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Filopastry, the Queen of the Sherwood Forest and District Flower Fairies, just could not believe her luck when one morning who should trip in but Leroy the leprechaun wearing the golden cape and green jock strap of the Nottingham Poetasters Guild. Leroy, full of the gaiety and abandon that often assails the woodland sprites when the peach blossom is at its fullest and the butterflies at their most playful and frivolous, told the queen of his rhymes and his madcap schemes while the bees disapprovingly looked on.

"Wanda the wanton wild witch of the west," he started, dancing a little mocking Roi Soleil minuet on a white polka-dotted toadstool (which Filopastry kept for the toads when they came to visit).

"... Was at mornings not at her very best ..." He giggled in a silly, silly way. Filopastry, catching his silliness, giggled also. Her giggle was so high pitched that no human ear could hear it, but the squirrels were alarmed, especially Freddie Squirrel, who, in the lee of the huge, huge oak, missed his footing and came down with a loud plump! on to the bracken.

"Hoo-eey!" cried Filopastry, "are you all right?" The squirrels speak so quickly that few can understand them, but although she did not catch his reply, she judged from the fact that he had smartly toddled off into the heather that he could not have been hurt.

"... After tripping on the cord, she cursed the kettle ..." continued Leroy, making exaggerated gestures to illustrate the point.

"... Which exploded in a thousand shards of metal,
And ruined her dungeon-pattern wallpaper

"Is that it?" asked Filopastry. Leroy looked non-plussed. She tapped her wand against a toadstool to wake up the enchanted woodworm, who often slept late.

"It's verse! It's poetry!" said Leroy, jumping up and down so enthusiastically that even the magic woodworm in its dozy and irate state could not help being taken in by his infectious charm (the magic woodworm, Bucephalos, was like the fictitious Wanda in that mornings were not his favoured time of day).

"So that's what the Nottingham Poetasters Guild do, then ... write driv- I mean, poetry like that ..."

"Yes, verily, yes, yes, yes!" confirmed Leroy doing cartwheels across the floor. Then he climbed atop the toadstool, and, swinging a leg in rhythm, chanted,

For once, Leroy was lost for words. He flushed and started muttering to himself.

"Zounds! I can't rhyme the last line - shooed her? sued her? ... No, it doesn't work ... hmm ..."

He went quiet, though she heard him say that Byron would probably have found a rhyme.

"And how often do you meet?"

"We-ell," said Leroy, "there's one coming up soon - in the sultry heat of July, the Oxford Byron Society will come to Newstead Abbey where the ghosts of Byron and his great-uncle, the Wicked Lord, walk yet among the satyrs ... they will gorge themselves on the choicest of morsels and vintage and then enunciate the vulgar drivel that they call poetry - either that or be sick - or maybe both. The Nottingham Poetasters Guild - all the leprechauns, fairies and sprites - will be there, but the people won't be able to see us."

"It doesn't sound very attractive to me," said Filopastry, doing a majorette act with her wand, making the magic woodworm extremely ill in the process.

"Well," said Leroy, "like the music of Richard Wagner, it's better than it sounds. If you go, then you are normally so drunk by the time that it comes to the poetry reading that you don't fully appreciate just exactly how bad it is."

Filopastry was unconvinced.