Oops — fell a bit…

Oops -- fell a bit behind:

10.

The poet explained her dilemma to her friends. The dragon shook its head.

"You don't have any words yet?"

"I have a few," the poet admitted. "But they're far from perfect."

"Are they sweet?" the dragon asked.

"A little," the poet said.

"And are they sharp?" the unicorn added. (Unicorns are quite fond of things that are sharp.)

"I think so," the poet said.

The dragon and the unicorn exchanged long glances, and then shrugged in unison. The dragon said softly, "Then we don't know what to tell you. Neither one of us has had a child, you know. My egg won't hatch for another thousand years, and as for the unicorn -- well, unicorns don't have children."

The mathematician turned to the unicorn, intrigued, and asked, "Then how do you -- "

The unicorn raised an elegant eyebrow and said sharply, "It's a mystery."

"Ah," the mathematician said happily. He was very fond of mysteries.

The dragon continued, "Maybe you should go talk to the hazel tree. She has lots of little saplings. Maybe she will know what you should do."

The poet sighed. "I suppose I have to. The child will be perfect -- it deserves a perfect lullaby too."

Before they left, the dragon showed them its egg, nestled in a bed of gold in the very farthest corner of the cave. The poet and the mathematician agreed that it was by far the very most beautifullest, dragonlicious, scrumptioustastic egg they had ever seen or could ever hope to see. The dragon beamed.

11.

The poet and the mathematician walked back out into the wide world. The poet began to lean on the mathematician as they walked. He winced occasionally, but didn't say a word. When they reached the silver cities with their handsome young men, the mathematician said, "I have an idea."

"Yes?"

"Isn't it rather a long walk to the hazel tree?"

"Yes."

"I'm not sure you'll make it. Why don't we take a ship instead?"

A ship? Despite all her years of living by the ocean, the poet had never taken a ship for her travels. She'd always just walked. Her eyes sparkled.

"Can we get one with tall masts, and big, white, billowing sails?"

"I think that would be a necessity," the mathematician replied.

"Oh yes, please." A ship sounded like a magnificent idea. Especially since her feet were hurting quite abominably.

12.

They rented a little ship, just big enough for two to manage, if they were careful. The poet had learned to sail once, very many years ago, and she was pleased to find that the skill came back easily to her. The mathematician was a quick study. They had three days of clear sailing, with the sun high in the sky and a good fresh breeze sending the sails billowing most satisfactorily.

The mathematician stayed in their cabin during the day, since his skin burned easily, and unfortunately, the lovely glittering light dancing across the water hurt his eyes. The poet stayed out during the day, adjusting the ropes and steering as needed. At night, the mathematician took over the job while she slept.

For three days, they had no trouble whatsoever, unless you count the mathematician complaining at having to eat so much fish for dinner.

On the fourth day, a storm blew up.

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