A gallant knight, Sir Halifax,
Was terrified of tiny cracks.
A braver knight you’d never need
For doing an heroic deed.
But he’d turn his tail and call it quits
If he encountered little slits
The sort that spring up here and there
The sort that spring up everywhere.
A captured maiden could relax
Whenever good Sir Halifax
Rode up on his trusty charger;
No hero ever loomed up larger.
And the flames of fiery dragons sputtered
If the brave knight’s name were ever uttered
Sir Halifax loved to rout a rogue or
Mortify a misdemeaning ogre.
And he got a warm spot in his gizzard
Whenever he whacked a wicked wizard
There was extant no evil creature
With sharpened claw or fearsome feature
That aroused the slightest fleck of fright
Beneath the breastplate of our good knight
And yet he’d sooner eat a tack
Than have to face the smallest crack.
He could take a nook, but not a cranny
The entire thing was quite uncanny;
The merest hint of the slightest gap
Would leave our hero in a flap.
And any courage he might have left
Would vanish if he met a cleft.
It did, it’s plain, quite disconcert
For cracks are tough things to avert.
In battles, he preferred the lance
For it kept his foes at a fair distance
But he’d leave the scene without a trace
If he met a rival face to face
Cause copious slits, you realize
Are in the visors that protect knights’ eyes
Which is why Sir Hal would never wear one
Which helped his reputation as a rare one
And made him a hit with the optometrical classes
For he was always smashing up his glasses
They kept things smooth as polished wax
At the castle of good Sir Halifax;
There wasn’t a crevice or a chink in sight
They kept the whole place sealed up tight
To avoid those gaps you find near floors
Sir Hal’s castle had no doors.
Which meant it had to have a giant moat
Which you crossed in a big smooth-bottomed boat.
The moat required a weekly fill,
Giving Sir Hal a massive water bill.
But he’d rather have that bill to pay
Than face a crack on any day
But things got worse as time went by
And every bedtime, Sir Hal would cry
“I can’t go on like this,” he’d say,
I’ve got to find another way.
If only someone knew the reason
That cracks to me are so displeasin’.”
As if in answer to his invocation,
His cousin came for a short vacation.
In days gone by when both were boys
The two had argued over toys
The way that cousins often do.
They’d had a fisticuff or two.
But now Roland, his name, and Hal
Each thought the other his closest pal.
They’d been apart for many a year,
And Rollie was surprised to hear
His cousin in his knightly diction
Explain about his odd affliction.
Then Roland’s eyes went bright
“I think I’ve got the answer right
I think I know the cause,” he said,
“Your fear of cracks is in your head.”
Which put Sir Hal into a snit
“I know it’s in my head, you twit.”
“No, no you fail to catch my drift,
Call for a barber and make it swift.”
The barber came and didn’t shirk
And of Hal’s hair he made short work.
And when Hal’s head was a glistening pate,
“Aha,” said Rollie, “I had it straight.”
Employing two mirrors he was able to show
Sir Hal the cause of all his woe.
Across his scalp, toward the back,
Was an ugly, jagged, nasty crack.
“The reason,” Roland said he knew
“Was ’cause I gave the thing to you.”
It seemed that during a boyish spat
Rollie had crowned Hal with a bat
But brave young Hal never once complained
So no one knew he had been brained.
“Now call for a surgeon,” Rollie implored,
“We’ll have your cranium restored.”
And using stitches and rubber cement
The doc fixed all but a smallish dent
“Now, unless my guess I miss
You’ll never fear an interstice,”
Said Roland, and he was quite right
Cracks never more gave Hal a fright.
He put in doors from moat to tower
And guests could relax while in the shower.
To celebrate he bought a suit of armor
From a knight who’d quit to be a farmer
With lots of little crackly bits
And a visor that was full of slits.
And after that he got a post
In charge of all the northwest coast
For the Department of National Revenue
Collecting all that was owed and due
From peasants who to avoid the tax
Concealed their cash in little cracks.