The Horrendous Misfortunes of Tumdrukar, the Six Headed Opalescent Hydra
Long gone the days of which this tale speaks,
in kingdom lost, no map remains.
Hear him howl, the old ruler groans,
dampens his throne alone.
Outside his castle windows,
he cares not, if it rains and rains.
King Dimduck, his name be.
The land of Mung ruled he wisely,
his wife alongside, Queen Wegelwe.
Alas, Princess Arna, his daughter,
long missing was, snatched away,
like a lily by a claw,
from stony ground, wet water.
“What beast is this?” he yelped,
like an unleashed hound,
a most unnerving, heart quailing sound.
“What beast has captured my daughter?”
he questioned thus Virabus Spellweave,
his high magician, chief court mage sage,
to him revealed how a monarch may grieve.
“Worse than dragon, woodwose,
belch brogan or ogre,”
Virabus answered his lamenting king,
who wished no more to hear his merry minstrels sing.
“Alas, our fair princess is held captive in a cave,
under cloud and hemmed in by ocean wave,
by most monstrous Tumdrukar,
the Six Headed Opalescent Hydra,”
however much the knowledge pained.
“Once thought but a fable, your majesty,
now the facts of the hydra are on the table,
have been well scribed,
his portrait drawn in illustration bright,
on a page of that learned treatise, the Bestiary,
so now his existence is beyond dispute,
once a being is named, it has a root.”
Hearing this, the old king, alarmed,
trembled, tearful, could not be calmed.
“Then the best of knights
on this quest I send.
Whomsoever shall save my daughter
from this beast
shall be my eternal royal friend,”
so uttered the king in desperate reply.
And so it was that many fair knights
into the wilds of Mung did ride,
under the eye of winged bolgnarks
that yet flocked about the sky.
On the quest to rescue Princess Arna
from the cave of her abnormal abductor,
Tumdrukar, the Six Headed Opalescent Hydra,
they gallantly, chivalrously rode,
far from any pilgrim path or rock troll road.
One elder knight rode alone,
laboured under creaky bone.
Sir Boarswine was his name,
knew all about the questing game,
armed with sword and lance,
came to a cave above a mere,
there on a hump to rest his rump,
he sat, and watched the midges dance.
A sight he saw, most unlikely.
Twas Princess Arna, in conversation deep,
with a most monstrous six headed beast,
under a tree, a little further east.
So strange, he thought he was asleep.
Forth he strode, his sword held high.
“Fear not, fair princess, it is I,
Sir Boarswine,” he announced,
loud enough to flick away a fly.
“Now from this misshapened beast,
I beg you flee,
and I will slay him by stone and tree.”
“Halt, sir knight, ” Princess Arna said.
“I would not my new friend be slain dead.
If you knew the tale of the horrendous misfortunes
of Tumdrukar, the Six Headed Opalescent Hydra,
as do I, then pity tears you would cry,
and your cold heart would be warm
with kindly sympathy.”
“Let him tell his tale to me,
to decide what his fate should be,”
said Sir Boarswine, most reasonably,
even a cleric would agree.
Thus Tumdrukar, the crafty hydra,
began a tale, full sorrow sore,
which Sir Boarswine wept to hear,
and from his eye a tear tore.
“Wait. That is not the tale you told me,”
interrupted Princess Arna,
the hydra’s tale less than half way through.
“Of course not, human wench,”
said Tumdrukar, with a low hiss,
and fuming stench.
“That tale alone was heard by you.
One false tale does not make another true.
We hydras have six heads,
and each one has a brain,
so if one repeats a tale another said,
the others would complain.
With six heads we can share our knowledge,
and keep eachother sane.”
Princess Arna, shocked, betrayed,
saw at last the trick the hydra played,
stepped back, turned pale,
to think what she had heard,
had been just a tale.
“Now you know, fair princess,”
said Sir Boarswine.
“Never trust a hydra.
He wove a web for you,
more crafty than a spider.”
The hydra huffed, swagged off to his cave,
slunk away from combat,
more cunning was he than brave.
Sir Boarswine with Princess Arna
returned safe to Mung Castle court,
having found what he had sought.
From then on the king’s hall
was filled with merriment and laughter,
and all who dwelt within
lived happy ever after.
The moral of this tale may be,
never trust a hydra
or any other creature
with more than one brain,
for that matter.