Goodbye, Darren, my old friend
You were a horsey to the end
You softly galloped on your sweet hooves
The bravest friend that we could ever lose
I have a vision, of you nibbling on some hay
In the sky
Within the barn of silence
In restless dreams you trot alone
Narrow fields of mud and stone
'Neath the halo of Rostov's lamp
You turned your collar to the Smurfs and ham
When your eyes were stabbed by the flash of a cannon's light
That split the night
And shook the barn of silence
And in the naked light you saw
Ten thousand horses, maybe more
Horses talking without speaking
Horses hearing without listening
Horses writing songs that voices never share
No one dared
Disturb the barn of silence
"Hruff," said you, "You do not know
Silence like hay only grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my hooves that I might reach you."
But his words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the barn of silence
And the horses bowed and prayed
To the Smurf based god they made
And the Papa wrote out his warning
In the words that he was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the horses
Are written on the wattle's walls
And palace halls
And whispered in the barn of silence."
You'd be forgiven for thinking the beginning of the book was the beginning - oh how naive you are! 41 chapters in and now it's really time to get things started.
The horses are primed, the ham supplies are looking good and the cannon balls have been mopped to perfection.
One thing we hadn't thought of was the requirement of an extremely well dressed Accountant...
Now that he's here, calculator in hand, there's really only one thing left to say -
Thank you to Julia (@julia.g_rockwell) for braving the trials of time travel to send us this truly masterful image of Vera’s spider filled mouth. For legal reasons we absolutely must point out that we cannot confirm or deny whether Vera’s mouth is actually filled with spiders, but if it turns out it is, this is surely what it would look like. Thank you again Julia, hopefully it goes without saying that we absolutely love getting drawings like these, even if they will haunt our dreams until the end of time.
As ever Julia's drawing takes its place along side the other works of art on the walls of Tolstoy's Hall of Fame.
Do you want to be SUCCESSFUL?
Do you want to be IMPRESSIVE, FAMOUS and ATTRACTIVE?
Do you want to be heroically KILLED BY GRAPE SHOT?
If the answer to any of these questions is 'YES I DO', 'PERHAPS' or 'NOT REALLY' then WAPIN7's Climbing The Success Pyramid is the hot new motivational book for YOU.
Learn why the most successful people only ever wear denim, how epigrams can make you look smart, and how your pre-existing connections, influence and money can get you what you want.
Don't wait - listen to this week's episode now and climb the pyramid today.
You know the saying, "War and Peace go together like birds of a feather".
Birds have lots of feathers, you see, and a bird would not actually be legally called a bird if it had no feathers... Which is a lot like war and peace when you think about it. I mean, when you really think about it.
Can you ever truly have peace without having some war? Does war inevitably always lead to peace? Is there a bird that exists in the wild without feathers, and if so, will it declare an unstoppable war?!
We, like the Russian Generals, have absolutely no idea.
*No birds were harmed (or even mentioned) in this episode.
Andy Pandy, aged 20¼
Tuesday 19th November, 1805
Bilibin's house, Brunn, Austria
I'M SO EXCITED I CAN BARELY SLEEP! Tomorrow I'm going to see the Emperor (finally!) and I'm going to tell him all about my amazing victory! I've brushed my whole uniform so I'll look 'totally on fleek as heck' (that's one of my fresh new epigrams I'm trying to coin haha).
Bilibin is a really cool guy actually, he's the head of a gang here 'Les Nótres' - they sound a bit scary. They're having a gang brunch tomorrow, so hopefully I can impress them with the cool sayings I've been working on.
I WANT TO BE FAMOUS! Why don't people see that I'm really, really good at being in the army and doing war stuff. One day I'll be the most famous war hero in the whole world, then they'll see!
Night night, diary xx
We've all seen The Mighty Ducks or that film with the bobsleighs or that one with all the karate kicking...
You know how it goes. Just as it looks like you'll never be able to bobsleigh really well, or do the best karate kick at the karate kick competition, a montage sequence begins to play. Eye of Tiger is turned up to 10 and then, without warning, your team of ducks perform the best karate kick the world has ever seen!
As your team of super ducks triumphantly raise you into the air, you excitedly await the certain adulation of your Emperor and King...
The Emperor's gone home. The King is busy checking his Insta.
Why does no one care?
Time to find out.
You know the feeling - you've got half a dozen flat screen TVs strapped to your horse, a sack of bargain quinoa on your back, and a massive smile on your face - you absolutely smashed Black Friday and now you're on your way home for a relaxing beef tea.
That's when you stop. Your eyes go wide. Darren lets out an uneasy snort.
As 12 TVs fall to the floor, and quinoa fills the street you realise you've made a huge mistake: you've completely forgotten to buy grapes, and it could mean the end of everything.
You turn around, in the distance are the burning shops and discount-crazed mob you thought you had escaped. Sword in hand, you go back.
Your excitement is palpable; you've shaved, brushed your teeth and slathered yourself in the finest perfume money can buy.
Holding your head high you take your place in the queue. You want that discount ham. You deserve it! You have a drink to steady your nerves.
The queue grows uncontrollably. People appearing as if from nowhere. The crush begins. You try to escape but you're stuck!
That's when the first cannon ball flies past your head...
Is this Black Friday or are you at war in the 19th century? Sometimes it can be hard to tell.
Waging a successful military campaign isn't just about shiny buttons, impressive marching formations, and ensuring your troops are incredibly rested and relaxed.
Sometimes you need an extra special something to turn your fighting boys into fighting men... sometimes you need Pies. Yes, pies.
Join us this week as we discover how the humble baked treat could be Russia's secret weapon in the fight against the powerful, but pie-less, Napoleon.
They speak of a man with fish for hands,
a man who's addicted to crime .
Your treasures are safe?
Oh yes! In the safest place!
Well for now then I guess you are fine...
OR ARE YOU?!