and the Twelve
"and a patridge in a pear tree...."
Jane's lilting voice had finally completed the
last, agonizing verse of the repetitious Christmas song. As Jane waltzed
into the living room at Greystoke Manor, Tarzan made a conscious effort
to unclench his teeth. He tried to effect a somewhat jocular tone as he
"Jane, if I hear you singing The Twelve Days of
Christmas one more time I'll go crazy."
"But Tarzan, it's such a delightful song," Jane
"It's a stupid song," said Tarzan. "What
would anyone even do with a partridge in a pear tree, let alone 10 lords
a leaping. I see enough of that when the adjournment gavel comes down at
Parliament. Now, five golden rings, that has some promise. They could be
melted down into ingots and stored in our vaults."
"Really, Tarzan," said Jane. "You need to show
some Christmas spirit. What about six geese a laying? You do enjoy several
big fried eggs at breakfast, along with a rasher of raw Horta bacon."
"Breakfast?" said Tarzan. "That's why God made
chickens. Goose eggs have never done anything for me except leave
me with a spell of amnesia. And who needs twelve drummers slapping their
snares when we've got the Waziri living next door with that incessant thumping
on their bongos every night!"
"Well," said Jane, "if you don't like the song
why don't you try writing some new lyrics for me to sing?"
"Now that's an idea," said Tarzan. He sat down
at the piano and began plinking away at the familiar melody, stopping every
few bars to write lines on a piece of paper. Just as Tarzan had a
knack for learning new languages, he had also developed a flair for learning
musical instruments. He taught himself the piano after first learning the
guitar, taking a few lessons from Korak, who had been taught to play by
his barracks buddies in the Army. Once Tarzan had gotten the hang of the
instrument, he had quit the lessons and gone ahead and become fully proficient
on his own, just like many of the Edgar Rice Burroughs fans.
At last he finished and spun around on the piano
stool, smiling at Jane. "Okay, listen to this," he said. Jane sat down
with a look of eagerness on her face.
Tarzan began singing: "On the first day of Christmas,
my dear Jane gave to me (Tarzan looked lovingly at Jane and she tilted
her head and smiled back.) "...a slain bara in a tall tree."
"Oh Tarzan," Jane frowned. "Be serious!"
"All right, all right," said Tarzan. "Here's the
real song. On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a snobbish
butler with a goatee..."
"Tarzan! That's enough!" Jane said. "Anyway, we
already have a maid."
"Okay. Okay. All kidding aside. Here's the song."
Jane folded her arms. "It better be," she warned.
Tarzan grinned and sang, "On the first day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me...a monkey and a calliope."
"Oh, why did I even suggest this," said Jane. "This
is so stupid."
"Thanks for agreeing with me, my dear," said Tarzan,
crumpling up the paper with the notes he had made. "I told you it was a