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The Ballad of Chuck and Roxanne: A Viking Tail

by Sara Little 11 months ago in satire
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To be sung in a mead hall by a scop, with the accompaniment of a small harp, a flute, and tambourine.

This little epic poem was inspired by the shenanigans of Charlie (the cat) and Roxi (the dog). These two are notorious beggars when it comes to food and Charlie especially is a bottomless pit, a black hole that devours everything in reach when the fancy strikes him. Roxi has always been an unwitting accomplice to Charlie’s wiles, but she certainly has her own sassy means of getting her way in the kitchen.

My sister bought the viking hats for these two a few years ago, and when I saw this writing challenge, I knew this photo was perfect. I came up with the idea for writing a ballad in the middle of teaching my senior British literature class who is currently studying Beowulf, the Norse epic poem. Inspired by both the photo and my lesson plans, “The Ballad of Chuck and Roxanne: A Viking Tail” was born.

In a time when dragons ruled the skies

And vikings plundered o’er the seas,

A time of heroes of every size,

Come listen now, I’ll sing to thee

A ballad of two such heroes bold

Who ventured out, their fame to find

In far off lands and worlds untold.

Come listen as their tail unwinds...

On the eve of All Hallows’, cold and bright,

Chuck and Roxanne met under the moon.

Poor Chuck told Roxanne of his terrible plight

And asked of his dearest friend a boon.

Chuck the Viking was in need of meat.

He had not eaten in over an hour,

And he knew of a land filled with glorious treats

But by himself, he had no power

To venture into that forbidden land

Guarded by a fearsome troll.

He asked Roxanne to be his hand

In his adventurous little stroll

He told her of their destination

A place called K’itch-En where one could find

All manner of matter for mastication,

A smorgasbord of food divine.

Roxanne scratched at her helmed head

As she pondered Chuck’s excited purr

It, too, was long since she’d last been fed,

A thought that rankled her chestnut fur.

“Fear not, sweet Chuck, I’ll be by your side

And together we shall conquer this K’itch-En.

Canned tuna is ours and milk bones on the side

And if we’re lucky, perhaps even a chicken!”

The viking cat purred in joyful glee

As he imagined the wonderful treasure.

They set off to their hut to pack all they would need,

With dreams of food beyond measure.

They set off at dawn, near five of the clock

Trekking down a cold misty path

Chuck started in fright at the crow of the cock,

A sight that made Roxanne laugh.

The pair ambled along over mountains and ridges

Passing rivers and lakes crystal clear.

When at last they approached a long narrow bridge

They knew that K’itch-En must be near.

Roxanne led the way padding softly across

Followed quickly by little Viking Chuck

The planks were quite rotted and covered with moss

And halfway across they got stuck

A grim, grimy goblin guarded the way

Standing fearsome with his sharpened spear

He lunged at poor Chuck who looked easy prey

But Roxanne leaped and bit off his ear

The goblin howled shrilly and clutched at his head

As Roxanne butted him over the rail.

Then she and Chuck skipped on merrily ahead,

The goblin’s cries fading to a soft wail.

The bridge came to an end at a towering gate

Made of iron and cold hard steel

Chuck stood on his tiptoes to peer through the grate

And what he saw made him let out a squeal:

“Roxanne!” he cried loudly,

“You’ll never believe!”

Little Viking Chuck stared proudly,

Wiping his eyes with his sleeve.

“There’s mountains of kibble,

And platters of fish”

Drool trailed from his mouth in a dribble,

It was everything he had wished.

Roxanne yipped happily, but suddenly stopped

“Uh, Chuck, how do we get in?

This gate seems to be locked.”

The pup’s cheery face grew suddenly grim.

Chuck thought for a moment, as he pondered the gate

Then he said “I know! I’ll climb to the top

“Roxanne, I think you must dig under the grate.”

And Chuck coiled himself down as he prepared for his hop.

He sprang to the ledge of the bridge’s frail railing

Then bounded his way onto a low hanging limb

Roxanne watched as through the air he went sailing

Scrambling onto the top of the gate’s iron rim

Roxanne saw him safe and started to dig

The soft dirt flying from her paws in a blur

Her rotund muddy belly gave her the look of a pig

Chuck watched, amused, seeing naught but her fur

She soon disappeared into the deep hole;

Chuck waited anxiously for her to appear.

The earth churned as she emerged like a gigantic mole,

And the two little vikings surveyed this new frontier.

K’itch-En lay before them, sprawling and white,

The landscape blanketed in a buffet of treats.

Vikings Chuck and Roxanne gasped in delight

As their eyes darted around for the first thing they could eat.

Roxanne attacked first a nearby milk bone,

While Chuck ate his way through canned chicken.

“I’ve never tasted such glorious food,” he moaned,

And they continued their trek through the K’itch-En.

Kibble and tuna and roast beef and ham,

Cheese slices, thick and creamy.

They feasted better than any king in the land

Til their bellies were full and their eyes dreamy.

“I never want to leave this place,” Chuck sighed,

And Roxanne let out a soft belch of contentment.

“We’ll stay here and feast like the gods!” Roxanne cried.

As they devoured the food, unrepentant.

The gluttonous friends had found their new home

In this wonderful, magical land.

They settled a village, no more would they roam

And so ends the ballad of Chuck and Roxanne.

So if you find yourself wandering through strange misty ways

And you stumble into a small glen

filled with goodies galore and mounds of snack trays

then you've ventured into K'itch-En.

You might see them if you keep a look out

the two heroes of this poem grand

most likely they'll invite you to their cookout

the hungry vikings, Chuck and Roxanne.


About the author

Sara Little

Writer and high school English teacher seeking to empower and inspire young creatives, especially of the LGBTQIA+ community

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