast as the cloak flew,
The twelve-headed dragon could follow him
By the sounds. Mid-air Ivan drew his fists
And the battle raged long, wounds were exchanged,
The damp wind whistled, and Ivan subdued it.
This time he ate every last bit of it.
Never again for it to grow. The
Flying cloak was in tatters and so were
His clothes, and for once his stomach was full.

Image property of Squidoo

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ODOP: Old Danilo (19)

Danilo, for all he had despised those dogs,
Found he too had shared their tongue. Looking
Away, he said, “That’s that. You go yourself,
Quick, before her heads grow doubly again.”
And he would not budge. “You must be alive
To enjoy the fruits of my labor. But
My reward is sleep.” Ivan argued. So
The steward threw down his cloak, which swept
Ivan up and flew him ashore. (Danilo
Died on that island. I have seen his grave.)

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ODOP: Old Danilo (18)

Subtitled: 😦

“It’s about time!” But with the steward on
His back Ivan could not wrestle the dragon,
Who was charging them, covering versts
Every second, so that they were inches
From death before they could think. But the dogs! –
In a slanted line they darted ahead,
Two to tear at each head, and all twelve died
To save their master, succumbing to burns
And gashes, but not before their victory.
Ivan didn’t conceal his sobs.

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ODOP: Old Danilo (17)

Subtitled: Oh, hey there, titular character. How’s it been going?

“Come, old Danilo! I will bear you back.”
But Danilo refused. “Then you die here.” “Then
I do. Leave me alone! Hain’t I led you
To a maiden surpassingly fair,
Superlatively true? Do you have more
To ask of a man ready to die? – more
Than ready? I’m done serving. Here I die.”
The treetops above them burst into flame:
They turned to see the dragon, now six-headed.
“Er – let’s get going,” said old Danilo.

Copyright 2010 Jobey George.

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