Jo Walton (papersky) wrote,

Three Bears Norse. (It was supposed to be an example, sheesh.)

An old home, a bear home, remote from human-haunts,
Wall-girt and weather-warded, where ones wise in woodcraft
Lick into new life, a baby, a bear cub,
Safe among saplings, far in the forest.

Till one comes slyly, girlchild, goldilocks,
Soft-handed, secret-seeker, pamperling, pretty one,
"No!" never heard she, dancing like dandelion,
Stealing twixt tree-boughs, spies out the bear-house.

Fast closed stands the door, all bears gone from home,
In rushes Dandelion, door-breaker, greedy one,
No thought spares she for holy guest-law,
Spoiled child, undenied, heart set on plunder.

First seizes three chairs, orderly, big to small,
Claims each and tries each, breaking the smallest.
Next finds the oat-slop, orderly, big to small,
Claims each and tries each, eating the smallest.

Onwards goes Dandelion, breaker of guest-law,
Turning from oat-slop, yawning, bedwards,
Slinks up the stairs, three beds, big to small,
Orderly, tries each, sleeps on the smallest.

Bears, heading homewards, sleepy as sun seeks sea,
Father foremost, bear-cub beside him, bear mother guarding rear,
Stop still, scent surprise, coming on cautiously
See their door open stands, blowing on wild winds.

"Who?" asks bear-father, "Dared to sit in my chair?"
"Who?" growls bear-mother, "Dared to sit in my chair?"
"Who," howls bear cub "Dared to sit in my chair,
Breaking it to scattered shards? I vow revenge."

"Who?" asks bear-father, "Dared to taste my oat-slop?"
"Who?" growls bear-mother, "Dared to taste my oat slop?"
"Who," howls bear cub "Dared to eat my oat-slop,
Eating it all up? I vow revenge!"

Upstairs, at long last, learn of the lawbreaker,
Sleeping serenely, stuffed with their oat-slop,
Wakes for an instant, seeing them, simpers, screams,
Bear teeth, bear claws, shred her, sunder her,
so perish law-breakers.
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