THE ELEPHANT RIDERS

Here’s a tale of days of yore
And days of mine as well,
So lend your ears, big and small,
To the tale I have to tell.  

In fact, this tale’s got ears in it,
The biggest ever seen,
It’s also quite a tall tale,
The tallest there’s ever been.

This all happened in the days
When Dwarfs were often beaten
In battle by wolves and trolls and giants
And sometimes ended up eaten. 

The problem was that Dwarfs were known
For being close to the ground
And their somewhat shortish stature
Meant they couldn’t see far around.

And after one bruising encounter,
A fraught and ferocious fight,
The dwarfen council met in haste
And talked throughout the night,
And they knew what the problem was:
They were distinctly lacking in height.

They used their powers to build great towers
And ladders that they carted around,
But dwarfs work better with iron than with wood
And the damned things kept falling down.

Then cried the king, Korvak The Bold,
“We need to stop and think.”
And to help them in this arduous task,
They had plenty of drink.

But even after several ales,
They were no wiser than before,
So they used the tried and trusted method
Of drinking several more.

But still they were no wiser
Than they had been before
When there was a thunderous knocking
Upon the chamber door
Which was suddenly thrown open
And the Dwarfen Council saw …

Feet, enormous, wide, grey feet,
That made them gasp and sigh.
Above each stood a mighty leg
That stretched up into the sky.

And atop an enormous body
Was an equally enormous head
With giant ears that fanned the clouds,
“Well, we’ll be damned,” they said.

And from the clouds above their heads
A distant voice came down:
“What do you think, my dwarfish pals,
Of this creature that I’ve found?”
And a warrior slid down the beast’s long nose
And planted his feet on the ground.

He bowed and introduced himself,
“I am a great explorer
Who roams afar in distant lands
And my name is Atom Boorah.

“See, I have brought you this great beast
And also several more,
Giant creatures known as elephants
That can help you win your war.

“For I will train your bravest dwarfs
And those with sharpest sight
To ride the mighty elephant
And see from such a height.

“The enemy approaching
So your defence may be surer.
Who’ll try it?” Then some dwarfs replied,
“We’ll brave it, Atom Boorah.”

And so they trained on the finest ales,
And sometimes the finest ciders
And soon these Dwarfen pioneers
Became the first Elephant Riders.

They armed the elephants as well
With spikes upon each heel
And on those great teeth known as tusks
They fastened sharpened steel.

For the elephant is a mighty beast
That can bear a dozen men at least,
With skin like leather and teeth of brass;
It can even blow smoke rings …

The giants, wolves and even trolls
Hadn’t the slightest chance
Before the Dwarfen warriors
And their mighty elephants.

And Broddr Firebeard brewed an ale
That they said was his finest yet,
With a truly memorable flavour
Because elephants never forget.

The hops were the finest they could find,
The water couldn’t be purer
In honour of he who had saved dwarfkind,
The mighty Atom Boorah.

For without this brace explorer
They all would have been sunk.
Then he disappeared without a trace
(But not before he packed his trunk.)

So ends this merry saga,
So ends this jumbo tale.
So now I’m off for a foaming glass
Of Elephant Riders ale.

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