It was a duck and Stormie Knight.
With face behind neck feathers hid
Out of cameras' knowing sight
Algorithmic face-detection rid
They crept in through my door.
"The cameras all record my face."
(That's true of every person born
Or living in this country's space.
All can track each other's forms,
But every searcher's search is stored.)
Why is she here? For my advice
To gain some fame or following?
To get a discount once or twice
Or lift a place-rank wallowing
Around the zero floor?
"Duck needs a nest -- print any one,
Please please use your login cred."
Thus I paid a fearsome sum;
Where queen-bee she would have received
Placement cash, and trips.
For fame can wealth and fortune fill
Since now each price is instant spoiled
Based on your trend-setting skill --
To make your brand can be your toil --
And she is thus equiped:
Each word she writes a million read.
Her songs are mixed too many times.
A preference once a nation feeds
Her face in all its reworked lines
Has launched a thousand chips
Responding to fan query-calls
Of whereabouts and doings done.
"I must be searched for more than all,
My rival still has number one.
It's why I made this bird."
"The duck does what?" I ask confused.
"Its genes are spliced -- I won't explain --
But eaten eggs will hence induce
A shyness and a fear of fame.
I know it sounds absurd."
"Fame-rivals all -- I fed them eggs,
Last night. But more will come one day
To challenge me, so now I beg
You feed them too to go away.
My wealth? You take a third."
And I agreed but added that
My pet would want to eat her duck,
So what to do about my cat?
"A feline? Fun!" - a stroke of luck -
And so we swapped our pets.
(My cat I also gene-spliced some
With oxytocin laden fur;
Injectors in her claws are run;
With ultrasonic calm she purrs.
Trusting with no regrets
Those you meet when this cat is near,
You'll give them cash and everything
They ask of you, and think it clear.)
And that is why Ms Stormie brings
Cash buckets to her vet.