Merovingian Sensibilities

(Not Carolingian, that would be silly.)

When your great-grandfather was a sea monster, you’re allowed to get a little outrageous, Martin Fishhands thought, as he covered himself in tar and chicken feathers. (Some people spelled it ‘Fishands’ and that was just wrong!) There’s never another chance to make a great first impression, Martin Fishhands thought, as he painted his nose purple. Everyone is gonna love this! Martin Fishhands hummed to himself as he strapped what amounted to a primitive bagpipe onto his back. He hit it with a stick and it made a warbling mournful sound. Perfect, Martin Fishhands thought as he rolled around in the pig sty with all the other pigs. The smell was pungent, to say the least. All of the omens (chicken bones, tossed runes, the state-of-the-art fragmenomancy) agreed that his expedition to the Sorbs was doomed, but Martin Fishhands thought, Superstitious nonsense! and strapped the religious symbols of thirteen different tribes all over his body. As he was headed out the door, he paused, trying to decide if he should wear his sturdy, comfortable walking shoes or the fancy, slightly too small ones that were really just the height of fashion this season. He chose the fancy ones, thinking, Gotta look my best!

Two hundred miles later, his feet were pretty sore.

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