Stumpy and the Decision Tree        by Thorold May
                    page twenty-seven
The two men glared, all hackles up, and circled round a chair.
The room was thick with summer heat, the silence like wet air.
You groggy half-wits, two of you, I ought to drown you both;
They looked at her in shock. Meg O'Brien has never played your Net,
But by the jesus, can't you see the game? Don't  you know a winning streak
From fighting in the dirt? You, Stumpy, pulled this on,
You haven't been yourself; and Prawn, get real. It's here that you belong.

She paused, and brushed the hair back from her eyes.
Then Stumpy shrugged and sighed;
I'm sorry kids. It's just that I've been pushed.
Prawn, you're right. You've given me a lead where I was lost.
A cache you call it? Then there's hope.
Indeed that machine has flown a dizzy path,
A wizard's hand was at its helm, not mine.

…to be continued

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"Stumpy and the Decision Tree" copyrighted to Thorold May 2002; all rights reserved