In a house of sticks sat a marchioness and two of her maids. They went there Sundays.
Isolde had to be a fancy lady. She had a manor specially built for tea.
Polly was a doll, Wendy a felt horse. They sipped with their pinkies up, of course.
Isolde's friends would say, in a candid way, that her society was improving, most days.
Isolde in her house, off in a copse while mother slept. Father gone in a pinstriped suit and a governess hanging clothes, singing Irish.
Isolde had a dirty cheek; blackish loam smeared on pretty while birch bark and because of the low light, stinging, not seeing, 'twas a splinter buried...
In the dappled shade, spinney leaves will fade. They hid behind and old wicker chair-seat front gate.
She must drift outside; dainty, lilting strides, and by fairy craft give her teahouse eyes.
Isolde wants window light! She dislikes parasites! Open the walls and oh, my dear, well that smells lovely!
But do you hear the sound of a dead and wood bone cracking? There's a foot upon the ground without and the birds left off laughing!
Stay within thy castle and mute thy ladies' thread and cotton tongues. Their songs, if sung, would bring the broken stick foot hither!
Another step draws near! Thy ladies shake with fear! Don't make a sound! Tendrils run along the ground, they're searching, searching!
Is it alive or dead? Does the footfall have a head? Is it a face with eyes, and has it spied Isolde small and pale with dread?
And then sepulchral breath slips past teeth all wrong from death. That crooked air won't linger there, it drips and drops on Isolde's hair...
Isolde tumbles out and away, gone from the woods and into the daylight. She will sip her tea with the governess and listen to mother sleeping!
Isolde doesn't need a special secret wooded teatime retreat! There's nothing restful about a parlor rank with rot and loud with needlefeet!