• 2001: No 3694


    Competition No 3694

    Various people have commented that you couldn’t make Jeffrey Archer up. We thought our great writers could. You were asked to pick one and send in a sample of their writing.


    Jonathan Swift

    My friend Delmanson took me to see the rope-dancers, and I watched amazed as these six-inch figures leapt on a slender white thread. He told me of the most notorious dancer, Frefjey Rechra. While most dancers were finished by a single fall, Rechra had such a thick rubbery skull that he had bounced back several times.

    Rechra belonged to the troupe – now much diminished – opposed to the King Bilra. He had begun as an assembly-man, in which profession outrageous promises were made, as for example, ‘I shall now leap two feet in the air’. The most successful told the greatest falsehoods.

    Having slipped from the rope, Rechra became a chronicler. Here too falsehoods were required, as for example: ‘Here is the tale of a man who did leap six  feet’. Such tale-telling made Rechra rich, till he committed the unforgivable sin of telling a falsehood to the tribunal, the one place such things are forbidden.

    He slipped again and now lies on straw in a dungeon. Some say this was his final fall, but others believe that this koroc (being translated ‘slippery bastard’) will emulate the legendary Nester Underssa and soon be back on the rope.




    William Shakespeare

                                        At first the infant,

    Lying and cheating e’en in his mother’s arms.

    And then the running scholar, with his wallet

    And smarmy morning face, going to school

    - or somewhere thereabouts. And then the lover,

    With time for whores, though quite devoted

    Unto his fragrant wife. The novelist next,

    Full of strange tales, and padded out with words,

    Seeking the bubble reputation,

    A greater boon than Mills. Then the Vice-Chairman,

    In fair round belly with good claret lined,

    Full of wise words and modernising thoughts,

    And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts

    And now brings forth the mayoral candidate,

    With brave ideas on how to run the tube,

    Until cruel fate removes him from the stage,

    Still whistling in the dark. Last scene of all

    That ends this strange eventful history,

    Is second court case and imprisonment,

    Sans job, sans cash, sans friends, sans everything.