by Mercedes Lackey and Leslie Fish Taken from "Heralds Harpers & Havoc:
Songs by Mercedes Lackey" by Off Centaur
Deep into the stoney hills
miles from town or hold
a troop of guards comes riding
with a lady and her gold.
She rides bemused among them
shrouded in her cloak of fur
companioned by a maiden
and a toothless, aged cur.

Three things see no end,
a flower blighted err it bloomed,
a message that miscarries
and a journey that is doomed.
Little does the lady care
what all the guardsmen know
that bandits ambush caravans
that on these trade roads go.
In spite of tricks and clever traps
and all that men can do,
the brigands seem to always sense
which trains are false or true.
Three things are most perilous:
the shape that walks behind,
ice that will not hold you
and the spy you cannot find.
One among the guardsmen
has a shifting restless eye.
And as they ride he scans the hills
that rise against the sky.
He wears the sword and jewels
worth more than he could afford
and hidden in his baggage
is a heavy seceret hord.
Of three things be weary of
a feather on a cat,
a sheperd eating mutton
and a guardsman that is fat.
From ambush bandits screaming charge
the pack train and it's prize
and all but four within the train
are taken by suprise.
And all but four are cut down
as a woodsman fells a log,
the guardsman and the lady
and the maiden and the dog.
Three things hold a seceret-
lady riding in a dream,
the dog who sounds no warning
and the maid who does not scream.
Then off the lady pulls her cloak
in armour she is clad
her sword is out and ready
and her eyes are fierce and glad.
The maiden makes a gesture
and the dog's a cur no more.
A wolf, swordmaid and sorceress
now face the bandit horde.
Three things never anger
or you will not live for long,
a wolf with cubs, a man with power,
and a woman's sense of wrong
The lady and her sister
by a single trader lone
were hired out to try to lay
a trap all of their own,
and no one knew their plan
except the two who rode that day.
For what you do not know
you cannot ever give away.
Three things that it's better far
that only two should know,
where treasure hides,
who shares your bed
and how to catch your foe.
The bandits growled a challenge
and the lady only grins,
the sorceress bows mockingly
and then the fight begins.
When it ends there's only four
left standing from the horde,
the witch, the wolf, the traitor
and the woman with the sword.
Three things never trust in:
the maiden sworn as pure,
the vows a king has given
and the ambush that is sure.
They stripped the traitor naked
and then whipped him on his way
into the barren hillsides
like the foes he use to slay.
And what of all the maidens
that this bandit raped and slew,
so as revenge the sorceress
makes him a woman too.
Three things trust above all else:
the horse on which you ride,
the beast the guards your sleeping
and your shieldmaid at your side.