A Critic's Meta-Review: 4/5

Allan, Allan
Who you are is not germaine
To what we must now ascertain
It’s bound to be a pain

Stella, Stella
La donna molto bella
Catch the eye of any fella
If she loves you then she’ll tell ya

Just promise not to smell her

She stinks; no lie
And though I
Love her madly
I cannot help but notice
That she smells oh so badly

Is it her clothes?
Doubtful - they’ve only just been made
It’s probably the mouthful of garlic lemonade
A jug of which she chugged
Before giving me a hug

Here I am, now, laying in the tub
Trying to scrub away the stench
From the wench
Please forgive me for my French
I just can’t bear to endure
Matter of fact, I do deplore
Such a stinky little wh-

Okay! Enough of that...enough of that. We do not have to see where that was going. I really do not think we have to. It’s alright. Honestly, let’s just pretend that none of this ever happened. Not just the opening poem - none of this. You know - this thing we find ourselves trapped in. Life’s web of confusion. It’s all an illusion.

Noo-clee-er fyoo-jin

(now say that five times fast, and let me know how it goes)

Not only is this the story of Stella Quatermain, beloved wife of Allan Quatermain. It is also the story of Hunter Quatermain, whose relationship to Allan is not nearly as clearly defined. All that we know, really, is that they have the same last name. That is it. The same last name, and interesting enough lives to be documented in written form.

Then, of course, are the three lions. Their story may be a bit more perplexing than the tale of the Quatermains. That is because lions are much more complex creatures than humans. We see them running around and eating gazelles and we think to ourselves “Gee, what a simple-minded species!” when in fact it is us who are the simple-minded ones. We are the ones who have no idea what we want out of life, while the lions know exactly what they want: to hunt gazelles and to raise strong lions who will grow up to hunt gazelles.

I guess that would make us more complex, actually, then. What are the odds?

The Long Odds — the final story.

It all works out, though. In the end at least.

Allan's Wife by H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925). Published by planksip

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