Wednesday, January 14, 2004

The Ballad of Wretchard

This post is in response to all the readers who've requested a bio, which would be useless to supply. But readers do deserve an explanation for the provenance of the name 'Wretchard'. Wretchard began life as a cat. Not just any cat, but the Great Miserable Cat who is the archetype of every kitty you've ever seen rummaging in the trash or furtively scurrying to escape oncoming cars. About ten years ago, I felt strongly enough about this imaginary feline to pen some doggerel, which goes like this:

While walking down the street one night
I saw a smear beneath the light,
and bending down upon one knee
a patch of yellow fur did see,
upon the ground the merest taint,
an absent-minded sketch in paint.
From beneath its erstwhile nose
this plaintive tale of woe arose.

"When I was young and had the means,
I used to like to eat sardines,
but then in my declining days
was forced to sup in alleyways.
One fateful evening at my meal
my tail was pinioned by a wheel.
The driver chuckled, then he laughed.
He first drove forward and then drove aft.
So tonight you see me flat.
But I was once a happy cat."

Yet I for one did not despair,
but pumped him up with lots of air.
Now marvel at my pet so fat.
For he was once a flattened cat.