Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Centaur

The Centaur

The centaur of Greek legend
is an improbable beast,
or man, if you prefer —
half of him at least.
Take care if you invite him
to your wedding feast;
it’s possible you’ll find
you have no need for that priest.

Be sure he checks his bow
before he goes inside,
for he may wish to bridle
your intended bride!
She’ll contemplate his arrows,
then grow dissatisfied —
onto his back she’ll climb
and away she’ll ride!

Half of him is human,
half of him is horse;
neither one is likely
to ever feel remorse.
Nor the blushing bride
he did not need to force,
for you were only a man —
a centaur is more, of course!

Stephen Brooke ©2017

The centaur — it is improbable, isn’t it? I’ve tuned into some of the ‘Xena’ and ‘Hercules’ reruns lately on a new channel in the area (I rely on a rooftop antenna for television) and that led me to think upon the mythical creature. It is simply too preposterous and impractical a being for me to ever slip it into my own writing.

I think Edgar Rice Burroughs had the right idea with his centaur-like ‘Moon Men.’ They have four limbs, not six, with hindquarters similar to a horse wedded to a humanoid upper body. This comic book illustration has them about right.

I could see having such a creature inhabiting my fantasy tales. One can envision a logical evolutionary path leading to it. I have done something similar with griffins and other mythical animals in my novels, fitting them into more-or-less familiar family trees. So why not a ‘centauroid’ creature? Maybe in a future book, but only if a need arises.

No comments: