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Momus

"The Kappa"

Be careful by the river when a kappa is about
He’s a folk monster, a hairy kind of lout
Scaly like a reptile, smaller than a man
With green webbed feet, a salamander hand

He swims like a fish but the kappa smells dead
A flat wet plate on the pate of his head
Which must stay wet or the kappa grows weak
Sharp little teeth, a nose like a beak

Human children are his favourite food
Aubergines and cuc*mbers are just as good
Remember that the kappa can irrigate land
Help you with the harvest when you need a hand

And even at his worst, at the height of his attack
If you bow to a kappa he always bows back

Totally unprincipled but outwardly polite
He’s a folk monster and a rapist on the side
He lurks down by the river fingering kimonos
So a naked pearl diver should never go solo

For a kappa may be lurking on the bottom of the lake
Ready to accost and impregnate
And soon a little folk monster will be born
Bury it at once or the kappa will return

If you have to fight you’ll win if you can get
The arms off his body or the water off his head
Remember that the kappa can bring you fish
Reset your bones if you ever break a wrist

And even at his worst, at the height of his attack
If you bow to a kappa he always bows back

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #


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