THE SIEGE OF MONTREUIL
“Hey! You! I see you down there! Wake up! Are you going to lay in the mud all day? Come and fight, you invading biscuit headed Englander!”
“I am awake, you truffle snuffler! How can a man sleep when you caw like a raven from your perch on that wall? You woke me from a dream of your mum. She was stomping some grapes in a big tub with her bare feet. Want to hear more?”
“I do not want to hear anything from you, you British bootlick. You are all alone? Will you breach our walls when all others have failed? Where are your men? Have they abandoned you and left you on your own down there?”
“My men? They are taking their turn with your mother! They are right fond of creamy French pastry. Why don't you be reasonable, and surrender? I can smell your fear over the stench of your poopy pantaloons!"
“At least my mother does not taste like boiled cabbages. Surrender? Never! Here let me serve you some fresh French cannonball!”
“Ha! Missed! By King Henry the VIII, I swear we’ll bring down your walls! With or without his help.”
“Does your Duke of Norfolk cry himself to sleep each night knowing his dear King has abandoned him? Knowing he has taken the Duke's own son’s forces to aid him at Boulogne? Leaving your mighty Duke Norfolk to starve us out?"
“Your French castles will fall, one after the other, and we will march through Calais to Paris! Pope Charles marches from the north as we battle to help take the city, and the country, which is by right ours.”
" This country then, is yours, because you are not French? Go back to your island! Your king mourns his headless hussy, so he decides on a whim to take France, while our backs are exposed facing Italy? We have thwarted your petulant King twice before, and we will send him back into the sea from which he came. But of course, I can see it in your blank, piggish eyes. You do not know?"
"What is it I do not know?"
" Your trembling Charles is in Paris now as we speak. He is a guest in the most luxuriant sense of the word. You see, he has signed for peace with Francois. Your fat, flailing King stands alone."
"You lie of course, it is what you French do. You know that Francois had his ambitions to be Pope go…poof…when Charles rose to take that position himself. The "Prisoner of Madrid" is what we call your King. Charles and Francois have always been bitter rivals. The Pope would never betray my king and side with his enemy.”
" Nevertheless you nitwit, you are groveling in the mud like a muddy little hedgehog, as I loom over you safe behind our walls! All summer you islanders surround us, but where has it got you? Go home! First, you dig like rodents under our walls. We both know that that did not go well for you. You are living proof that you cannot go over them either. Now your Duke comes to our gate to negotiate? It is obvious you are about to fold like a bad hand of Karnofell."
"Safe it is, is it? How was breakfast this morning? Was it a cat, or filet of horse? At least our Irish regiment is scouring the fields and forests foraging for edibles. Best cattle thieves I know too."
"We both know the countryside has been picked clean weeks ago. While you're huddled wet as a rat in your puddle, each night the country folk sneak past you fools with the freshest of fresh for us."
"Not true, you French fabricator! As a matter of fact a feast awaits me even now."
"A feast! It is very well known that not only did you foolish English not ration your food, but you ran out of beer! You actually have to drink water now?"
"Well, that's a choice we made. You have no idea, but water's all the rage in London now. For drinking, not bathing, of course."
"You know what else is popular in London these days I hear? Beheading your Queen! Touche` you toadstool. I hope all your water reeks of cat piss and is swimming with the plague."
" Yet what is all the rage in the streets of Paris? Turbans I'm told! Your King's sacrilegious union of the Crescent and the Lilly with Suleiman the Magnificent is blasphemy! Your king alone sides against the Christian church!"
"Oh, why don't you wake up? Wake up! WAKE UP!"
"Um, what…I mean who?"
"You, young man, that's who! Are you in the habit of falling asleep in my classroom? Sit up straight now, and wipe that drool from your face! You look as if you haven’t slept all night."
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to fall asleep. I was up late. I promise it won't happen again."
" It most certainly will not! Look at your dirty, dirty shoes! Did you drag them through every puddle you could find this morning?”
"I… ummm…I don't know. I don't think so."
" I have also been informed that you were late to school this morning. Were you late?"
“Well, no ma’am, I take the bus.”
“So then, of course you're ready to give your presentation?”
"Presentation? Uh…sure…yeah, it must be here somewhere."
"Young man, are you ready to make your presentation or are you not?"
"Sure, I guess. Do you want me to stand in front?"
"Of course, you silly boy! Aren't all presentations given from the front of the room? Class?"
" Yes Miss Howard."
"Well fine then, whenever you're ready."
" Okay, well, then, you see, King Henry the 8th was chilling in England in 1543. He was all bummed because his young wife was cheating on him, so he cut off her head. Then to lift his spirits he invaded France…"
"Young man. Excuse me young man! What, exactly, do you think you are doing?"
"I'm giving my report, Miss."
"What, exactly, is the theme of this report?"
" The theme is Henry VIII and the invasion of France."
"Oh my boys and girls! Oh my, very much indeed!"
"What's so funny? Why is everyone laughing at me?"
"Perhaps it is because you are being a muddy little hedgehog?"
"A muddy what?"
"You seem to be a confused young boy. Wouldn’t you agree class?”
“Sleepy, dirty, muddy, and late!”
“ I worked hard on this report Miss Howard.”
“Where, exactly, are you supposed to be right now young man?"
"What do you mean? I’m supposed to be right here. I'm in History class and it`s 4th period."
" Oh my, my, no, no, no! Correction. You are in Math class, and it is 7th period. You must have missed your History class. Now you'll never catch up!"
" Math class, Math class, now you'll never pass class!"
"Don't run away now boy! You'll never find your way out if you leave! I’m warning you! If you don't hurry you're going to be late again! Don`t be late!"
"Dude, wake up, you're going to be late! Wake up!"
"What, um, where am I? What time is it?"
"You are laying in a puddle of drool, on your desk, in your dorm room, where you were trying to pull an all-nighter to cram for your History exam. Obviously, that failed."
"Oh no, what time is it!"
"It's 7:47…class at …8:00?"
" Yes! Oh my God! I've got to go! I had the strangest dream while I slept. I'll tell you all about it when I get back. See you later, wish me luck!"
"Fine, just leave the door open, I'd be glad to shut it for you. GOOD LUCK…you muddy little hedgehog."