A Feast Fit For a King by Ismah Ahmad

How juicy, how sweet, this tender morsel that I eat.

How filling, how chewy, each bite of this fatty meat.

How it screamed,

How it begged.

But here I am, enjoying this meaty leg,

and sipping on the finest wines, and snacking on goose eggs.

They said that I was mad, that I had gone insane.

But I assured them that it would feel no pain.

So, I drained its blood, that crimson ink.

Alas the time had come for me to think.

What to do with such a rare delicacy?

Why, such a cut would be sure to cause jealousy.

Then after a while a thought hit my head.

‘To accompany my meat with only the finest bread!

To press it with herbs of all different kinds,

add to season it with a glaze of citrus rinds.’

It baked, it boiled in the juices of its fat.

All the while I enjoyed the smell as I sat.

My taste buds watered, oh how they danced,

to see the crispy skin each time I glanced.

At last it was done, so I set it to cool.

Twas a fine thing, the dinner table’s jewel.

Then I ate and drank, then ate some more.

Till there was a knock which came from the door.

In came a lady of beautiful face,

followed by a mob from the peasant race.

‘You monster. You vile, hideous thing!

You’ve eaten my baby; I shall tell the king!’

I wiped my face and cleaned my hand,

They all watched as I moved to stand.

‘Dear woman, do you not recognise my face?

I am the king. Why, I am the one who owns this place.’

She cried, she screamed and I watched her tears.

Then finally I understood her fears.

For, I had eaten, and she had not.

And after all I had feasted on her tot.

Then I replied with kindness at heart

and holding up the last, meaty part:

‘Dear lady, do not fret,

for you can eat some too, my pet.’

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