“Here, Cedric, now what does this creature remind you of?” The butler shrugged, but the Lord of Quaintmarsh insisted. "Come, man, give it some thought, don't be a flaccid mind."
“I can’t say, sire. Er, will you have the suckling pig for supper today, sire? Or perhaps a nice quail basted in that malt butter you so like?”
“Mm? Oh, I’m not sure. Whichever.” The Lord Quaintmarsh tapped his boot. He was distracted. A strange creature was just then craning its long neck over the hedge just between the two stone cherubs. It was staring at him as he stood there in the garden, as if it were waiting for some sort of permission. Or perhaps it was wondering how a man could be so round, just as the Lord was wondering how something might be so tall.
He clicked his tongue. “I swear I know it, it just circles around and around my tongue. It reminds me of something. This long neck it has, those eyes like fists and those nostrils. You could carry Old Widow Heather’s apples in its nostrils.”
“We do have apples, sire, would you like those as well, perhaps baked and sweetened with some treacle?”
“Ghastly thing, look at it.”
The genial butler cleared his throat. “Sire?” The Lord turned around a little, and with a spot of irritation. “What about peas, sire?" pressed the butler. He said 'peas' with a mousy smile. "The kitchen can make you a nice pea soup to go with the quail. Peas go nicely with malt butter. And with sheep cheese, if you have it with a warm, rye loaf. And the apples we can bake along with some rhubarb and mince in a pie for afters.”
The Lord turned now, fully enough that the strange herbivore was free to do whatever it wished, which was to eat this lesser Lord’s roses. It should also be said there was nothing lesser about the Lord’s body. In fact he was quite fat, which is why he said:
“What are you doing, Cedric?” asked the Lord, in that way that a house cat might ask why you bothered to come home after work.
“All these questions about food,” said the Lord, pivoting on one leg and bringing the other forward, his entire person pointed at the butler. “All those questions, Cedric, what are you doing?”
The strange, languid creature proceeded to put a rose in its mouth and chew, and then another. It breathed in their scent with its large nostrils and licked them with its long tongue. The butler on the other hand stood very still. This Lord of Quaintmarsh had a way of teasing, if it was teasing. It was his voice. One never quite knew if it meant your last day alive. “I’m, er… asking what My Lord would like to sup on for the evening meal, sire.”
"No. You’re trying to fatten me up.” The fat Lord squinted down to a line. “You’re trying to fatten me up, aren’t you, Cedric?”
“Wha-? My Lord, no, of course not! Never!” Cedric even curled his lips for effect.
“Was that a sneer, Cedric? It was, wasn't it? I see you now. You stand there accusing your Lordship of afflicting himself with hog lard and fried birds, and sauces and puddings, and every ripened cheese in the region. You dare insinuate that your Lordship is a cul-de-sac for every roasted and battered pleasure? You dare say I did this to myself??” He stepped forward and his weight followed in waves.
Cedric the butler had turned pale. “My Lord, of course not!”
The strange, tall creature watched them and ate another rose.
“Then, you admit it. There is only you and I, and that blasted kitchen, and if it wasn't me, then it's you. YOU have been fattening me up all this time.” The Lord’s cheek started that quiver which happened when he ground his teeth and took shallow breaths.
“No, My Lord, please -- ggakk!“ The Lord’s fist had snatched out and grabbed the young man’s collar tight as a scout's knot. It cut the blood to his brain, and some of the air, which, incidentally, is when Cedric did his best thinking.
“WELL WHICH IS IT, CEDRIC? I DID THIS TO MYSELF, OR YOU’VE BEEN FATTENING ME UP! WHICH IS IT??”
“My L-l-l-l-lord, please. I… I… A GIRAFFE!” Cedric suddenly pointed at the long-necked beast. His voice was strained as if through a straw. “It reminds me,” he said, sputtered, coughed, and straightened a lose lock of hair that had fallen on his face with the sweat. A well groomed man through any fire, that Cedric. “It reminds me of a giraffe, sire!”
The Lord loosened his grip on the butler’s collar. He still held it, but he stared instead at the creature quietly eating the flowers. “Like a giraffe. Great crumbs, Cedric! I do believe you cracked it.”
“We, um," said Cedric, licking his lips just a little, "We do have some a nice crumb custard as well, sire.”
Original sketch in pen, sculpt done in Sculptris, rendered in Blender!
Hope you like the little nonsense story ;)
Keep it Steeming!