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Hunt in the Magic Forest

In this fantasy poem a king sends out hunters for a deer for a feast. The hunters stumble into a magical forest, and to protect the forest inhabitants one of their kind is chosen for sacrifice, that the others are not found or harmed.
©2011 by Jon Gutmacher
In the forest
running deer . . .
swift of hoof
hunters near
from the King
their message clear
bring one back
for Feast
is near

Armed with arrow
armed with bow
no sword on belt
but knife in tow
swiftly thru the tree filled wood
silent
do they go

Fairies hide
gnomes dig deep
trolls are watching
from their keep
the magic of the forest trees
disappears as men
approach

One must die
to save us all
so we live
one must fall
and from the wood
comes stag so strong
sacrificed
by magic call

That he dies is not the thing
“You are remembered!”
the fairies sing
but accepts his fate
so slow
stoic as this day
must go

arrow swift
and arrow deep
straight to heart
its point does seek
oh, so quick
and oh, so fast
that in death
the rest
will last

Taken back to castle hall
head to grace
a castle wall
skin to clothe a hunter’s back
meat for all
as embers crack

And the circle
now complete
until the time
comes next

The image was found at http://wall.alphacoders.com/big.php?i=108974, and neither the artist, artist’s website, or image name was furnished.
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