The Scary Nary (A wicked rhyme)

THE SCARY NARY 

Children never ventured into the Nary wood.

They knew all too well and understood

of the dangers that fell,

and stories that were told,

and retold again;

old stories of now and then.

 

They were handed down

by infinite numbers

of older sisters

and older brothers,

of brood before

and since brood began.

You must pass this on in hand.

 

A thing that tricked with a joy, so fresh

it beguiled you, then riled you,

then wrenched your flesh.

Against its hide, it wrapped you up.

It sucked you dry to fill its cup.

Once you were caught you were gone forever.

The Scary Nary was very clever.

 

You knew it was close if no bird flew by,

or no chipmunk popped his body outside.

 

You might see a snail

or worms at the bottom

when the air was stale

under leaves that smelled rotten.

The feet of the Nary

could be seen in this dirt.

Beware if you step on its toes.

Be alert!

 

Where the wind did not blow,

he was too big to hide

but, you were too close to know

the Nary next to your side.

 

It would hold you

then scold you

with fingers of whips

like willow tree branches

with needles as tips.

It had arms that were lengthy

and wretched like rakes.

It had hands that were haunted

and hanging with hooks.

Toes that were wicked

and snarky like snakes,

and eyes that were void

like the specs of a spook.

 

The grown-ups never ventured to the wood past the meadow.

It was misunderstood, not amused by its shadow.

They had forgotten and joked and jeered at the fable.

They worked and toiled, and no longer able.

 

But when boys weren’t boys

and not yet men,

they neglected their toys

for adventure, and when

their courage was built

and they longed to do what their minds intended,

the Nary woods brought a challenge anew,

that could not be dispelled or amended.

And somewhere between

foal and mare,

not pup or dog,

not cub nor bear.

A boy was brazen

and forced to dare.

 

So, when a school year was ending and the air was still cool.

One gathered the hearty and not the fool.

A group of three decided to venture

to the forbidden wood to test their measure.

 

After one had gathered them up,

they three, all wrestled and riled and thumped.

“We’ll go to the forest and see if it’s true.”

The first said it was.

The second wasn’t sure.

The third said it wasn’t.

So, the challenge was pure.

 

Meticulously they planned with tact and tool.

They pilfered and packed what they could from their school,

from their father’s sheds,

and from under their beds.

They were ready for the worst kind of ghoul.

They spit and shook for now and forever.

They would not dampen their oath nor sever

the pact that they made or themselves from adventure.

 

Before the cows on the farm

they were a long way from harm.

Near the grouse in the meadow

they felt slightly unsettled.

Passed the deer in the dell

they were halfway to hell.

 

Past the dells the three stood

one by another,

They’d go if they could

but froze by the wood,

“It all looks too gruesome,”

They shuddered.

 

One said to his friend

“Go in and return and bring back the news.”

“You’re crazy my brother the Nary is true.”

And they could not agree on none or all three,

and all three was the best they could do.

 

So, as boys dare and dare as they do,

one dared another and another made two.

When one stood alone he rallied behind.

Now all three were stalking in line.

 

They crept through the thickets,

the vines and the nettles,

milk-thistles, pines and peddles.

Until the vines became few

and the ground became gray

and worms squirmed about

in the rot and decay.

 

Still deeper they slunk

til’ they stood by a giant

that had a large trunk,

a tree that stood high and reliant.

It spread out like a dome

where no animals roamed

but the boys grew more bold and defiant.

 

The tree stood tall with arms outstretched;

hanging limbs with leaves like gnarled nets.

Draped with toys and forget-me-nots.

All made of wood and carved to a liking

that boys adored and girls found striking.

Nothing shined though objects shown,

more than figures it had grown

of things that resembled fun and good.

All for the taking, if you could.

 

Oh what a dare, oh what a deed.

Their childish hearts were filled with greed.

And of all that was rotten,

if only they feared

what the fragile fear

of shriek and terror

and “hold me, dear,”

they might still be alive

and not forgotten.

 

They stepped on the roots

and the twigs that were buried

that crunched and alerted

the hives of the Nary.

They grabbed at the branches

like shelves of a store,

and tugged at the toys

that it carried.

There the wind did not blow

and this carnival show

was too much for the boys to ignore.

 

It awoke in a sudden

It wrapped them up tight.

They were coiled in a thicket,

of gossamer plight.

 

The one who was the leader

became embroiled in thorns

that wove like a web,

and tightened its horns.

It squeezed and released

until his screams had ceased

and tossed him atop

where it finished the feast.

At the highest branches, he stopped.

 

Another was grabbed

by the face and shook.

By the eyes and mouth, he was took.

Driving its shanks

down his throat to its length

and out through his head

like a hook.

Out of his back

more branches emerged,

more leaves were sprouted

and his juices were purged.

He sagged there a carcass

to be siphoned and squeezed

as his skin became bark

and dry like the trees.

 

The last one was pulled

to the side of the trunk

as a mouth and eyes opened

it swallowed a chunk.

With teeth like daggers

and eyes deathly dark

the lad was halved

at the waste

as from a shark.

 

But nothing was wasted

and it took the last bite.

Of the last boy it tasted,

he tasted of fright.

 

A prize for the Nary,

oh how he was good

and this one’s face

forever stood

in the crags

of the bark

on its trunk

in the wood.

 

The Nary wood,as time does tell.

Not a childish place of Jack and Jill.

Not on hill or dale,

but a forest of fear and fail.

 

So, remember,

when you see a face gnarled in wood

on a tree, in a forest,

beyond a meadow and dell

and you know that you shouldn’t.

Yet, you do just as well.

Just remember the childhood

stories they tell.

 

A lesson of will

so that you will grow merry…

No child escapes the Scary Nary.

 

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