epic poem
In early May 2017, my son was assigned to write an epic poem for school.
I thought, Hey, that sounds fun. I wanna do that.
So I did. Here it is:

mighty derp, the bold

Of all the glorious heroes mentioned in days of old,
None were more magnificent than Mighty Derp, the Bold.
In a stony mountain kingdom in some northern winter clime
Lived our hero, Derp, in a long forgotten time.
Though rather short of stature, and perhaps too wide in girth,
Young Derp proved brave in battle and was often prone to mirth.
Called "lard-bottom" by cruel bullies in his snowy town,
Derp paid them no attention, would not even frown.
He had the gift of laughter and would oft break out in song,
Though he tended to be off-key and would sing the lyrics wrong.

Then one day a shadow darkened the village square.
The townsfolk gazed skyward to see what might be there.
Sea green scales and pointed tails was the sight that met their eyes.
Iltherghoul, the dragon, cruised above them in the skies.
The people wailed and cowered under the two-tailed wyrm's gaze.
They feared the unholy lizard would set their town ablaze.
The townsfolk scattered and hid, to their root cellars, they fled.
And as the square emptied, their hearts filled with dread.
Town elders called a meeting, how would they meet this fate?
What they needed was a warrior before it became too late.

The call went out among the village, a hero was in need.
Someone skilled in combat, someone not afraid to bleed.
The women told their menfolk: "Don't you dare answer this call.
Don't make me a widow! This folly'd be your downfall."
In truth, the men would've grabbed at any excuse to deny the council's plea.
They were all more than happy to take their wives, families, and flee.
The council's hope soon faltered much like a guttering flame.
Was this town doomed to die because all the men were lame?
And as they muttered together, thinking on what they would do,
One lonely soul came forward, claiming to be brave and true.

The elders looked up in hope, wanting to see a savior of renown.
But before them stood Derp, the Bold, known somewhat as a clown.
"Fear not, council elders! I will vanquish the dragon," cried Derp.
"I will smite him down and cut off his head," added he with a burp.
Some elders moaned, others rolled their eyes, one managed a weak grin.
But the oldest elder, name of Mudge, said, "All right, Derp, you're in."
And maybe Derp wasn't what they had in mind for their big Plan A.
But Plan B was non-existent, so what were they to say?
So Derp was outfitted in steel gauntlets, furs, leather and mail
And early the next morning boldly set out on danger's trail.

Broad of shoulder and stern of look, Derp set forth upon his quest.
That's how he pictured it, anyway. He felt ready for this test.
Upon his trusty steed -- actually an old mule named Daisy --
Mighty Derp the Bold embarked on a journey most deemed crazy.
Iltherghoul, the two-tailed, fire-breathing beast of gloom,
Was last seen flying north over the Chasm of Doom.
On the edge of the chasm, looming high in the sky, was the wyrm's cave,
Waiting, desolate and forbidding, to bring death to any adventuring knave.
Derp bounced along on Daisy, who stopped to lazily nibble thistle,
While Derp, grinning in the sun, tunelessly began to whistle.

Mighty Derp the Bold, cared nought for how others viewed him.
He believed in himself and discounted those who booed him.
Where some saw a beefy boy who perhaps was too often smily,
Derp knew deep inside that he was a clever one, and wily.
Untroubled by doubt, Derp continued towards the dragon's domain,
He was determined to see the end of the green dragon's reign.
Near the edge of the chasm, Derp stood on a ridge
And examined a frayed, dilapidated, old rope bridge.
Weathered planks of wood, some green with moss,
Were tied to thick ropes that lead straight across.

The ropes looked sturdy enough to hold at least one.
"That's all that I need," thought Derp, "to get this job done."
With his spear securely strapped to his sturdy back,
Derp grabbed the rope hand-rail and tightened the slack.
Below the swaying bridge, the chasm disappeared in fog.
One wrong step, Derp knew, and he'd fall like a log.
He steadied himself as the ropes began to bounce and twist,
And resolutely continued on further into the mist.
Derp slipped only once, could have nearly died,
But he righted himself and made it to the far side.

Then began his long trek up the rocky spire,
But no hardship detered him, no matter how dire.
Inexorably up the mountain he went,
Though his muscles complained, Derp would not relent.
He sweated, he blistered, he ached, and he bled,
He dreamed of falling asleep on a down-filled bed.
But Mighty Derp, the Bold would not give in so easy,
No matter that great heights made him feel queasy.
With bloody, clawed fingers, Derp reached the beast's lair
And paused upon seeing the scaly demon there.

The beast lay curled, sleeping, far back in the dark.
Derp licked his cut hands, and squinted at his mark.
Slowly, he unfastened his spear from his back,
And took a deep breath before launching his attack.
Holding his spear high, Derp inched into the cave,
His breathing held steady, his demeanor was brave.
Iltherghoul's breath befouled the cave's air,
Its rank, fetid smell permeated everywhere.
"I must strike fast and sure, right at the beast's heart,"
Thought Derp, as he approached but then let loose a fart!

Not silent, but deadly, out came Derp's flutterblast!
Though the cave already reeked, now it was gassed.
Derp froze in his tracks, his heart beat madly
"Perhaps it didn't hear me?", he thought almost sadly.
Whether the fart was heard, no one can tell.
But it was too hard to ignore the new ghastly smell.
And in the back of the cave opened one yellow eye,
Then another as the beast became aware of the spy.
The dragon, it grinned, baring fangs, large and white,
Causing Derp his first shuddering moment of fright.

Iltherghoul's neck snaked toward him so slowly.
Its head reared above Derp making him feel so lowly.
Derp took a step backward, then another again,
He gripped his spear tightly, would this be the end?
The beasts foul breath blew right in Derp's face
Causing him to question why he was here in this place.
The dragon, unafraid, eyed Derp like a morsel of meat
And Derp, now scared, backed up in retreat.
But his next step backward landed on nothing but air
And Derp began to tumble right out of the lair.

But the dragon was hungry, he wanted his treat,
With great wings outstretched he dove after Derp's feet.
Derp fell fast through the mist, deep into the chasm,
And the dragon, it followed, like some awful phantasm.
Derp fell like an arrow, straight down the mountain side,
While Iltherghoul's mouth followed, open and wide.
He seemed to fall forever, time itself seemed to drag,
When improbably, Derp's mail met with a sudden snag.
The dragon flew downward as straight onward as rain
When Derp's sharp spear entered its mouth then its brain.

Iltherghoul fell lifeless and crashed with a boom
To become rotting meat in the Chasm of Doom
Young Derp, bruised and battered, made his way out of that place.
He climbed back to Daisy, kissed her fat furry face.
Mighty Derp, the Bold eventually returned to his town
Surrounded by his folk demanding deets on what went down.
And when Derp told his story which they all accepted as true,
Who can blame him for embellishing a thing or maybe two?
For the dreaded dragon was dead and the tale was oft told
Of the brave, heroic deeds of Mighty Derp the Bold.

~ Woodge, 9 May 2017