Not sure if this makes me a good apprentice, a bad apprentice, or some of both. Mistress Ceridwen was running the Gyrth Oldcastle Memorial Poetry Smackdown this year. In previous years, multiple poems have been written about her, and they seemed to focus on her butt. So, as one can imagine, her sweet and innocent apprentice/protegee is confused about all the attention being paid to her mistress’s ass.
There are two kind of inside jokes that make the poem make a bit more sense. The first is, well, Master Giacomo being Giacomo. He likes to torment Ceridwen. Kind of a lot. He’ll say, “Hey Ceridwen!,” “flash” her, and she has kind of an involuntary shriek reaction. (Flash is in scare quotes because he’s got braies on—he’s not actually being indecent in the middle of the event.) The other is that when Ceridwen was Baroness of Windmaster’s Hill, a squire named Dan was referring to rapier fighters as “skinny butt boys” (referring to a certain attitude). She protested that she wasn’t like that, and he stuck his foot right in his mouth when he said, “Oh, no, Your Excellency! There’s nothing skinny about your butt!”
The Legend of My Mistress’s Ass
A humble apprentice am I.
My mistress is noble and kind,
A lady in poetry skilled.
None better could you ever find.
One summer day sunny and fair,
I went with her donkey to town
On errands she sent me to run,
To visit the shops up and down.
And soon was he laden with books
Of poetry, stories, and song
No matter how heavy the load,
He faithfully plodded along.
I marveled as we went along
How many did stop on the way
And called out, “Hey, that’s a nice ass!”
Or patted the donkey that day.
When Giacomo saw us go past,
He called out, “Hey, Ceridwen, look!”
He lifted his tunic up high.
I shielded my eyes with a book.
But then when he saw who I was,
Embarrassed he cast his eyes low.
He said, “I saw Ceridwen’s ass
And wanted to give her a show.”
I said, “Not to worry, good sir.
Your message I’ll go and relay
And tell her about the small thing
You wanted to show her today.”
We walked by the tournament field.
One fighter stepped forward to call,
“Your donkey is sturdily built.
That ass isn’t skinny at all!”
When finally I returned home,
The donkey had well earned his rest.
Unloading his burdens I said,
“My mistress’s ass is the best!”