(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE.)
By Robert L. Jones, III ( check it out at Pneumythology)
VII. The Wrong Lot
In some odd way, impassioned youth, so hungry and so lean,
Can concentrate on final goals and miss the steps between.
Romance and proud adventure holding sway in Galen’s head,
He dreamed of reputation made and wished the Kraken dead.
It seems he didn’t think it out but moved instinctively
And wandered toward the siren song emitting from the sea.
As from the hills and forests green his journey led him down,
He headed not to prophet’s house but toward a harbor town.
A dismal place it seemed to be, as day began to fade,
Since rumors of the Kraken had inhibited its trade.
One building there was gaily lit. It’s doors were open wide.
The tavern called invitingly, and Galen stepped inside.
With savings earned, he purchased ale and sat down on a bench.
The barmaid came by presently, a fair and strapping wench.
She said, “The coins within your purse will purchase what you please.”
She pointed to his empty mug. “I’ll fetch one more of these.”
“Yes, do that,” laughed a husky voice and then another two.
“This patron bears the look of one with better things to do.”
Then Galen, turning toward the voice that he might better know,
Saw laughing over hearty brew a dozen men or so.
The chief among their company held forth with rousing wit
While, motioning with roughened hand, he bade the young man sit.
Gray stubble grew upon his jaw. A scar was on his cheek.
A wily look was in his eye, and, oh, how he could speak!
By such approach, the blacksmith’s son was quickly taken in
And joined the conversation of those rugged sailing men.
He heard their tales and sang their songs. He laughed and carried on.
The drinking followed round on round. His money soon was gone.
The Kraken swam within his mind till, pricked by guilt and doubt
Along with curiosity, the novice blurted out,
“How would your ship defend itself in case of an attack?”
With humorous indignity, the captain answered back,
“My ship has ample cannon, powder stored upon its shelves
With cutlasses and pistols. We can take care of ourselves.”
And Galen, in his addled state forgetting what he knew,
Grinned as the room began to spin and said, “Your ship will do.”
He next awoke by light of day upon a rolling deck,
With swollen tongue, unfocused eyes, and stiffness in his neck.
A harsher voice than he had heard the merry night before
Yelled, “On your feet, and get to work! Do what we pay you for!”