Copyright 2004 R.D. Ellison
With acknowledgement, adulation, and apology to L.M. Montgemery, whose passing reference first brought to life the two title characters Jim Malloy and His Stowaway
Jim Malloy and His Stowaway
Jim Malloy he tried to be happy
And Jim Malloy he tried to be pleased
He tried very hard to think of the
Swell harbour and trees.
For the Island it was a beauty
All red-roaded and picturesque
But bare as old Ireland, so wholly
To his kin's ways new.
Jim out of place and Jim ill at ease
Drove, borrowed buggy, from the station
Bags bounced crazy as had on the lees -
But they broke the drowning silence about
So for their jangling Malloy blessed them
Put on a face, for never his doubts
To his wife 'fessed them.
The vain-glor'ous grey threw back his head
As to the womenfolk they drew near.
Sighting their things, the bright girls, sun-fed,
Let out a cheer.
They gathered to unload the buggy
High-spirited and high-afeared
Their quick chatter and slim deft hands busy
Not in Malloy mirrored.
Each girl picked out a single bundle
Left Jim with the family displacements
Low-felt as their laughs left in arms cradled
When inside they went.
Jim Malloy he tried for the big trunk
Then Jim Malloy he tried not to yelp
But let it drop, into the ground sink
That he couldn't help.
For glancing back at him was a sight
Behind t'old trunk, from Ireland, anon
Here caught by Jim's eyes in mutual fright:
A spry leprechaun.
He stood small and squat with legs like roots
Which held him and his captive eyes
As glint rained from cap and belt to boots
Of hazelnut size.
"Hallo!" said Jim. "You're a long ways home - "
When a fiery halo caused holler
Looked for him past the sensation dome -
Gone - and likely far!
At where he had been Malloy gazed and
Gazed and would have gazed forevermore,
Ears humming, when the women, with a slam,
Stepped out from the door.
He told what he'd seen in one dazed shout
Miz Malloy gaze him a look of wrath
Then one then the other girl let out
A good-natured laugh.
Jim tried to explain, vaguely fearing
Many such a same look and giggle
Could not a word, throat tight and failing -
And lo! a wiggle!
Jim Malloy he tried to hide his rue
And Jim Malloy he tried to fake some
But try as he might his sharp wife knew
Though her lips were dumb.
For Malloy would touch his ears lots now
And when he thought none else near his pitch
He'd whistle once, low, and allow
One sad wistful twitch.