In what would later be called “a dunderhead move,”
the villagers cut down the cyclops (it was not
a svelte creature, but elusive, hard to kill).
(It had plagued them for years
with unfunny practical jokes,
and had frequently absconded
with entire herds of pigs
or vegetable gardens.
And once, a maiden.)
The problem being:
The village sat
just downwind of its final resting place.
For a while, the noble citizens acted as though
nothing was amiss
(though looking rather bilious at their bread, cheese, and mead).
Then they began to think twice.
Had the cyclops been that bad a fellow
to deserve such an indignity
as lying lumpen in a field
better used for butter beans or sunflowers?
The murderers (so they began to be called)
argued their actions were righteous,
but squandered the goodwill of their neighbors
Great civil unrest ensued.
Each side kept at the other
(no trace of the cyclops remaining),
the conflict petered out
and life returned to normal.
The Cyclops Killers never got respect.
When the cyclops’ wife came to town,
a herd of pigs, bushels of vegetables,
and a strapping, downy-cheeked youth,
in the square.