Skip to main content

Flight Through the Mountains

The penultimate part of “The Tale of Kutava,” continued from Part IV

We departed from Krotil before dawn, to avoid any questionings from the townspeople. Our company consisted of Tae臐an, Ferondei and me, as well as the two boys Delko and Ai臐if, who had implored Ferondei to allow them to accompany us. We certainly were not planning for two extra travellers, but they had brought their own provisions as Ferondei had instructed, and for that we were thankful.

We were in the mountains by daybreak, and at length we stopped for a rest.

鈥楶rithee tell me again,鈥 quoth Delko, 鈥榳hither are we bound?鈥

鈥楾o seek a hiding place in the mountains, as we鈥檝e told thee thrice already,鈥 said Tae臐an, seeming a bit upset.

鈥楢h, that鈥檚 right; for some reason I thought we were going to Krotl.鈥

鈥榃ell, thou art mistaken this time,鈥 quoth I, 鈥榝or that is where Raheem is, assembling his great army against 臏imlu.

鈥極h, horrors! I detest fighting. I鈥檇 much rather hide in the mountains.鈥 He smiled strangely. Read More

Aiken Drum

On the moon there is a man;
Drum they call his name.
Though he’s from no worldly land,
On earth he has his fame.

Look into the skies at night;
Search the lunar face.
Gaze upon his features bright;
You’ve seen the man in space!

Some say he does not exist,
Many are in doubt.
You and I though, we’ll insist
Old Aiken’s still got clout.

The House of Learning

We now resume the telling of the Tale of Kutava, a story of Shliflet

Casa Eruditionis (House of Learning)

(Continued from Part III)

For the third consecutive evening, I sat by the hearth in a log house in Zefelen to listen to the adventures of Melpal锚psen, who was called 鈥楰utava鈥 in his youth. He and his family had been most hospitable, and I was enjoying the tale immensely, as I hope you are as well.

鈥極h traveller,鈥 said Melpal锚psen this third night, 鈥業 fear I am wearying thee with this lengthy story. Wilt thou that I continue? or hast thou need of embarking once again on thy journey?鈥 I assured him I had nowhere to go, and that I very much wished to hear the rest of his tale.

Well then, if thou wouldest remain, I would fain continue. Where did I end the tale last night? Ah, yes, as we were readying ourselves to cross the Great River, Tae臐an and I.

Now this river is very wide, much wider than the streams of this land, and so wide that a man standing on one of its banks cannot see the other. In Nu臐im then, that morning, we crossed the river on a ferry. It was a lovely spring morning; the birds were singing, and as we neared the opposite shore I spied the trees covered with white sweet-smelling blooms. Of course, nothing in 臏imlu is so bright and wonderful as the indescribable beauty and splendour of this land, but I was cheered, and my heart was glad.

On the other side of the river was a simple dock, where a small group of people awaited the coming of the ferry. When we landed, we and the few who were with us disembarked from the boat and set off down the road which led to the village of Krotil, only a few leagues thence.

Krotil is a small town, fairly far removed from the rest of Kroatelmia. Most of its goods are imported by shipments along the river, although some farming is done around the town. Although situated in the river valley, Krotil is very close to the great mountains in the south which my people call 鈥楰utv锚te.鈥 Read More

Mountain Lion

Silently bounding鈥
A great cat in the forest;
The puma passes.

This is the one and only haiku I have ever written. It’s not my favourite type of poetry, but I must admit it’s better than free verse. In my humble opinion, haiku is more suited to the Japanese language than to English.