Perils of Penelope

I (Francis Webb) thought you might like a bit of whimsy to brighten your day.

The object of this piece was to use the following topic statement in any way we (The Alderwood Scribes Writers Group) chose. The winner got a $10.00 Starbucks card.

The topic statement: "Just one more step," she kept telling herself, repeating it with each one. "Just one more step... just one more step and this will be all over." And before she even realized, she had taken it.

My entry follows:


Penelope, Penelope,
Let down your hair;
The castle door is open
And the wolf is on the stair.

Does he have four legs or two?
For I left the castle door open
Just for you."

"Penelope, Penelope,
I'm down here and you're up there.
You better let your hair down,
For the wolf is on the stair."

"It's too late, Jack,
The wolf is in the room,
He looks very hungry, Jack,
I'm afraid I've met my doom."

"Penelope, Penelope, I've planted a beanstalk,
And it's growing very fast;
Take 'just one more step' to the window,
And you'll be free at last."

"My hair is caught in the beanstalk, Jack,
And I'm rising in the air;
I see the clouds above me,
I see a land so fair."

"Penelope, Penelope,
I see a giant in the sky;
Be careful with him, dear,
And cast a wary eye."

Is he tall, dark and handsome,
And is he debonair,
Is he really worthy of me, Penelope the Fair?"

"Fe, fi, fo... oh drat, I always forget that last word
While I'm searching for my dinner;
What's that in the beanstalk?
Oh joy! I think I've found my dinner."

"A beautiful young maiden
In the beanstalk over there,
Struggling to free herself,
But she is caught by her hair."

"Ah, young maiden,
Maiden so fair;
You shall grace my dinner plate
When I untangle your hair."

Penelope counted the giant's steps
As he walked ever nearer:
"Just one more step... just one more step
And this will be all over."

The giant reached to untangle her hair,
Saying "Fe, fi, fo... oh, double drat,
I can never remember
That last word, my fair."

With heart full of fear,
Said "Fum, Mr. Giant,
Do you not hear?"

"That's it!"
Said he, with eyes so bright,
"Now I'll remember,
And say it just right!"

"That's right, Mr. Giant,
You'll do better I know;
Let's say it together,
And say it just so... "

So together they shouted with voices so clear,
"Fe, fi, fo, fum,
I smell the blood of an Englishman,"
"And that is you, my dear."

Monsieur Giant,
Je ne suis pas Anglais,
Je suis Francais!"

"Huh? You are French?"

"Oui, Monsieur Giant, parlez vous Francais?"

"Huh? If you're not English,
You can't adorn my plate;
I'll put you with the other captives
Until I decide your fate."

So in the dungeon she languished,
And tears were filling her eyes,
Until she saw her company
To her very great surprise.

"Who are you," she said,
"And how did you get into this fix?"
"We are not here by choice, my dear,
And we are the Three Little Pigs."

"How did you get here, Three Little Pigs?"

"When the dish ran away with the spoon,
We couldn't keep up,
So we hitched a ride
With the Cow that jumped over the Moon."

"When we got this far,
The giant milked the cow,
And let her finish her journey,
But he kept us here."

"Why hasn't he eaten you yet?"
"We aren't sure, but we think it is Lent."

A rattle of the door,
A turn of the key;
"Jack! It's you!
Now let us flee!"

As they ran toward the beanstalk,
This is what they heard:
"Fe, fi, fo... oh, drat!
I can never remember that last word!"

The ground shook beneath them
As they ran like a flash,
They slid down the beanstalk,
And landed with a crash!

Jack said, "What is that noise above us,
What is that I hear...
Oh oh, the giant is eating the beanstalk,
And soon he will be here!"

The giant ate the beanstalk all the way to the ground,
And standing with both hands on his stomach shouted:
"Fe, fi, fo, fum,
I have become a vegetarian!"

Suddenly the wolf
Came on the run,
And scattered the Three Little Pigs,
Just for fun.

"I'm really not hungry," he said,
"I just cleaned out
Little Red Riding Hood's refrigerator,
While she slept in her bed."

"All's well that ends well,"
Said Penelope the Fair,
She closed the door behind her,
And put her foot on the stair, saying,

"Just one more step," she kept telling herself, repeating it with each one. "Just one more step... just one more step and this will be all over." And before she even realized, she had taken it.

2011 by Francis Webb. All rights reserved.

By the way, I won the Starbucks card.

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 - 7:48pm


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