The Rest of The Story
‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
It was brillig as it always is when Jaba, the big white sun, is overhead and Simi, the small red one, has set. And the slity toves responded as they always do when this happens by gyre and gimbling so there’s no need to point that out. No news there. So why report it? But that’s humans for you. Always pointing out the obvious. I guess I should cut Lewis Carroll some slack though; after all he had just arrived here and so everything seemed new to him, even though the human hive has been here for over six hundred circuits of Jaba.
Anyway, on that day I was not all that alert, having just absorbed a large borogove and feeling sleepy. Of course the rest of the borogoves were mimsy. They always get like that after one of their gaggle is taken by either me or a Bandersnatch. Now that Carroll got right. I mean about the Bandersnatchs. From the humans’ viewpoint, they are definitely to be avoided since they are even more manxome then me, and when they get frumious even I shun them. All brawn and no brains and no self-control. But a lot of brawn! And the Jubjub birds? Just your standard microraptor with 30 foot wingspans.
So there I was, burbling from my meal, minding my own business and looking for a place to rest and digest in the tulgey wood, when that young snot of a human leaped out from where he’d been hiding behind a Tumtum tree, brandishing his gleaming vorpal sword. Like I said, I was not on my guard and before I could either attack him or defend my self, he snickered me across one claw with that damn vorpal blade. It was just a flesh wound but still it hurt.
I jumped high and back out of range and whiffled quickly away into the wood, faster than he could run. And that was all that happened! He did not cut off my head like Carroll reported. After all, how could I be telling you this if I’d lost my head? Fake news and exaggeration! That’s humans for you, always pumping things up if not out right making things up to make themselves look good. Maybe Carroll ate some of the magic mushroom that his friend Alice found down in that rabbit hole before he wrote this.
But the fake story of my death was highly embarrassing to me. Even the slithy toves were giving me a hard time about it. Cackling and crowing from high in the Tumtum trees, but carefully staying out of my reach, “Hey Jabberwock. Keep your head screwed on tighter the next time you see that kid. You’re getting too old and slow, Jabberwock, even one of the human kids took you.”
“Come down a little lower and say that,” I snarled but they just went up a little higher in the trees, cackling in their annoying way. “That’s right, go up higher so a Jubjub bird can get you,” I said, and that quieted them.
One of the Bandersnatchs saw me as my claw was healing, and it just shook its head in a pitying way. It’s really the pits when you get pitied by a Bandersnatch.
So I had to do something to get my self-respect back. Not to speak of regaining the respect and fear of the others instead of being a joke. But how? That vorpal sword gleams like it’s made from the light of Jaba and it is sharp!
I figured that the human brat would be coming out after me again since he got so much attention when he winged me the first time we met. He was a hero to the hive, and all because that Carroll made up such a fantastic story. Losing my head—Gad!!
I planned to lure him deeper into the tulgey wood than he was used to going. The humans mostly stick to the edges of the wood and really don’t like the dark, deep woods back where the mome raths grow unless they go in a mob. The mome raths outgrabe in the bright light of Jaba but when Simi rises and shines its red light on us, their limbs begin to move. I figured that their slow constant movement would be distracting to that would-be Jabberwock killer and also I see better in the red light. So I planned my route ahead of time to lure him from the edge of the woods near the human hive, among the Tumtum trees, circling back into the deep woods, curving so he wouldn’t notice he was getting in deeper and deeper. And my flaming eyes would be the beacon that he would see and follow eagerly. (Of course my eyes aren’t really on fire; they just glow brightly with bioluminescence. (I like that word—bioluminescence—six syllables, you know.)
And then I waited. And waited. On the days he came out hunting when Jaba was in the sky, I just quietly whiffled back into the woods and he never saw me since I kept my flaming eyes half lidded. Finally the day came when Simi was high in the sky and he came out of the hive with his vorpal sword to look for me. From the shadows of the Tumtum trees, I winked my flaming eyes at him and then whiffled back along the route I had planned, and sure enough he took off after me. It was easy to stay just far enough ahead so that he would follow me and yet not catch up.
Deeper and deeper into the woods. He was so intent on catching up to me he never noticed how far he had come until he was startled to see the moving, clutching limbs of the mome raths all around him. He stopped, unsure about continuing, but I burble to lure him on and he came on after me. Right into the thickest part of the wood where the mome raths crowd right up to the path. I hooded my eyes and he stopped, looking for the glow of my eyes. The mome raths’ limbs clutched at him; distracted, he tried to knock them away with his vorpal sword, and that’s when I sprocked him. It was over in a flash. Who needs a sword? I bit his head clean off and spit it out. The slithy toves had followed me and they now changed their tune and begged for his body. “He’s yours,” I said generously, willing to let bygones be bygones, and I whiffled away.
It was a frabjous day!!
And now you know the rest of the story.
6 thoughts on “June 2019”
One of the very first poems I taught Mackenzie. But if you watch Alice in Wonderland, with Johnny Depp, you’ll see a good side to the Bandersnatch.
I just thought the poor Jabberwock got a bum reputation and you know how fake news is everywhere these days.
Wow Yi Chuan! Well done! You can have another career going, especially with all the current fantasy movies!!
Thanks. I just thought the poor Jabberwock never got to tell his/her side of the story, and you know how much fake news there is out there these days. Anyway, Squidzilla will start to post soon.
galumphing jabberwocky tale ala carroll
Thanks for the comment Emma. It was for fun and fun to write.