The fat cat burglar burgled; he burgled cats. Sent on demand, to satisfy the voracious appetites of the landed aristocrats. The watchmaker tinkered, adjusting the chime. So faulty was the work, he stole the time. Pickpockets mingling tingling with fingers of lingering want. Big and small sideshows take theft of the owners; their thought – they taunt. Snip-snip go the scissors and off swag the wizards; disappearing into the crowd. With a leer and a slip, they proclaim superb workmanship and veer into a drunken cloud.

©DJA 2018

Cover: Sir Anthony van Dyck, The Balbi Children

From The Rogues’ Gallery