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Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Tale of Melon City - Post Reading Task

Armed with the tools of wit, irony and sarcasm, author Kalki wrote a satire about a king who tried to challenge his fate. You will read the complete story in class XII. For now, enjoy a poetic version of Kalki's 'THE TIGER KING'!

The Maharaja Jilani Jung Jung Bahadur took his infamous birth
One day, said the astrologers, death would dance at his hearth
Lo and behold! The ten day old king spoke to the men few
"Stop fooling around and tell me something new!"

The king was born in the hour of the bull
Hence, a tiger, one day, would have his skull
Courage reincarnate, the king growled
Let tigers beware as they prowl.

He killed his first tiger, threw a party and began to boast
Was quickly told, the hundredth tiger will have him toast
Seventy lords of jungle, the Tiger King murdered
No more were left and the king shuddered

He chose the ball and chains 
Where tigers were still to be found
He fought the marriage pains
For to tigers, he was bound

He banned tiger hunting
For all save one
Even risked the Brit ire
To kill another one

At last came the day
When the ninety ninth was dead
The jungles were vacant
Not a word was said

Then sheep began disappearing
Oh a tiger must be about
The sad king heard the news
And gave a merry shout

But no one could find this animal
Several incompetent lost their jobs
The land taxes became criminal
As the king's temper rose by knots
When the Dewan faced the brunt
He produced the old tiger he had hidden
The poor beast was tethered forcibly
And the fake king tither bidden

The king raised his gun
He was a good shot
The tiger rolled over in fright
The king was done with the lot

He went back to his happy life
Fearless of death forever more
And bought a cheap wooden tiger
When his son turned a year less than four

The wood was poor carpentry
Slivers where tetanus would linger
Worried all the lovely gentry
As the king pricked his finger

Surgeons were summoned
But the infection spread
The operation was successful
The king was finally dead!

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