The “Choose Your Own Adventure” Song

By Thorin N. Tatge

Eventually, I hope to hyperlink this!  For now, the text will stand alone.


Greetings and welcome to my interactive song!

Pull up a chair, and you won’t go wrong.

Just pay attention to the story that I sing,

You will determine your own ending.

When there’s a choice I will inform you what to do.

Act out your choice when I point at you!

Then we will do what the majority prefers.

This will determine what next occurs.


Time’s drawing short, your party is near!

Your aunt has a birthday and you hold her dear.

You want her to have a meal sublime

So fine as to be unrivaled in your time!

One thought has nagged at you from the start

And now you are certain in your deepest heart

You’ve got to have Ovamosia meat

The sweetest poultry you will ever eat!

So now, with your party mostly in place

You set out for your centerpiece and grandest grace

A bird living in the enchanted wood

For which you're prepared to don your riding hood!

If you are hesitant to undertake the quest,

Please wring your hands; bring them to your chest. (AFRAID, 2)

But if adventure is a thing you do not fear,

Shout out "Huzzah" in a rousing cheer! (HUZZAH, 2)


So, you’ve decided that you’d like another try.

Far be it from me to ask you why.

You know the setting and the motive of the tale.

What say that we get right on the trail? (HUZZAH, 2)


Maybe I didn't speak loud enough,

Or maybe my voice is growing dull and gruff,

But surely a band of folk such as you

Would not shirk from chivalry and derring-do!

Now, if you are hesitant to undertake the quest,

Please wring your hands; bring them to your chest. (WIMPS, 2)

But, if adventure is a thing you do not fear,

Shout out Huzzah so that all can hear! (HUZZAH, 2)


Woe and alas, you’ve played out my fears;

I see my song has fallen ill on all your ears.

You dawdle at home, no story is penned,

And you have brought us prematurely to



So it shall be—you ‘ll start on your search

For a mythic creature on its mythic perch.

Into the wood called Paernethalne,

You with a grimace go most gallantly!

Plants you would never glimpse in your town

And tall candelabra trees of giant crown,

Marvels that should not grow in this clime

And strange vegetation from an ancient time!

If you would take a closer gander at the plants,

Please slap your hands on your skirt or pants. (PLANTS, 2)

If you are worried and prefer to keep away,

Show your intentions by shouting, “Nay!” (NO PLANTS, 3)


Look at this fruit; it smells like perfume!

And look at this ginger flower in full bloom!

This plant has been called the Scepter of Kings

And one of its blossoms can do wondrous things!

See the banana lotus of gold

With thirty-two petals each too large to hold.

Isn’t it nice you’re here in the spring?

To come here in winter would be frightening!

Isn’t it tempting to leave the path

And visit with the elements and risk their wrath?

Or, since the thorns may prickle and chafe,

Should you keep walking where it’s nice and safe?

If you would rather stay upon the beaten trail,

Let out your fear in a ghastly wail! (TRAIL, 3)

If you think nature in itself a worthy cause,

Coooo” like a bird after a short pause! (NATURE, 19)


Let’s keep away from the shrubs and vines

Because they could tear our clothes and read our minds.

This is, after all, an enchanted land

So if you have cell walls you can’t be my friend!

Speaking of friends, it may be a boon

To see if there’s any chance to commune

If you are to make any progress at all

You may need to find a talking animal!

If you think you need a companion as a guide,

Turn your head and look off to the side. (GUIDE, 10)

If you think you could do this better on your own,

Show your chagrin with a surly groan! (TRAIL, 3)


Keep to the path, and soon you discover

Every now and then we pass a short post of a

Rare kind of metal, shiny and hot

Which seems to be marking out a garden plot!

Nothing is growing here in the soil,

Except for some cabbages about to spoil.

A cottage is sitting not far away

All covered with ivy and faded gray!

If you are partisan for knocking on the door,

Please tap your foot three times on the floor. (KNOCK, 4)

If you think leaving is the perspicacious choice,

Whisper "Let's go," in a quiet voice. (NO COTTAGE, 9)


Rap-rappy-tap, is anyone home?

We get no answer, so inside we roam.

Somebody lived here not long ago

But where they have gone we have no way to know.

Was it a man who despised company

And came here to farm and be wild and free?

Or maybe a witch of devious skill

Who left her Bengal cat on the windowsill!

Those who would search the place for magical effects,

Look toward the ceiling and crane your necks! (MAGIC, 4)

If you would rather coax the feline off the wall,

Moisten your lips, and give a cat call! (CAT, 5)


Nosing about in crannies and jars

You find lots of bacon bits and lemon bars.

But when you reach into a painted vase,

The cat on the windowsill leaps on your face!

Shrieking with shock, and tearing about,

You crash into tables like a drunken lout.

How will you get this beast off your head?

Should you try the treats or use a trick instead?

If you would try to tame the cat with bacon bits,

Shake both your hands in spasmodic fits. (BACON, 4)

If you would rather use whatever’s in the vase,

Growl like a cat with an icky face! (VASE, 4)


Holding the bacon up to the cat,

You manage with effort to dislodge the brat.

It claws at the food you toss on the floor

And while it is eating you slip out the door! (NO COTTAGE, 9)


If it’s the vase that has kitty riled,

What if its favorite object is defiled?

Grabbing the vase and spinning around

You shriek as you smash it open on the ground.

Yowling as only a feline can yowl,

The cat refuses to throw in the towel.

It leaps to the ground and snaps up a bag

And flees out the window like it’s playing Tag.

What did the forbidden vase contain?

A smattering of herbs is all that now remain.

So do you now avenge the attack,

Or will you enjoy a lemon-flavored snack?

If you believe that you will have a little bite,

Smile, cross your legs, and turn to the right. (LEMON, 5)

If you would rather chase the cat out in the wild,

Stomp on the floor like an angry child! (CHASE, 6)


How do you do, my wee spotted chum?

Come down from there and let me pet you, come!

That’s a good girl, or are you a boy?

Here, let me tickle you and bring you joy.

Why were you left here all by yourself?

Perhaps there’s a clue or something on this shelf.

Why do you watch me so carefully?

As if I were something you so had to see?

Look! It’s a feather, here in the curd!

Could it be from the Ovamosia Bird?

What’s that, my cutie? Oh—oh my stars!

Could I try those delicious lemon bars?”

If you would like on these comestibles to snack,

Lick both your lips with a hearty smack. (LEMON, 5)

If you are wary of such unexpected fare,

Growl from your gut like a grizzly bear. (GROWL, 8)


My what a taste! This heavenly chew

Seems to have had a slight effect on you!

Though you’re not certain what just occurred

It seems somehow you’ve become a cuckoo bird!

While you are busy gath’ring your wits,

Back comes the kitty, and it growls and spits,

Hoping your tender body to rend!

Sorry to say it, but you’ve reached



Out through the door you run in a rush

Hoping to pound the kitty into mush!

How are you armed? With the garden post,

Or with a torch to burn the kitty into toast?

If you go back to pull the post out of the ground,

Clench both your fists; make a straining sound. (POST, 6)

If you prefer to light a torch and speed away,

Hold up your fist and shout out, “Olé!” (TORCH, 7)


When you extract the post from the earth,

You find it a weapon of impressive girth.

Fresh from the soil and warm through and through,

You feel mystic energy flow into you.

Maybe the metal itself holds a trick

For making the garden grow up rich and thick.

How else would it survive in a wood

Where huge trees have swallowed up the neighborhood?

Dashing about and finding the track

Of the cat who should be on “When Animals Attack”,

You plod through the trees for several hours,

Egged on by the garden marker’s magic powers.

Finally, you stand in the shade of an oak

And practically run into a shady bloke.

His eyes are so round with reflexive fear,

You know he’s the very cat you chased out here!

Knocking him down, and thrusting the post

Right up to his throat you make a hardy boast:

I know you are versed with magical spells,

But if you don’t help me you’ll be hearing bells!”

Pleased to oblige,” he says with a smile,

What can I do for us to reconcile?”

Just fetch me an Ovamosia, fresh,

And I’ll have mercy on your tender flesh!”

This he is all too glad to perform,

And once he’s home again, all nice and warm,

He sets out a trap on his cottage roof,

And six hours later you have got your proof!

As you depart, you put back the spike

And, bird in tow, you recommence your hike.

But now that your back is turned to the mage

He throws spells at you with increasing rage!

Fortunately, his magical storm

Is weak, with his power spent to change his form

And so you escape with hardly a wound

Except that your ponytail is somewhat pruned!

Now back at home, you’ve no time to rest.

You’ve got to make your auntie’s bash the best!

Fritters to fry, gazpacho to blend!

So ‘til we meet again, you have reached



It may be rash to rush through the brush

For foliage here is intermeshed and lush

And you have a torch that angers the leaves

Which catch at your buckles and ensnare your sleeves.

This forest takes unkindly to fire

And as a result of its impressive ire

It grows all around you, halting your frame

And with a blossom smothers out your flame!

Now that the threat you posed them is gone

The leaves see no purpose left in moving on.

They leave you immobile, tangled and penned,

And so it appears that we have reached



Sensing a trap, you put down the food,

And quickly assume a more suspicious mood.

Hey, little cat, please quit playing dumb!

Where can I find the bird this feather’s from?”

Quick as a wink, the cat darts away

And soon is swirling in a blurry gray.

Look, now before you, there stands a man

Who’s charging at you with a frying pan!

If you’re for running as you’ve had enough of this,

Stick out your tongue with a nasty hiss! (HISS, 8)

If you would rather try to work the trouble out,

Rock to the rhythm and groove about! (GROOVE, 8)


Quick as a whip, you’re spinning your wheels

But the magician is hot on your heels.

Out of my home!” he shouts in a fit!

So, in a jiffy you are out of it!

But you retain the feather in hand,

And so you start looking for a meadowland

Because you recall, or somewhere have heard

That that’s where you find the Ovamosia Bird! (MEADOW, 23)


Casting about, you take up a vase

And see a scared expression on the mad man’s face!

Don’t,” he implores, “My keys are in there!”

Well,” you say, “tell me why I ought to care!”

If you desire it, I can entice

A bird from the wood if you can pay the price.

Nothing too fancy, just help me out.

The work is pleasant, you’ll agree, no doubt.”

If you accept this unexpected internship,

Give a thumbs-up, one hand on your hip. (INTERN, 9)

If you decide that you had better turn him down,

Please shake your head with a grouchy frown. (NO WAY, 9)


It’s not so bad, he’s not such a prig—

All you have to do is be his guinea pig.

Transfiguration is his forte

And it was for to study it he moved away.

Now he enchants you time and again.

Now you’re a frog and now a Cornish hen!

Now you’re a marten, now you’re a boar,

And finally he puts you like you were before!

It’s been a week, and you’ve been well-fed!

You can’t get the taste of flies out of your head.

Time for your party’s in short supply,

So he gives you a bird and you tell him “Bye-bye.”

Though you are tired, you have no doubt

That now you’ll have something you can talk about.

Hopefully everyone will attend,

And Auntie will be so very thrilled!



No, not a chance,” you gauchely reply!

I won’t be the victim of your spells—not I!

I’ll just be heading out of the door,

Or your vase will go to pieces on the floor!”

Wheedling thus, you make it away,

But this is a place you do not want to stay.

Maybe you’d better head for the hills:

Magicians are scarier than grocery bills!

Everything works out more or less fine:

Faux Ovamosia and a dry red wine.

Everyone knows, but they just pretend,

And you’re just glad that you have reached



Moving along, you come to a stream.

Right at the bottom you perceive a gleam.

What could it be, so shiny and gold?

Would it be lucrative if it were sold?

If you are taken with the little speck of gold,

Clasp both your hands in a stranglehold. (GOLD, 10)

If you would rather make your way across the stream,

Sit back and sigh, as if in a dream. (NO GOLD, 10)


It doesn’t look like it’s all that deep!

You’ll just be in and out without a peep.

Yet, when your head is under the brim,

You find it far too great a span to swim.

Turning about, and heading for land,

You find that the water only does expand

The closer you get to the light overhead,

The thicker the water, and the worse your dread!

Hoping that somehow there is a seam

That you can escape though in the golden gleam

You turn again, and gaze through the waves

To see what fate upon this gold engraves.

Thanks for the gift,” is carved on the stone.

I’m quite a hungry stream and I was short on bone.”

Sadly, you have no way to ascend!

Looks like your greed has led you to



Figuring you’re not here after wealth,

You look for a way that doesn’t risk your health.

Finding a bridge constructed of log,

You cross, and continue ‘til you reach a bog.

Skirting around the worst of the mud

You manage to mostly keep away the crud.

You walk for another hour, and then

You find yourself in a secluded glen. (GLEN, 22)


Time to sit back and whistle a tune!

Surely some animal will hear you soon!

Don’t you enjoy the brisk, cooling breeze

And those pretty mushrooms growing by your knees?

Hours from then, to your great surprise,

You find you are being watched by two sharp eyes.

Down to your lap there flutters a wren,

Who whistles a moment and flies back again!

If you would hold out for a critter that can talk,

Cross your arms coldly and give a squawk! (SQUAWK, 11)

If you will follow anywhere the wren may go,

Rock your right foot between heel and toe. (WREN, 11)


When you stay there, the wren flies away!

Nothing else happens on this lovely day.

When nighttime falls, you set up a camp,

And when you wake up you think you have a cramp.

Is there a creature that could help me out,”

You call in the morning with a trace of doubt.

Fortunately, you’re answered by both

A lion and tiger in the undergrowth!

Certainly,” says the lion to you.

I would love to help—what do I have to do?”

Clearly, it’s crippled,” Tiger replies;

We need to eat it fast before it dies.”

No!” you exclaim, a moment too late.

But they are all too happy to cooperate.

These two would likely not comprehend

Why you were so agitated at



Bumbling along, you trail the wren,

While passing what seems to be a tiger’s den.

Glad that you seem to be in good hands,

You sing as you tromp across exotic lands.

Right about noon, soon after a rest,

The wren leads you up a tree and to his nest.

He calls for his mate, who flies to your branch,

And gives you a start by saying, “Hi! I’m Blanche!”

You give your name and chat for a while.

Seems that this Blanche has got a lengthy file.

She used to be a human as well,

Until a local warlock hit her with a spell.

I was a census taker,” she sighs,

But this isn’t one of the most helpful guys.

Once I crunched figures from door to door,

And now I’m crunching spiders on the forest floor!

Why don’t you get some help from the city?

They could send a hero or at least a committee.”

Well,” answers Blanche, “I feel kind of torn.”

For now I’ve got a mate and seven newlyborn.”

I am unsure what I’d rather be.

Now that I’m a wren I have a family.

But just the same, I miss what I had.

Should I sue the warlock or should I be glad?”

If you advise her that she ought to be content,

Hold up your palm with your elbow bent. (CONTENT, 12)

If you would like to help her settle up her score,

Stomp your feet rhythmically on the floor. (SETTLE, 13)


Why look a gift horse in the mouth?

Stay where you are instead of flying south.

Many a person would give a lot

To have the kind of family that you have got.”

Well,” says the wren, “if that’s what you think,

I guess I won’t have to see a birdie shrink.”

Now that you’ve set the wren’s mind at ease,

You ask her if she could maybe help you, please!

How could I be of help?” she replies.

Do you know where the Ovamosia flies?”

I’m throwing a soiree for my aunt,

And fresh Ovamosia meat is what she’d want!”

Surely you jest,” Blanche squeals with a chirp.

Or are you really such a clueless twerp?

I won’t betray the Avian Code;

Why, I’d sooner eat a slime-encrusted toad!

Though it would be a sizeable trek,

I know the place they go each year to lek.

I’ll take you there if you give your word

That you won’t kill an Ovamosia bird!”

If you agree that you will be a pacifist,

Make both your hands flaccid at the wrist. (PACIFIST, 18)

If you’re determined to devour bloody flesh,

Growl like a dog as your teeth you thresh! (FLESH, 18)


Let’s go and see this warlock,” you say!

We’ll see if we can make the fellow pay.”

But,” answers Blanche, “he’ll put you in thrall!

Or were you simply being literal?”

If you believe that you will sue for all he’s worth,

Rock with a laugh of enormous mirth! (SUE, 13)

If you were thinking of a method more direct,

Chin on your fist, quietly reflect. (DIRECT, 16)


For great justice, you need not travel far!

Everyone knows how honest lawyers are.

You and the wren are headed for home,

When you are confronted by a well-dressed gnome!

Gnomes tend to deal in tiny machines.

This one, however, deals in legal schemes.

How do you do, I’m Bodrick the Boot!

I understand you have a civil suit!”

If you are willing to employ this little man,

Pump your arm as if to shake his hand. (GNOME, 13)

If you are sticking with the tested and the true,

Startle the lawyer by shouting, “Boo!” (NO GNOME, 15)


After you champ a while at the bit,

Bodrick and you draw up a legal writ.

Identity theft, perversion of form,

And sinister gaiety beyond the norm!

Trudging through trees infested with rot,

You come to a cottage near a garden plot.

Sir!” Bodrick calls, “You have been arraigned!

Answer the charge or you will be detained!”

Out from the cottage saunters a cat,

Bengal and haughty, with a pointed hat.

Mouth opened wide, it snatches the writ

And tries to do nasty feline things to it!

But at the first attempt at a rip

A blue bolt of lightning strikes it on the lip!

Yelping in pain, it scampers inside,

But Bodrick goes up and throws the entrance wide!

Sir, please assume your regular shape!

When gnomes are after you there’s no escape!

Though we respect the law as it stands,

We like to take it into our own hands!”

Then, with a hiss, and one final “Yowch!”

The cat eats the contents of a plastic pouch.

It turns into an angular man

Tall, fully clothed, and with an outdoor tan.

Fine,” he concedes, “I’ll hear your complaint.

Though it will take remarkable restraint.

I’m glad that I kicked her to the curb.

I had a sign that said ‘Do Not Disturb.’”

Blanche says, “It still was excessive force.

So you have driven us to this recourse.

Give me the body I had before,

As well as a settlement, or we’ll have war!”

Knowing that he had better comply,

He waves a silver feather through the twilit sky.

Blanche is restored and Bodrick is paid,

And you are entitled to an accolade!

Bodrick invites you into his grove

Where gnomes of all stripes approach you in a drove.

They give you a catapult to use

Whose boulder will fly whichever way you choose!

Using this tool, you won’t be deterred!

Soon, you bring down an Ovamosia bird!

Thanking the gnomes, you leave for the west

Returning with Blanche to her familiar nest.

How will my mate and children get by?”

Asks Blanche of her darlings with a teary eye.

I’ll have to visit sometimes at least.

Could we bring them to your Auntie’s birthday feast?”

You are not in a spot to decline,

So now, they all chirp about you, sipping wine.

You hope they won’t come on you to depend,

But Blanche and her folks are with you to



No,” you declare, “we’ll stick to the script.

Let’s hire someone properly equipped.”

Bodrick goes somewhat unhappily,

And you and the wren leave Paernethelne.

Back in the city, you find a group

That seems rather eager to help Blanche recoup

Her losses, and all for one little fee.

So she signs a contract with them happily.

Later, you learn that per her contract,

Blanche must perform in a magician’s act.

As for the warlock, he has agreed

To send whatever spells the show might need.

Angrily, you dispute them in court,

But they prove to be a nasty firm to thwart.

You get enmeshed in deep legal fees,

And Blanche never gets to go back to the trees.

As for your aunt, you don’t have the time

To go back again, nor can you spend a dime,

And since there is no one willing to lend,

It looks like you’ll stay unhappy in



After a chat, you harden your jaw

And choose that you’d rather circumvent the law.

Blanche leads you through a stinking woodlot,

Rife with the residue of reeking rot.

Here is a cottage built in the dirt!

You aren’t afraid to be abrupt or curt.

Barging into the cottage, you find

A cat and a warthog, messily combined!

Quickly, the creature dives for a vase,

And chews on a pellet. And now in its place,

A man with a hard expression is there

And you fix each other with a baleful stare.

You must be rather stubborn or dumb,”

The warlock declares. “For you both to come

So blithely into the place where I dwell.

Why shouldn’t I enchant you with a spell?”

If you are eager to prove how tough you are,

Act like you’re holding a big crowbar. (TOUGH, 16)

If you would rather try to bargain with the mage,

Lean back and act like a wizened sage. (BARGAIN, 16)


Armed with a club, you give him a swing,

Shouting, “This oughta answer everything!”

Stunned by the blow, he shuts up his yap,

But then you stumble in a booby-trap!

Triggered by violence inside the cottage,

You have been shocked by an excessive wattage.

You’ve but a moment to apprehend

That your reckless ways have brought about



I understand,” you say with a sneer,

That you are responsible for poor Blanche, here.

What will it take for you to restore

Her physical form to what it was before?”

First,” says the warlock, “for her offences,”

She has to apologize and leave the census.

Next, for materials I would use,

I want her for a month to do with as I choose.”

If you’re amenable to what has been proposed,

Mime shaking hands with your fingers closed. (ACCEPT, 17)

If you are set against the warlock and his terms,

Act like you sat on a bag of worms! (DECLINE, 18)


I think that that’s the best you’ll get.

You’ll simply have to go into his debt.”

But,” pleads the wren, “my children need me!

You will have to look after my family.”

Left with no choice, you backtrack your steps.

You’ve not the slightest notion how one preps

For caring for birds that live in the wild!

But when you arrive there you are soon beguiled!

Since he spent time with you for a day,

Father Wren trusts you while he goes away.

You spend your mornings feeding the brood.

Grasshoppers seem to be their favorite food!

After a week, you leave for a while.

You’ve got a party to be thrown in style!

You get a gift from the warlock chap—

A fresh Ovamosia from his rooftop trap!

You leave the forest just in time

And dear Auntie’s party turns out just sublime!

Soon as it’s over, though, you return:

The health of the chicks is now your prime concern.

After a while, the chicks yearn to fly.

You help make sure it doesn’t go awry.

Father is joyous, seeing them soar!

You find they’re your family and not your chore!

After a month, Blanche gets her release!

Seems that she thought her term would never cease.

She was made into a unicorn

Then back to the human being she was born!

You both stay out there just long enough

To see the little wrens go out and do their stuff.

Blanche may be sad, but she’s still your friend!

She hopes you’ll stick together ‘til



Not good enough,” you say with a grr.

Who knows what you intend to do with her?”

We’ll give you something else, you knave,

But I won’t leave Blanche with you to be your slave.”

Then,” says the warlock, “you’ll have to do.”

And with that, he changes you into a gnu!

What happens next, you cannot portend,

But you fear that you will not enjoy



Onward you march, through bramble and reeds,

Marshland and undergrowth and roots and weeds.

Finally, you arrive at a place

So bright that it puts a smile on your face!

Here, this should help,” says Blanche, with a feather

Tucked in her beak that she found in the heather.

It’s from an Ovamosia’s tail.

Use it wisely and you should prevail!

I’ll leave you here,” Blanche says with a tweet.

Remember you promised not to eat their meat.

Better to let a bird sing and fly!”

Nodding agreement, you tell Blanche “Bye-bye.” (MEADOW, 23)


Sorry, my dear, but I won’t be swayed!

I had my heart set on a marinade.”

Hey,” answers Blanche, “don’t be such a boar!

You’re on your own, you lousy carnivore!”

So, you strike out for yet deeper woods,

Not set to rest until you have the goods.

Without a guide, your progress is weak.

Shortly, you stumble right into a creek!

Figuring that it can’t be too deep,

And seeing the facing bank is not too steep,

You swim with the current, not too concerned,

Until you begin to get unduly turned!

Spiraling water spins you about!

You feel like an ungrateful lout.

Why did you miss your chance to befriend

A guide bird who would have saved you from



Topsoil squelches under your boots!

High in the canopy a goldfinch toots!

You quite enjoy the temperate air!

This is a habitat beyond compare!

You’ve wandered far from the path you were on,

And gradually you feel more withdrawn.

Dropping your gaze, you sink into thought

And before you know it you feel overwrought!

What’s going on? What’s wrong with your mind?

Panicking, you leave the greener ground behind.

Passing into a flat, grassy fen,

You find yourself all alive with joy again!

If it seems natural to go with the flow,

Use thumb and finger to form an “O”. (FLOW, 19)

If you are troubled and you’d rather think a bit,

Stick your hands underneath where you sit! (THINK, 21)


Everything’s cool, and why should you care

If you feel emotions that aren’t really there?

Everyone tells you that Nature speaks,

And you’re glad you didn’t have to wait for weeks.

Why does this hillside make you so merry?

Aren’t you annoyed with that elderberry?

Doesn’t the marsh make you feel morose?

And whoops—guess the forest makes you comatose!

How are you getting out of this trap?

All that you wanted was to have a nap.

Now you’ve been dozing nigh forty hours

Here between a tree and some yellowflowers.

Now and again, you wake for a sec.

Usually to roll a bit or stretch your neck.

Somehow, you’ve got to shatter this spell.

The moss knows your Sleep Number all too well!

If you believe that something drastic must be done,

Make like you’ve just heard an awful pun. (DRASTIC, 20)

If you would rather try to utilize your dreams,

Lie back and stare at the ceiling beams. (DREAMS, 20)


Rooting around inside of your pack,

You figure by now it’s time to have a snack.

Setting your head back down in the moss,

You gulp down a swallow of tobasco sauce.

Raging about, you crash through the wood,

Annoyed that your gullet doesn’t feel too good.

Now, on all fours, you crawl over chaff,

The odds you’re asleep are close to half-and-half.

Suddenly, you feel normal again!

You’re on the fringes of a giant glen.

After a half an hour or so,

You get your stomach settled and you’re set to go! (GLEN, 22)


Fortunately, you know all the schemes

For doing what you want to in your lucid dreams.

What’s not so simple’s trying to creep

For miles on all fours while you are sound asleep.

Fortunately, the symbology

That bears on your problem can be easily

Renewed into something laden with power

Which brings your speed up to a mile an hour!

It seems like it’s been no time at all

When you finally finish your lethargic crawl

And find yourself in a field of white

You don’t know it’s taken you a full fortnight!

After a day of more fruitless search,

You glance at the sky and it makes you lurch!

The moon had been new and now it is full,

And that means you’re in a bit of bad trouble.

Poor Auntie’s birthday was five days ago,

And you, who were hosting, didn’t even show.

Is this a gaffe that you can amend?

Possibly so, but it is still



Something’s amiss, wherefore all this joy?

Could it be something of a shrewd decoy?

Maybe you really ought to beware,

But you’re just about too high on life to care!

Dancing along, you suffer a thought:

What if this part ends and I get duly caught

In some more unpleasant part of the fen?

Guess I’ll just be a little careful, then!”

Suddenly you feel dizzy and weak.

Scooting back a step you feel magnifique.

Later, the hyacinths make you sad!

When you turn around it isn’t half as bad!

Still, you will never exit this place

Unless you can choose a route and race, race, race,

Or maybe there’s some way you can block out

The anger, dizziness, despair and doubt.

If you would rather try to make your way by force,

Flare out your nose like an angry horse. (FORCE, 21)

If you would try to block emotional distress,

Thumbs to your temples and gently press. (BLOCK, 22)


Here are some trees that make you amused!

Maybe this path can quickly be perused!

You take off with a good running start,

And then laugh so hard you nearly fall apart!

It’s quite a jam you seem to be in.

Laughter may be the finest medicine,

But you’ll need a stronger potion than that

Once you tumble off a rocky ledge—Ker-SPLAT!

You may be wracked with terrible pain

At least it still is funny to your brain.

Will you survive? Well, that would depend

But if I had to call it I would say



Is there a thought so monstrously strong

That you could just repeat it as you walk along

And not have to face emotional strife?

Something so strong that it transcends real life?

Something to blindly love or deplore…

Isn’t that just what television’s for?

You focus on your favorite program,

And before you know it you’re out of the jam! (GLEN, 22)


Large folds of land roll high to each side,

And you gladly take the middle route in stride.

Strange peeping sounds emerge from the slopes.

They make you nervous but they raise your hopes.

Could Ovamosia birds be about?

Or, could this be an inauspicious route?

Beasts of the wild, or bandits, or worse

Could be watching you for purposes perverse.

If you would like to go investigate the peeps,

Laugh in a voice that gives you the creeps. (PEEPS, 22)

If you would rather set a straight and speedy course,

Say “Run Away!” like your voice is hoarse! (RUN AWAY, 23)


Up on the hill, you notice a shimmer.

When you climb the bank you find that it gets dimmer.

Off in the distance, flying away,

You see six Ovamosias in a neat array!

Just as you’re trying to decide whether

You should go and chase them, you espy a feather

Left on the ground, no doubt in their haste—

Or could it maybe be divinely placed?

Picking it up, you head overland.

Through leagues of forest to an open strand.

Now that it’s dusk, you quicken your stride.

You reach a meadow and your eyes grow wide! (MEADOW, 23)


As you move on, the voices grow faint!

But, you are given cause for worse complaint.

Reaching the valley’s last rocky grounds,

You see a cave from which a roar resounds!

You turn away, not pleased in the least.

Out comes a steaming, armor-plated beast.

Horns on its head, it rushes for you.

Turning to run is all that you can do!

You scramble up the less rocky slope!

Hoping the beast is not equipped to cope.

It doesn’t like the climb that ensues,

And so, your backpack is all that you lose!

But, now that you have lost your supplies,

You feel that giving up the quest is wise.

Shivering, you head back for the bend.

Pity, but this will have to be



Thousands of flowers of varying heights

Are planted in circles under dazzling lights!

All of their stamens turn toward a stage—

You may have seen it on the Lifestyles page!

Nightfall is here, and now, in the shade,

You see hints of hidden feathery brocade!

You know it’s an Ovamosia field

And you turn to where all of their eyes are peeled.

Then, in a cloud of shimmering dust,

A small ring of objects begins to combust,

And as you are watching, these objects

Produce pretty pyrotechnic light effects!

Up on the stage, a throne rises high.

A bird on the pinnacle lets out a cry.

Her body is large, her movements are light,

And you know that she would do your party right!

Now, from the bushes, dozens of wings

Are busy at the most astounding things.

Each male bird is doing a feat

To woo the graceful female for which they compete!

Soon, in the midst of ruckus and strife,

She flies to a juggler to be his wife.

Now in her place, another one comes

And watches the mayhem as she struts and hums!

Now that the format of the event

Is clear, you are not too sure of your intent.

How can you capture what’s hard to catch,

And which is the sex you should attempt to snatch?

If you’d prefer to nab a preening beauty queen,

Bounce in your chair like you’re on caffeine. (FEMALE, 24)

If you would rather try to charm a show-off male,

Act like you’re pulling aside your veil. (MALE, 25)


As you approach the big, gaudy stage,

Some of the birds get ready to engage.

They’re aware that they outnumber you,

And they’ll do whatever they are forced to do.

You quickly hurry under the boards,

Pursued by the bravest of the courting hordes.

You grab a sparkler, give it a heft,

And lob it with a toss both fierce and deft.

Some of the meadowgrass catches fire,

And while they’re distracted, you ascend the spire.

The female who’s currently on display

Looks on as you climb toward her with dismay.

Though you have come equipped with a bow,

You feel that to use it would be very low.

These birds are more lovely than you’d believed,

And you’d hate to make their families bereaved.

Just as you think the bird will take wing,

She cries with a squeal and does the darnedest thing:

She falls to her breast and brushes your face

And then grooms your hair with a devoted grace!

Obviously, this doll is impressed

That with your diversion, you could reach her nest.

She doesn’t know anything about you,

But clearly she thinks you are her lover true!

Climbing aloft, and settling down,

You now tuck your silver feather in her crown.

Knowing that you are truly her beau,

She now flies behind you everywhere you go!

All of the others wail in a fit,

But once you depart they quickly tire of it.

You lead your “sweetheart” out of the trees,

And into your home, as pretty as you please!

You couldn’t bear to make her a meal,

Because she adores you with an ardent zeal.

But if you could train her to entertain,

Your party will prosper in a different vein!

Auntie’s big day’s a smashing success.

Your bird conducts herself with great largesse.

Her aerial dance and singing extend

The joy of the party right up to



Seeing the birds are starting to stare,

You plant your Ovamosia feather in your hair.

They stop looking at you with utter shock

For now they believe that you’re one of the flock.

Surely, with all the birds focused on

The diva, they wouldn’t notice one that’s gone.

You look for a male engrossed in his act,

And sneak up behind him with outstanding tact.

This one is balancing blocks in a stack.

He doesn’t detect you ‘til you yank him back.

He squawks and he flaps his wings in a din,

But with all your strength you reel the joker in!

Tying a cord right under his spur,

You gain the security that you prefer.

Nobody cares when you take him off west.

It just means less competition for the rest!

You head on home, and it’s never dull!

He’s constantly peck-peck-pecking at your skull!

You’d feel guilty ending his life

Despite the fact that he’s been causing so much strife.

Finally, your auntie’s birthday arrives!

This is where a spastic Ovamosia thrives.

You’ve put him in a big iron cage

And all the guests are laughing at his madcap rage!

Somehow, you feel guilty for this.

Laughing at his struggle seems a bit remiss.

After the party, you choose to send

The birdie to his freedom now that it’s



Oh, my oh my, it looks like a tie!

No common ground on which we can rely.

Let’s go again, but this time the vote

Will swing toward the side that is the best showboat!


Look at the count! It’s even again!

Well, I hope that all of you are good showmen.

So, once again, I’ll go with the half

Who’s melodramatic and can make me laugh.


We must be cursed, and I don’t know why,

But it seems that yet again we have a tie,

Just like before, I’ll side with the bunch

Whose gross overacting makes me lose my lunch!