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.”