The Chef

A dark children's fable told in verse about the origins of a well-known movie monster

In a grand royal castle overlooking the sea,

Worked a chef of much fame and infamy.

He was the toast of his nation, worshiped by all,

But was the bane of creatures, great and small.

Jackal jelly, Koala knish;

Nothing escaped his banquet dish.

Flamingo falafel, Mole macaroons;

A veritable zoo for forks, knives and spoons.

From far and wide great people came,

Not for the king, to his kingly shame,

But to feast at the heavenly supper table,

Of the culinary ruler known in rhyme, book and fable.

Regents ravished his Rattlesnake ravioli.

Admirals attacked his Albatross aioli,

Sultans would sup on his Sea Slug sorbet,

And the Pope partook in his Penguin parfait.

Although this fare may sound exotic,

There are tastes in this world, yet more quixotic.

In his secret cellar, beneath a hidden trapdoor,

Were shelves of magic bottles, a hundred or more.

Centaur scorn, Dryad lust,

Dragon jealousy, Unicorn trust,

Faerie whispers and Pixie elation,

Concoctions of wild, supernatural creation.

These rare treasures, were not kept for fun,

But for a patron he loved, a most fascinating one.

For a chambermaid, both bubbly and bright,

He’d secretly serve magic meals of delight.

Infusions of primal emotion and feeling,

To beckon her soul and leave senses reeling.

Yet, although enchanting, she was also fickle,

And would only grace him when her tastebuds would tickle.

But the chef, so enthralled by his heart’s greatest whim,

Was wretchedly unaware of her indifference to him.

One fine morning, out of the blue,

Arrived a French King and his princes, two.

Fat little imps, with bellies quite large,

Fat little echoes of their father’s visage

Had arrived to meet the Duke of dishes

And fulfill their stomach’s most gluttonous wishes.

Thus, the poor chef was tasked with the deed,

Of minding the brats, whilst planning their feed.

As he trudged back to the kitchen, his charges in tow,

His mind raced for recipes, far, wide, and low.

The Princelings followed noisily, and as he pondered on this,

A note on the door, he nearly did miss.
“Meet me at Raven’s Hollow, in the old forest glade”,

Read a cryptic note, from his sweet chambermaid.

To the princes, he said, “I must go! Wait inside!”

And bolted as fast as a racehorse could ride.

Out of breath, with sore feet, he arrived at his meeting,

Where the maid allowed him but a glance, barely fleeting.

“Oh there you are, Chef... I heard the Court Jester speak,

Of a wondrous potion, to which my interest did pique.

Death’s Laughter in a bottle, although nothing rarer,

Would enhance my figure and make me even fairer.

If for me, this treasure you can bring,

I suppose...I guess...I’ll marry you...or something…"

Joy of joys! His heart leapt and soared!

In his hidden cellar, such a bottle was stored!

He raced back to the castle, legs feeling weak,

A smile on his face and a rose in his cheek.

He skipped into the kitchen, heart as big as the moon,

But as he entered his cellar, it popped like a balloon.

Empty shelves and shattered bottles in rainbow pools,

And two fat princes, gibbering like fools.

After sharing a draught of Hobgoblin spite,

They set about destroying every bottle in sight.

Now the chef had always been a kindly soul,

But this cruel twist of fate had taken its toll.

He flew into a rage, his face turning red,

And above all else, just wished to be dead.

The last bottle untouched was Witch’s malice,

A drop of which, could make a Saint turn callous.

He swigged the lot, to end his life,

But only caused his insides strife.

His soul transformed into a malevolent beast,

And he grinned at the Princes; “I’ve an idea for the feast...”

As the butler announced the dishes for the night,

The chef stood in the shadows, away from the light.

A demented grin and bloody gleam in his eyes,

When the butler announced his “Dolphin Surprise”.

While the French king chewed heartily, with wobbling chins,

He asked him, “Where is le blowhole, les flippers and les fins?”

The Chef whispered, “these dolphins have none of those things,

For they in fact, are your little princelings.”

The French king fainted, overcome with disgust,

His own king condemned him (as he felt he must).

“For the charge of being a horrendous lout,

Turn his mangy skin inside out!

Pluck out his eyes and sew them to his palms!

Knock out his teeth and break his arms!”

After being dragged through the streets, by king’s decree,

The thing, once a man, was thrown into the sea.

The viscera drifted for several days,

Ignored by turtles, sharks and stingrays.

Until it washed up on a shore in distant lands,

And by fate, fell into a strange creature’s hands.

A Faun, nameless, but to the wind and trees,

Saw the grotesque arrival, as an opportunity to seize.

After five hundred years, he tired of the sport,

Of deceiving children, making tiny minds contort.

They needed a new monster, one to truly fear,

So he gave life to the corpse, and a terrifying veneer.

The Faun then disappeared, to be seen no more,

Until he appeared again in 1944.

The poor chef was gone, and in his stead,

Was a nightmarish beast, for children to dread.

Where greed manifested, then so did he,

To maim, kill and gorge himself on all he’d see.

Apples pinched from orchards and fish taken from nets,

These rapscallions soon had many regrets.

Pies stolen from sills and honey plundered from hives,

None of these scamps escaped with their lives.

Despite the fact that he was a frightful beast,

He could still prepare the most magnificent feast.

He still made those wondrous dishes of dreams,

But made of little boy wails and little girl screams.

He’d wait, while a glutton stumbled into his lair,

And scoffed up his banquet without a care.

When they turned to leave, content with their lives,

He’d tear them to shreds, with fingers like knives.

So warn your little pigs, if you are able,

That the Pale Man awaits at the head of the table.