Becketwood Cooperative
An Active, Independent 55+ Community of Owners in Minneapolis
 

Never More Fear the Jabberwock

By Alan Cameron, Becketwood Member

In our writer’s group discussion there were some questions about who would know the references in Lewis Carroll, and who the intended audience is meant to be.   Lewis Carroll is still beloved in illustrated children’s books, and movies even by Disney.  As for the audience, to paraphrase Pogo-- “It is me.”

 

“The time has come,” the walrus said, “to speak of many things.”

“And yes,” said I, “But will anybody hear?”

“But hark,” said I, “I fear the dreadful Jabberwock shall yet appear.”

“What whimsy mimsy,” Walrus said, “It’s all fake news, I say!”

And then the Cheshire cat did reply, “Fake mews, a common cold or less. No need to be concerned,” he purred.

“For now, the sky is falling, we shall all be killed! By fire consumed or drowned in floods or murdered in our beds!” the little chicken cried.

“Fear not,” the cat replied. “I’ll send a fox to guard your coop. For Foxes are the guardian of Truth; whatever could go wrong?”

“I am so late, so very late,” the harried hare chimed in “The end of time is coming soon, I wouldn’t want to miss it. So, you see, I must not be, too late, it’s a very important date, you see?”

“The end of time, you say?” the hatter piped, “that is important, will you have some time for tea?”

“There is no time, the world will end! We mustn’t hesitate,” the rabbit said.

“I understand,” the hatter said, “then coffee it must be! Black with cream and sugar? So many things to cogitate we really must agree.”

“The world will end in fire or rain, what a catastrophe!” the walrus said, “we are nearly out of biscuits, and I haven’t had my Tea!”

“The borogoves were mimsy then? And the mome raths outgrabe?” I ask.

Quote the raven, “Never more”

 

“Chortle, chortle” said the cat, “the fox and I agree, you are the fairest Walrus to ever swim upon the sea!”

The walrus glanced the morning paper aside his breakfast plate. “What news is this, if not be fake, that Paradise was lost, this must be some mistake!” the walrus howled in disbelief. “If Paradise was stolen from me--I want it back right now!”

The Barristers, the judges, and the counselors gathered all around, but

“It’s probably mislaid” the carpenter said. “It happens all the time.”

 

“It is just the thing for me to do, if Paradise be lost, I’ll be the one who finds it!” The walrus said with glee, “I’ll search the whole world over till I find and bring it home for me.

“O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

“For I am the greatest admiral who never went to sea! I know more than all the generals or Scientists – there is no one quite like me.”

 

“The Jabberwock,” I say, receiving no reply.

 

“I want the finest Captain, only the best will do, Captain Borogoves to sale the SS Snark, or sail the ship, either way will do, and bring me that which Sleepy Joe has stolen. Bye, or Buy, or by the hair upon my glorious long and flowing locks perched upon my pumpkin head, I call upon my oyster mob to bring my glory back to me.”

So, Captain Borogoves set sail that very day on a ship they called the Sea Snark, sailed that tranquil stormy sea.

The sun beat down intensely through cloudless sky upon a placid frothing sea, although one had to wonder, for it was the middle of the night.

The captain with his vorpal sword in hand: in cogitation bowed his head in thought, and then he took a nap.

If there be Jabberwock around, he was sure to need his rest.

The mighty ship, the Sea Snark, she had a mighty crew, and when the tide was ebbing, they knew just what to do. Her bowsprit it got tangled with the rudder but as the captain carefully explained, “This often happens in those tropical or southern climes--the vessel then becomes, we say, to speak, ensnarked, and then be led astray.”

There is no need for maps or charts or compasses or watch, a snarked ship will always find its way. The issue comes in sailing. The captain was perplexed. He’d hoped that when the sails were set, and when the wind blew East, the ship would not instead be heading West.

The Snark sailed on, as days turned into weeks, and weeks to months, and soon, eventually for four long years--of what seemed eternity,

They reached the coast of California, its beaches black with ash and soot.

I scooped up some California and put it neatly in a cup. A cup of Paradise, for Walrus claims that only he can make it great again.

The issue there for all to see, as clear as it could be, upon noses of you and me…. We had too many trees!

The problem’s regulation, and loss of Liberty, to make us great again, we’ll need more guns and ammunition and to keep our schools mask free. We can storm the citadel, and take our country back, then for greater glory, we’ll rid the land of trees.

To this I say, “Beware, the Jabberwock.”

Some Jabberwock have paws with long sharp claws, and some have teeth to bite you.

 

“But never fear” the Fox declared, “The Jabberwock won’t hurt you. It only kills the elderly and minorities among you. It spares the young and foolish that vaccinate might harm. Don’t let the awful government put evil in your arm.”

“Trust me,” the faker presence said, “I never tell a lie, except in evening’s darkness or in the light of day.  So, gather round the MAGA crown, and drink a maskless toast of Kool-Aid, to mass disinformation. Whoopie, we’re going to die!”

 

But still, I fear the Jabberwock, with jaws that bite and claws that catch, and too the frumious Bandersnatch! The Jabberwock with its eyes of flame, whiffling through the tulgey wood and scratches at my door. But then I quote the raven, “never more.”

Last night I turned the TV on, and there upon the screen did see, the very man who used to be. He’s not a POTUS anymore, just a POTUS used-to-be who lost. He isn’t POTUS anymore, and he wasn’t on the screen today. So, when I turn my TV on, oh how I wish he’d go away.

 

 

Leave a Reply

  • Diane Prosser September 4, 2021, 1:41 pm

    So profound — terrifying and yet humorous at the same time. Perhaps a good combination to get our attention. Thank you, Diane

    Reply
  • Laura F. Lindell September 6, 2021, 7:40 pm

    Consider me tickled pink – well done. Will anybody hear? Well, yes. This is Lewis Carroll beautifully curling around contemporary events with jocularity and sour complaint and a wink…but I also hear a bit of Maurice Sendak and “Where the Wild Things Are” in your stylized narration. Thanks for delivering provocative, troubling observations via whimsy and play in this era of “the time has come” and of spiraling catastrophes. It’s a great illustration of sense via nonsense — and altogether fun.

    Reply
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