Poetry by Rhys Hughes
There is a chest in the cellar with a broken lock and a ticking comes from inside it like a working clock. So I throw it open to find out what might be within, but the noise is made by little bells on the caps and slippers of men who look like elves with pointed chins and pointy ears, who have no fear of me at all but laugh and jump up like lines on a graph that charts a sudden interest in the arts of the anonymous populace in a highly cultured town. They come back down, those mediaeval clowns, and land on the floor, descend the stairs and prance throughout the expanse of my living room. What should I do? My wife is coming home soon and she has jester-phobia. I don’t think she can cope with parti-coloured harlequins who caper, cavort and grin like loons. I don’t blame her! I must capture them one by one, I’ll use a butterfly net and drag them kicking back upstairs, deposit them in what was their secret lair for untold generations, slam the lid, ignore the lock, weigh down the chest with a heavy rock and keep them safe forevermore in that hiding place. The fact they escaped is a disgrace, the chest in the attic is an heirloom, passed down through my family from father to son for centuries. And knowing this, it occurs to me that I can work out the identities of these pesky pestering fellows. Yes, it’s true, I’m forced to confess– those jesters are my ancestors.
Rhys Hughes has lived in many countries. He graduated as an engineer but currently works as a tutor of mathematics. Since his first book was published in 1995 he has had fifty other books published and his work has been translated into ten languages.
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