Once Upon A Time (Part Three)

August 6, 2008, 11:00 am; posted by
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Read part one and part two!

The prince rode on for three more days, until he came to the edge of the forest and the shore of a wide, deep lake. On either side and as far as he could see, the water stretched on. The prince was perplexed, and had no idea what to do with this turn of events.

At that moment, a great and ugly beast reared its head from the depths of the briny blue. “Hello, little prince,” the kraken gurgled.

“You know, I\’m not that little where I come from,” the prince muttered, hefting his spear. “And unless you tell me how to cross this great water, I shall force you to forfeit your life, monster!”

“Will you?” the kraken asked, but his amusement didn\’t show well on his mucky face. “Well, then, I will tell you how to cross this water — if you will first tell me why you are so intent on crossing it.”

The prince, still somewhat stung by his encounter with the ogre, chose to slightly amend his quest. “I journey to release my countrywomen from the clutches of an evil sorceress and to find my one true”¦ queen.”

The kraken\’s peals of laughter were truly terrifying, boiling and churning the waters to a frothy gray soup. The prince missed soup.

When the kraken recovered himself, he said, “I will gladly take you across this water. You\’ll need all the help you can get. Climb onto my back, you and your gentle steed. You have nothing to fear from me.”

“What were you laughing at?” the prince asked tentatively, as he settled onto the kraken\’s briny back.

“Me? Oh, nothing. Frog in my throat, all that.”

When they reached the other side of the vast lake and the kraken deposited the prince and his noble sea horse on firm sand again, the kraken said, “I leave you with one piece of wisdom, little prince. Nothing is as it seems. For all your power, your greatest weapon is knowing when to surrender.”

“But a real man never surrenders!” the prince called out. The kraken, however, had already disappeared into the deep.

For three days longer, the prince and his steed traveled. On the third day, when the prince began to despair of ever returning home, he came upon a boneyard, stretching on for miles beyond the horizon. In the center of the carnage was a dragon, massive and black, and curled up asleep.

To be continued!


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