Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Giantess and the Clever Moonelf

Many winters agone a clever moonelf sought revenge against a cloudcastle chief who had laughed at his hat--upon their mountains of cloud, the castellans, the miners of the cloudsilver veins, in their homes of lavender brick, fashion great sinuous chains of sempiternal strength; these are the chains that hang the clouds and the Cloud mountains from the sky--and up the chains to their anchoring in the firmament, among the starsilver and the moonsilver lights go the Moonmad Elves of the Pines--Elves of the Pining, pining for the Vanished Kindred gone in an ancient age to the Near Moon, in their ships of swanwood white as snowfall.

"See this small one's hat. It looks a right limpling!" was what the cloud-builder said.

The clever moonelf brooded under his homebeams for three days. On the third night a starflash struck him. "I shall seek the giant's wife," said he, and he took up his willow staff and walking cap.

The giantess was at her spinning in the sun parlor, weaving the silver cords the wind rides down. "Hark, Chieftess," said the clever elf. "I have word of goblin gold." Never was born the cloudcastler who could ignore such news, least of all from the mouth of an elf himself.

"Vouchsafe your secrets, elf, but baffle not my ear with moonfroth," said she.

"The moonwind tells that the next giantling quickened shall have a goblin crown for a caul. Pity your master swings a hollow club," said the clever elf.

"How now?"

"Or so he said this noon at the rain quarry. Beg pardon if I am the storm crow of this news."

The giantess frowned.

"But I may have help in hand."

"More moonfroth, now?"

"No, Lady. This I skimmed from the waves on every hollow month of the Far Moon for the whole of a Great Year. Let us call it moonscum. I have blended it with the fluid of night-blooming mushroom"

The clever elf held out a crystal vial.

"The mushroom gives that mickle smell. See that his lordship slathers his lambskin with it freely."

Some months later, after an unburdensome time with child, a son was born to the giantess and the chief: a tiny, elf-skinned babe, and upon his brow was a forelock of silver.

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