The Feast

A shaggy tale by Terry Morrison.

”Pass me some of that white meat,” bellowed the king.

The man to his left passed the plate of thinly-sliced meat without comment. The king grunted and helped himself to six of the largest slices, heaping them on top of his already well-stocked plate.

The tribesmen drooled in silence as he stuffed the exquisitely-roasted meat into his chubby cheeks, gave it a few obligatory chews to blend it a bit, and washed the entire lump down with a generous swig of beer.

The tribesmen regarded this as something of a mixed blessing. As soon as their portly boss was finished, it would be their turn. But if the meal was extremely tasty, as this one appeared to be, he just might down the works. He had been known to do this on more than one occasion, which wasn’t all that hard to understand since His Highness weighed in at a liege-erly seven-o-nine.

If their leader’s appetite was a little off, or if he was feeling particularly kind, he would leave just enough for his starving hunters. Last, and indeed least, the women and children would get their turn. Except for the king, they were a very skinny tribe.

They all hoped the king wasn’t too hungry, but that was unlikely, especially in light of what was on the menu. It wasn’t too often that one of these delicacies happened by. The king had been very pleased indeed.

The group was seated around a long, narrow table with the king at one end and the tribesmen with their empty plates down both sides. They respectfully watched their leader as he continued to shove food into the cave that doubled for a mouth.

Alarmingly, the platter of succulent meat was getting smaller and smaller. Worse still, he wasn’t eating his vegetables, no doubt so he could have more room for the tender rump laid out before him. The natives were beginning to get a little restless.

“Hmmm,” whispered the cannibal who had felled the missionary with his poison-tipped dart, “looks like there’s not going to be much left for us.”

His neighbour nodded in resignation.

“Of course, we should have known,” he continued. “Every time we come back with one of these religious types the king adds a few inches to his waist line. He must be up to about 5.1 on the Richter Scale.” The king found it very hard to sneak around.

His neighbour grunted in agreement. “He certainly has a liking for these ‘men of God’ as they call themselves. Must be something about that delicate skin.” He pondered their predicament a moment longer.

”You know, I really think it’s time we followed the lead of the Oowoongooloonies down river and refused to hunt until the king gives us more consideration. After all, if it weren’t for us, he’d starve to death. The least he could do is implement some kind of prophet-sharing plan.”

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