Ingrate Ghoul, Scattered Sprig

I met this morn a beckoning ghoul. It beckoned me, and like a fool I answered its summons. I followed it towards the drains. There, by the gutter, next to the drains, it began to drool. I shuddered, as one shudders when confronted by a ghoul. The drains stank. The ghoul stank too. From the sprig in my fist, I handed it a chrysanthemum. It took the flower in its ghostly claw, and chucked it into the drains. O ingrate ghoul! Ingrate ghoul! I turned my back on the stinking phantom and pranced away, contemptuous, like a fop. It does not do to show contempt to a ghoul. From behind, it clutched me in its cold spindly arms, and twirled me round, and flung me into the drains. I dropped my sprig of chrysanthemums. O scattered sprig! Scattered sprig! Sprawled in the drains, I saw the ghoul shimmer and vibrate and shape-shift. Before my eyes, it was become a pig. It grunted once, and trotted away towards its sty. I lay in the drains and stared up at the sky, immense and blue and blank. And no birds sing.

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