The players wear a hat, and a long purple gown,
and are chased through the streets, to the heart of the town,
There to be judged by how many a hand,
Has been laid on their gowns before they reach the strand.
In the story it's based on, Esme never got caught,
So the winner is decided by how few hand prints she’s got.
Every year, it’s the fate of those less agile girls,
To be patterned with chalk from their feet to their curls.
Then one fateful year, a girl with hair like red fire,
Heckled the chasers, and ignited their ire.
She ran along rooftops, and down narrow braes,
She knew all of the short cuts, and secretive ways,
But, catch her they did, and before they let go,
Her cloak was all white as the pure driven snow.
With chin tilted high, she strode onto the stage,
Although she had lost, her face showed no rage.
There stood her friend, who'd been slowest for years,
She was laughing, and smiling, and wiping at tears.
The red-head strode past her, to the end of the line.
“I guess that I lost," She said, "And that's fine."