By Jim

I found myself a wee bit hungry
Had a grumble in my tummy
Had only Monopoly money
To find a meal that satisfies

We ambled to a small café
Requested “Le carte, sil vous plait,”
When mine eyes espied the Mukeke
Served grilled along with Frenchie Fries

“Pardon, monsieur!” I called in French
“But what is this specific dish?
I’m interested, but do not wish
A dish gastrointestinally unwise.”

“It’s fish, my friend!” the waiter spake,
“A fish we take straight from the lake!
I’m certain that this meal will make
A most enjoyable surprise.”

“I’ll have it, sir! How about you, honey?”
“I find you not the least bit funny.
I’ll not eat fish, nor cow, nor bunny,
No food that runs or swims or flies.”

“I’m sorry, dear, it slipped my mind,
Fish makes you turn the shade of lime.
What would you like, beloved of mine?”
“I think I’ll just have Frenchie Fries.”

He bustled off to fetch our meal
And there we sat, both quite gentile,
Anticipating a great deal
The aromas that began to rise.

Then in a flash, the food came in
I grabbed my fork to dig right in
When, on descent, to my chagrin,
I nearly speared the fishy’s eyes.

Yes, eyes, I said, for right before me
The mukeke, in all its glory,
Lay head to tail, presented wholly
Tucked in its bed of Frenchie Fries.

“Oh, dear,” my lovely wife said quick
“I think I’m going to be sick.
I thought that fish came like a brick,
Not straight from lake to grill to fries!”

“Nor I,” I murmured, not quite right,
For I had taken my first bite
And found myself in great delight
At what had passed by my canines.

The fish was tender, spiced so well
I ceased my fretting ‘bout the tail
And pulled my second bite pell-mell
Away from fishy’s ribs and spine.

My wife tried to ignore my feast
Not enjoying in the least
The odor from the noble beast
That fell before my forkéd tines.

I finished what was facing out
Then grabbed the fish by tail and snout
And flipped over the noble trout
For one more side it had to prize

And when the sequel of my meal
Came to a close, there lay the tail
With spine and ribs connected well
To fishy’s head and beady eyes.

“Me oui, monsieur,” the waiter said.
“Surely you will eat the head
A local wouldn’t be caught dead
Leaving a morsel like that behind.”

And there upon my eyes won out
Because I could not help but doubt
My willingness to morsel out
The beady, bulging mukeke’s eyes.

“I’ll pass, my friend, and please forgive
My sad unwillingness to live
As locals who gleefully shiv
The head and munch with joy inside.”

My wife made an attempt to grin
Alas, she’s vegetarian
And never will take for a spin
A meal that still retains its eyes.

We paid our bill and walked away
And e’er will I recall the day
When I first dined on Mukeke
Served grilled with Frenchie Fries.

Reblogged from: Jim and Karri’s Burundi adventures