Princess Chana and the King of the Monkeys (or, How the Monkeys got their laugh)

I am sure you have all heard the monkeys laugh. Of course you have. As they climb and swing and dance in the trees, you have heard them screaming and crying out. That is their laugh! But do you ever wonder how they learned to laugh? Well…

Once upon a time, when the world was still young and innocent, there lived a beautiful princess, named Chana. She was adored by her family, cherished among her friends, and wanted for nothing.
But she was ever so wilful. Although kind in heart, and charitable in outlook, she could not calm this rebellious streak within her, and would often get herself into trouble. She would wander away from the grounds of her father’s beautiful palace, and have all kinds of adventures (some of which you may hear more about, one day). And because she was so sweet, and so loving, when she was caught where she should not be, she was always forgiven.

One day, not long after the sun had risen, one of princess Chana’s wilful moods came upon her, and she took herself off and out into the jungle that bordered her home on three sides.

The jungle was deep, and dark, and contained many dangerous animals. But this did not worry princess Chana, because she had never encountered a situation in which her looks, her smile, or her sweet personality could not get her out of. And if all else failed, because she was a princess, she was very rich and could offer money or gifts to extricate herself from trouble.

On this particularly bright morning, princess Chana took one of the darker paths through the trees and hanging leaves. The air, as it is in jungles, was damp and humid. But princess Chana had her light summer silks on, and her beautifully jewelled sandals, and was quite comfortable. As she walked further and further into this green world, she lost sight of the walls of her father’s palace, and began to feel as though she were in a whole different world.

Eventually, she came upon a clearing wherein she saw a fallen tree, perfect for her to rest a while on and gaze about herself. She perched herself on the trunk of the tree, took a deep breath, and said to herself “Well this is a lovely glade. Time and peace for me to rest and think”.

But, the peace was not long in lasting, as there came a rustling in the trees above her, and a voice spoke to her and said “Who is this, in my jungle, without my permission?”
Princess Chana looked about her, but because the jungle was so thick and deep, she could not see anything other than trees, and branches, and leaves.
“Who’s there?” she called. She was not afraid, merely curious as to who may have spoken to her.
“I’m there” replied the voice.
“And who is ‘I’?” said Princess Chana.
“You are I, but I am me” said the voice once more.
“Oh, this is silly”, said princess Chana, “I am a princess and am in no mood for silly games.”
With that, as princess Chana was about to raise herself from her seat, a large, black furred monkey dropped from the trees and landed in front of her with a thump.

“A princess?” said the monkey, “Well, I am a king! I am the king of the monkeys and you must address me as ‘Your Majesty'”.
“The king of the monkeys?” said the princess, “I have never heard of such. I know of the lion, who is king of the forest, and I know of the orca, who is king of the sea, but I never did hear of the king of the monkeys”.
“Well, it is I and I am me” said the king of the monkeys, “and to honour me, and to prove to all my subjects I am truly their king, I must marry a princess. So I will marry you.”.

Well, princess Chana was shocked! But once again, she was not scared, for she knew she could rely on her beauty, her smile, her charm, or at the very least her money, to get her out of trouble.

“Your majesty” said princess Chana (for although she was wilful, she was not stupid, and knew how to keep people happy), “I am far too young to marry, but I have something far more precious to give you in honour of your station. I will give you my laugh. My laugh is like music, sweet in melody and high in tone, and is truly a gift worthy of a king!”.
The king of the monkeys had not heard of a laugh, but being proud and a little stupid, did not admit to such.
“Your laugh? Well, that will indeed be a fine gift for a king. Tell me, is it beautiful? Is it regal? Will it make me the envy of all other animals in the jungle?”
“Yes, your majesty” replied the princess, “it is all those things and more”.
The king of the monkeys held out his hand and said “Give it to me then, princess, let me have this laugh”.
Princess Chana smiled and said “No, your majesty, to receive this gift you simply need copy the sounds I make”. And with that, she began to laugh. Softly at first, as though amused by a small joke;
“ha, ha, ha” she said.
The king of the monkeys repeated it, “ha, ha, ha”.
Princess Chana then laughed a little harder, as though amused by one of her court jesters antics;
“Ha! Ha! Ha!” she said.
The king of the monkeys repeated it again, “Ha! Ha! Ha!”.
Finally, princess Chana started to laugh as though she was being tickled by her father, which always made her feel happiest and made her laugh so much!
“HA! HA! HA!” she cried.
The kind of the monkeys repeated this, “HA! HA! HA!”, and realised how wonderful this felt! Why, monkeys had never laughed before, but oh what a feeling!
The king of the monkeys laughed, and laughed, and laughed! He became so weak, he fell down, and rolled around on the floor, laughing, and laughing and laughing.
The noise attracted his monkey subjects – they came creeping out from the trees and branches and leaves, to see what the noise and fuss was all about. They saw their king, rolling on the floor, making such a strange noise… they all started laughing too!
Soon, all the monkeys in the jungle were laughing, and screaming, and unable to control themselves.

Princess Chana, seeing her chance to quietly slip away, left the king of the monkeys, and all his monkey subjects, laughing themselves silly in the jungle. She made her way back to her father’s palace, and safely returned home.

That night, and for every night since, the monkeys can be heard laughing in the jungle, laughing at their king and his silly antics. All thanks to Princess Chana.

Evil Queen

There she sits above us all,
Graceful on her poison throne.
To cast dispersions on our words,
Doubting all the songs she’s heard,
Before her I am left unnerved,
With no chance to atone.

There she rules the huddled mass,
Evil in her judging ways.
Her crown is made from ivy grown,
Her sceptre cast from single bone,
Her gown from wicked place unknown,
But dark throughout its days.

There the Queen of frightened land,
Holding all in iron law.
We common folk are kept in thrall,
Fearing what may come of all,
When finally she gives a call,
That lives be kept no more.

The wish to smash her royal rule,
Fires us, our very blood.
No more to cower ‘neath gaze,
We yearn for freedom in our days,
And so we march a rivers way,
To drown her in our flood.

The Girl Upon The Stairs

After a fairly long hiatus, it seems my muse has slowly started to return. I hope you like this one.

Every day she passed me by,
The girl upon the stairs;
I wished to know her secret name,
And where she went to play her games,
I never caught her eye.

Soft her tread and smooth her step,
The girl upon the stairs;
As if a shadow passing by,
Whispered silk with gentle sigh,
Her memory I kept.

Scent of summer followed on,
The girl upon the stairs;
As if a window open wide,
Had conjured here the world outside,
Lingered when she had gone.

More than all I wish to know,
The girl upon the stairs;
There’s nought by her within my mind,
But only on the stairs I find,
This girl that I love so.

These Things I Dream

No explanation for this one. I opened my mind to what would follow “These things I dream…” I hope you like it.

These things I dream…
A room of white in early dawn,
The scent of spring contained,
No sound but that of
Passing breeze,
That calls a sweet refrain…

These things I dream…
A shaded wood from legends tale,
With sunlight piercing gloom,
A river cool flows
Round about,
The cherry trees in bloom…

These things I dream…
The land aflame with fire bright,
A million candles burn,
With single breath
Flames are doused
The world forever turns…

These things I dream…
Unending night and scattered stars,
A universe arrayed,
Where time is lost
Forever chased
And love is not betrayed…

These things I dream…
Perfected beauty in a glance,
A timeless life in view,
If not for dreams
That visit me
I’d never picture you.

Sweet Folly Street (The Court Of Bal-Samaroth)

Faithful readers,
This one, I think, will need some explaining. There are two phrases that came to me that formed this poem. The first, “Sweet Folly Street”. I had an idea for a poem about a dark and evil place, and for some reason, this is the street name that kept wanting to make itself heard. The second phrase, “Bal-Samaroth”, comes from the idea that I wanted to invent some mythical evil creature, something that someone like Stephen King may think up. And this is the name that formed. I hope you like this one. I really enjoyed the images I got when I wrote this. Thank you, as always, for reading.

Simon.

The troubles are endless
On Sweet Folly Street
Where Bal-Samaroth keeps court.
The people who live here
Are sick with their sin
They’ll tease and torment for their sport.

The pushchairs are empty
Except for old dolls
Whose eyes stare out of old heads.
The children are flown now
From Sweet Folly Street
But dreams still haunt them to bed.

The alleys are dirty
Down Sweet Folly Street
Where Bal-Samaroth holds sway.
No music is danced to
No laughter is heard
Colours are faded to grey.

The windows are boarded
The doors daubed with blood
The sickness that of the mind.
Be wary of roaming
On Sweet Folly Street
Who knows what evil to find.

The atmosphere frightens
On Sweet Folly Street
Where Bal-Samaroth is rule.
No couples go strolling
Or share a sweet kiss
Love turns to something most cruel.

The lights are all darkened
The air old and used
No joy to be seen at all.
Don’t wander with interest
Down Sweet Folly Street
For steps on this street will fall.

Such evil is witnessed
On Sweet Folly Street
Where Bal-Samaroth runs free.
Don’t risk your damnation
Keep ever so clear
Turn swift on your heals and flee.

Paths other than this one
Should always be tread
Be clear of message so said.
For once you start moving
Down Sweet Folly Street
You’ll see the homes of the dead.

I Know These Halls

Another one of those “where did that come from?”
I’m not sure I’m 100% happy with it, but I’d love to know what you think.

I know these walls
I know these halls.
I know these places filled with thoughts
And memories ever old.

In times of war
And conflict raw.
They rang with hallelujah’d songs
Like nought as gone before.

Inlaid with jewels
To suffer fools.
So tempting in the starlight gleam
But unfalteringly cruel.

We wandered long
And righted wrongs.
Remembered those of fallen grace
And courage ever strong.

Our tales so spun
Our ballads sung.
Through history’s pages carved in blood
As aged as setting sun.

I know these walls
I know these halls.
I’ve walked these places full of thoughts
And memories to be told.

In Our Dreams

Faithful readers…
I’ve had the writing itch for a few days, but not had any time to get anything down, nor any clear images. This one came to me this morning, and although it’s not great, I wanted to share it anyway. Hope you like it.

We run again, past cloudy fields,
The sky the shade of passion.
Not caring where our footsteps lead,
Nor bothered by the time that bleeds,
From deep within our sleeping.

This only world, where we are one,
Built from the dreams of fashion.
Apart we are in day to day,
But here we meet, come what may,
Our treasured world in keeping.

With keenness now, I lay my head,
In hope of one reaction.
To drift away on waves of sleep,
And join with you where we shall reap,
These passing hours so rationed.

Come run with me, through fired fields,
‘Neath sky and stars impassioned.
While we are here in sleeping world,
The night before us so unfurled,
Who knows what dreams may happen.