That Dragon, Karkinos

173

By Dhananjay Gupta

A tough carapace, a crab
a staring gaze, a dagger jab.
That dragon, Karkinos sat there,
silent in her dragon’s lair.

The earth rumbled as Karkinos slept
Above in hearth, a village wept.
For Karkinos was an ancient foe,
the seeds of dread, her presence sow.

Yet Karkinos still was weak,
more vigour did she grimly seek.
Birthed she a million eggs,
and fed them on the village’s dregs.

These younglings would eventually
with their perfect mimicry
of their mother, Karkinos
wreak death, destruction, and chaos.

The village above, had one wise man.
“To fight and kill her, yes we can.
The creature’s mortal, do not fear
prevail we shall, if we cohere.”

With sticks and stones they reached her cave,
men and boys; hardy, brave.
But Karkinos had other plans,
unbeknownst to every man.

One million deadly sons let loose,
the villagers’ nape, a tightened noose.
These faithful Karkinosii lay waste,
to a land that once was chaste.

The battle was a little short,
bravely though the village fought.
For sticks and stones may break her bones,
but there is no way to slay her clones.

Twenty leagues now to the west,
another village lies in rest.
There is another dragon’s lair,
another home to Karkinos’ heirs.

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