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The Yule Cat of the Night

With fur as blue as midnight;

With eyes beet-red as blood;

And teeth as sharp as needles;

The Yule Cat pawed on the tops of its claws;

To the empath’s old front gate;

Whipping his pole-thick tail;

And preparing his belly’s plate;

Smaller than a lion but not much so;

The Yule Cat flared his nostrils;

Opened his ears and asked the light;

Have these parents’ done right?

By their young;

On Yuletide’s night?

Or have they forgotten  to cloak their children

With new vestments bright?

Oh, how selfish humans become, how ugly,

how frozen; inky their hearts crack,

but I know as the fair folk say,

How to cure them of what they lack;

I’ll make you  a promise empaths, so clear;

To gobble up the children whom you no longer hold dear;

If you prefer, to sink your arms;

 one by one into a shiny new coat;

And leave your children shivering as you gloat;

Over your diamonds, cyphers of gold;

Silver and black testoons;

arched into a mountain a-vaulted in your trove;

Unwrap

Only for Sally;

Only for Hubert;

Bertie and Jane;

An old rag doll and a trackless train;

To share,

Then slap, snap, pinch your eyes shut;

Make rot, make rancid, make poison your gut;

Drink your ale, drink your wine;

Clear your mind;

of the lives you’ve borne bare;

Hand them to me;

I will take your children, into my belly without care,

The Yule Cat sneered,

beet-blood eyes glowing a-glee;

Under the gate, he crawled,

Teeth as sharp as needles, fur deep blue-black as the sea;

To the twenty-fourth house of the Yule of the night;

Where’d he’d free more children from their;

Family’s plight, of burden, alack;

For his belly’s plate, for his hunger snatched

Then a young man climbed the bridge to their door;

Over the moat, with tidings from a store,

Three black scarves and one blond,

In his satchel he also carried four;

Sweaters of knit, with shoes shiny, patent;

The Yule Cat inched close to moat,

Peaked its midnight ears and hissed a flame

Who was this man, a son or a father in name?

Tucked into his tweed and neck wrapped in crimson wool

“Horace! Horace is here!”

“You’re right, Bertie!  It is the merchant of Salinas!”

Either Sally or their sister Jane cried.

“Thank you dear family for the

pails and piles of gilded nuggets

added to the spoils I bring your kin!

Beyond these vestments I bring your children,

You have given much more

For the threadbare, for the poor, who have none

and deserve as much if not more

for their labor, for their time to keep the

Yule Cat from their line.”

The Yule Cat snarled and his belly ached

For Sally, Hubert, Bertie, and Jane;

Would not adorn  his plate

But alas, his knifish teeth sparkled, sharp and ready

For barrels of children remain, more than plenty

With careless sires, sooted with greed and spite

Who let in the Yule Cat of the Night.

 

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