“Welcome, everyone to the Strangest Character Ceremony! I’d like to start by…er, hang on a moment…”
“You want me to what?”
“Oh boy. If you say so, I guess.”
“Welcome, one and all, to a ceremony most fair,
where we celebrate the strange ones, to show them how we care.
Presenting today is a man of quick wit
who speaks only in rhyme; Tom Bombadil! And now I quit.”
I leave the stage as Tom Bombadil bounds onto it, all smiles, and nearly trips over his feet in his excitement. He levels his gaze with the audience and spreads his arms wide.
“It’s a pleasure to see you all gathered around,
for the announcement of one in whom strangeness abounds.
But first we must hear the grand nominees,
the contestants who made it to the round three.”
Tom riffles through a stack of papers and loudly clears his throat.
“First there is…scarecrow. What an odd name!
Are you sure this is correct? Well, all the same,
he’s made of straw, with a silly little face,
he bounces along to get place to place.
He doesn’t talk much, if at all, really,
but there is more to him than the eye can see!”
The audience claps as the scarecrow bounces on his pole, bits of hay falling to the floor beneath him, seeming to want to convey to the people that he is pleased they are clapping for him, but unable to do so. His blank stare and stiff body pause and clunk against the chair he is propped against. Beside him, Sophie rolls her eyes.
“Next comes Gurgi, a creature of rhymes,
much like me, a poet full time!
All covered in leaves with matted down fur,
he has long skinny arms that are grimy for sure!
But he is the most loyal creature, despite the grime,
though crunchings and munchings take up most of his time.”
Gurgi timidly stands and faces the audience. As they clap, he smiles, but quickly sits down, mumbling under his breath to Taran sitting beside him. “Gurgi’s poor, tender head hurts from the clapping,” he says quietly. Taran pats him on the shoulder with a small smile.
“A cat with attitude is next on our list,
his riddles and puzzles will make your mind twist.
It’s the Cheshire Cat, with his purple stripes and grin,
you might get lost in Wonderland and happen upon him.
He isn’t quite helpful, but he isn’t all bad.
Though if you hang about him too long, you might grow mad.”
The audience scans the crowd for any sign of the feline, but it isn’t until they look up do they notice the striped cat lounging on one of the rafters above, lazily licking a paw, a giant grin on his face. Alice looks up in frustration, but says nothing. The cat seems to enjoy the applause given to him, but quickly fades away as the clapping dies down.
“What this ceremony requires is a doctor, don’t you agree?
Well, Miracle Max is the one it will be!
He’s got lots of character, and is quite nice, I think,
as long as your name isn’t Prince Humperdinck.
He can heal you of all sorts of diseases,
but he might not help you. You see, he does what he pleases.”
Miracle Max stands from his chair, raising a hand as if to say ‘no, no, please don’t clap for me,’ as the audience gives a round of applause. Valerie sitting beside him crosses her arms, clearly annoyed her husband is being given all the credit when she is the one always convincing him to do the right thing. After a few moments, she yanks his sleeve and he falls abruptly back into his seat, glowering at her.
“And finally we have a fiery demon.
Don’t worry, he’s friendly! I’d love you to meet him.
Oddly charming, but perhaps sometimes whiny,
his name is Calcifer, and at first he seems spiny.
But after you talk with him, he’s really quite smart.
Because deep down, he has a very big heart.”
In a little fire pit set before Howl’s and Sophie’s row, Calcifer flames up at the mention of his name, growing larger as the audience claps louder. “Calcifer, stop that,” Sophie says, swatting at him. “You’ll burn the scarecrow.” The scarecrow shifts his body to face Sophie, then swivels back to Calcifer and bounces down a couple empty chairs. Calcifer grudgingly stops.
“The votes have been tallied, the totals have been scored.
Who is the winner of this most auspicious award?”
The audience waits with bated breath as Tom pauses for dramatic affect. The scarecrow bounces up and down in his seat five chairs away from his party, and the Cheshire Cat reappears, eyes and grin wide. Miracle Max leans forward in his seat, while Valerie rolls her eyes as if to say “Honestly, dear, why are you so keen on winning this award, of all the awards.” But she doesn’t say anything, instead just watches on.
Tom clears his throat. And winks at Valerie.
“It is the healer Miracle Max, that we so jubilantly celebrate!
He has won, defied the odds, and now we all must demonstrate
our warmest regards by clapping loud for everyone to hear!
Congratulations and adulation to our winner of this year!”
The audience bursts into applause, as Max stares dumbfounded for but a moment before welcoming the praise being showered on him. Valerie smiles, rolling her eyes, but rises and gives her husband a kiss. After all, he did win. And she’s proud of him for that. Tom Bombadil motions for Max to come up on stage and then hands him a gold silmaril with a sly wink.
“Thank you all for coming, we’re so glad you could attend.
But now I must be off, I have important matters to amend.
And with these parting words I say, adieu and enjoy the rest!
Take some time to socialize and be our welcomed guests!”
Tom Bombadil bounds off stage in the same manner as bounded on and promptly vanishes in the throe of people.
“Do…do I still have to rhyme everything I say? Tom? I’m not rhyming anymore!”
I shake my head, shrugging my shoulders. “Well, thank you everyone for coming! Be sure to visit Christine tomorrow to see who wins the Most Mischievous Imp award!”
Thanks for reading guys! Hooray for Miracle Max! What did you think of the ceremony? Are you happy for Max? Let me know down below!