Ballad, Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Joy, Poetry

The Ballad of Brinkin’s Brew

This ballad was made popular during an advertising campaign in the 400’s for Brinkin’s Brew, when the brewers included the ballad inside the label of all cases sold. As with all ballads, it is best sung out loud. It also helps to have a pint of Brinkin’s Brew in hand.

This tale takes place deep down in the mines,
Where brew is enjoyed each day.
The place is truly wondrously made,
Its beer all hearts it sways.

And who concocts this wonderful drink?
Only the best and the hearty.
Their names are Blorten, Benny, and Burt,
Along with the rest of the party.

You see, the brewers all are dwarves,
Masters of hops and grain.
Their recipes are always highly sought after,
But thieves are brought to pain.

And thieves do come in many a number,
Seeking the drafts from their rows.
Yet break-ins are always quite expected,
For the thieves’ habits are commonly known.

Yes, these dwarves are ever prepared,
Not salty about the intruders.
They revel in their daily routine,
Waiting in joy for the looters.

Now let’s join the dwarves at five after five,
When they gather for a meal.
They’ve finished another long day of work,
And are ready to sup with zeal.

The round table is filled with mutton and mead,
All of the dwarves with cheery grins.
They say a brief blessing and raise their glasses,
Then the feasting and laughing begins.

A little while later the food has vanished,
Replaced by beer and a hammer.
With brew in one hand and hammer in the other,
The game begins with song and a slammer!

“My brothers, each night it is the same,
A smashing, head-banging game!
Why do the vermin keep coming back?
They know they’ll get a good ‘ol whack!”

After Bobbert finishes his lines,
He slams a peg through the wood.
As this peg disappears from sight,
Another pops out as it should.

This raised peg is in front of Brigman,
All pegs linked under the table.
It’s his turn to whack the bulbous target,
Continuing the song that seems like fable.

“What a sound the whacking makes!
A ringing ting as their helmets shake!
Down go their heads with a thump,
Our heavy blows leave a lump.

We eight dwarves are strong in might,
Quick with the hammer in the fight.
Never a mole has breached our kegs,
Unable to rise to their legs!

Concussed and bruised their heads must be,
Forgetting how to count to three.
Stupid, and dull, and determined the same,
Our beer’s allure driving the game.

So here’s a toast to those dirty beasts,
Who despite the blackouts don’t decease.
Our brew is ours and shall never be taken,
Their quest one eternally forsaken!”

Now as the dwarves were rousing a rabble,
The moles at hand prepared an attack.
At the center of connecting tunnels,
The talk was how not to get smacked.

“Upon seeing a dwarf, tarry and wait,
He’ll move to another place.
If there’s an opening, don’t hesitate,
Off to the bottles you shall race.

The goal is only a pint or two,
A taste of ale or stout.
So don’t be greedy if you make it through,
Or your head will receive a clout.

Always remember that they can’t hit us all,
No matter their taunts of joy.
So even if most of us falter and fall,
Be a brave girl and boy.

So let us race with vigor and haste,
The drafts drawing our senses.
For tonight we will surely have a taste,
Breaching the Brinkins’ defenses!”

With this final exhortation,
The moles set down their holes.
They shot through their tunnels toward the brewery,
Spirits high with a frothy goal.

Now under the place where the beer did lay,
Was a grid through the ground.
These were well-worn roads for the furry folk,
The exits the same year-round.

About the time when the moon was high,
The players were in their places.
The dwarves stood ready with hammers aloft,
The moles with greedy faces.

And then with a squeal and a burst of spunk,
A thief sprung behind a wheel.
He quickly fell with a whack on the head,
The game begun with zeal.

“Back into your holes, you filthy scum!
You won’t get near our drums of rum.
We know where you’re hiding, you silly mutts,
The shock will shoot right through your butts!”

“Hang on friends, we’ll get through—OW!
Keep going and never give—URK!
Time your jump and you’ll avoid the POW,
Forget the pain and do some work!”

The frenzy continued with relentless fervor,
Laughing and groaning in time.
Soon, though, a mole made it through the guard,
To the bottles he raced on a dime.

“After him, brothers, the bugger is free!
Under our noses he broke the lee.
Surround him swiftly and aim him back home,
Rattle his brain and bust his dome!”

“Hurray, huzzah, an opening for sure!
The dwarves are after our friend.
He has become the perfect lure,
Now all at once, ascend!”

For a flash and a second the dwarves were shocked,
One mole and another making it in.
But just as quickly the Brinkins assembled,
Facing the flood with wiry grins.

“Look at the runts, dashing to and fro!
Knock ‘em out, toss ‘em below.
Heck, let ‘em try and take a sip,
Make ‘em long for their next failed trip!”

“Come on lads, one bottle will do,
Something to share for our tears.
It’s surely worth an ache and a bruise,
Snag it and run, that pint of beer!”

In the dance of hammers and claws,
Every mole fell and saw black.
Their bodies were tossed back down their holes,
No tonic to suck or smack.

But wait—a lone youngster was hiding in shadow,
The dwarves thinking the end was nigh.
Then off he sprinted and grabbed a porter,
Up tables toward a window on high.

“What is this, a plan unforeseen?
A new idea, this thief is keen!
Hurl your weapons, and drop him down,
Else he’ll spread his fame in town!”

“Thank you fellows, brewers all!
Your gift a lovely craft.
Until tomorrow I leave your hall,
For once the victor, so daft!”

And with a twist and dodge he hopped,
The hammers missing their mark.
On the sill he gave a mocking salute,
And flew from the bay like a lark.

Thus ends another night at the brewery house,
The owners still merry, not mad.
For even though the mole stole Brinkin’s Brew,
His love of the stuff made them glad.

Written by Joshua Hall

Josh enjoys writing stories, designing games, and hitting a fuzzy yellow ball with a racquet. He migrates between Philadelphia and Tampa, and is often seen hanging out with middle schoolers for the sake of youth ministry.

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