The Kraken (conclusion)

The final installment of the The Kraken, by Robert L. Jones, III.  To start from the beginning, click HERE!

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From The Kraken, by Robert L. Jones, III and illustrated by James P. Wood

 

XVI. Benediction

With Kraken gone, the fearful folk returned to ply the sea,

And safety made the legend pass, though inadvertently.

A town was founded near the place where Galen’s cottage stood.

Where once a barren coast had been, there grew a neighborhood.

 

So Galen’s fame was scarcely known, but heroes must be paid.

He used his bellows and his forge to work the blacksmith’s trade.

At times, he fashioned stranger things, though most did not know why,

And, with his arm around Celeste, would stare into the sky.

 

Their union prospered in its way for those who cared to see

That Galen and his winsome bride were blessed with progeny

Of fairest skin on stoutest limb and fire behind their eyes.

They raised them well and lovingly and taught them to be wise.

 

They taught them work and taught them play, made sure that they were fed,

And told them stories in the night, then tucked them into bed.

As seasons changed, they watched them grow till they were straight and tall,

By young desire distracted from the saddles on the wall.

 

And, one by one, they saw them leave, when they were fully grown,

To found new homes with spouses fair and children of their own.

There is a way, mad by design, a way that wisdom makes,

To set the young at liberty to make their own mistakes.

 

And, one by one or all at once, the children would return,

The cottage glowing in the night with candle wax to burn.

They laughed and ate. Some went outside to play or walk around,

No longer knowing what they paced had once been sacred ground.

 

Their father told his history repeatedly, and yet,

Through unfamiliarity, descendants will forget.

And so he hammered weaponry and saved it for the days

Another generation would embrace heroic ways.

 

Some undergo the humble change from ridicule to fear

As those once sheltered made aware of danger drawing near,

But some remember righteous thoughts, discovered in their youth,

Of better dreams and simpler ways that turn them to the truth.

 

In times of pride and apathy, depending on the year,

There well might come a moment when a Kraken will appear.

As some are lost or made aware, the cycle starts again

To test the motivations that direct the hearts of men.

 

Still, man and wife would spend their days in faith and blessedness,

Commend themselves to higher things, and frequently confess

That tribulation comes to teach the lessons all must learn

In preparation for the day the griffins will return.

To order The Kraken, by Robert L. Jones, III and illustrated by James P. Wood, click HERE.

The Kraken (#15)

(Pssst…In case you missed any, you can start from the beginning at THIS LINK.)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

XV. The Restoration of All Things

A transformation soon ensued from Lordly Griffin wild

To lion then to bleeding lamb, both terrible and mild,

Who laid his wounded head upon the morbid maiden’s breast.

The color came into her cheeks. She breathed as if at rest

 

And then exhaled with softened moan to Galen’s glad surprise

As, with a start, she sat upright and opened long-shut eyes.

The former mist from when she first walked plainly in his sight

Was missing now, and in its place there shined a brighter light.

 

A bleat turned to a lion’s roar and then an eagle’s screech,

Then, suddenly, the Griffin King flew upward out of reach.

As Galen gazed upon the lass, revived in time of need,

From north and west the prophet flew, approaching on his steed.

 

Alighting next, he looked around, excitement on his face,

And smiled at Galen as he said, “Recipient of grace,

Believe your eyes. Be not surprised. It is the right of kings

To fashion something beautiful from dead and broken things.

 

“Now would it be too much to ask, what is this maiden’s name?”

She rose and spoke in wondrous tones, “Through trial I became

More of myself for this good man who sought to know me best.

My parents named me for the stars. Dear sir, I am Celeste.”

 

He joined the couple hand in hand, then to the griffins led.

A far off look was in his eyes as joyfully he said,

“Celeste and Galen, rise and fly. There are but saddles two.

Consent to take one final gift I have to offer you,

 

“In wedded bliss to live within my cottage by the sea,

But here I’ll die. Then this good host will take what’s left of me

To safer shores beyond the veil of this world’s atmosphere

To bow before the Griffin King in reverential fear.

 

“Life’s vivid moments rise and fall like waves upon the shore.

Each breaker passes over me. I want for nothing more.

My sojourn by the ocean past, and, now, my waiting through,

My course is flown. I am fulfilled in what I’ve done for you.”

 

So, tearfully, with warm embrace, they bade their friend goodbye

And, later, perched on griffin backs, conversed within the sky.

They shouted high upon the wind and spoke of many things

Until they reached that happy shore on which the ocean sings.

 

Then, earnestly, they made their vows among the griffin host

And went inside to contemplate what they both treasured most.

They hung their saddles on the wall, forever, some would say.

For after that enchanted ride, the griffins flew away.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY…dot…dot…dot!!

The old-fashioned, hand-held, page-turning and fully illustrated version can be ordered at Amazon.com, by Robert L Jones, III and illustrated by James P. Wood.

The Kraken (#13)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

XIII. The Battle

For hours they waited on the ice and watched the Kraken’s hole

As Galen hungered to avenge the beauty that it stole.

His older friend, beholding the frustration on his face,

Took hold of him. “Stay true,” he said. “This is the proper place.”

 

Their griffins also rested there. No fear did they display.

In time of greatest danger, they would simply fly away

And hover well above the fray, then, faithful to their call,

Return to take the heroes home, unbothered by it all.

 

It seemed that nothing happened, then it seemed that nothing would

While Galen tried to reckon what his teacher understood.

He found that he was standing where impatience fears to tread,

Where times of great excitement first by boredom must be fed.

 

As patience is rewarded in some unexpected way,

The ice began to vibrate. Then the ice began to sway

As from the edge, and looking down to see where he should go,

The hunter saw his target’s head appear from down below.

 

The eyes he sought were rising only feet from where he stood.

He felt the handle in his hands and tightly gripped the wood.

In one quick thrust, the implement was driven through the foam.

With discipline, he found his mark and drove the spearhead home.

 

The ice exploded with such force that Galen flew aloft

And landed certain yards from there on something somewhat soft.

The old man underneath him laughed, delighted by it all.

“You did it, boy! Despite my pain, I’m glad to break your fall!”

 

The two men, still disguised in white and trapped upon the flows,

Observed the Kraken thrash and bleed, imperiled by its throes.

The suctioned arms still rose and fell to crash upon the ice.

The section where they bowed and kneeled was nearly capsized twice.

 

One slimy arm caught Galen’s calf, and then he felt it slip,

When upward came more tentacles with something in their grip.

The Kraken died as Galen gasped. He recognized the face,

Lost love, once seen from pirate’s mast, still locked in dead embrace.

 

The two men worked with labored breath, made steamier by toil,

And used their spears with urgency to free her from the coil.

Then reaching into frigid sea, they pulled on her with care

To drag her from her ocean grave and out into the air.

 

And as the heat of battle through our heroes’ veins still burned,

They heard the sound of screech and wing. The griffins had returned.

Though vengeance had been satisfied, the deed was incomplete.

The men beheld the sorry sight now laid before their feet.

To be continued next Thursday…dot…dot…dot!!

By Robert L. Jones, III, at Pneumythology

The Kraken (#12)

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

XII. Departure

The morning came when all was done. No task the prophet gave,

Save breakfast, which he barely touched. His countenance was grave.

And Galen’s pulse was quickened then.. His chest began to heave.

He knew just by his master’s look that it was time to leave.

 

“The time has come, “the prophet said and took him by the arm.

“Be carefully attentive lest we come to major harm.

There is more than one aspect to this problem to be solved.

Tomorrow, when the sun is set, this part will be resolved.

 

“Of course,” he paused, “wear proper dress, and don this garment here.

Despite our plan, the Kraken’s speed might best you, and I fear

You’d meet your end within its coils if not for this disguise.

One dressed in white upon the ice stays hidden from its eyes.”

 

Then quickly Galen slipped the robe on top of what he wore

But asked, “However shall we go with no boat on the shore?”

His elder went to fetch the saddles hanging on the wall

And gathered spears. Then, with a rope, he tied and bundled all.

 

He said, “I know your heart is set on striking out by sea,

Yet, nonetheless, we shall proceed as safely as can be.

No vessel born of human hands can breach the Kraken’s lair.

No ship that plies the sea is safe, but these will take us there.”

 

And as he stepped outside the door and pointed overhead,

A flock of griffins landed, calling shrieks to raise the dead.

With eagle’s front and lion’s haunch, and terrible in shape,

Each one arrested Galen’s eyes and held his mouth agape.

 

The wise man held the saddles out in effort to explain.

“Be calm. You should be thankful for the speed that we will gain.

There are no reins. You use your arms to balance as you sit.

The saddles only they allow. Their beaks refuse the bit.”

 

Amid the whir and flutter of appendages, they sailed

In feathered flight. A mighty squad, through azure skies they trailed.

All through the night and into dawn, the expedition flew

To find a world of gray and white had entered into view,

 

A frozen sea encrusted with the ice of broken flows,

Pale, jagged blossoms grown from seeds the deadly tempest sows.

Calm water in an open space was ringed by icy crags,

Bare, lofty, snow blown pinnacles on which the north wind snags.

 

The griffins banked and steered their course to land near water’s edge

And skidded on the hoary frost to stop along a ledge.

“Unpack your spears,” the prophet said, “before it grows too late.”

He added with severity, “It’s here that we must wait.”

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY…dot…dot…dot!!

The Kraken (#11)

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

XI.  The Forge

For months, they raised the smithy walls, the roof and furnace made,

And gathered  iron rods and bars of proper strength and grade.

The prophet said, “Convert these, now, to something that will fit

Your chosen purpose and your needs. Your life depends on it.

“The spear must reach beneath the waves to pierce the Kraken’s hide.

The handle must be stout enough, the spearhead sharp and wide.

Now make it long and tempered well before you go to sleep.

You’ll need a shaft that’s straight and strong and arms to drive it deep.

“Tomorrow, we will take the first and put it to the test,

And if all goes accordingly, I’ll have you make the rest.”

The bellows breathed. The furnace roared. The pounding hammer rang

As if beneath its heavy blows the glowing metal sang,

And when the blade with water had been tempered properly,

The finished work, in grim detail, was quite a sight to see.

To punctuate this night of toil, there dawned a morning clear.

Hours later, in the sunlight, Galen proudly showed his spear.

His mentor nodded thoughtfully as one who understands.

He checked the balance of the spear and turned it in his hands.

“What you have made is good,” he said. “It has a killing feel

And, for the pain within you heart, capacity to heal.

“As I have said to you before, you’ll need some more to take.

Observe the pattern carefully, and faithful copies make.”

So Galen labored patiently and set his fury loose

In fashioning sufficient spears and practicing their use.

 

He held each to the anvil as his hammer sang its song,

And as he built this arsenal, his arms grew thick and strong.

When sun was down, the hour befell to rectify his mind

And listen to his teacher to discern what he might find.

Rehearsing lessons written down by help of candlelight,

He lay in bed to contemplate the stillness of the night.

In righteousness, he thought to pay the grudges that he bore,

Smiled at the Kraken’s ignorance of what he had in store.

His days repeated in this way till one night he surmised

There was a solitary fact by which he’d been surprised.

In finding satisfaction with the things his hands had made,

He found he could appreciate his father’s chosen trade.

His labor substituted for a hunter’s vanity,

Each blow was struck to hammer out the past’s insanity.

With sweating brow, he put behind the sting of youthful sin

And filled his heart with humble pride, a blacksmith once again.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY…dot…dot…dot!!

The Kraken (#10)

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

X. A Revelation

He next awoke well-blanketed beside a dying fire,

The blackened sky above his head alive with young desire,

And, by and by, the atmosphere grew gray with dawning light

While, out at sea, a bank of clouds obscured the sun from sight.

The scarlet disk rose from the clouds, a Phoenix over hedge,

As Galen’s host stood placidly along the water’s edge.

The prophet watched the wind and waves, beheld the ocean dance,

Looked back at Galen vacantly, and spoke as in a trance.

“In visions or in midnight dreams, I’ve seen it once or twice,

A hiding place, a pool within a fortress made of ice,

A place that finds this cunning creature swimming unaware.

So rather than on open seas, you best had track it there.

“This Kraken troubles northern ports. Its tentacles spread wide,

And many unsuspecting souls are trapped within its tide,

Polluted in its oily wake before they meet their ends

In suctioned arms that scar and drown and awful beak that rends.

“There never was, as I recall, a sailing man or ship

That managed to release itself once in that slimy grip.”

The prophet fell to silent pause, his face in thoughtful frown.

“You see, you’ll need a better plan to take the monster down.

“At first, I think, you’ll wish to know what weapon I bequeath.

A ship is just a dinner bowl attacked from underneath,

A cannon much too slow to move, too heavy, and the ball,

When discharged into murky depths, scarce bothers it at all.

“Since none of newer weaponry can put your mind at rest,

Used properly in well-trained hands, a spear will function best.

You don’t know where to place the point, but presently you’ll see

The Kraken’s weakest spot discerned from its anatomy.

“The giant head is arrow-shaped and armored under skin.

The soft spot in between the eyes will let the spear blade in.

Behavior is predictable. It holds the second key.

This is a clever animal with one weak tendency.

“It uses beak and tentacles to slake its bloody thirst,

But when it moves below the ice, it always swims head first.

While tentacles still trail behind, you first will see its eyes.

At proper station on the flows, you’ll take it by surprise.

“But first we must construct a forge, then once that job is through,

You’ll fashion spears of such design as I shall give to you.

So learn, and make your weaponry. No caution can be spared.

The battle might turn suddenly, and you must be prepared.”

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY…dot…dot…dot!!

The Kraken #9

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE.)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

IX. The Prodigal

In horror, Galen climbed the mast as high as he could go.

It quickly slipped beneath the waves. He fought the undertow.

Then as the deadened ship went down, a living orca came

In black and white with fearsome maw. Somehow it seemed quite tame

 

Though wild and unpredictable, in nature so complete.

As it approached, it lowered first and nudged at Galen’s feet.

By faith, he clambered on its back and held its dorsal fin.

They swam out of the undertow that tried to pull him in.

 

His deadly ride with power coursed across the northern sea

And bore him toward a place of undisclosed identity.

They travelled on for many days and then for some days more

Until the orca shook him off and pushed him to the shore.

 

He recognized the rocky coast, the cottage walls in white,

The person gazing back at him with look of stern delight.

He had not seen that wizened face for seven years, at least.

From obligation to return he had not been released.

 

His misadventures of the past careened within his brain.

He’d seen enough of tragedy to drive some men insane,

And as he kneeled and fought the surf, now sadder, not yet wise,

An undetermined stare betrayed the fire behind his eyes.

 

The prophet eyed him carefully. “I know where you have been,

To take your vengeance on a beast with help of doubtful men.

There was no time to do this right the first time that you tried,

But you have failed. The Kraken lives, and you have nearly died.

 

“Despite your humble circumstance and passion long denied,

I see some future benefit. Now here you will abide

To grow in strength and courage and to train your faculties

To trust in unseen help and learn to calm these troubled seas.

 

“An unclean vessel drew you forth. A better drew you back,

Authentic in its name, supplied to give you what you lack.

I see you have sufficiently been baptized by the sea.

Instead of striking forth alone, you should have come to me.”

 

The wayward man unsteadily arose to gain his feet,

Reluctantly, respectfully, his former friend to greet.

He stood and wavered, scarce could walk, not knowing what to say,

But there was peace between them both in fading light of day.

 

He staggered forward as a child, his elder within reach,

And longed to hear the principles that wiser men might teach.

Collapsing in the prophet’s arms, his vision now in doubt,

He managed but the faintest smile then groaned while passing out.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY!!

The Kraken (#8)

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE.)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?) 

The Kraken

By Robert L. Jones, III ( check it out at Pneumythology)

VIII. Their Just Desserts

The captain was a wicked man who took his crew to task.

He kept the cheer he’d shown ashore contained within his flask,

Capriciously applied the lash to undeserving backs,

And spurred his vessel on along its chosen ocean tracks.

 

They worked the shipping lanes to find their merchandise at sea.

The Orca was a brigand ship intent on piracy.

All profits were contested first then split among the ranks,

But none would be for proper trade or kept in proper banks.

 

The holds were bare upon this trip. No raid had been as yet.

Too late did Galen know his plight once caught up in their net.

Repenting of impatience, he maintained a solemn fast

And put up the appearance of a spotter in the mast.

 

Neglecting to cry out, he spied a distant ship or two

And let them pass. It was his luck no other shipmate knew.

One day he gave a signal. There was no approaching storm,

But dark beneath the surface moved an undulating form

 

Of massive size. In consequence, they sounded more alarms.

The hardest pirates feared their fates within the Kraken’s arms.

With sails drawn slack and cannon down, the boat began to drift.

Keen eyes were peeled upon the waves to see what shape might lift.

 

The watchmen at the bow first saw the dim, primeval sign.

Two giant, round, unblinking eyes stared upward through the brine.

Just then, cries sounded from the stern in warning of a trap,

Long tentacles in tight embrace that made the timbers snap.

 

In spreading, inky camouflage, the surface waves were oiled.

With serpentine appendages, the darkened waters boiled.

So as a sword but one third drawn and two thirds in the sheath,

The Kraken writhed above the waves with twice more underneath.

 

The shattered ship was sinking low. The Kraken held it fast

And killed the crew in minutes, save for Galen in the mast,

And as the hull was pulled below, the mast alone still stood,

A crucifix above the sea, scant shelter for the good.

 

The Kraken then released its grip once filled with evil men.

Seen from above, it seemed to grow, thus fed on mortal sin,

While Galen, from his tilting perch gaped at the floating mass,

For in a coil of tentacle, he saw his true love pass,

 

A deathly pale upon her face, once radiant by day.

Her comely corpse through many years had suffered no decay.

The hair that once the wind had swept by water now was combed.

Her captor pulled her out of sight as to the deep it homed.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY (dot, dot, dot!!)

The Kraken (#7)

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE.)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

The Kraken

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!”

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY (dot, dot, dot!!)

The Kraken (#6)

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE.)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?) 

The Kraken

By Robert L. Jones III (check it out at Pneumythology)

VI. The Apprenticeship

The night was spent with further conversation, food, and sleep.

When morning came, the boy set out with promises to keep.

His friend called out a proverb, enigmatic in its way,

“Expected change will surely come when night turns into day,

 

“And though you think this tragedy as bad as it can get,

If you will hearken to me, you will come by comfort yet

To know the situation isn’t what it seems to be.

The Kraken can obscure, but never feed on, purity.”

 

As Galen walked back toward his home along the stony beach,

Though none appeared, he thought he heard a flock of eagles screech

A cry unbound by space and time, its timbre sharp and shrill,

Much like a trumpet’s battle call when sounded from a hill.

 

He turned to face the rising land, his back against the tide.

His winding path led through the hills and to his father’s side.

The good man chuckled at the news delivered by his son

That, of the trades he might have tried, he’d settled on this one.

 

Not knowing whether such a choice was by the boy’s device,

He said, “We’ll both give this a try, but start with this advice.

Though I don’t know the final goal on which your hopes are set,

Be durable and sure of hand. You’ll make a blacksmith yet.”

 

Comparing to his father’s build, his own was rather small,

But, owing to inheritance, he’d grow both broad and tall.

For seven years, he labored hard to learn his father’s trade,

And, with the passing of each one, the prophet’s words would fade.

 

By rambling thoughts of gallantry was Galen much amused.

About the daily sweat and toil he seemed much less enthused.

One day, while working at the forge, his father’s arms went slack.

He turned and spoke these solemn words while straightening his back,

 

“My son, you’ve grown and served me well. Regardless of your plan,

The time has come to make your way. Go forth. You are a man.”

He paid his wages, hugged his neck, but neither of them knew

That, once the son was gone, the father’s life would soon be through.

 

The end would come while Galen was constrained upon a ship,

Commissioned by mistaken choice, a nearly fatal slip.

With freedom gained and body strong, it’s typical that he

Forgot the prophet’s sayings of what he was meant to be.

 

A little truth can lead astray such youthful confidence.

He still retained his childish zeal but wanted common sense.

His pockets full of silver coins, away from home he turned,

From father’s trade and prophet’s way, from skills and lessons learned.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY (dot, dot, dot!!)