Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Twelve Days of Christmas --Day 11

11th day 

January 5   

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
eleven pipers piping

Well, if you can make “eleventh” fit the beat when you sing this out loud, you’ve got one over me. Eleven is an awkward, a prime number, and outlier, so I guess it’s no surprise that it also claims an extra syllable and muddles the rhythm.

The pipers are the eleven faithful Apostles, meaning the whole
gang ‘cept Judas Iskariot, best known for going down in infamy. 

Question: How many can you name? Thought about Bartholomew or Thaddaeus lately? Thank God (or Jesus, or Allah, or Shiva) for Google, or I’d be well adrift on the seas of religious ignorance by now. So don’t be fooled, I’m looking this stuff up as I call it, having been raised in a household where the closest I ever got to church was an hour of silent Meeting at my Quaker school. For those of you who don’t know, Quakers eschewed the Bible and all scriptures, believing that God speaks directly to each of us. What a concept.

Anyway I just can’t find myself getting excited about eleven of anything. Didn’t even enjoy being eleven and was glad when it was over.

krishnaAs for pipers, we’ve got Orpheus,whose tunes tamed the wildest animals. We’ve got Krishna, who my friend Julie tells me is kind of a Hindu Christ, yet 
whose best known for seducing the gopis (see Day 8), and closer to home
 we’ve got the Pied Piper, who led little children astray (or at least beyond the ken of their parents). Hell (oops!), let’s throw in Huck Finn and his harmonica, Bob Dylan as an Angry Young Man sucking the life out of his, windpipes and bagpipes and steampipes
and tobacco pipes, the longwinded and the full of hot air (my maternal grandfather being both, a dedicated pipe smoker and a windbag who loved to tug hard on my nose and call me Shnoogie).


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