Monday, January 6, 2014

Dunbar's ditty

“Have you had much dealings with the Legion?” Ch’Voga asked Kurga.  They were relaxing in the trampoline stretched between the hulls of the catamaran.  The Legion tank striding ahead of them.  The crew of the cat busy around them. 
“A fair bit, I suppose.  My sire had a contract with them growing up.  I would sometimes be allowed to sit in, as part of my apprenticeship.”
“What kind of people are they?  Reasonable?”
“In their way.  About what you’d expect of people for whom force and violence are equal partners with reason and respect.”
“How so?”
“Well, it’s a manner of seeing really, of viewing the world.  You were given a Bible as a child and taught to look at the world through it.  They were given a gun.”
“Are there no followers among them then?”
“A few, perhaps.  Though I wouldn’t imagine it to be a great number.”
“There’s where yer talkin’ outcher ass, laddie.”  They looked up to see Mr. Dunbar smiling over them.
“I beg your pardon?”
“No need to beg, lad, pardon tis free o’ charge and aboot as worthless.”
Kurga appeared to be choking on some retort so Ch’Voga spoke for him, “you have some knowledge of faith among the Legion, Mr. Dunbar?”
“Och aye!  Great number of believers among the Legion.  Prayin’ the likes of which a monastery ‘as ne’er seen!” 
“Really?  I had no idea.”
“Och aye!” he jumped into what sounded like a pre-written ditty, happily winding hauser around his arm like twine. 
“They pray to the gods to no be pressed.”  The crew picked up the second line to form a call and response.
            “But pressed is wot they be.”
“They pray to no be ship’t to the desert.”
            “But sand is all they see.”
“They pray on leave for a pretty piece.”
            “Butt ugly is the snatch.”
“They pray the snatch tis no infected.”
            “But pox is wot they catch.”
“They pray to ne’er see a ‘tooth.”
            “But prick’t is wot they am.”
“They pray and pray and pray and pray.”
            “But God don’t gi’ a damn!”  They all dissolved into raucous laughter and carried on singing.  The song, it would seem, had many verses.
“You had to ask?” Kurga laughed.
“Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”
“Oh, do cheer up, K’sretti.  A bit of fun is all it is.”
“A fitting epitaph.  I shall carve on their stones, “A bit of fun is all it is… with eternal consequences.”
“Good lord, how dark you are!  Was your sire a mortician?  Is that what your family does?”
“No, he’s not.”
“Where are you going then?”  Ch’Voga had gotten up.
“To pray.”
“…but God don’t gi’ a damn!”

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