Dedicated to my new son Owen born Jan 16th, 2001
by Eric Ludlam:
Notice; You may need to read this with a slight Boston accent to
get it to rhyme
|Owen to launch a Duplo block|
Mama Mama! I'm so mad
Little Jimmy is so bad
He called me names that are rude!
what can I do about this dude?
|Bombard the Neighbors!|
Were the names all that bad?
Why don't you go and ask your Dad?
Where's your Siege Machine?
Little Jimmy is so mean.
He called me names that do insult!
Can I borrow the catapult?
I giant rock sent through his roof
Would teach him not to be aloof.
Little Owen, what can I say?
You show you are my son this day.
If you wish a siege to lay
you could build a treb-u-chet
|Hauling an Onager|
But if to Jimmy's you must go
an Onager's a cinch to tow.
An onager? That name's absurd
from language dead must come that word.
Onager is Latin, true;
Of wild asses with temper grue.
Romans made them long ago
Ingenium secrets they did know.
Tell me, Tell me, do you infer
That we could build an Onager?
Flinging rocks across the street
with this device would be quite neat.
Let us think, what do we need
Roman notions are our lead.
Twisting ropes create `torsion'
upon the arm infers motion.
Tied to the end we add a sling
and then projectiles we will fling.
The Romans seem to be quite strange
with funny words to fling down range
and still I'm missing your answer
how do you build an Onager?
|Ashen arm w/ fibre lash|
Let us seek an arm that's long
it's most important to be strong
The wood to choose for this is ash
around the beam a fibre lash
Plane down the sides so that it's round
upon the base end, a divot ground
A solid rod of iron goes
upon the end for hooking loads
Your ashen arm is quit neat
stretching out about 3 feet.
but can't we make it much longer
to make ourselves this Onager?
|About to fling some potatoes|
The shorter arm is not too hard
and will fling rocks some 50 yard.
To launch a rock across the street
and Jimmy's roof it will meet.
Well now, I am quite eager
to build a friendly Onager
From the arm we can build the rest
using math before we test.
Onager Parts before assembly
Onager upright & proportions
A three foot arm; from there derive
A base length now of feet five
The torsion holes must be precision placed
Engine ropes through them are laced.
Three feet from the back; the arm to match
Upon the back beam, a trigger latch.
Two feet from the front face
Uprights against it will brace.
Lengths and numbers add up fine
cutting wood to dust divine
What next goes into the Onager
that we might toss a frothy lager
Uprights strong must be found
Three feet up from the ground
The arm will rotate from this side
A quarter circle circumscribed.
Four cross bars must now be cut
Match the width to thy truck
Mortise and tenon each beam deploy
to fit together like tinker toys.
Near the torsion hole; fore and aft
two cross bars we will craft,
For the aft inner brace, a curved cleft
Down to which the arm will nest.
Your onager is looking strong
Surely it shall not be long
From the sky; rocks inter
Let us finish this Onager
Lets add our last two beams of brace
In the back and front we place.
The front beam must withstand shock
the uprights to them will lock
In the stern, a timber large
On it a winch and trigger charge.
Upon the trigger, we will attach
a lanyard for a safe dispatch.
Next we need metal parts cut fine
to turn our rope into a skein.
The hole carrying beam we will protect.
This washer plate will be perfect.
To twist up our rope an Epizygis
Held in place by Modiolus
Stop right there, this is absurd
Epizolus is not a word.
|Modiolus/Epizygis Before & After|
They are not English, but Greek phrase
For simple things with special ways.
Epizygis is but a lever
but in Greek sounds quite clever
Modiolus means a washer plain
but now we use it to explain
that all these things are precise
instruments in a device.
Once together we will wrap and floss
One hundred feet of rope across
between the beams and around the lever
through the modio ... whatever.
Your funny words do best describe
the wobbly path the rope ascribes
Let us stop the strange banter
and finish building the Onager
Snag some pulleys and some twine
a pull down rope will be fine
|Trigger & Pouch of Potatoes|
if we can hook it one to two
to pull the arm down through
the little notch in yonder brace
and hook the trigger in it's place.
One more tool we had forgot;
A throwing pouch to fill with rock.
Go find your Mother; she can sew
a sturdy pouch with which to throw
Of canvas sturdy, and rope perfect
will make a throw with out defect.
Mama mama, make this please
Dada says it's what he needs
For Onager and Latin things
that happy thoughts will soon bring.
I'm glad to see Dad's got you distracted
from destructive thoughts to be enacted
I will make this strange thing
and to you happiness will bring.
I've got it Dad, now we can fling.
Lets tie it on and test this thing.
Tie on the pouch 3 inches from the end
On the hook, the pouch loop descend
A vegetable to defile
will make a nice projectile
Now stand thee back a good distance
pull the lanyard and avoid mischance.
A three foot shot is so lame
I must say you are to blame
An Onager does really suck
I think now I am quite stuck
|Tightening the skein|
Silly boy, the machine's not wound,
we must twist the skein around
to form more tension in the string
and remote destruction we will bring.
To wind them up really tight
a spanner tool will be just right.
For our purposes we shall hope
a two by four, and piece of rope
will be enough to twist this skein
and throw a rock across the plain.
If your grunting on your spanner
makes it to your daily planner
and the skein twists tightly through
the Modizygis thingy doo
will it be enough to deploy
a rock into a house destroy?
Twisting skein is mighty rough
I don't think you grunt enough
But now we're done, and can try
to toss a rock across the sky
if it works from now till dawn,
you will get to mow my lawn.
Video Clip: Amy chunks 3 apples
Video: 352x240 MPEG 1
Audio: MPEG-1 Layer 2 128kbit/s 44100Hz stereo
Length: 3 seconds
The lawn can wait, let's try once more
and launch a potato encore
It works, It works! This is so neat
in castle siege I can defeat
Lets raid the garden in a while
and gather some more projectile.
I do like it, that's for sure
I do like this Onager.
My Onager is three feet tall, five
feet long, four feet wide, with a three foot arm. This poem describes
most critical aspects of the machine.
An average throw for our onager is 150ft with 4 to 5 small potatoes.
Copyright (C) September 2001-2018 Eric M. Ludlam. All rights reserved.
Unauthorized duplication and distribution of this page is strictly prohibited.
Twas' brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.