Tribbles Galore (Star Trek Poetry)

All Poems by Karen Johnson

Tribble Trouble / A Star Trek Alphabet / Ballad of Sector 10 /


One little Tribble,
“It’s looking kind of blue,
Do you think perhaps it’s hungry?”
How cute! Now there’s two.

Two little Tribbles,
Eat a little more
Of that yummy quadrotriticale;
“Oh look, now there’s four!”

Four little Tribbles,
“Maybe they should wait
a while before they feed again?”
Count them and there’s eight.

Eight little Tribbles,
Looking kind of lean;
“Quick somebody stop them!”
Too late – they’re sixteen.

Sixteen little Tribbles,
Surely this can’t go on all day?
But the Tribbles keep on nibbling,
They’re not going to go away,

Until that Quadrotriticale’s all gone,
At which stage we should see,
Not one, or two, or sixty-four,
But (No! This just can’t be!)

If they double every hour,
In a very little while,
2028 Tribbles
will be squabbling in a pile.

And then, six hours after that,
I’m afraid that there will be,
145,792 of them
looking up at me…

Quick somebody do something!
We’ve got to end this somehow;
“Hello, Karg and Qualach Exterminators,
We need you here right now!”

“You’re afraid it will take you three days to come?
I’m sorry – this just won’t wait.
We’ve got a Tribble problem here, and
three days from now will be two days too late.”

It’s funny how his attitude changed,
As I explained to him our plight.
I could almost swear I heard that Klingon purr
As he said “We’ll be there by tonight.”

The Klingons arrived at midnight,
Their word was good as their bond.
And a quarter of a million Tribbles,
Trembled to hear them come.

For the Klingons had brought Glommers,
And the Klingons had brought guns,
(both phasers and disrupters)
And Tribble Traps by the tonne.

They deployed them through the station,
Catching Tribbles by the score,
While the Glommer teams roamed freely,
Consuming thousands more.

Less than an hour after they arrived,
They declared their job was done.
There was nary a Tribble left in sight,
They’d dealt with every one.

I handed them their money,
And sent them on their way,
(given the magnitude of the problem
their price seemed quite reasonable to pay)

But, no sooner had they left,
Than I heard a quiet purr;
And out from the darkest corner,
Crept a tiny ball of fur.

I looked at that tiny Tribble,
And the Tribble looked at me.
I picked it up and held it,
And it gave a little ‘Cree’.

Should I call the Klingons back
to remove this furry ball?
Could I bring myself to do it?
It was the last one of them all.

It looked so sweet and innocent,
As it cuddled up to me and purred,
If you’d asked me to describe it then
‘Cute’ would be the only possible word.

“It’s alright little one,” I said,
As my conscience began to burn,
Then I walked over to the Com panel –
And asked the Klingons to return.

A Star Trek Alphabet

A is for aliens (and don’t forget the lumps)
B is for battles with lots of thuds and bumps
C is for the Captains (Picard’s the best by far)
D is for Delancie, Sue’s favourite guest star
E is for enjoyment, the thing some fans forget
F is for feline, Lieutentant Data’s pet
G is for Guinan, try her recipes and rave
H is for the Horta, always handy in a cave
I is for insignia, of which Trek has more than enough
J is for Jones, Cyrano, purvevor… well of ‘stuff’
K is for Klingon, don’t get these big guys mad
L is for Lore (just like Data, only bad)
M is for Morn, Quark’s favourite bar-stool propper-up
N is for the Nagus, old when Quark was just a pup
O is for the O’Briens, sole happy family in Trek
P is for phaser to make your opponents hit the deck
Q is for ?, (sorry, no prizes for guessing who)
R is for RedShirt, career choice few survive to rue
S is for Surak, Spock and Sarek, which just about says it all
T is for transporters to save you walking down the hall
U is for Uniforms, with frequently changed designs
V is for Vulcans, fond of hand-straining finger signs
W is for Wesley, the boy we love to hate
X is for xenopolycythemia, almost McCoy’s agonizing fate
Y is for Yar, Tasha, who did something very strange with time
Z is for Zek (Grand Nagus, a worthy (?!) being to end this rhyme.)


 Once a Human met a Trader
going to the Fair.
Said the Human to the Trader
“What have you got there?”

Said the Trader to the Human
“I’ve goods too many to list
but there’s one you simply have to see,
It’s a treasure not to be missed.

It’s small and round and furry,
worth more to me than gold-
pressed latinum piled to the roof.
Here, I’ll let you have a hold.”

So the Human took the Creature,
and the Creature gave a purr.
Said the Human to the Trader,
“Is this Creature a Him or a Her?”

Said the Trader to the Human,
“I’m afraid I don’t quite know.
It’s the only one I’ve ever seen,
so if you’ll give it back, I’ll go.”

Now the Human looked at the Creature
and gave a troubled frown.
It was purring and crooning gently,
in the crook of his arm settled down.

Said the Human to the Trader,
“I think he wants to stay.
Tell me how much you want for him,
I’m sure that I can pay.”

The Trader haggled mightily,
but the Human fought him down,
to become proud owner of a ‘Tribble’.
The only one in town.

Now the Tribble seemed quite happy,
He purred with all his might.
But when the Human put him down,
he ate everything in sight.
 He ate and purred, and purred and ate,
and grew, and grew, and grew.
Then before the Human’s very eyes,
‘he’ divided into two.

The Human was ecstatic,
and gave one to his mate,
but by the end of the first week,
his love had turned to hate.

There were Tribbles in the holodeck,
and Tribbles on the floor;
Tribbles in the cargo-bay -
and every minute, more!

So the Human found the Trader
and said “What can I do?”
Said the Trader to the Human,
“I’m afraid that’s up to you.”

“You bought them fair and square, my friend
and shook upon the deal.
But here’s a hint on keeping Tribbles down -
don’t let them have a meal.”

Said the Human to the Trader,
“I beg you to take them back!”
Said the Trader to the Human
“My shields aren’t opening a crack.”

Then the Trader went to Warp speed,
so the Human chased his ship.
‘Till  the Trader turned his cloak on,
and gave the human ship the slip.

The Humans tried detectors,
it was a slender hope to pin on.
But when they found another ship,
it turned out to be Klingon.

Said the Klingon to the Human
(growling fiercely) “Ejyo Jegh!”
which means “Surrender Starfleet!”
and is polite as Klingons get.
Said the Human to the Klingon,
“Gulp! I’m so terribly sorry.
I didn’t mean to get in your way,
You really don’t have to worry.”

The Klingon didn’t buy it,
he thought they were a spy.
He gave them an ultimatum
Surrender now...or die.

The Humans wondered what to do
‘Till an Ensign recalled a story
she’d heard as just a little girl,
a tale old and hoary.

Of a Starship called the Enterprise,
which suffered Tribble pollution,
at the same time as major Klingon trouble,
and found an unusual solution.

So the Human hailed the Klingon,
and shouted “We Surrender!”
“But there’s one thing you ought to know
before you board and enter...”

Said the Klingon to the Human
“Surrender or be destroyed now.
It is time this battle was over,
so put your shields down now.”

So the Human ship got ready,
piling Tribbles in vast heaps,
on all of the Transporter pads
ready to make the leap.

Before the first Klingons appeared on board,
with conquest on their faces,
1000 Tribbles dissappeared,
and instantly changed places

Shields were hurriedly raised again
to stop a mass return,
by a horde of angry Klingons
who a lesson were ‘bout to learn.

For the one thing that drives a Tribble wild
is the smell of a hostile Klingon,
and when a Klingon sees a Tribble
it strong hostility brings on.

So the Klingon called the Human
and cursed him to the skies.
Said the Human to the Klingon
one simple word - “Goodbye.”

So the moral of this ballad, friend
is if you meet a Trader,
keep your latimum firmly in your grasp
and you won’t regret it later.

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