Now Crownsville was a little town, a picture-postcard place
The sort of town where life flows by at a much slower pace
Its citizens were happy folk - they seldom wore a frown
That is, until the fateful day the dragon came to town
He was a massive, ancient wyrm - nine yards from tip to tail
He soared in from the East on windmill wings of red-gold scale
And down upon the town he swooped, blowing fire from his nose
To light in Crownsville's baseball field, for an afternoon's repose
It happened they were playing ball that dark and fateful day
The score stood two to four with but an inning left to play
So when the wyrm descended, and the pitcher he did maim
A pallor wreathed the features of the patrons of the game
A terror-stricken few got up to flee, but most held fast
For Crownsville's nine were up to bat, and there seemed a chance at last
That with their opponent's pitcher being torn apart and et
There was just the slightest hope that Mudville might win this game yet
So above the pitcher's dying screams, the umpire howled "Play ball!"
The dragon munched on noisily as the opponent's fans, appalled,
Protested in the age-old way: "Kill the umpire!" they cried.
The dragon, taking note of this, obliged, and the umpire died.
Before this day the great wyrm had not followed baseball much
He'd never fathomed men's intrigue for bats and balls and such
But now at last he understood! It was just his kind of game!
So Crownsville's Cooney died at second, and the baseman did the same
Ten thousand fans, up in the stands, clutched their hearts in dread
As the laughing dragon swept the field and on the players fed
Then from out the Crownsville dugout surged the lineup, armed for war
The dragon whirled to face them, his talons dripping gore
"Ten to one on the dragon!" from the bookies came a shout
Hundreds rushed to place their money. In their hearts there was no doubt
That despite the dragon's fearsome skill at knocking players flat,
The fight would be no contest - with Casey at the bat.
But Flynn preceeded Casey, and likewise so did Blake
Of the first, the wyrm made pudding, of the second Shake-N-Bake
So that on the stricken multitude a deathlike silence sat
As the dragon, calmly waiting, picked his teeth with a broken bat
Then from the gladdened multitude went up a joyous yell-
-It rumbled from the mountaintops, it rattled in the dell;
It echoed in the dragon's ears and filled its heart with hate,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the plate.
There was ease in Casey's manner and a gleam in Casey's eye
Though the dragon loomed before him, blowing smoke, prepared to fry
And when responding to the cheers bold Casey doffed his cap
No stranger in the crowd could doubt he'd beat that wyrm to crap.
Ten thousand eyes watched Casey as, taking off his shirt,
He warned the dragon "Son, you'll soon be in a world of hurt!"
He flexed his mighty muscles, as the crowd hurrahed his quip.
Defiance glazed the dragon's eye, a sneer caressed its lip.
The dragon leaped into the air, soaring high above its foe
Disdainfully it contemplated Casey, far below
With nonchalance it tipped a wing and dived down from the sun
It screamed down, missed, and augered in. Casey said "Strike one."
The dragon from its haunches sprang, came hurtling through the air
Its nostrils spitting fire, its talons poised to tear
Casey yawned, and made a sidestep - into the stands the monster flew
With a crash it wrecked the bleachers, and Casey said "Strike two."
A hush fell o'er the waiting crowd. They knew the end was near.
As the groggy dragon staggered, Casey kicked it in the rear.
The dragon yelped and limped away, then feebly turned, in pain
For one last shot at Casey, who stood watching with disdain.
The sneer has left the dragon's lip, its teeth are sharded stumps
Its wings are broken. It can't fly, no matter how it pumps.
And now it swings its battered head, coming at Casey low
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.
Oh, somewhere in this favored land, the sun is shining bright
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light
And somewhere men are laughing, and children showing grins.
But there is no joy in Crownsville : Sometimes the dragon wins.