Thursday, December 10, 2009

Castigation of the Milliner's Head

He fell asleep on the bottommost step, the assistant to the assistant rector boxing his ears with the cuffs of his hands. Maxima Kongsvinger and Hortence Hedmark, watching from the topmost step, looked out onto the field in front of the church where Pena and Astra Emilia-Romagna frolicked in the long grass, children not permitted to attend the Castigation of the Milliner's Head, followed by the sacrament of the Efflagitasti and a light tea to be held in the basement under the sanctuary. From behind his hiding place behind the thorn bush the littlest dogman penned curlicues and squiggles in a notepad.

O Muses! O high genius! now vouchsafe
Your aid! O mind! that all I saw hast kept
Safe in a written record, here thy worth
And eminent endowments come to proof
(Dante Alighieri, Inferno)

Anton Antonovich, the Governor, Artemy Filippovich, the Superintendent of Charities, Luka Lukich, the Inspector of Schools, Ammos Fiodorovich, the Judge, Stepan Ilyich, Christian Ivanovich, the Doctor, and two Police Sergeants stood on the bottommost step taking in the breadth and wealth of the world, the Inspector of Schools saying to the Superintendent of Charities ‘what a queer little man’. ‘and hairy as an ape’ said the Superintendent of Charities, ‘and among the genteel and god-fearing’ said the Inspector of Schools ‘what a strange sight’.

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