Stumpy and the Decision Tree      by Thorold May
                     page seventeen
Do you use that thing a whole lot then?
He asked in a wary way, but plunged on
For his desperate end, without pause;
Fact is, um Stumpy
I really need to know a bit of guff
'Cause the sharks are biting at my bum
And those wheels out there will never beat them to the gun.

Be my guest, came the quick reply, I know that feeling well;
This business hangs by fish hooks in the clouds …
The stranger slipped without a word upon his task,
His fingers flew, and numbers danced like dervishes
About a witch's brew, while Stumpy watched
And marvelled, and envied such control
Of empires built and banished with the speed of thought.

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"Stumpy and the Decision Tree" copyrighted to Thorold May 2000; all rights reserved