A wizard on the river bank I met.
He towered over six foot three and yet
his eyes looked on me with a kindly gaze
as if we two had met. He knew my ways,
knew I was tired, feeling stiff and sore.
He beckoned to me from the sandy shore,
set round with glow worms and with fireflies.
“Come sit” he said “and rest your weary eyes.”
Slowly I sank at his command. I knew
that there was nothing else that I could do,
enthralled by the sheer beauty of this place,
the balmy air, its green and simple grace.
Then throwing me a fond yet furtive look,
he asked if I could find the strength to cook.
“I promise to grant you a single wish
if you keep quiet while I catch a fish.”
I waited while he cast and reeled his line
and thought of all the things that could be mine.
My single wish must fetch the choicest prize –
something to gladden hearts and brighten eyes.
At last the wizard caught a tiger fish
(in tinfoil I prepared a tasty dish
upon the coals that were exactly right –
a steady glow) and then to my delight
he wiped his lips and said “Now you can pick
what you would like. One wish. But please be quick.”
“I want” I said “the beauty of this place.”
“All men are glad” he said “to see your face.”
“You mean to say my wish’s already granted?”
“Let’s rather say” he said “the seed is planted.
But you must do exactly as I say.”
“Of course” I said “if there’s no other way.”
And so he listed all that I must do,
involving fillet steak and mutton stew,
and steaming vegetables and rich dessert.
“And afterwards a coffee wouldn’t hurt.”
Reluctantly I said that I would try
(wiping a stray tear from my eye).
“But are you sure that this will do the trick?
Make me of all the beauties one to pick?”
“One final thing” he said “to get it right.”
He winked: “Be sure to dine by candlelight.”