Humans To Go

The chief sucked his tusk with some relish.
He gazed at their stew with a sigh.
I do not suppose, he said, sniffing a nose,
That youíd sell me that very fine thigh.

It is plump, said the traders politely,
And belonged to a witch-doctorís wife.
If you offer good price, we will serve you a slice.
Fork out, and weíll give you the knife.

A tear rolled away from his eyelid.
The merchants could scent his delight:
By pressing the flesh while desire was fresh,
They sensed that their rival would bite.

But the chief was determined to haggle.
He waggled a finger, eyes shut.
These guts here, for starters, are just good for garters,
The chief said. How much is your cut?

The traders looked furtive. They shifted,
And started to pack up the meal.
It isnít as if, they remarked with a sniff,
This dish is a very raw deal.

This chief was impossibly stroppy!
The kind you should take down a peg!
If you want some man, they cried, straight from the pan,
Itíll cost you an arm and a leg!

Two servants marched forward with hatchets,
And cut them to chops, the poor chumps.
Always the same, said the chief, very game,
But I prefer stirring their stumps.

From the book Rime Present