The Emporium Gazette
Issue 48 -- April 2003

by Bob Nailor

William Hill lived in a distant rural valley. The remarkable thing about this gentleman was that he spoke only in rhyme. It wasn't because he couldn't speak normally, but he always found it more interesting to play with the words and respond in a lyrical manner.

Exactly how long had this been happening? Since birth, in fact, his first words were "ga ga" and, of course, they rhymed. Now his parents weren't upset by that fact; no, not at all. The years passed and his vocabulary increased and the young boy was ready for school. The parents, by then, had a bit of consternation regarding Billy going to school but decided that the teachers would correct the problem.

The first day of school had its repercussions.

"What's your name?"

"Bill Hill."

"Where do you live?"

"Not very far. I came by car."

"Exactly where do you live?"

"I came here to tell, I live in the dell."

"Stop that this very instant."

"Stop what, I have to ask. Rhyming words is my task."

The other children were nearly in tears from laughing so hard at what Billy was saying.

The years proceeded and young Billy grew older and wiser; his vocabulary increasing as well. Many of his friends drifted away, tiring of this habit of poetic responses; even his questions were poems.

He proposed to Mary Sue, using his customary poetic phrases.

"Marry me and be my bride.
And we will travel far and wide."

Mary Sue thought for a long time before finally answering with a 'No' instead of the 'Yes' that Bill had sought. Her reasoning, one would have thought, should have changed Bill's penchant for rhyming.

"I love you, Bill, but I can't live the rest of my life spouting poetic sentences to discuss everything. If you're willing to give up this ridiculous speaking manner, I'd re-consider your proposal."

Bill slunk away and lived quietly by himself for many years, continuing to talk in a rhyme to those that would listen when he went out.

It was during a trip to town one day when he was stopped for speeding. The arresting officer wasn't amused with Bill's ability to rhyme and Bill found himself having to stand before the judge.

"Exactly what are you here for, Mr. William Hill?"

"Your honor. Before you I stand
With a speeding ticket in my hand."

"You can do away with the cute poetry Mr. Hill. The court is not amused."

"As you wish, as you say,
I talk like this all the day."

"If you continue to talk like this, sir, I will find you in contempt of court."

"My manner of speech is here to stay,
If you must, then take me away."

"Mr. William Hill, I place you under arrest and you will spend the rest of your time in jail until you find it in your heart to speak normally; at which time I will re-consider this case."

"Consider it not, for I can not change,
Then I'll stay in jail and not roam the range."

"Mr. Hill," the judge said, glaring at him. "This is what I would call poetic justice."

Bob Nailor is author of "The Secret Voice," an Amish-Christian story, "Pangaea, Eden Lost," an adventure story, "Three Steps: The Journeys of Ayrold," a Celtic fantasy, and "2012: Timeline Apocalypse," an end-of-time tale. He is also included in several anthologies and collections. Check his website at

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