The Reptile Room
The Baudelaire parents perished one day,
"And the word 'perished' means 'died'."
"We know what it means!"
It's worse than it seems –
The house had too – out and inside.
They then went to live with the horrid Count Olaf,
A fourth cousin three times removed.
Their situation was dire,
Count Olaf, a liar,
The orphans left, not entirely soothed.
Good Uncle Monty, he came to the rescue,
And took the poor orphans in.
But don't be deceived
With the news they received,
'Bout the Reptile Room they were in.
This Room was home to reptilian snakes:
Short ones, long ones and fat ones,
Ones that could slither out of their cage,
And slither to Sunny, youngest of age,
Then bite her – maybe for fun?
The snake was called the I.D.V. –
Or the Incredibly Deadly Viper...
But it was a misnomer,
Soon the tension was over,
As the snake had done no harm by biting her.
Uncle Monty sighed with relief
With Klaus and Violet, Sunny's siblings.
"We're going on a trip,"
Monty said with a skip.
"To Peru, to see snakes and things."
Whilst Uncle Monty was out at the shops,
There was a knock at the door.
A bald, bearded man
With hardly a tan
Came in, trailing dirt on the floor.
"My name is Stephano," he said with a wheeze,
"And I am Montgomery's new assistant.
When I am here,
My instructions are clear:
You will be kind, caring, and persistent. (Or else.)"
The children looked down to prevent looking up,
And were jolted by what they saw:
An eye near his shoe,
And that's when they knew
T'was the mark of Count Olaf – they were doomed forevermore.

"I'm having my suspicions about Stephano,"
Said Monty, "I think he's a spy."
So he took out the tickets,
Tore Stephano's into little bits:
"Now, to Peru, with us, he can't fly."
Next morning, however, misfortune occurred,
As it so often does:
Uncle Monty was dead –
Not even in bed –
"Now he's not coming with us."
The Baudelaire orphans whipped around,
And found Stephano there.
"Murderer!" Klaus shouted.
"Never!" Stephano doubted,
"It's snakebite, look! The teeth marks, there!
Violet, Klaus and Sunny stared
At their, now dead, giddy Uncle,
His eyes wide, like plates,
And his deathly pale face
Made his complexion feel sunken.
One by one, they got into the jeep,
Travelling as fast as they could go.
But wasn't it luck
That the jeep struck
The black car of Mr. Poe?
"Dear, dear me," coughed Mr. Poe,
The Baudelaires' financial advisor.
"Mr. Poe!" they cried
With their arms open wide.
"Stephano – he's really a miser!"

"Now, Baudelaires, that's very rude,"
Said Mr. Poe, looking shocked.
"Oh, they're just upset
That their Uncle is dead,"
Said Stephano. "We're getting a doc."
"Now stop all this fuss and get in the car,"
Stephano said with a grin.
"No! No! No!"
"Please, Mr. Poe!"
"Don't make us go with him!"
"Why don't we all just walk up to the house?
While Stephano drives in front?"
"That's great, Mr. Poe,"
Said Violet. "And Stephano?"
Steph growled. "Just take the little runts."
Back at the house, they called for a doctor,
Who arrived in less than a second.
With his grey automobile,
And a flick of his heel,
Into the Reptile Room he was beckoned.
A few hours later they were all in the kitchen,
Discussing results of the tests:
It was the venom
Of the Mamba du Mal
That was found in his veins and his chest.
The Baudelaires excused themselves
From the kitchen in no less than a fraction
Of a trice. Violet said,
"Stay here, I'll head
Upstairs. Create a distraction."
Klaus read hard while Sunny crawled up
To the cage of the I.D.V.
She set it loose,
Tied it round her like a noose,
Then started to scream for her release.
Mr. Poe and Stephano both rushed in,
With the doc and his oddly stiff hands.
Klaus gasped. "The Viper!
It's going to bite her!
As the black-green snake hung over Sunny, balanced.
The sewer-pipe snake bit Sunny on the chin,
Just as Mr. Poe had fainted.
"It bit her! It bited her!

Kill it! Get it away from her!
Stephano just said, "With snakes, I'm acquainted."
Meanwhile, Violet was upstairs
Thinking of something to fix.
She found a plug,
And gave it a tug:
Within minutes, she had a lock pick.
The eldest Baudelaire rushed down to
Where the suitcases were hidden.
Unlocking Stephano's,
With a wrinkle of her nose,
She saw what, no doubt, was forbidden.
She took some things to the Reptile Room
But didn't like what she saw there:
Sunny was free
Of the I.D.V.
Transfixed with a triumphant glare.
"Halt!" Violet ordered, marching right in
To the room and standing behind
Klaus and the rest,
And also a desk,
To present her evidence to the people inside.
She put down two items on the desk:
A glass vial and a syringe.
Then she explained
Just how she had attained
Her conclusion. Stephano unhinged.
"The vial," Violet said, "contains the venom
Of the Mamba du Mal.
Stephano put this
Into the syringe,
Then injected it twice under Monty's eyeball."
Stephano at last was bravely defeated,
But he was not happy in the least.
In one swift move,
He ran out of the room,
Away from jail and the police.
The doctor ran out as well, after Olaf,
After Sunny had bitten his hand.
The hand came away –
It, in fact, was fake –
'Doc' was Count Olaf's comrade: the hook-handed man!
Suddenly exhausted, the Baudelaires slept,
On the edge of a very dark staircase.
When they woke up,
A full moon was up,
Glimmering innocently in its place.
The Baudelaire siblings then put their coats on,
Getting ready to leave:
Violet with her violet one,
And Klaus with his blue,
But Sunny thought, with her little white shawl,
In each other, you should believe.
And so, the moral
of this lengthy
ballad
Is that greed is
never a good thing.
And killing in cold
blood
Just to get what
you want
Is the idea no-one
wants to achieve.