Part I
				  Stolen kisses

Down in the forest, a dragon called Boris   n
wiped a bulbous tear from his eye.
He was incredibly sad (and for a dragon, that's bad);
he wished he could lay down and die.....

The reason for this was that he had been kissed,
an hour before, in his sleep.
Now, wide awake, he felt not like a snake
but more like a Barbary sheep.

The problem was now, as lines crossed his brow,
that he couldn't get angry at all.
Try though he might, he couldn't cause fright
to nuffink, no matter how small..........

The worst thing he'd lost at such terrible cost,
was the fire that blew from his lips.
The flames were so good, he could cook his own food,
but now, he'd had all his chips.

He sat there and cried, trying hard not to hide
the shock from losing his powers.
"Why should it be, that this happen to me?"
he said, snuggling back in the flowers.

Just then a bee (an orange-striped flea)
was buzzing around in the wood.
On finding a petal, on it did he settle.
"Wow! - did that pollen smell good!"

Alas, 'twas the same that took Boris's frame
and this bee life was suddenly flat.
There squashed on a leaf, he overcame grief,
deciding revenge should be had....

Boris was weak - he felt like a freak
but smiling, as he sniffed at a rose.
"Life's not so grim," he thought, stretching a limb,
and relaxed in a dragon's repose.

Just then underneath, a sting left its sheath
and aimed itself upwards above.
A bee stings just once, but the hurt can last months.
The message is pain, with poisonous stuff.

Stung in the ass, like a nuclear blast,
His bottom was swollen and red.
Embarrassed once more, and his bum getting sore
He jumped out of his skin, then he fled....

There do exist those who've seen beasts without clothes
but, unusual it is, at the least.
Such a horrible sight can turn your face white -
you may even need help from a priest.

He ran to the lake starting to shake
(it can be cold if you take off your coat).
There all alone, he started to moan - 
no - more like a sob from the throat.....

				PART  II
			Boris's family history

The dragon was one who'd been known for his run
as  "Fireblower-Champ-of-Torquay"
He was fearless and tough - though now fireless and fluff:
Yes - one of the best pedigree.

His Mum and his Dad were both ferocious and bad
and always ready to burn.
The coal they would eat would help create heat,
making their fire-engine turn.

With Boris, their son, they found new kinds of fun,
teaching him tricks of the trade.....
He learnt how to charge, got promoted to Sarge
and soon led a Dragoon Brigade.

But, then as he grew, his legend did too.
Soon tourists would line up to see
how this dragon could light a whole sky up at night -
a fireworks-display all for free...

To the tourists he'd fly, bucking low, and then high,
firing flames miles way 'bove all their heads !
'Twas the first time they'd felt as their courage would melt
that hell could be up there instead!

The rumours that spread must have gone to his head,
since he claimed that he was the 'most'.
Then one night on full moon, in the middle of June
he turned his Mum and his Dad into toast.

They were the first, then it got worse
As soon he had cooked quite a bag
For the beasts 'cross the prairie - the dragon was scary
For them now he was just a drag...

				PART IIs
		The enlightened insect
Now as he froze, he began to suppose
that those were the days of the past:
he was losing esteem - not to mention his steam -
and all of it was happening so fast!

Then came a firefly who was traveling by.
Boris sobbed as he witnessed the sight.
"Could a bug of this size," he mused, shielding his eyes
"Really be such a light in the night?"

The insect buzzed round
(an electrical sound, that bleeped from his tiny frame-)
"Must be thousands of watts in his body he's got!"
Boris wished that he had the same...

The fly turned to speak in a gutterel squeak
to Boris now hopelessly glum.
"Listen, maybe I'm dreamin' but aint you the demon
who used to scare everyone?"

With a sniff and a cry, Boris said "Yes, it is I"
He shamedly lowered his gaze.
"I was the beast, famous West to the East
But now it's the end of my days!"

The insect's chin dropped: his antennae eyes popped.
What he heard burnt his ears even more.
So shocked by the news that this monster was through,
with a thud, he fell down on the floor...

The fly took a peek at the dragon so weak
(the idol in fact of his youth.
He'd get fired up at night watching Boris in flight
like a star shooting over the skooth*)

Ideas may occur when the mind's in a blur:
so did it right now to the fly... 
Sprawled out on the ground, he suddenly found
a solution that Boris could try.

The insect shone bright as he flew to a height
to prepare an important announcement:
Boris thought of his past when his powers were so vast,
and wondered where all of his bounce went.*

*Boris's Mum and Dad had taught him all they knew about speaking properly, but since the day he'd roasted them, his grammar had got worse and worse, especially the verb,"to go".......(of course it should read:  where all of his bounce had gone.
"Perhaps it could be a dry battery?"
(Inspiration had struck him indeed)
"When we are dark bugs we change our spark plugs -
maybe it's that what you need...."
That caused a stir in the Dragon, yessir!
Soon he was up on his feet
My cells need a charge,  from small up to large
like - when you get hungry you eat!"
Boris had lost his weakness and bossed
the insect as though he were slave.
"Give me an hour of electrical powers.
Soon I'll be bad, bold and brave!"

The firefly got heated, this way to be treated
and flashed an emergency light: 
"Now don't take the view I'm working for you!"
and put up his wings for a fight.

The challenge was such, that it was really too much
for Boris to deal with right then.
He sat humbly down, and said with a frown,
"Not ever will I fight again!"

The fly saw his chance, and flew a firedance
so fire letters were scribed in the air-

Boris, quite worried, stood up in a hurry.
With the insect he started to plead.
"The news of such scandal'd be too hot to handle!"
since this, the whole world could now read!

The fly was relinquished, the flames he extinguished
as Boris breathed in a sigh.
The fly made it clear to Boris that fear
was not on what he should rely....

"Cruel were the games with your smoke and your flames: 
it's so easy for one to be bad!* No more can it be like your family tree: like Boris can't be like his Dad! - You were my hero, my Robert di Niro : I watched you oft from afar: what I don't understand is, why, underhand, you became the tyrant you are....did it make you feel good with the agreement that stood with anger, violence and hate? Always better to strive for more in our lives than plunder and pillage, playmate!... "

Boris sat there transfixed like a hare:
he could not believe either ear...
Dragons were beasts who were nasty at least!
It was normal to bring people to tears.
The firefly could feel it was time for a deal
He put it to Boris quite straight.
"You change all your ways, or I won't help you today.
You'd better watch out, 'cos it's late"

It had begun to get dark right there in the park;
As Boris thought of the night...
Soon there'd be dogs and vampire-like frogs,
wildcats and cobras that bite!

For years he had beaten, bullied and eaten
but it never to him did occur
that might come the day for his crimes would he pay
and not be the same that he wur.*

* (BORIS also had problems with spelling the verb 'to be')

"I'll do what you want". (His face was now gaunt)
"Good" said the fly and he smiled-
"Try to aspire to put love in your fire:
it's time to adopt a new style."

Said Boris "OK, I'll do what you say -
I can't walk around dressed like this:
where is the garage for this electric massage
to give me the power that I miss?"

The fly shook his head, and straightened a dread
which stuck from the end of his nose.
We can charge bugs with any old plug: through us electricity flows...But you are all carbon - I don't want to harp on - but you cannot fit to our leads. Two pieces of bark that can cause a live spark - combustion's the thing that you need..."

Poor Boris felt tricked - he had been licked
by an insect - what could he now do?
Darkness was falling, wolves were a-calling....
A mosquito had bitten him too!
(And it really bothered him because he couldn't reach it properly as it was right under his left arm at the back, too far round for him to scratch, and even when he tried, he had no skin on and his claws just scraped off his flesh..OW! OW! OW ! And still it itched, oh! how it itched...!!!!

			   The refuge

He got up from the ground, took a look round-
he had to find somewhere to hide.
He spotted some rocks, behind hollyhocks,
nervously speeding his stride.

Yes - he was saved!  The mouth of a cave
yawned in front of his eyes.
Into it did he slump, with a trip and a bump,
and fell in a well with a cry.
(And the cry sounded a bit like this............

Down there in the well Boris could tell
that this was not really his day.
He grovelled about to find a way out;
and as he did he started to pray.

He prayed that instead he was home in his bed,
munching a barbecue bun.
He dreamt he was well (and not down in a well)
of flames, and of fire, and of fun.

But the stink in the pit proved he was right in the fact,*
that this was no holiday camp.
There down in the hole, he felt incredibly old
as he heaved his way up the ramp.

*EDITOR'S NOTE: 'Fact' was not the original word in the ryhming, in case you're wondering...

Taking care not to drop, he got back to the top,
then collapsed into a corner.
He pulled out a thumb, said, "This is so dumb
but I wish this place was a sauna!"

Recently there (in the cave) had lived a black bear (name of Dave), before that an owl name of Lorna; before her  lived a troll, who'd played many short roles in films made by the brothers called Warner. Further back in the past the cave had been classed as a treasure because of its fauna, and long, long, long, long ago to offset the snow it had been used by a Swedish logger called Sven Svensson who had got lost one day when the mist came down and he had ended up at the cave, which had been the only visible shelter for miles and he had fallen down the well, too, and having successfully struggled to the top, filling the cave with all kinds of Swedish expletives, which we're not allowed to print here -  and couldn't even spell them even if we were allowed -  because of the cold and the damp seeping through his very bones, he collapsed into a heap and also - wait for it ! - ALSO WISHED THE PLACE WAS A SAUNA...! (wierd, huh?)...the only difference was that, being Swedish, he knew how to build one, and in fact did build one, before the mist lifted a few hours afterwards. (Fast workers those Swedes....) So, actually, in all coincidence, this had been a sauna, although unknown to Boris of course,  and there was still even a small pile of stones in a corner which the logger had used as the fire. Unfortunately Boris was not Swedish and he was a dragon, so he didn't have the right tools to make the sauna he wished. It was actually nothing more than a passing dragon fantasy in fact......really wierd, though, huh?

Boris crawled further in, his head in a spin,
passing out there in a heap.
Shaking from shock, Boris rolled on a rock
and immediately woke up to sleep.

				PART V
		The animal celebration 

Outside in the wild, many animals filed
where Boris would wait for his prey.
The news had soon spread that the dragon had fled,
now nothing could keep them away!

Two vultures flew in carrying Boris's skin
and it fell down with a sound 

(It appeared to all those who stood there with clothes
that the dragon must now be defunct.)

Squirrels started to cheer and break open the beer.
A skunk stank to heaven on high.
Baboons licked their lips and camels smoked tips.
Flamingoes danced in the sky.

They partied all night, until the first light
when a cockerel set off the alarm. 
The dragon's renown had caused many a frown -
the list was as long as his arm.

EDITOR"S NOTE : According to the INTERNATIONAL DRAGON MANUAL 1931 revised edition, if you were to place 3,872 bottles of Dragon's Blood red wine (1 litre) beside each other in a line, you would have the average length of a fully grown unshaved dragon arm.

					PART VI
				  Humming Love

There was one who had stayed well away from the fray.
She had cried since hearing the news.
It was her soft caress that had caused this duress
to the dragon, now skinless and blue.

Her name was Kolibri, and now, oh, so feebly,
did she regret for what she had done....
She'd kissed him in sleep, but now did she weep
as she thought of the mess she'd begun.
Smaller than most, she was one of a host
Of birds who can stand in the air.
For hours can they last, with wings flapping fast,
with many a flap still to spare.

Hovering so, to flowers do they go:
sweet pollen acts as a guide.
So long are their bills, they can soon get their fill
of nectar which hides there inside.

How could she stick it - crouched under a thicket -
for hours, in the dark and the mud?
How could she show she was happy, when low,
like a rose that's been chopped at the bud?

After the riot, the morning was quiet
as she ventured into the glade.
Before her lay debris - poop, Pommade, Pepsi -
it was such a fowl mess they had made !

She thought she would crack: they'd rejoiced in the fact
that he, whom she kissed, was now spurned.
Even birds and the bees had graffitied on trees:

Thens he spotted a stoat, asleep on his coat
she sighed as she pondered his fate.
His hide was all worn, badly dried up and torn,
like a sun-dried Algerian date.

With it close to her breast she swore she'd not rest
till she'd fixed it, so it would keep.
By saving his skin, she'd show that for him 
her love would be more than skin deep.

She flew to her nest straightening her crest.
(Her wings were all of a flap).
She summoned her brothers, sisters and mother
who were humming a humming bird-nap....

They listened aghast to what lately had passed
the night before in the wood.
She told the whole tale midst sobs, shrieks and wails.
Not at all in the hummiest of moods...

Her Mum hummed annoyance:"mmmmm
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm        
at her daughter's flamboyance. 
"How could you smooch with this thug? "
To kiss such a creature, a risky procedure,
was regarded as highly humbug...

But her Mom knew love hummed, and herself had succumbed
once to the feeling, which bubbles down deep.
She'd had her first crush on Basil the Brush, 
who on TV had put many to sleep.

So instead she just smiled at her love stricken child
and took her under her wing....
"Kolibri, don't cry" she hummed,"Right now we will fly
to the Humming Bird Councillor-thing" *

*EDITORS NOTE : The name of the institution was The Royal Humming Bird Councilllors of the Great Leaf..... but always a poet, Kolibri's mother was quite adamant in rehearsals that she would at least make the few lines that she got to say, rhyme.

They flew to their chiefs, who hum round Big Leaf
and Kolibri relaxed a bit more:
They could have solutions for her convolution, 
Boris could be normal once more.

But she knew in despair he was miles from his lair - 
maybe worse had already occurred....

				PART VII, without clothes Boris steadily froze.
While his mind increasingly blurred.

Between snooze and awake, he continued to shake
as he coughed, and he sneezed, and he spluttered.
Lying comatose, he began to speak prose
and these are the words that he uttered:

"Mum, where's my Mum....wish I hadn't eaten her....she didn't taste so good anyway,...what's happening to me? so...c-c-c-c-c-oldd-d-d. Ahhhhhhhh ....start a fire of course, that's the answer. Damn, where's my lighter?...Idiot! I'm a dragon - I am a fire.!..or at least was  a fire...this is becoming too serious; OH NO, WHAT HAVE I DONE ???? This is a poem :  Now I'm talking out of verse! ...What will the critics say? I can see the newspaper reviews now - DRAGON SCREWS UP STORY ABOUT DRAGON WHO IS SCREWED UP!  -  What do I care ? ...all those academic, polemic didactic sick schticks ...what did I read in verse 85, anyway ? - "Boris the dragon's been licked!"  Such cheek ! I'm the star of this story....!"

Then came a peck-peck-peck on the side of his leg
which jarred Boris back to the present.
He struggled to see what this pecking could be
until he saw at his feet there, a pheasant.

*EDITOR'S NOTE : It is unable to print more of this text as Boris's language I'm afraid got rather out of hand, and therefore quite unprintable. It is also very difficult to translate Dragon-slang, especially Dragon-swear into understandable English. (Censorship by the Friends of the Dragon Morality Protection society.)

His initial desire was to blow out some fire
to cook up a quick roasted joint.
But withut any friction (his recent affliction)
He realised there was really no point.

Boris averred,"Oh go away bird!"
but the pheasant just carried on beatin'.....
down fell his jaw as Boris took in with awe
that he was the one to be eaten!

Boris cried "Wait!- I aint seeds on a plate! -
I'm alive...or are you a cannibal?"
The pheasant was cool as his beak dripped and drooled,
"That's why folks call me Hannibal"

			Hannibal's History

Boris had heard 'bout this notorious bird:
a cheeky young kid from the scrubs.
He'd trained a phalanx of elephant ants
to start up a Swiss Alpine club.

Now why, you may ask, would he take on the task
The answer is simple - for fame!
He invented new schemes to realise dreams
wanting more out of life than play game.

Hann* wanted to change 'the old home on the range'
to make all the animals free:
Broncs are not to be bucked!
Chicks are not to be plucked!
(Such were the slogans you'd see.)

* (EDITOR'S NOTE : Hannibal's manager points out that this is a familiar term for Hannibal, and only to be used by his closer friends - fan mail should be sent only to Hannibal and not Ha, Han, Hann, Hanni, or Hannny, Nibi, Nibby, and especially not Bali!)

He then got obsessed protecting bird nests
From poachers who pilfer the eggs
You could oft hear the cries of a hunter's demise
As a snare would snap on their legs. 

But his par excellence was the League of De-Fence
which he began on behalf of the bulls;
he dismantled the pens with the help of some hens
"Shut the Gate" was no longer the rule.

Then came reports of fantastic support
of an idea of which Hann was hesitant.
His friends and his fans began to make plans
to have Hannibal voted to Pheasidant.

Number-one at the helm of the Animal realm
was by rights a creature of prey,
Lions or eagles, condors - not seagulls! -
and never a bird from the hay!

At first all went well - the campaign was hard-sell -
they used all the media tricks.
Hann's feathers were gleaned to a glorious sheen.
He was pictured with beautiful chicks.

On the day of election, t'was a varied selection
of candidates ready to please.
A mastiff, a parrot, a wolf and a carrot
from the party Vegetarianese.

But the one that they chose from sunrise to close,
was swept in a landslide to power,
The Pheasant was called and quickly installed
into his ivory tower.*

*EDITOR'S NOTE: Contrary to general belief, Ivory Tower is not a reference to a large important white building in Washington, DC.

His formal address was one of the best
that's ever been heard on TV.
He called for a an end to hunting and penned
a charter for birds to be free.

He got rid of cages and passed laws in stages
to benefit all feathered friends.
Colonel Sanders was banned, heads put in the sand,
Charlie Parker was fashion again.*

*EDITOR'S NOTE : Because he was nicknamed 'Bird', and he played a lot in the jazz club, Birdland, which is very popular with birds, I suppose...

A term of office went by, and he began to think why
he always had to wear suits.
He wasn't so keen on the 9-5 routine -
He longed to get back to grass roots...

Each day in the office, he felt more and more off-ish
And got tired to always be host
He felt like a victim, as though someone'd tricked 'im
So one night he resigned from his post.

One night on full moon in the middle of June,*
he flipped, he flopped and he fled.
Next day 'twas announced that he'd been denounced
as a traitor who'd be better dead....

*EDITOR'S NOTE :- exactly ! : it was the same night in June that Boris had eaten his parents.

But no one discovered how he, under cover,
had vanished without trail from the hounds.
He was used to being hunted and when so confronted

*(which was here in the same cave as our Boris - without such remarkable co-incidences how could this story continue?) 

				Part IX
			Back to the Cave

What you just read raced through Boris's head 
(it took the same time in fact too: 
you see, dragons have brains that need power just like trains
from a fire that keeps burning anew.)*

* EDITOR'S NOTE: We're talking about steam trains, of course, which  dates the writer somewhat!....but, talking of trains, we are getting a little side-tracked from our real story, which is meant to be about Boris the Dragon, and not about Hannibal the Pheasant, in case any of you Boris fans are getting upset.

As only we know, Boris was slow 
because the fire that he'd had was now gone.
That, and the cold and some gathering mould
were making it hard for him to go on.

Hann squinted his eyes at the towering size
of the body he intended to eat.
"There's meat enough here, for me for a year,"
he thought, nibbling at Boris's feet.
Boris leaned down to this bird of renown, 
asking  "What's the idea? You assume that I'll stay
while you eat me today? Don't that seem unusually queer?"                                                                                                                                           

Hannibal froze, his feathers arose.
The voice he suddenly knew.
This was no steak nor even mistake
it was dragon and a tasty one too!

"You ain't got no skin - at least round your shin"- 
said Hannibal backing away.
"When I smell raw meat, I'm up on my feet; 
I hate to see flesh waste away!"

"The sad truth of it is", responded Boris
"Is that the shin is not just alone. 
I'm flesh naked raw, from my jaw to my claw: 
pretty soon I could be only bone."

Hann got the squawks from such negative talk
and he started to flap both his wings.
"My advice you should heed, - of a boss you're in need
If you want me just give me a ring!"

Boris sank to his knees incredibly pleased
and considered the pheasant's advice....
"Of course you're the one, you son of a pheasant*
that could make my life again nice! 

*EDITOR'S NOTE: The ryhming here you will note is a little odd. The phrase should read:-  "Of course you're the one, you son of a gun", however in his idealistic period of office, Hannibal had successfully passed an act that had outlawed firearms, so here Boris has used the substitute phrase, the son of a 'pheasant' (which Hannibal presumably was in fact anyway.) 

Once I heard tell of a griffin that, well, 
Was more of a monster, I 'spose.
To increase his powers, he'd add every hour 
another eye or a nose. 

Hydra at sea, had not one head, but three, 
and so he had three times the fun. 
We have resources, so why not join forces? -  
two heads are better than one!"

Hann stopped and thought - for justice he'd fought:
The rights of the poor and oppressed.
Now here was the dragon, famous for braggin'
Begging him to help his distress

Hann's reputation sure needed salvation
And befriending this dragon was smart
As agent of Boris he could explore this
By renewing his brand a la carte.

Anyway outlaw, Hann now could account for
A protege fiercer than all.
With Boris as client he'd be self-reliant
With a bodyguard always on call !

"Well if we're to be buddies, we got to make studies to see how your career should proceed. Give me the clearance to brush up your appearance: for a start - it's a new suit that you need!"

The pheasant paced the grotto, mumbling the motto
He had learned at the start of his career:
"Comb your hair, clean your teeth, wash your underpants twice a day - especially if you're being hunted: if you're about to be hunted, be hunted in style - who could bear the ignominy of being pulled apart by a pack of Doberman's, looking like a dog's dinner ?  Afterwards maybe, but not before, that would never do - not to look your absolute best."

He searched through the text, but forgot what came next
as he thoughtfully scratched on an ear.
"when serving your dues, remember to choose..."
But the next line remained quite unclear.

He stopped at the thought that what he'd been taught
in this instance might not be so.
"I don't work for free - what's in it for me?"
(His corrupt side had started to show........)

*EDITOR'S NOTE: See verse 85: either Hannibal had read the grafitti or  had somehow read the poem before all this happened...

Boris knew this guy was the best money could buy
he was desperate to get back to the top....
"Whatever the cost, please get back what I lost
I just want the bad luck to stop!"

Not far in the wood, the hunt dogs pursued
Hannibal's trail through the glade.
They'd been scampering around with nose to the ground,
now their patience was starting to fade *

*(Not to mention the fact that their noses hurt a lot by now!)

					Part X
				The animal spy

One of the bunch decided that lunch
was better than dirtying his face.
So, off on his own, he searched for a bone
that he'd buried before near the place.

Now his name was Toodles, part Great-Dane, part poodle,
which is quite an awesome phenomenon(!) 
he was big-n-flat footed with a French Lady's booty
and blond curly hair on his abdomen-non.
His parents prestigious, they were clearly religious
(she was called Sheba, he Solomon) 
From the time of a pup they'd both brought him up
to be honest and faithful and 'onour 'em.
When Toodles was child, he felt the call of the wild,
Reejecting the life of automoton
So though he'd been trained to be pious Great Dane,
He craved fun, not 'persona anononym'
So strong was his quest for pleasure, he guessed 
that to leave was his only solution;
so, Toodles the scholar, packed in his dog-collar
saying farewell to saintly ablutions....

But, wherever he went he couldn't forget
he was holy and there to do good.
In the middle of sin, he'd get guilty and then
would stop and do what he should....

Yes - bad became good, and good became bad
and he just couldn't tell which was which.
He knew, from his stock, he was the son of a dog, 
but he was also the son of a.... beautiful female French Poodle called Genevieve.*

*EDITOR'S NOTE: This is very different indeed from the son of a gun, or the son of a pheasant.... 

Then, Toodles applied for a job as a spy
(a gig that few of the dogs would do);
you see, he'd lost all his friends but for a rat in Big Ben.
What else could this poor doggy do?

His code name was T, and he had the key
to a department labelled the B.I.X.P.**
His job was a dragnet***'catching beasts like a magnet -
For disguise he talked with a lisp... 

**B.I.X.P. stands for the Beasts Internal Xecret Police

***there are some confusions about the origin of this word: some claim that it was from a French expression for a small problem( drag = dragnet), but we contend this is highly unlikely - that word would read "dragette"  - others suggest it started with fishing - "drag-nets"  - which we will admit is a possibility. However our theory is that the original form of "dragnet" actually comes from the Cornish expression "dragon ate " - a state of being of a dragon (a dragon such as Boris, in fact) when, having eaten his main dish, would scour the land looking for a suitably tasty dessert, hence "dragnet " - the covering of a large area. (Editor adds: - "Aggie's pud" that famous Scottish dessert was actually known in former days as 'Draggie's pud', and probably was that very dessert which the dragon was so keen to find, which only reinforces our argument, but back now anyway to the story.)
Perfect for spy work he really did lurk
in shadows most of the time:
many traitors were caught because Toodles had sought
Proof of all of their crimes. 

Then Hannibal's rulings stopped all doggie-droolings
As only birds had rights to the air.
All beasts without wings should pay taxes, and things
Like dogs should pay more for their hair.* 

Toodles was furious, the law he thought spurious:
Feathers just made his mouth water.
He decided that prowl was way better than fowl
So prepared himself for the slaughter.

He used all his tricks he learnt in the B.I.X.P.
to make Hannibal get up and leave.
His plotting succeeded - the pheasant acceded.
to Toodles, Security Chief.

But, unknown to him , a bloodhound called Prim
had been watching Toodles's game -
Prim too was a spy but in the A.P.S.(I).**
Spy spying spy without shame.

*EDITOR'S NOTE: Hannibal also demanded in this new law that birds should have more room to fly around in.......this seemed a bit superfluous since none of the other animals had wings except insects. Apparently the problem was that for some like Hannibal who couldn't fly, it was particularly alarming to see creatures like frogs and kangroos jumping up into higher spaces.

**A.P.M.S.(I). stands for the Animal's Protectorate Service(Internal)

But despite playing bitch she liked this whole pitch
that birds were as equal as dogs,
So she kept checks on Toodles, the bizarre Great-Dane-Poodle
By stalking him wherever he was.

Prim decided to wait, as Toodles set bait
with his deputy, a spaniel called Ben.
She'd pretend to hunt Hannibal but still be spy-animal
Till they found the Pheasident's den.

					Part XI
			  The Chase of the Pack

Prim just kept following, fighting and swallowing 
any desire to publish the news.
She was at the back of the pack, with a sheepdog called Jack
and she watched as Toodles withdrew.

Toodles arrived more dead than alive
(His nose had been deep in the earth)
It was his B.I.X.P. training: "bone sub-terraining "
It seemed more than the effort was worth

Now guess in which cave lay the bone that he'd saved!
(If you can't you ain't reading too good).
But in case you're not wise, it's the same where those guys,
Boris and Hannibal stood.*

*EDITOR'S NOTE : Without such coincidences how could this story go on ?

The hound sniffed the floor near to the door
as his nose met a tasty delight.
The scent in the air was more fleshy than bare -
"PHEASAAAAANT!!!!!" he howled through the night.

The pack turned en masse, and charged through the grass
that grew long and thick in the glade,
while, inside the cave, Hannibal, once brave,
felt suddenly very afraid.
His feathers went rigid, he shrank to a midget:
he nervously pawed at the ground.
But Boris was up with a slorp and a slup
heading toward the dog sound...

Like slime from the grave, Boris stood at the cave
as the chins of the dogs hit the floor.
Then, after the shock, they all ran amok,
and soon were not seen any more .

				Becoming partners.

Hannibal chuckled (how long his luck hold?)
as Boris returned back inside
"Partner, that's grand", he said, extending his hand,"Now I'll help you find your hide. One thing I see - you're really like me, although bigger and not quite so cute. From now you're my man, and please call me Hann!"
then he pulled out a Moroccan cheroot.
"The first step to take is to get back to the lake
To see if my skin maybe's there..."
Boris felt better since scaring the setters
and spoke in a more dragon-like air.

The pheasant agreed but suggested they need
the cover of darkness to journey.
"We'll first get you dressed before doing the rest
about hiring ourselves an attorney."

"A lawyer's expensive!" - Boris was pensive. "And it's not that I'm after revenge; my utmost desire is to regain my fire that I had before they finished Stonehenge"*

"That's clear" said the pheasant, firmly but pleasant, "but we need to get compensation - Someone should pay for those dragonless days -it's certainly worth a flotation....The thing I don't get is your mouth went all wet when before it was so hot and so dry - this may not be pleasin', sabotage was a reason?"
Hannibal pondered on why.

*Boris, as we can deduce, was not born yesterday.

Boris never considered that maybe some wizard
Had turned him to a damp squib.
He imagined who might have directed such spite
as he scratched himself under a rib.
OW! OW! OW! there's that lack of skin again....
and the mosquito bite OW OW OW OW!!!
Someone had dared to extinguish his flare
but who could have done it so well?
Of none had he heard, man, beast or bird
who'd be able to get 'neath his lapel.'

Yet Hann had suggested that he'd been molested
and it certainly looked like he had!
"But nobody", thought he, "would ever cross me"
if they did, they'd have to be mad!"

As Boris lay thinking his mind started sinking
into slumber, peaceful and deep.
His new friend did too, and together, the two,
snored fluffy and slimy, a heap.

			  The Humming Bird Council

Far far away, where Great Dandelions sway
on an oak tree known as Big Leaf,
The Council of Hummers sat at the Meeting of Summer 
listening to Kolibri's grief.
Like most politicians, they had been wishin'
for a conference, easy and slick;
but since this young bird had uttered her words,
it was clear that it wouldn't be quick.

"I know it was wrong to kiss this King Kong"
but I did and its done," said Kolibri
"Can't you take a vote to help mend his coat?
He's losing much time, dont you see?"

With a  ruffle of feathers, (both uppers and nethers)
the chairman got hum-hopping mad....
"This is the Council, you had better sit down still since we have to discuss this charade. It is, by and large, me who's in charge but we do have our Hum-constitution. First there's the minutes, and all that's there in it before we can talk of solutions."

The members agreed; hummed, "Um-yes indeed"
(They'd been after all given powers: 
to preside and protect, to inspire and inspect 
humming birds, humming, and flowers).

The Chairman said "Fine - so we shall assign 
this problem to the agenda.
So to the first part, with it shall we start
planning next year's calendar.

Kolibri spoke up, now no longer a pup,
wisdom shone from her eyes. 
" If the court please, in emergencies 
the agenda can be revised."

Such was the shock 'mongst the Councillor flock
that the hum was reduced to struck dumb.
Feathers were ruffled, hum-murmers were muffled.
The tips of their beaks became numb.

"Clause twenty one, paragraph one was passed at the green-beast convention :"any animal who is put in a zoo," -
 Kolibri continued to mention, 
"who's caught in a trap, or even kidnapped, who is wounded, is injured or ill: then all must be done, to recover that one -  that is the animal will."

Now bright is the plumage of humming bird groomage,
as bright a display as the flowers;
But what Kolibri had showed made their colours erode
to the whiteness of organic flour.

Her mother was proud, she'd never endowed
her daughter with such intellect.
She shouted "Agreed !- to act is to lead ! 
Enough of this worldly neglect - there's a dragon out there, who's lost his top layer: We owe him a lot of respect. We made the wrong, but like all our songs aren't we creatures of beauty? Let's do our part to open our hearts: celebrate life ! - that's our duty."

The elders all nodded, but one, who had plodded
to her like he was a teacher.
"This Boris, the dragon, is not worth the Mag on
which he lately was featured" *

*EDITOR'S  NOTE : Boris the Dragon had, not too long before, been on the cover of TAME magazine, a zoo publication with a big subscription of poachers and royal families who love to shoot anything that moves.

But sense did prevail as all councillors hailed
that Kolibri's demands were quite fair.
The vote taken fast, the amendment soon passed,
that Boris's skin they'd repair.

A crack humming-squad was sent to the spot
where Kolibri had last seen the cloak.
With their long pointed beaks, they resewed all the leaks
and carried it back to the Oak.

While it was cleaned and carefully preened,
a councillor turned to Kolibri
"Why cant you be in love with, say, me?"**
but she just looked at him glibly-
(and said)

"Love knows no bounds, transcends pictures and sounds and always has something to teach us; Boris is special, he's the pick of the peschel, but I can find love for all creatures."

** What the councillor in fact said has been radically shortened for the verse. What he actually said was : "Now look here, you're a humming bird, and I'm a humming bird. Now it would be much easier if you forgot all this dragon stuff; I mean - can you imagine the confusion, if for example this dragon fell in love with you? - it would cause absolute chaos ! I mean, think about the children, they would be an evolutionary disaster, wouldnt they? They would either be enormous feathered Humming drags that sing songs all day long or minute scaley Dragumming-pyromaniacs. There'd be burnt flowers all over the place. We'd go out of business! Listen, I'm still single - lots of lovely little hummers tried to trap me you know, but, well, I'm a Rambo kind of a humming bird, I suppose..... how about me ? Between you and me my humming life has been pretty humdrum the last few years- why not marry me, and let's forget this Boris fellow. It would be better for everybody.." Kolibri's reaction to this was indeed very fair. Although humming birds are all beautiful to us, he was, for humming bird tastes, quite the ugliest and smelliest dirty old hummer anyone could imagine. We are unable to print what she hummed however - let's just say she was not hum-mused.

			  Other worlds

Right at that second, Kolibri had reckoned
Boris could be down, if not out,
but deep-down she was sure, that he would endure
'spite the skin he'd travelled without.
(After all he was a rough and tough macho dragon, and he had to be worthy of her love.)

He was in fact fine, afloat on cloud 9;
With Hann, his advisor, close-by.
In dreamland they'd stepped, as together they slept
and cuddled and snuggled and sighed.

Happy to feel a land far from real
a warmth spread over their being.
For the first in a while Boris saw himself smile
at the beautiful world he was seeing.

He stood on the edge of a mountainous ledge
as a volcano rumbled below.
It sizzled and spat out lava and that
was heaven for Boris, you know...

He fell to his knees, shouted 
"Volcano, please, let me nibble some of your goods!  One piece of coal in a hot toasted roll:  for this, I feel in the mood"

The mountain rose up and placed in a cup
all the fire that burnt there within
He took a quick drink, and his body turned pink,
as though he'd been filled with pink gin.

Hannibal gazed as Boris ablaze,
glowed from inside to out:
then in the heat, he was swept off his feet
and balloon-like floated about.

He drifted in clouds where angels in shrouds
fanned him with palm-leaves of fire.
Boris was King, again on the wing,
in possession of all he require.
Down from the sky Hannibal spied
two eagles hover, then swoop.
His goose pimples rose with the idea that those 
would soon make this pheasant their soup. 
But to his astonishment, there was no admonishment
from these birds who religiously prey;
In fact, they both bowed, said 
"Are we allowed to serve you, your highness, today?"

The pheasant first blushed and then hurriedly crushed
That he was in cold sweat  under the collar,
"Bring me my throne, a green telephone 
and above all make me much taller".
(and of course they obeyed his commands)

So Hannibal grew past Boris, who flew
(much to the latter's surprise).
The eagle's dream client had become a dream giant
from his beak right down to his thighs:

With his green telephone, Hann ordered some bones
which he munched as he sat in his chair.
All around and above, penguins and doves
sang praises to him in the air.
Both of the chums smiled "Yum Yum Yum
this is the life, yes indeed."
Wishes come true and limitless too
it seemed like 'twas all they would need.

					Part XV
			   Dream turns nasty

But dreams are not there for the fun of the fair
(there's always a reason that's deeper).
Even now, as they basked in the limelight they'd asked,
Came changes for both of the sleepers.

The world overturned, the beauty was churned
as both fell up to the ground.
With this upside down feeling the floor'd become ceiling:
what once was going up, was now down.!

The nightmare had burst and soon became worse
as they were hurled around in a spin.
Down through a tunnel, and out through a funnel
with slime and old rats and nose pickings, and in-grown toenails and arm-pit hairs and anti-dragon sprays and copies of the Sun newspaper and a Sumai wrestler's underpants and decarbonised chemical throw-away waste products and hamburger cartons and soldiers toys and lots of other things too terrible to mention.

Then it all stopped and Hannibal flopped
onto a marble stone floor:
around him the smell - a scent he knew well -
filled him so that he swore*

*EDITOR'S NOTE: Once again we are unable to print exactly what was said......

The incredible stench came from a trench
not far from where he did lie -
then Hannibal knew this was taboo -
T'was where bad birds go when they die  !

A clucking was heard making Hannibal stir,
as his stomach turned in disgust.
A wobbly voice with a gobbly noise
meant a turkey had started to fuss.

(Although he was champs for birdies and tramps
turkeys made Hannibal spit.
They get swollen and stuffed and later defluffed
then they get roasted on it.)*

* On the cooking spit, that is, but a different kind from Hannibal's globules.

The turkey began," Now listen here man: 
If you get to this place you're a goner. 
You were once the bird's friend, but lately you tend 
to laziness, crime and dishonour. 

If you dont get back upon the right track, 
it's to this place that you will be sent; 
and I'll be your boss, and you'll be so cross
since here all your death will be spent.

Your warning you've had, and this, I shall add 
I hope you follow the thread: 
help Boris fight fear of love getting near,
that's why to him you've been led!"

Hannibal stopped - the penny had dropped.
He realised what he had to do:
right then and there, the dream vanished in air
and he woke up sweating in dew.

               	Part XVI
			Dogs reorganise

In the shade of some logs, stood a limp group of dogs
whose fear had reduced them to jelly;
the fur on their backs erect like thumb tacks
their back ends incredibly smelly...

The head of the pack (a Doberman-Yak)*
turned to Toodles with ire in his eyes
"Was it you who said "pheasant"? - his voice sounded pleasant
but his teeth were bared to the skies.

*if you think a Great Dane mixed with a poodle sounds rough, wait till you see a Doberman-Yak mixture.... and he talks with a lisp!

"You nearly gave me and the west of all these doggies a weal heart condition...Can't you tell the diffewence between pheasant and gwifference???? And another thing - who gave you permission to go wunning off awound the countryside wummaging for old buwied bones wather than wemaining with the west - Who is the leader of the pack? - It is Doberman-Yak."

Toodles reared up on hind legs and cupped
the air with both of his paws.
This sign was so dreaded, it completely unsteadied
the others who began to withdraw,
for this was the sign that made all creatures whine -
the xecret police-dog salute!
Now the other dogs knew the French-Dane was one who
They had feared - the most cruel of recruits.

*EDITOR'S NOTE: a grifference is a word from a very special dialect of Yak-Dobermans meaning dragon; it comes from the Yak word griff  which means something like "Cor - aint it hot today,Yakkie?": (since it is usually  addressed to another Yak) -  a grifference  (or gwiffewence, in lisp Yak-Doberman) literally means " this is the hottest I've ever experienced, Yakkie" and therefore 'dragon'.

So you are the villain who's only too willin' to shadow his own own department! But that it's you in disguise is no great surprise as they warned me of a spy in our ranks. 
So now the work for the Russians? or the Germans, the French or the Yanks?

Toodles warned with a growl and  the talked with a scowl - 
"On each of you there's a file and enough for a trial, but that's classified only for me - I'm the best spy there's been:  got you all on my screen - your wives and your brothers, your lovers, their mothers; what time you were where; your fave underwear; your habits and haunts; your perversions and taunts; the food that you eat; the smell of your feet.  This I know too:  what tomorrow you'll do ! "

Toodles sat back on his haunches, the dogs shocked and woofaunchy*
not believing what they'd been told...

*Woofaunchy is a dog word for dumb and nervous literally meaning unable(aunchy) to bark(woof)
"For years I've been planning, the flames I've been fanning, for dogs to take back is the chance for Denmark and France, it's time for the dog coup d'etat - General Toodles, half great-Dane half poodle will be the new leader, n'est-ce pas?"

A big German shepherd, famed as high stepper,
said "I am dooink nuzzink fur France"
A bulldog agreed and a wolfhound just peed
on what he presumed were French plants.

"You'll toe the line,: if you don't you will find life will get nasty for you.. Il faut hurler 'vec les loups or you'll be the stew - it's eat or be eaten, that's true !"
T  kept on talking - he done all the stalking
He was counting on leading the swarm.
Would they bow to his wishes for this plan so pernicious?
(He assumed they all must conform).
"Now I smelt the pheasant and something unpleasant - I know that that's what it was: that thing that just scared us could've squashed and impaired us, but it didnt so something is wrong - did any of you smell who it was in fact, well? It was Boris the Dragon's strong pong! The state is in chaos, so they'll want now to pay us to keep the old status quo. Imagine our role if it was us in control, we could kiss our bad luck toodle-oo!" 

Toodles was screaming, his eyes staring gleaming
with power-hungry longings agog.
"Yes - come soon the day the order will say - Toodles for First Presidog.  So let's march to the cave - Hannibal's grave - 
and prepare for my coronation. I'll wear a military suit, smoke a cheroot, and set up a new regulations.  Cats will only be chased, dogs poop any place, we 'll hunt foxes, felines and frogs. With barks worse than our bite, we'll have complete doggy rights - so vote Toodles for your Presidog!

The dogs slowly came to thinking the same,
and doggy chops started to water (especially two French Canadian terriers, Norman and Breton)
all except Prim, the bloodhound, who, grim,
planned to avoid such a slaughter. 

				Part XVII
			Nightmares continued

Boris, still dreaming had arrived in dark steaming, 
quagmires of sticky manure.
Now up to his waist, he was trapped in this paste,
which he was finding hard to endure:

From under the mud, came some roars and some thuds
as chains were tied round his feet.
a rumble of thunder shook him asunder:
his heart missed two or three beats...

Out from the sands he first saw their hands
then the bodies he knew well and good.
Boris grew white (as indeed well he might)
as before him his parents both stood.

His Ma and his Pater saw him as a traitor
(remember he turned them to toast).
So they were both keen that he know how they'd been
since it wasn't much fun being a ghost.

His mother said,"Kid - you thought you were rid
of the dragons who both nurtured you!
Well, you get it straight, it's been a long wait
and we're just the first in the queue....!"
Swallowing hard Boris thought of the yard-long list of whom he had cheated: 
Gorillas and geese, 
a nephew and niece,
the Mum of actor Rod Steiger, 
Bengali tigers
Rudolph(a reindeer), 
Sir Bottomley Cranespeare, 
the king of the jungle, 
a policeman called Trungle
a vampire bat's Dad, 
most friends that he had,
Daffy the Duck,  
Midsummer's Puck,
toads and sea otters, 
all Beatrix Potter's (animals)
not to mention
Winnie the Pooh, 
The Marie Celeste's crew
Charles de Gaulle's double, 
wee Barney Rubble,
real marzipan, 
a strawberry flan,
a sabre toothed walrus, 
a couple of golfers,
a thoroughbred stallion, 
Hungarian galleons,
two dozen eggs from his Auntie Meg
(which could one day have been chickens)
a tortoise called Charles, 
a hedgehog from Arles,
a modern jazz purist
even a Venusian tourist, 
all of whom he'd depleted!

Then his old father (whom he would have rather not met here at all)
began a tirade 'bout this Renegade
who'd caused their dragon downfall.
The lecture was long, the invective was strong-
his son just a stick-in-the-mud.

As Boris listened, tears started to glisten
which soon turned the mud to a flood.
He wept and he wept but his parents just stepped
up the pressure that they'd put onto him.
They wanted to be a vision, that he,
could never let dim.
He tried hard to pray to wake up, away
from this land, so werd and so strange 
but they wouldn't release him 
from his trap in the grease-skim 
until he promised to change.

So he quickly agreed to be a new breed
of dragon, from that day on.
With that, in a flash, the illusion was smashed
and the nightmare he lived in was gone... 

New directions

Boris awoke - his body was soaked,
his eyesight both double and glazed .
To recover his bearings he just sat there staring
at Hannibal, who sat there amazed.

Together, they sat in animal chat
discussing each other's illusion.
"You ate bones while I flew? - but I saw that too!"
They awed at their dreaming collusion.

Hannibal, concluding, started alluding
that some alterations be made:
"It's clear from this dream or so it would seem
why I have been sent to your aid".

"To recover my skin," Boris snapped in
a very sensitive way
"More to it than that" Hannibal spat,
"I am the catcher and you are my stray!"

Boris just scoffed, he upp-ed and he off-ed
to the other end of the den.
Then like before he fell through the floor
down in the well once again.

Hannibal strolled to the edge, demanding the pledge
that Boris take note of his dream
"Till ill-will is chilled, swill still will fill spills !
So kill the drill..." as Boris broke into a scream.

The pheasant collapsed, both ears did he clasp
as the din filled up the whole grotto:
A sharp piercing shriek, it went on for a week
worse than a winner of numbers in lotto.

But a winner's scream's manic, this was more panic
with anger and sadness and pain.
It burst from the cave like a rough tidal wave
traversing every terrain.

Animals stopped: what they were doing was dropped
awed by the terrible sound.
all of them knew what it should mean, too -

Celebrating the noise, all humming birds (poised 
ready to transport the coat)
hummed a refrain from some-hum-one in Spain,
a humming-song, sung on one note.

This chorus grew louder, and Kolibri grew prouder
since more and more beasts joined the throng.
What began as a hum, was now excitement of drums,
filling the forest with song !

Part XIX
New skins for old

Some screaming days passed when Boris (at last)
rested to take in some air;
but, before he could breathe, he heard cross the heath
a different kind of an air.
Although sung on one note, (that's the way it was wrote)
there was magic there in the sound: 
mysteriously haunting, its melody flaunting
a series of spells all around.

Boris, transfixed by these musical tricks,
whimpered a smile, and relaxed.
There, soaked in mud, a musical flood
stopped him right there in his tracks.

Hannibal, too, (whose wings had gone blue
after a week of holding his ears)
felt the power of the song and before very long
was in love with what he did hear.

He glanced down the well, thought, "this music is swell!" 
and waved at Boris beneath.
Mesmerised so, from the cave did he go
and wandered out to the heath.

Outside in the bush, the animals pushed
to lead the procession of song.
A hypnotic effect for birds and insects -
almost everyone had followed along.... 

In fact, never before had there been such a score
of beasts together to hark 
Well, not since the flood-days, when Noah and buddies
fashioned and sailed on the ark* 
The parade was still growing, even cattle were lowing
at such animal friendship unseen.
All were agreed that they were in need 
of having Boris back on the scene.

*EDITOR'S NOTE : this is from some other story in some other book.

Even baboons and squirrels, the skunk and flamirrals*
who had cheered the dragon's demise,
were seen to be there, taking great care
to be noticed as Boris' allies.

Flying high 'bove the mob, like corn on a cob,
flew humming birds - a million or more -
transporting the skin, with one million grins (or more)
to the dragon, the fire and his roar'.*

Kolibri sat perched on the top and searched
the victim of her sweet kiss
Her little heart thudded, as her mind became flooded 
as she realised what she had missed.

She had never considered, that this flyable lizard
might not be too happy to find 
who had caused all this pain for this week in the rain.
Panic filled up her mind.
Well think about it - it was pretty obvious to everybody else that Boris wasn't exactly going to greet her with open arms and cover her in kisses and give her free tickets to a Taylor Swift concert - there was probably be at least a 75% chance of him being completely out of his mind, with his nose to the grind, his face gnarled and lined, sores on his behind; his reputation maligned - it's clear he wouldn't be kind..!

With this thought in her head she was filled with such dread,
she dropped both her claws from his skin.
Her eyes welled with tears, as she flew from the cheers
of the parade now getting near him.

Part XX

Down in the well stood the dragon - well,
more like a soppy young pup -
(you see) Boris had screamed out his anger and steam.
Now, he smiled like a fresh buttercup.

He slid up the well without a snarl or a yell,
inhaling the air full of sound
of the joyous parade - it was his serenade!
Boris kissed the ground all around.
(he would have burnt it to a tinder in more normal times).

Outside, from all regions, stood many a legion
of creatures of every size:
wondering and wandering, pandering and pondering  
whether Boris would answer their cries.

Then Boris emerged like a nightmarish scourge -
(he was skinless, smelly and pale)
The animals gasped and in terror they clasped
one another by paw and by tail.

They'd come with an offering to ward off his suffering
but the dragon looked worse than before -
George Romero* himself would've hid under a shelf
if he'd seen the sight at the door. 

But Boris was tranquil, his eyes almost thankful,
it seemed like he'd been released.
His voice was cub-tender, as this he did render.
"Why has the singing now ceased?"

*EDITOR'S NOTE: George - if you want to do the film Boris the Dragon, we can talk about it...

The animal throng breathed a sigh and the song
once more burst 'cross the land.
Boris elated, danced, animated,
(a dance only he'd understand)*

*Editor's note - The dance was a special dance created by drragons for bringing rain. A very important device if a dragon ever became oerheated or if his fire-machine became out of control.A form of autoactivation fire safety valve. This was probably an inspiration for the dance the dragonela that mysterious ritual from the Sahara where dragons would try our their firecapbalities. Nomads woulkd throw matches at the practising dragons and the water balloons on every 3rd spring equinox.(3 euinoxes = i dragon year) 

Boris's dance was becoming a trance
when suddenly he saw his position
never before had he danced on a floor
for the public -  like an audition...

First he went coy, then like a wee boy
he blushed from ass up to earhole
The animal mob stood and stared at this blob
who once was Boris the fearful.

Then down from the sky. like a huge butterfly
came humming birds - a million or more -
Carrying the coat and still singing the note
That had mesmerised Boris before.

There were tears on his cheeks as the skin hugged his physique
He suddenly felt normal again!
birds darted ahead with needles and thread
And he watched as they patched up the ends.

Tumultous applause by the stamping of paws
greeted Boris as he stepped back anew.
Whispering thanks to the humming bird ranks
He turned to the full retinue.

"For years now, I know, I've been that so-and-so: a hell's angel with wings all warlike : but everything's changed, and though it seem strange - it's now time to get on my bike!"

There was rapturous clapping, wings were heard flapping,
plumage was flicked in the air.
Hyenas all laughed, and a lady giraffe
bent over to kiss a brown bear........
(who got a real shock!)

His body complete, Boris took to his feet
for a message of dragonly peace:
"This last week or so, I've felt love in me grow
which now thanks to you is released.
Overheating in me, meant aggression, you see..
Maybe I've stopped being a beast!" 

Then came a snarling that stopped him from parleying:
a dog pack with fangs all made bare.
"OK! enough- we've come for the fluff!"
said Toodles, pointing to where
at the mouth of the cave, sat a pheasant enslaved
by the delicate charms of the tune.
Hannibal's face was one of sweetness and grace -
his body flopped out in a swoon.

In a quick angry turn, Boris felt himself burn
as he noticed his friend was the target.
"I frightened you once, you despicable runt
I can do it again and you mark it!"

The crowd became awkward as 'T' swaggered forward 
(he had the 'law' on his side)
"I'm a ranking official of matters judicial - and this guy has got to be tried, for treason, disorder and crossing the border when he should have been back at his job - of course anyone here who might interfere would be traitor, saboteur, and slob!"

In the crowd were heard grumbles and also some mumbles
that Toodles was spoiling their fun.
He'd stopped first the singing and now insults was bringing 
which really was way overdone!

'T' then made his sign to keep them in line
and the reaction was shock and much fear.
Sure, all of them knew 'bout what xecret police do
but not one of them here

had ever known one who'd admitted his run
of operations under-the-cover.
They'd always stayed low, with name double OO-
In the background is where they would hover.... 

"So if there's no more from you", T started anew
to Boris who stood there now speechless,
"we'll take him away for a trial straightaway -
I warn you - don't try to breach us!"
At last seeing her chance, Prim stepped to advance,
a bloodhound upright and so steady -
"You should shut your trap, and just cut the crap -
you've talked enough nonsense already"

A day for suprises, everyone's eyeses - yes -
everyone's opened so wide.
Toodles's did too, but then wouldnt you
if you'd had the cops on your side?

"Tell me now bloodhound, or should I day dud-hound? Are you out of your mind?? I have all the right to whip you tonight. Tie up the pheasant in twine. Now dogs rally round or you'll be sent to the pound. It's time for justice for all. It's Hannibal's time to serve for his crime. How the greatest can fall!: a leader elect, who leaves or defects", Toodles yapped to the dogs,"will boil in a pot with dog food (a lot!) then after being sweetened, he'll be deliciously eaten by crocodiles, swordfish and hogs."

Prim disapproved
" Dogs don't you dare move - The pheasant cannot be touched - if he's under arrest then the trial is what's next  and I know since I am a judge . This dog has a plot to steal Hannibal's spot - it's clear his intentions are rotten. Toodles craves fame and will hunt lots of game as a dictator quite misbegotten. 

Before Toodles' protest, Prim said the rest,
"This I've got to admit. I am also a spy but for the A.P.S.(I) but soon it's time that I quit....for years I've been tracking how the B.I.X.P. does hacking, so it's time the people for once knew. Their record is bad, corrupt and I'm glad that now I can announce this to you. I was assigned to track Toodles whose version of Poodle is a dangerous, bloodthirsty dog. Whatever his reasons - he's guilty of treason for he forced the pheasant to sprogg*

*EDITOR'S NOTE: 'Sprogg' is an legal term in the animal courts meaning 'defection'.  However almost nobody present had ever heard of it, apart from a couple of penguin attorneys who deal with glacier robberies, so there was a lot of question-murmering in the crowd, followed by translations into the various dialects.

Celebrations ensued, the singing renewed.
Toodles was taken away by the dogs he had threatened, both Norman and Breton, to kennels where crimanimals stay.

Boris spoke
"Dearest of Fans, they've dropped all their plans to send this pheasant to jail. Let's reinstall him as Chief, return him his brief and salute him! Hannibal hail!!!

The singing grew louder, and so did the shouts for
the pheasant, his name in the clear.
Boris's partner took this as a heartener
As he stifled the start of a tear.
Since there on the ground, he'd heard the bloodhound, 
telling of Toodles's scheme.
Now, once again, he was proud just like when
he was voted to captain the team...

He stiffened and rose to a political pose
and waved like a king to the mob.
The animals bayed, they neighed and they brayed -
they all wanted him back on the job.

"Thank you supporters, but I've got to report t'ya about my time I had with this beast: he always was braggin' 'bout burning up wagons from the West to the North and the East.  But in the short time I've known 'im he's changed and we've shown 'im the other side of the coin. What I suggest and this is far from a jest, theat my Cabinet maybe he'd join.

*EDITOR'S NOTE:  Boris of course was lying here since he had never voted in his life since he regarded himself above any kind of politics (or above anything at all for that matter) 

Boris broke down, he sobbed like a clown who's been told he's the best of them all : I feel really touched, but I can't do as such till there's a vote by animals all....and one other thing, can somebody bring proof or some other detail, as to what kind of vampire turned me to damp-fire and made me feel like a snail. Please do ounderstand it's not revenge I got planned. I just want to say how-d'ya-do. What this person's done did not give me fun, but it gave me a new point of view".

Disbelief filled the crowd that these words were now vowed
by none other than Boris the dragon,
who some days before would have scorched the whole horde, 
then got drunk on wine by the flagon.

A humming bird cousin of Kolibri came buzzin'
quite close up to Boris's ear.

"The problem is this - your fire went with a kiss - from someone who loves you so deep. She gave you a tweek with her lips on the cheek deftly while you were asleep.  

So love was the answer! Some dragon romancer
 was to blame for this terrible curse.
Boris the fighter, the champion igniter
had discovered love and how much it hurts.

Boris demanded, the bird he remanded
"So where is this admirer of mine? She must have been tough, at least big enough, for a dragon to be in decline!"

The bird hesitated, since Kolibri had stated
that never should it be known 
that she'd been the villain, who had caused all this ill an' 
besides he didn't like Boris's tone.

Hannibal broke in with a Pheasident's grin
"You want spend time in a jail?
You'd better start tellin, or you'll end up in Shellin!"*
The bird went decidedly pale.

*EDITOR'S NOTE: Shellin is where all dragon's victims were held before they were ready to eat them. This word came from the dragon's favourite method of eating their victims which they would wrap up in large shells, put them in dragonwrap packets, before taking them on longish journeys. If they got hungry they would then take out a packet and pop in a few, breakin, the shells before. Hence, Shellin.......

"She left widdlidiz - I have no idea where she now is"* 
Her cousin stuttered out loud;
"Worst thing about it, no one can doubt it
I've gone against that which I vowed"

*EDITOR'S NOTE: Widdlidiz  is a little understood humming bird expression. It means without even time to go to the bathroom(Widdli) and so fast that one loses one's consciousness(diz)

"Never mind that", the pheasident spat,
"First let's get down to the jazz -  who is this creature and how do we reach her and what is the name that she has?"
"All I can say", said the hummer,"today she massed this parade. Thanks to her doing Boris's coat is worth viewing and Hannibal's back from the shade....she started the song that was sung by the throng, it is her you should ask to be politically active - it's not unattractive - she'd work hard if she took on the task.

Both dragon and pheasant, and those omnipresent
liked this description a lot.
A beautiful dame who had stolen a flame
She surely must be a hot-shot!

Part XXI
Nowhere to run

Boris flew with a sweep to the blue
and peered as to where she might be -
With his infra-drag vision and soop-drag-transmission
it wouldn't be long till he'd see. 
(It also wouldn't be hard since here in the yard
was every animal in five hundred miles.)
He shouted below,
" It's my job, I know, to search in the isles, in the forests and rivers, where others may shiver, where no beast can live. So I'm off and away to convince her to stay - to announce that Boris forgives."    

As Boris flew off Hannibal coughed
and shook his head at what he had said.

"Bad poetry is too much for me! What a load of pretentious old bull! Romance can be fine, but with these kinds of lines, Boris should go back to school. Unless he gets better both in verse and in letter, then this story's success could be bleak. He's already lost fire, and it could well transpire that he'll also lose permission to speak. So just for the readers, and animal breeders, who are wincing with what Boris just said, I now proclaim those, who are present, speak prose, for at least a few minutes, instead."

On the leaf of a spruce, lay Kolibri reduced
to a feathery down of sweet sleep.
Her humming bird snore, two hums and then four,
had made sure she was deep in bo-peep.

Her journey'd been hard, the trip had been marred
by a storm and also the fact
that she wanted so much to see Boris in touch
with the coat that he'd so sorely lacked.

But then she'd got tired and with fear she'd perspired
when she thought of Boris's wrath. 
Since her wingpits smelled sour, she found rain in a flower
and soaked in a leafy bird-bath.   

Having powdered her beak and taken a leak*, 
she snuggled back on her bed;
the branches were pleasing, its effect one of easing
her aching body and head....

*EDITOR'S NOTE: Humming birds enjoy sleeping with vegetables, something like the way young humans have the need to sleep with teddy bears......however the spelling is wrong and the writer refused to change it. Can't work out why...

She lay there and hummed a tune that her Mum
had sung to her when only a humling.
Already quite pooped, her eyelids half-drooped
She soon to sleep was a-tumbling

High in the firmament, like some hungry germ 'e went, 
Boris, scouring the land.
Using drago-radar, and to not stray too far,
he double-checked water and strand:

Then pausing for shellin*, he noticed, near melons,                                                                                                                                                                                
animal life in a tree
His computer scanned 'spruce', and so he deduced   
that this was his dear devotee.

*EDITOR'S NOTE: 'Shellin' - of course after all these terribly trying days Boris didn't have any shellin on him, since the humming birds had forgotten to put them in his pocket after they fixed his coat. The fact that Boris stopped to do some shellin only goes to show how much of a habit this was for Boris. 

The dragon descended and instantly blended 
with the foliage there of the wood.
His large green mass touched down in large mean grass 
which close by the spruce-tree there stood.

But despite the high-tech Boris could see not a spec
or being in this assemble.
Only then did he think he hadn't an inkling
of what his fan might resemble!

He'd flown off so quick without info or pics
that he was clueless about what to do next.....

(So at this point by the way was the writer, who left here for  a glass of Dragons Blood wine, hoping it might give him inspiration......)

.....but then a hum snore, two hums and then four,
made all of his ear muscles flex:  

He noted the sound was well above ground
And he elevated up for a peep
There on a leaf to his disbelief
was Kolibri, his fan, fast asleep

Boris considered was this the great wizard
who had given him all of this agro?
She was charming, demeure, soft and so pure
or was she a thug from Chicagro?*

*EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris was constantly reading gangster stories about Drag Schultz, Al Dragone, and movies like Dragablanca, Drag Tracey, The Undraggables and Dragface. His favourite movie actor  was James Dragney. (He also obviously liked movies such as  Enter the Dragon, Return of the Dragon, Year of the Dragon, but  he was never so keen on stories about St George, in fact it was a dangerous thing to mention in his company)

He gaped at the bird as his mind became blurred
with the shock of what he did see.
He swivelled round dizzy - his mind in a tizzy
And fainted back off the tree.
Boris fell like a stone and helplessly moaned 
which echoed all through the wood
His body crashed down on the dark forest's ground
of bracken and brittle deadwood.

Kolibri sat up her eyes a scared pup's -
was that a scream and a crash?
She peeked over the edge and there under a hedge
lay a dragon all crumpled and bashed and battered and completely unconscious, and encircled by fizzy stars and other little birds - even littler than her!- and who didn't seem too well by the looks of it. 
"Oh! My poor Boris! - here in the forest!"
Kolibri jumped out of her bed,
slipped off her pyjhummers, (unusual for summer) 
brushed some feathers on the side of her head....

History repeats

She flew to his side, and with care she tried
to remember the first aid she'd learned.
She'd once been a nurse, but this was much worse 
than anything that she'd seen when interned!

She was used to treat pimples and inverted dimples
(things humming birds get all the time)
But this dragon was jumbo, ears bigger than Dumbo
and a nose like Everest to climb!

Then she suddenly thought that this juggernaut'd 
been sleeping the last time they'd met.
"I kissed him that once", she thought humming some grunts
"would another kiss cause such regrets?"

With Boris out cold, there'd be no one to scold
if she were to steal a caress,
so she flew to his cheek and puckered her beak
and pecked him once more with finesse.

The result was astounding, there were flashes and pounding...
the very earth started to tremor!
Laughter and gasps, and some really rude rasps
as if someone was trying to condemn 'er.

Kolibri shivered: her body hum-quivered
as she crept into Boris's ear.
Typhoons and squalls, blizzards, rainfall -
confused the whole atmosphere.
Then from the storm, came a bolt that deformed
the landscape in the area around:
A column of fire that stretched like a spire
From the sky back down to the ground.

But the flames didnt burn the trees or the ferns,
nor was it incredibly hot.
Kolibri watched but didn't dare touch
this smouldering forget-me-not.

Then from the top, slipping non-stop 
down the length of the pillar, 
came a figure of sorts, in helmet and shorts,
like some kind of merry-go-thriller.

He arrived at the base of this unusual fireplace
muttered, Two times in less than a week! -  how can this Boris - worse than Gromit and Wallace - be thought as someone unique....?"

A strange little guy, (about human knee high)
his skin was puce-molten-red.
He studied the dragon, and balanced a fag on 
his lip, which he'd lit before with his head.

Kolibri flew out and started to spout 
questions to this new arrival.
"Who the hum are you? Just what do you intend to do?
Are you something to do with survival?"

This guy amused that a hummer should choose
to talk this moment to him, said
"It's me that get's hired to fix up the fire
when dragons are in love or are dead."

"But Boris is well, he only just fell!"
Kolibri begged in a shriek.
"No, I know he ain't dead", the wee fireman said,
but he's been kissed two times in a week!"
He started to walk round the dragon and chalked
 a red line where Boris did lay
"So what if he has?" Kolibri asked  
as though as normal as day.

"WHAT IF HE HAS? - WHAT IF HE HAS?"" the fireman stopped on the spot. "He was given the job to be dragon, and not to tag on to some plaything he's found. In the place where I trade, laws are obeyed, because there's got to be order around. This Boris two times has been kissed: that's a crime that is highly adverse. After kiss number 1, his fire was undone, but for a second the punishment's worse. I've come down again at incredible expense - it's not cheap for my service, hey dude! - Boris will be taken away, sometime later today, and it could be he'll end up as food.........except it's a friday, and knowing how lazy those dismantlers can be, it might well be impossible to get someone from that department now, so it may not be till Monday, but wait a minute this is all confidential information, are you a relative or what...?" 

Kolibri was horrified, she stared at him forry-eyed*
"You want to take Boris away? But this you can't do, and I'll say now to you, exactly why Boris should stay....y'see I kissed the dragon, but he didn't just tag on, which means he's as pure as the day he was born - so for your diagnosis about his neurosis, I have nothing but scorn. What is more, little man, do you understand exactly just where you are?" 

The man stopped and thought,"section one, seven, naught", 
and posed "And what is your drift?"

"Well if you ain't seen 'em yet, there's some people who'd get into a bit of a rift... if you took away Boris from the heart of this forest", 
Kolibri started anew, "I suggest, turn now your head and see here instead not a forest but page seventy two, look a little farther, and maybe you'll gather someone's watching all that you do."
The fireman peered round, at the world that he'd found, 
the forest, the paper, the book.
Then, even more scared, his eyes stopped and stared
at you, the reader! - he shook.

"In case you don't know, this book's about Boris so...
it's better he's here at the finish"
Kolibri polished her claws, cocky because
the fireman was clearly diminished.

He went bright scarlet red, steam shot from his head
as if he would blow his whole cool.
His tin helmet melted, and soon became smelted
to his skin there in a pool 
of liquified mass around which a gas was turning him into a bomb;
but before he went bang, to the reader he said,
" Dang !  You're just an old peeping Tom"

Then did explode as Kolibri tip-toed 
her precarious way to escape.
Hot bubbly lava like volcanoes in Java
gushhed cross the windy seascape.

His hot steaming helmet was incredibly well-met
by landing on Boris's foot.
As it lay there and burned, Boris slowly returned 
 as the heat seered right through his boot. 

Clutching his toes Boris tried to impose 
something cold down on to his wound.
As he jumped round and round, blowing air seemed profound, 
So he opened his mouth and ballooned.

But imagine his greth!* - instead of his breath
came a torrent of fire raging hot!
His feet and his arms were all fire alarm
since he'd scorched the whole lot in one shot.  

Despite the fact he'd been cooked in his tracks,
Boris was incredibly cheerful:
he'd regained his old power right here in the bower
and had even begun to feel fearful.
Only then did he think - 'didn't I sink
 down through the trees sometime ago?
Some kind of wudd* in a nest? No! - that was a bud.
but how come my fire's back on show?' 
The more Boris moved the more he improved
Trying to remember his story
He'd hurt many muscles, bones and corpuscles   
Like he'd fallen quite a few storeys.

It was then that he saw on his other paw 
with a smile as wide as the moon
That same little bird! -  his eyes became blurred:
as Boris settled back in a swoon.

Kolibri, began, "ahem" and then off-hand 
told her side of the story:
Boris sat spellbound - and again almost fell down
as she spoke of her love and its glory .
She told the whole tale, in humming detail
with hum-tears wet on her beak
" you went through all this, because of my kiss: Never again will I peck on the cheek, especially if they are asleep, and double especially if it's a dragon, and double double especially if it's a dragon called Boris, and not even if it's my Auntie Mirabelle who loves to be pecked on the cheek, especially when she's asleep: never, never, not anyone....."

Boris leant forward to pick up the morrwudd*, 
balanced her there on a blister,
" What you've done for me is you've made me see that I was one mister misled - I've never known how love could be shown till your kiss took the fire from my throat. So now I have met my match, game and set, so to you my life I'll devote. Since you are my teacher, I'll be the creature who'll serve you from this day on- I'll carry your torch, and light up your porch but no more be a nasty dragón."
Kolibri just gawked, then she laughed, then she squawked
"You be a servant for me? you're delirious - you're not really serious? Have you gone right off your tree? I'm really too small for any servant at all and how on earth could I pay? You'd need a huge shelter and board, and food for a horde that would last us murrwudds allhummay!* Besides you are my Boris, even greater than Horace, the God-idol of all humming birds - you just cannot be knave you cannot be slave: your way to behave is to crave to be brave : you as a servant? - absurd!"

Boris let out a chuckle, and cracked his front knuckles
"It's true of course - you quite right: so as a sequel, let's both be quite equal. Will you marry here, now, tonight?"

 murrwudds allhummay!* humming bird talk for ever and ever

						Part XXIII
			       All's well that ends, well?

All of a sudden came hoots and hoof-thuddin'
from the bushes there all around 'em.
Then wild applause from all kinds of paws - 
Hann and his friends had now found 'em.

Hannibal walked out as proud as a lout
whose team has just won the cup.
"Well, well, well, a wedding as well!
Things are indeed looking up!"

Boris just blushed, as Hannibal rushed 
to congratulate his partner and friend.
Humming birds too, (about a million or two)
hummed in on the happiest of ends.  

In the confusion, Boris lost his views on
which bird was his lady love.
They all looked the same, even guys and the dames,
to a dragon looking down from above.

Hannibal clucked, 
"Boris, you're in luck and what's more I do like your taste! Birds of a feather, they do stick together with the one with whom they've been graced."

Boris still peered iat the swarm - his endeared
was there but where flapping around?
There 'bout his feet were gold parakeets,
kittiwakes, terns, a woodpecker called Verne, 
warblers and widgeons, 
scavenger pigeons, 
spoon-bills and puffins (real rag-a-muffins)
 and that wasn't all! -
heifers and goslings, a panda called Nuz Ling, mandrills and rats, gazelles and their gnats, rhinos and tuskers, chimpanzee buskers,  cicadas and stoats, a horse munching oats, salamanders and moles, jaguars and foals and and a school of dolphins all equipped with aquagen and oxylung tanks, and hundreds of other beasts dancing there on the ground.

At last in his ear, came the hum he knew dear
as Kolibri sat on his shoulder.
He shouted out,
"Quiet - enough of this riot!"
and a hush fell on all the beholders.

Kolibri spoke loud, in her heart she was proud
(two proposals in less than a day!).

"I hate to disparage, but it takes two for a marriage, and I haven't said no or OK. Boris I love, but I also love doves and hippos and eagles and fleas.  My tender kiss on his cheek, made him freak for a week, then he's down on his knees to ask me to marry. But how could I carry being married to a dragon? My job's to hum and collect nectar and rum -  and pick herbs like wild estragon. The answer's 'no', my  dear Boris - I'm honestly sorry, but I will be your best ever chum. You've got back your fire, you're ratings are higher, it's a hero you have become!"

So sincere was her speech that of the animals each
was incredibly touched with its truth. 
Murmurs of 'True', and 'Good on you, Blue"
could be heard both from old and from youth.

Then Boris arose, and stuck out his nose
and blew a great torrent of flame
"We may not get wed, but we'll be best friends instead!"
and he pressed his lips on her frame.

Hannibal came forward, to the dragon and morrwudd,
to take both of them under his wing.
Kolibri got under but not Boris (no wonder)
so Hann gave it up, saying,

"Just from one kiss, so much went amiss, but also much became right. Let's remember this lesson - let's stop all that messin' like huntin', or baitin' or fights. There won't be no need for unfriendly deeds, as each one will get what he wants, as long as it's shared so others get theirs, and no one makes taunts to their braunts*.  As long as I'm pheasident, all of the residents will have food and somewhere to stay, we'll keep clean the land, the seas and the sand, and provide space for our young ones to play..."
Kolibri hummed at Hannibal's wisdom
and Boris spat fire up above. Hannibal said
"It's just common sense." to his rapt audience, 
as he made eyes at a dove.
"I have to say more - it's quite clear for these are two beings unique : both have shown strength, and patience at length, and both have different techniques. If they would agree to work as advisors to me, how would you - the voters - react?"

 A chorus of, "Yeah !", filled up the sdrè*:
it was clear that the motion was backed...

*EDITOR'S NOTE: Sdrè is a dragon word which is the abbreviated form for Esdrècombustalovit, which literally means 'the place where everthing can be burnt', or more commonly, 'the place'

Boris said, 
"I'd be honoured to serve, but I just don't deserve it unless my best friend does too. So little murrwudd  again I'll be forward and ask something of you. Please say you will."
Kolibri was still, then she let out a humming bird nod,
"I'd be thrilled to assist anyone that I kissed, 
no matter how tricky the odds."

The celebrations that night lasted till light
and featured many great turns: 
Hann read 'Cartridges - dont put them in Partridges' 
his favourite verse of concern,
Kolibri hummed an air, sung by Hummy and Cher,
dancing bears jumped to the twist;
a baby racoon and a giant baboon
did a pantomine 'bout Boris being kissed.
Prim told some tales about animal jails,
the Yak-dog stood on his head,
Kolibri's Mum, she autographed plums,
Maxie (the hedgehog) juggled some bread.
At the grand finale Boris flew to the valley
Did the best fire show ever seen.
He burned and he laughed: there was love in his craft
he was the happiest he'd ever been...

So that is how Boris the dragon gained solace
after such a simple embrace .
Once nasty and wrong, he'd become humble and strong.
He'd finally found his fireplace.


Many years on, a romantic dragon
was passing through the old woods.
He happened to stumble just where a bumble
was snoring and sleeping real good.,
but then realised, as he focussed his eyes,
 that it wasn't a bee line at all.
It was Kolibri off duty, and she still looked a cutie, 
"a murrwudd!", he whispered, "how small!"
He fell so in love, and picked a foxglove, 
which he tucked there under her wing, 
Then he placed his hot lips on her humming beak tip,
to celebrate the beauty of spring.

Kolibri awoke to find a token 
of love on her wing,
but when she would savour the nectar's sweet flavour
she was unable to hum-sing 
because every time she'd exhale, she'd blow a huge trail 
of flames dragoniènne!

She flew straight to Boris, as there in the forest
something strange was happening again!

The End: or is it...?