Sunday, November 7, 2021


He smiled. His teeth were small and clean
But crooked and vaguely faded.
There’s a partner to that story.

There was a man who was a good
Liar, which means good at lying,
But he had a good heart as well

And strove to use his gift for good,
To tell the lies people needed.
One day he noticed a goddess

Out hunting for the sport of it—
Deer, people, all the same to her,
Which she considered only fair.

When he came upon her, she had
Her golden bow drawn, a young child
In her sights. That child’s not human,

The good liar called out to her,
And when she swiveled her fine head
And pierced him with her grey-eyed gaze,

He quickly made up a good lie,
Not his best, but just good enough
To give the child time to run off.

Divinity can’t be fooled long,
And when the goddess realized
She’d been tricked, she shot him instead,

And when the gods are furious,
They don’t let you die easily.
They come up with something grisly,

Or saddle you with some weird curse.
The goddess’s poisoned arrow
Cursed the good liar to never

Be able to talk but in tales
And worse, to always be believed.
When he realized he wasn’t dead,

The good liar went home relieved
But somewhat confused. When he tried
To tell people what had happened,

Only preposterous stories
About shipwrecks and foreign wars
Came out of his mouth. Everyone

Believed every wild thing he said.
He insisted he was fibbing,
He couldn’t help making things up,

But they put their faith in his tales,
And rushed off to plunder shipwrecks,
And rushed off to fight foreign wars.

Every time he opened his mouth,
Some awful fantasy popped out
That everybody acted on,

So that the good liar became,
Entirely against his will,
A very bad liar indeed,

Until one day, begging someone
To understand he told stories,
That’s all, just stories, worth nothing,

Somehow he made the grave mistake
Of telling of a truth teller
Who could eat lead and excrete gold.

In minutes he was filled with lead,
And so ended the good liar.
The small teeth gleamed. Bad liar, me.

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