Vulpine Imperium

Submission Gallery

At What Cost?

By Teresa A. Doxtrod-Lancaster
“I learned to fly the other day,”
Said the robin to the mouse.
“I flew above the clouds so gay,
Far away, above your house.”

“That’s interestin,’ my dear, young friend,”
The mouse then did reply.
“For to see as far as the world’s end
Is what I would do if should I fly.”

The robin stared at his friend,
A tear of pity in his eye,
For true it was that in the end
A mouse just could not fly.

The robin turned away that day,
His eyes turned toward the sky.
“Why did you give me this curse?
Why did you make me fly?”

For what was to be done
For a mouse that could never fly?
Would the robin and his friend
Be separated by the cerulean sky?

“Never, never, a thousand times!”
The robin yelled in defiance.
“I will not let my friend here stay;
I’ll save my dear alliance.”

The bird winged far away that day
To visit the seer, Wise One.
He spent many days in toil
Out in the burning sun.

The robin came upon a glade,
A woodland of fruit bounty,
And saw he there the seer maid,
A simple vixen on a lee.

“Wise One, please, I seek your help!”
The robin then did plea.
“My friend the mouse will never fly,
And this makes me sad, you see.”

“I understand, my little bird,”
The seer then did say.
“Of this problem I have heard;
Now come with me a way.”

The robin followed, filled with hope;
His friend the mouse would fly!
Then the vixen turned around
And revealed that she was a spy.

“You see my little bird, so trusting,
I have dealt with this problem before.
For I had to learn to fly as well,
Far back, many years before.”

The seer produced a pair of wings,
Made they of sticks and grass.
“I do not envy little friend,
This weight you must carry, this task.”

The robin was a resolute bird,
His mind was set in stone,
So took he then the false wings,
And carried them on his hollow bones.

“I will not fail, for I am strong!”
The robin cried that night,
For soon he was to be home.
He would soon win the fight.

The next morn the mouse was taking a walk,
Out by the robin’s home,
And saw he there the robin prone,
Laying broken in the loam.

The mouse rushed over in distress
And examined the robin’s cold body.
Then saw he there the false wings,
And lifted them off the small bird’s body.

“My friend! My friend!
For me, oh, why?!
You’ll never again look at the sky!
And never again hear I!”

A body lays beneath the ground,
Out by a tall, strong oak.
A stone rests there upon the grave
Of a robin who tried but broke.

So seasons pass and seasons change
And leaves now try to cover
But the mouse friend of this robin lad
Keeps guard over the grave like a brother.

But now the mouse knows how to fly,
But he wonders at what cost?
For a simple glimpse above the clouds,
He, his best friend lost.