For this dangerous deed.
With a roaring “Huzzah!”
He needed no steed.
With a flick of the wrist,
And a fleer of the snout,
The minotaur trembled;
But nature won out.
“I’ve seen the sunset over Munich,”
The jailer guffawed.
“I’ve fought the snowmen of Belgium,
With nary a pause.”
He handed the monster
A bag of glass jars.
“Have them filled up by sunrise,”
He yelled through the bars.
The minotaur sighed, raspy sighs of defeat,
And turned mournfully to the penny machine.
Cranking out pennies, day and night by the pound;
This was his life on the Long Island Sound.
Brought back from the Aegean, locked in a cage,
Given candy and trinkets to suppress primal rage.
“I’m tired of minting this zinc-infused jumble,”
The minotaur muttered, his abdomen rumbled.
“I sincerely regret not eating the fool
Who told me to come here to graduate school,”
He cried, slumping backwards on a shaky fake stool.
See, to cut the high costs of minimum wages,
The U.S. Mint had riffled through pages
And pages and pages of obsolete tax laws,
’Til deciding to implement the unspoken 9th clause:
“Mythical beasts can handle the workload,
So gather them up; scour the whole globe!”
At once the Mint planned out the plan in four stages-
Minotaurs were brought second, right after the mages.
Grinding his teeth and gritting his grin,
The minotaur pictured himself within
A palace of silver, surrounded by guards;
Back in his labyrinth, a virtual star.
Back to the waters of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Back to the mortar of his walled up soul.
Back to brisket for breakfast,
And bacon for dinner;
Daily streams on his podcast
To call him a winner.
But dreams are for fools,
He thought to himself.
You’ll more likely end up
On a yellow ice shelf.
The machine bust a groan, and it suddenly died.
Sheets of pre-cut zinc goodness brought a tear to his eye.
Wheezy breeze from the door made the minotaur turn,
Perplexed and surprised at what he would learn.
A figure in crimson kicked in the brass door,
Giant hair to the ceiling, and beard to the floor!
Clothes so out of date they were downright obscure,
Evoking familiarity from our minotaur.
“By the light of Apollo!”
Flew out of his gullet;
Before him was Theseus,
Alive, and with mullet!
“The mullet becomes you,
My former arch-foe,”
The minotaur roared
As he laughed, head to toe.
“I’m not here for small talk,
you half-bull, half-pig!”
With a half-hearted jig.
Crunching the bars with his mythical strength,
The sole son of Aegeus unleashed a small length
Of Athenian Power, and shattered the cell;
Unfortunately, guards heard it and sounded the bell.
“I knew I would find you surrounded by copper,”
Theseus bragged as they ran for the chopper.
“It wasn’t my choice, dear arch-foe/arch-friend,”
The minotaur voiced as the hall reached its end.
“And if you must know, the pennies are zinc,”
He added, quite smugly, with a bull-headed wink.
“And I thought Daedalus was mad about metal,”
the Athenian cried, “You’re as black as the kettle!”
“Alas, zinc shavings are murder on fur,”
King Minos’ bull kvetched as he picked at the burs.
“But now that I’m free, what say you of the others?
The still-captive banshees, the dwarves, and the truckers?”
“But truckers are real!” great Theseus protested.
“Not if they’re plastic!” the cheeky bull jested.
Besmirched and confused, and always surprised,
Prince Theseus and the minotaur shot up through the sky.
Stop all your belly-aching; it was all planned.
See, Theseus booked a giant condor from East Pakistan.
The Condor, it flew them, for hours on end,
All through the rib-tingling jibes of old friends.
With angels they landed, half-god and half-bull,
The Condor’s blades settled, they’d reached the North Pole
To seek Saint Nick’s help in freeing the creatures—
They found him at Reindeer Games, in the packed bleachers.
“Four points!” cried Kris Kringle as he shoveled down chips,
Oblivious to Theseus, who with a Vulcan death grip
Felled the fat cobbler and dragged him away
By the soles of his feet, to the shores of Bombay.
Once Claus regained consciousness, he looked at the pair
First in pity, then anger, then scratched at his hair.
“What’s up, what’s the dillio?” Jolly Nick queried.
“What’s up with your mullet, and what’s with the hurry?”
“Dearest Santa,” the minotaur promptly professed,
“We’ve got a big job, and heard you were the best.”
“It must involve pennies,” Saint Nicolas guessed.
“Why else would you wear that zinc-coated vest?”
“Enough!” thundered Theseus, “How much will it take?”
Santa scratched his chin. “How many can you bake?”
“You’re paying him in... cookies?” the minotaur spilt.
“To take on the Mint? Eight gross cookies- plus milk.”
“Your rates are outrageous! But still, I will pay.”
But as he reached for his wallet, Theseus sprayed
Santa Claus with a vial of some unknown bile.
“Ha! Sit in that for a... a really long while!”
“Oh, what is this now?” Kris Kringle implored.
“Is this really poison, or are you just getting bored?”
“Perhaps it’s a mixture of column A and B,”
Theseus laughed as he slapped at his knee.
“But really, do help us,” the minotaur begged.
“I’d love to. But not here... the place might be bugged.”
“We’re out on a beach! Do you see any walls?!”
“Just because you can’t see them’s no reason to call
Me a liar,” Santa grimaced, his face all askew;
“Just feed me the info. And go get a clue.”
The walls had been raised, and the soil was dry.
The sight of his prison made Minos’s son cry...
Return to his copper cell? He’s much rather die.
“There there,” chief elf Agatea consoled him,
“Ol’ Nicky’s Crust-Buster will really North Pole ’em.”
So Santa revved up his ingenious machine,
Designed to smack down the oppressive regime.
With a crank and a clunk and a spank and a plunk,
The Long Island Sound, it was beaten and sunk!
As saltwater flooded the fortress of copper
It turned a lime green and crumbled like paper.
The cyclopes, the mages, the furies and doodahs,
The scarabs, the Baurs, the stinkers and hookclaws
Went back to their homes in the old Aztec ruins
To rebuild their lives knitting synthetic woolens.
“It took long enough,”
The minotaur growled,
Surveying the piles
Of zinc on the Sound.
“We saw and we conquered,”
Prince Theseus agreed.
He steadied his hand
For the final brave deed.
“From the past, through today, to the shores of tomorrow,”
Santa Claus blustered as he raised up a fist,
“No creature’ll be part of the Mint’s cheap sideshow!”
The trio cheered slowly as he pulled out his list.
“Now let’s see... one prison, knocked over with glee...
Plus all the overtime... divided by three...”
St. Nick worked the numbers like a card shark, a pro.
He knew how to tally, ledger always in tow.
“You can add up the numbers, you can try to collect,”
Theseus smirked as he simmered, “But in deep retrospect,
You should have been wary. You should have been wise.
We don’t intend to pay you, you doughboy. We lied!”
“What a horrible twist!” Santa’s frame shook with rage.
It was as eerie a sight as a mortal could gauge,
Santa bordering on the brink of a saccharine rampage.
“You remember this moment,” Nick yelled at their backs,
“Go back the your castles, go flip your flapjacks!
Just hold in your hearts that Santa is miffed.
He knows where you live, and you won’t be missed.”
They wrote off his words.
They waved him away.
But if they had heeded,
They’d be here today.
See, Theseus was found
In the gut of a gator.
And the minotaur downed
A mere two days later.
The cops never pegged Santa;
He’s free as a dove.
But folks ’round the North Pole
Say there’s blood on his gloves.