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The Ragman's Tale

Richard Ewell and Nicole Nishina

        Oh how the townspeople cried, such the river of tears that flooded the town. They cried long, and loud when they heard that the Ragman had been shot. Shot he was by a very deadly poison arrow that came very close to his heart. Who could have done such a thing? Indeed all the townspeople knew that this was not the work of any ordinary huntress. For hadn't many been hunting down the same wild stag with no success? Crafty hunters of all the land came into those famed woods. They would hear the enticing fiddling and they would run, but the Ragman was a quick wild youth with no desires of being tamed. They would hear the sweet fiddle sing and oh how it could cry for wanting, or jump and dance for laughing, and playing much as the Ragman himself could. And was it not a little inviting, to hunt the wild beast in those deep, dark woods that he had planted himself? I think it was those woods and that sweet fiddle that the people really liked.

        (To be honest, Rtemis Ragman S.W.J., he's not much to look at. He always has brambles in his hair, his clothes are much too big for him, and he has a tattoo on his chest. He's always clothed in dark green, and deep purple, and bits of black like the enveloping woods he loved. No perhaps he was not much to look at, but he was indeed somebody to be with. It was his eyes, yes his eyes and his deep smile. He had eyes like they were nine. And his laugh, his evil kneivel laugh. He'd laugh deep and it would let you know that he wasn't all the nicety he'd like to make you think.)

        Yes the townsfolk loved him, and many throughout the land knew of him and had a hankering for him too, but nobody knew him. But what they saw of him they liked, and they thought he was a neat guy.

        Their beloved Rtemis had been shot . . . They brought him out of the woods, he didn't struggle, for you see he was just nervous and interested.

        Well that hellfire of a lady brought him in, and he hasn't been the same ever since. The poor guy wasn't used to living civilized, he was more used to living life real big, in great proportions . . . Some people who hadn't seen him or heard him might think he's eccentric and that's ok with him because you really can't put him into words, he's more of an indescrible guy.


        It was a sunny day when little Bunchy took on the challenge of the Ragman. She figured she'd go and give it a try, she had heard the stories of the great hunters who returned emptied handed. She went, not so much that she could actually hit the target but for the sheer sport of it. She had nothing to lose.

        She carried her trusty bow with her. The one that had carried her through her short life. She walked to the outskirts of the woods, and fired into it's vastness. A shot, just to say that she had given it a try, that she had played with the best . . . The sound she heard shocked her, it was a loud shrill of a cry. A cry of pain and disbelief. She had hit the target, she had taken out the infamous Ragman.


        The days passed, little Bunchy and the Ragman had grooving times. Ragman taught her to play and to be free. They had many adventures, but as the time passed Ragman just could not live in little Bunchy's world, he wasn't ready to grow and become old ... Into the third moon of the new season little Bunchy knew what she must do. As much as it pained her, there was nothing else she could do. She took the Ragman by the hand and led him back to the edge of the wood. She bit her lip, and with everything that she had, she said, "go free Ragman". He went slowly, tears streaming down their faces. When he got to the opening of the wood he looked back at her as if for the last time. She knew he wasn't ready to live in her civilized world.


        As the days went by Bunchy watched the Ragman from the outskirt of his wood, as he played. How content, and happy he looked in his world, but there was something that wasn't the same in his eyes. Little Bunchy couldn't put her finger on it but she had seen that look several times before in her short life . . .

        The day came when Bunchy was called away to grand halls, and shallow faces. She went to live and learn in their world, and to be a light in their darkness. As Bunchy went on her way she left behind the Ragman, and his play. But as she went she took with her the small part of his adventure, and spirit that he had given her.


        Chance brought little Bunchy back. As she passed through the streets, the townspeople cried. The last time they cried so, it was because she had shot their beloved Ragman. This time they cried, for their Ragman had come out of the woods carrying the arrow of yesterday with a tear in his eye. He wandered the city day and night as a lost soul. Little Bunchy was curious to find out what this meant. She went to the opening of the wood to await the Ragman's return. (For a Ragman will always return home.) She didn't have long to wait. She could -see him coming from a distance, with the town gathered around him, trying to console his pain, but none could. He walked slowly as if he were old. When he came near it was then that Bunchy knew why he walked so. For, in fact, he had become old. Oh how he had dreaded becoming old (being old meant you had allowed yourself to love and to be loved). The townspeople couldn't understand what had happened to their once playful Ragman . . . When he saw her sitting there waiting, he tried to straighten out his stooped frame. He beamed from ear to ear. When he reached her, he was speechless, he handed her the arrow that she knew all too well. When he spoke, the words surprised her ... "Beloved Bunchy of whom the angels sing, the the sailors dream. You, a fair maiden who make a thousand roses an ugly monstrosity. My dear beloved Bunchy, could you never tell how deeply I feel towards you? Oh if ever there were a person who could tame this ravaging creature; well, beloved, I think it might be you ..."

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