ONCE  UPON  A TIME there was a king who was king of a very
small country. Indeed, his  kingdom  was  so  small  that  most
people were not even aware it existed.

     The  king  thought  that  it  was  a fairly large kingdom,
though, as kingdoms went. This  was  because  there  were  many
mountains  around  the place, mountains which were difficult to
climb. Because of these mountains, travelers would just  go  on
around  the  kingdom,  rather  than go through it. And very few
people ever left the kingdom, to come back and  tell  of  other
lands. People were pretty much afraid to do that.

     They were afraid of the dragons.

     They never saw any dragons, mind you, but they were afraid
of them.  This is because all the maps in  the  kingdom  showed
that  they  were  surrounded  by  dragons dragons here, dragons
there, dragons all  over  the  place,  all  because  of  Mister

     Mister  Gibberling was the Royal Cartographer. (That means
he was the official mapmaker.) Mister Gibberling was the  Royal
Cartographer  because  his  father and his grandfather had been
Royal  Cartographers.   Mister  Gibberling  had   learned   his
profession from his father, who had learned it from his father.

     Since people did not visit the kingdom very often, and the
king's subjects seldom crossed over the  mountains  themselves,
it  was  difficult  for the Royal Cartographers to know exactly
what to put down on their maps to show what was outside. So, as
he  had  learned  from  his father (who had learned it from his
father), whenever he did not know what to show as being in  any
certain  place, Mister Gibberling picked up his quill, and with
a great flourish of the feather wrote (in fancy letters):

                       -HERE THERE BE DRAGONS-

     Then  he  would  smile,  because  he  had  explained a new
territory. Of course, since he did not  really  know  what  lay
beyond  the  mountains in any direction, it soon came to appear
that the entire world was infested with dragons. (And he  would
draw  little  pictures  of  fire-breathing dragons, roaring and
flapping their wings, beneath what  he  wrote  which  certainly
didn't help to promote tourism.)

     This  is  why  everyone was afraid of the dragons they had
never seen. If your father were to drive into a gas station and
ask for a road map, and it said, "HERE THERE BE DRAGONS" and it
showed a little picture such  as  the  ones  Mister  Gibberling
drew, your father would take a dif- ferent route. So, since all
the maps in the kingdom showed  dragons  everywhere,  breathing
flames  and being mean, all the people in the kingdom stayed at
home, because there were no other routes.

     BUT  THEN  ONE  DAY the king's daughter, the princess, was
going to have a birthday, and the king wanted to  celebrate  it
in a special way.

     "I want fireworks!" he said.

     "Yes, sire. A good idea," said his first adviser.

     "Yes  indeed,  sire.  A  very  good idea," said his second

     "Oh  yes,  great  sire!  A very, very good idea," said his
third adviser.

     "Uh,  where  will  we  get  them,  sire?" asked his fourth
adviser, who was never too popular around the  court  (but  his
dowager  aunt  was a good friend of the queen, so the king kept
him  about,  despite  his   habit   of   asking   uncomfortable

     "The  man  who used to manufacture fireworks died some ten
years ago," he explained, "and he never trained anyone to  take
his place. This is why there have been no fireworks displays in
recent years."

     "We  shall  simply  have  to  get  them,"  said  the king,
"because I want them."

     "Yes," said the first adviser.

     "We shall simply have to get them," said the second.

     "Because the king wants them," said the third.

     "How?" asked the fourth.

     "Well we could, ah import them," said the first.

     "Yes, import them," said the second.

     "Import them, yes," said the third.

     "From where?" asked the fourth.

     "Well, uh we could get them from . . . Hmm.

     "Yes, we could get them from Hmm," agreed the second.

     "I was only hmming, not naming places," said the first.

     "Oh, pardon me, I thought you meant the city of Hmm on the
Mm river.  It is too far away, now that I think of it."

     "Why don't we get a map and look?" asked the third.

     "An excellent idea," said the second. "Get a map and look."

     So they did. They gathered around the map and studied.

     "There are dragons to the east," said the first.

     ". . . And dragons to the west," said the second.

     ". . . And dragons to the north," said the third.

     ".  .  . And dragons to the south," said the fourth. "They
seem to be all around us. In fact, there is  only  our  kingdom
and  dragons  on  the  map.  Consequently, we cannot import any

     "It would seem to follow . . ." said the first.

     "But the king wants them!" said the second.

     "But where can we get them?" asked the third.

     Then  the  first  adviser  had an idea. "What is a dragon,
anyway?" he asked.

     "Oh, big!" said the second.

     ". . . And mean," said the third.

     ".  . . And ugly and scaly and strong and fire-breathing,"
finished the fourth. "There is a picture on the map‹  many
pictures, as a matter of fact."

     "Well," said the first, "dragons spout flames, don't they?
Like  Roman  Candles,  Vesuvius  Fountains,  Cannon   Crackers,
Whirlagigs, Blue Angels, Normandy Lights?"

     "So I've always heard," said the second.

     "Yes, exactly," said the third.

     "When  is  the  last  time  any of you has seen a dragon?"
asked the fourth. "Well . . ." said the first.

     "Ah . . ." said the second.

     "Er . . ." said the third.

     "I  was only curious," said the fourth. "I have never seen
one myself."

     "Oh,  you.  That  doesn't prove anything," said the first.
"Now then, listen: If we can't import fireworks, why  can't  we
import a dragon to do the same job? Fire, colored lights things
like that?"

     "A stunning idea!" said the second. "Import a dragon!"

     "Congratulations,"  said  the  third.  "It  is a brilliant
idea. Dragons are available  everywhere,  while  fireworks  are

     "Yes," said the fourth. "I would like very much to see you
import a dragon."

 "I  shall  suggest it to the king immediately," said the first
adviser.  He went and suggested it to the king.

     "Oh,  my yes!" said the king. "Won't it be jolly to have a
dragon for the princess' birthday! Why didn't I think of that?"

     "That is what advisers are for," said the first adviser.

     "Send   for  a  dragon  immediately,"  ordered  the  king,
"medium-sized, and with colored lights."

     "Very  good,  sire,"  said  the first adviser. "Send for a
dragon," he told the second.

     "Send for a dragon," the second adviser told the third.

     "Send for a dragon," the third adviser told the fourth.

     "Who shall I send, and where?" asked the fourth.

       "That  is  your  problem," said the third. "I only relay

     "But I have no one to relay them to," said the fourth.

     "Then do it yourself," said the third.

     "This   is  ridiculous!"  said  the  fourth,  whose  name,
incidentally, was William.

     "It is the order of the king," said the third. "Your place
is to obey, not to question."

     "Very  well,"  said William, sighing. "I'll give it a try.
But I still think it is ridiculous."

     "It  is  the  king's order. Go, import a dragon!" And they
laughed, as the fourth adviser went away to seek a medium-sized
dragon with colored lights.

     "I  wonder," William wondered, "who I can send to fetch me
a dragon? A knight! Of course! I'll send  a  knight.  They  are
supposed   to  be  accustomed  to  doing  brave  and  bold  and
courageous things like that."

     HE  WALKED  up  the  street  to  the  local inn, where the
knights spent most of their time eating and drinking.  He  went
into  the  inn  and looked for the captain of the King's Guard.
The captain was seated at the first table, a  huge  platter  of
beef  and  a  tankard  of ale in front of him. He was a fat man
with a red face and a wart on the left side of  his  nose.   He
kept eating while William talked to him.

     "Captain,"  he said, "I need a brave and courageous knight
or three for a brave and courageous deed."

     "All  of  my  knights  are brave and courageous," said the
captain, without looking up from the table.

       "The  king  needs a dragon," said William, "medium-sized
and with colored lights. So, will you  kindly  supply  me  with
someone  brave  and  courageous  enough  to  go  after one? The
captain choked on his ale and looked up suddenly.

     "A  dragon?"  he  said. "You want me to send one of my men
after a dragon?"

     "That is correct. One, or two, or three, or as many as you
feel would be necessary." The captain scratched his head.

     "Well, I don't know," he said finally. "Most of my men are
out of practice when it comes to dragons. . . ."

     The  inn  was  suddenly  very quiet. At the mention of the
word "dragon" all the clattering of platters and  tankards  and
dice   had   stopped.  All  the  laughter  and  the  sounds  of
table-pounding and chair-scraping  had  stopped.  William  felt
everyone staring at him.

     "Are  you  trying to tell me that your men would be afraid
to go after a dragon?" he asked.

     "Afraid!" snorted the captain through his mustaches (which
were quite large, and blew up almost as high as his  ears  when
he snorted). "My men afraid of dragons? I should say not!

     "Are any of you men afraid of dragons?" he called out in a
loud voice.

     "N-no,"  came  several soft answers. "But of course, we're
out of practice when it comes to dragon-slaying. . "

     "Not slaying, just catching," said William, "and I can see
that I'm getting  nowhere  this  way.  So  I'll  just  ask  for
volunteers.  Do  any  of  you men want to volunteer to go get a
dragon for the princess'  birthday  party  and  bring  it  back

     No one answered.

     "Come,  come!"  cried  William,  jumping  up onto a table.
"Surely a few of you brave fellows would be willing to do  this
thing  to  make  the  princess'  birthday a happy and memorable
occasion. Who will be first to volunteer?"

     Still no one answered.

     "Then I think you are all cowards!" said William.

     "Not  so,  not so ! " cried the captain. "Consider, if you
please, the circumstances. All of these men  are  fearless  and
have  done  many  brave deeds in the past, or they would not be
knights today. They are, as I said, just out of  practice  when
it  comes  to dragons. They do not know the meaning of the word

     "Doubtless," said William, "and a good many others besides.

     "You  there," he said to one man. "What was the last brave
deed you did?"

     The  knight  looked  at  his  captain,  looked at William.
Finally, he said, "I saved the princess' poodle  from  a  large
and ferocious rat one day, sir, and the king knighted me on the

     "I see," said William. "And you?" he asked another knight.
"What was your brave deed?"

     "I escorted the queen to a ball, back when the king had an
attack of the gout. He knighted me for it."

     "I  see," said William. "How about you?" he asked another.
"Have you ever captured a dragon?"

     "No,  sir,"  answered  the  knight,  "but  I  caught a boy
picking flowers in the palace garden and the king  knighted  me
for it."

     "A small boy?" asked William.

     "He was pretty big for his age," said the knight.

     "That  was my nephew Louis," said William. "I remember the
incident. He is short for his age.

     "Have any of you knights ever seen a dragon?" he called out.

     No one answered.

     "How about you, captain?" he asked.

       The  captain  looked back at his platter and reached for
his tankard. "I do not choose to answer that question,  because
it is none of your business," he told him.

       "Then  no  one here knows anything about dragons, and no
one here will help me?"

     No one answered.

     "All  right.  Then  you  are all cowards, and I will go by
myself to seek a dragon." He turned away and walked out of  the

     ON THAT AFTERNOON he got his horse from the stable, put on
a suit of armor, picked up his sword and shield and rode toward
the mountains.

     The  only one who missed him was his dowager aunt, who was
a friend of the queen. She waved a  pink  handkerchief  from  a
window  of the highest tower in the castle, and he waved at her
once and then did not look back.

     For  three days he made his way through the mountains, but
he did not meet any dragons. On the fourth day  he  came  to  a
valley.  It  was  marked  on  the  map he carried, and slightly
beyond it were written the words,

                       -HERE THERE BE DRAGONS-

     He  dismounted  and  looked  around.  He looked for a long
while, but there were no dragons. Then he sat down on a rock.

     After  he had been sitting there for some time, he felt as
if he were being stared at. He turned his head slowly. A  small
lizard was watching him from beneath a bush.

     "Hello," he said to the lizard. "Any dragons around?"

     The lizard kept staring at him. It blinked once, slowly.

     "I  wonder  if  you  could  be a baby dragon?" he said. "I
think I'll capture you for practice." He grabbed at the lizard.

     It dashed away. He threw his shield, aiming carefully. The
shield, which was curved, came down over it, trapping it in the
hollow  place  beneath.  He  reached  there then and seized the
lizard. Then he  lifted  the  shield.  The  little  lizard  was
silver, the same color as the metal.

     "You were green a moment ago," he said.

     "That is because I was under a green bush," said the lizard.

     "You can talk!" said William.

     "Yes.  There  are  lizards and there are lizards," replied
the creature.  "I am an educated lizard. Now,  if  you  please,
release me."

     "No," said William. "You are the closest thing to a dragon
that I've found so far, and  I  am  going  to  keep  you  until
something better comes along."

     "That might not be wise," said the lizard. "Supposing I am
a baby dragon, and my parents come looking for me?"

     "Then  I  suppose  I  will  have to try to take them back,
too," William sighed.

     "What?"  said  the  lizard.  "You do not look like a young
knight out to make a name for himself. What do you want with  a

     "I don't want a dragon," said William. "My king does. I am
only following orders."

     "What does he want with a dragon?"

     "He  wants  it  to  provide  a  fireworks  display for his
daughter's birthday party," William explained.

     "That is ridiculous," said the lizard.

     "That is what I said, and what I still say," said William.
"But mine is not to reason why. I just do what I am told, if  I
want to keep my otherwise easy job."

     "Well,  I  am  glad that someone has good sense," said the
lizard. "My name is Bell. Maybe I can help you."

     "How might you do that?"

     "Stop  squeezing  my  delicate sides so tightly and put me
down on that rock. Then perhaps I'll tell you."

     "How do I know that you won't run away?"

     "You  don't.  You  take my word for it. Otherwise, I don't
talk, no matter how hard you squeeze me."

     "All right," said William. "I didn't mean to hurt you."

     "That's  better,"  said  Bell,  after  William had set him
down. "What's your name?"


     "Great. Okay, now here is what you do. . ."

     "You just turned gray!" said William. "Like the stone!"

     "Yes,  I  have some chameleon blood in me from my mother's
side of the family.  Now  about  this  dragon  business:  I  am
anxious  to  see  your king and his court and his kingdom. I am
also anxious to know how it is that you came to this valley  to
look for dragons."

     "I  have  a  map,"  said  William.  "See?  'Here  There Be
Dragons' is what it says about this valley."

     "Who  drew  that  map?"  "The  Royal  Cartographer, Mister
Gibberling," said William.

     "Aha!  A  Gibberling  map!"  said Bell. "An original! I'll
tell you what.  If you take me back with you to the court,  and
arrange  for me to meet Mister Gibberling, I promise you that I
will produce one real, live dragon upon demand."

     "How?" William wanted to know.

     "That  is  my  business,"  said  Bell,  "and  that  is  my
proposition. Take it or leave it."

     "Are you sure you can do it?"

     "Yes," said Bell.

     "All  right,"  said  William. "You produce a dragon when I
ask you to, and I promise that you  will  get  to  meet  Mister

     "It's  a deal," said Bell, turning brown as he jumped into
the saddlebag. "Let's get going."

     William mounted his horse and they rode away together.

     The princess' birthday party promised to be a gala affair.
The great dining hall of the palace resounded with music. There
was dancing and wine and big platters of food. There were whole
roasted pigs with  apples  in  their  mouths,  and  there  were
chickens and dumplings and great roasts of beef.

     All  the ladies and gentlemen of the kingdom came, and the
ladies wore dresses of red and yellow and blue and  orange  and
green and violet.  There was a great birthday cake, the size of
an elephant and a half, and it had ten candles on  it,  because
that  was  how  old  the  princess  was.  Everyone  brought her
wondrous gifts.  There  was  everything  that  a  person  could
possibly  want  at a birthday party. Except for fireworks, that
is. Or a fire-breathing dragon.

     "Do  you think he will really produce a dragon?" asked the
third adviser.

     "Of  course  not,"  said  the  second.  "How could he have
gotten a dragon?  And if he did, where is he keeping it?"

     The  captain  of the King's Guard laughed. "You were going
to seek a dragon all by yourself, eh?" he said. "Well, where is

     William  did  not answer him. Instead, he tapped his glass
with his spoon until the room was quiet. Then  he  cleared  his
throat. He appeared to be a bit nervous.

     "Uh, the time has come for the fireworks display," he told
them all, "in honor of  her  young  majesty's  tenth  birthday.
Happy  birthday,  Princess.  This is going to be a very special
and rather unusual display."

     The king laughed and slapped his leg. "Yes, yes!" he cried
out. "Bring it on, William! Bring it on! Medium-sized, and with
colored lights, mind you!"

     "Yes,  your highness," said William, taking a tiny package
from beneath the table and placing it  before  him.  It  is  in

     "It seems a pretty small package," said the king.

     "Yes," said the first adviser.

     "Yes indeed," said the second.

     "Much too small," said the third.

     The  king  opened  the  package. Bell jumped out and stood
upon the table.

     The  three  advisers  laughed.  The  knights laughed. They
laughed and laughed until the tears came into their eyes.

     "That  is  supposed  to  be  a  medium-sized  dragon, with
colored lights?"  they asked. "Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!"

     And  they laughed and laughed and laughed some more, until
Bell stood up on his tiny hind legs and turned to  William  and
asked, "Now?"

     "Now," he said.

     Then  something  happened.  Bell had been the color of the
oakwood table, but now he was  dark,  red-green  in  color  and
seemed  slightly  larger than he had been. He opened his mouth,
and a tiny spark came out of it.

     Then he was bigger than the package he had come out of. He
was twice as big as he had been only a moment before. He opened
his  mouth  again,  and  the king drew back away from the flame
that emerged.

     Then Bell was as big as a man, and the platters rattled as
they fell upon the floor, pushed away from him while he grew.

     And  he kept growing. He grew and he grew, until the table
broke in half beneath him. He grew until  he  filled  half  the
great banquet hall.

     He  opened his mouth and roared with a sound like thunder.
Flames shot forth from the windows of the palace and lighted up
the courtyard outside. Tapestries were scorched. Women screamed
and backed against the wall. Seven  knights  fainted,  and  the
captain  of  the  King's  Guard  ran and hid himself behind the

     William  felt  something  crawling across his foot, and he
looked down under what was left of the table. The  first  three
advisers were crouched there, shivering.

     "Well?"  he  asked  them. "Yes, it is a very good dragon,"
answered the first.

     "Only it is not a medium-sized one," said the second.

     "No, it is a large, economy-sized dragon," said the third.

     "He  was  the  best  I could manage on such short notice,"
said William, smiling.

     The  king  pushed  the  princess behind his back and stood
facing the dragon.

     "My,  you're  a  big  one," he said. "Please do be careful
with those flames. There are expensive  tapestries  and  people
and things like that about."

     The dragon laughed. No one else did.

     "I  am  Belkis,"  he roared, "king of the dragons! You are
only a human king, so do not give me orders!"

     "But I am sovereign majesty of a mighty kingdom," said the
king, "and my word is law. I order. I really do order. And I am
always obeyed. So please do not go about burning tapestries and
people and things like that."

     Belkis  laughed  again,  and  the  flames danced about the

     "No  one  orders  Belkis to do or not to do anything. I am
only  here  for  one  reason.  I  want  to  meet   your   Royal
Cartographer, Mister Gibberling.  Produce him!"


     "That  is  Mister  Gibberling down at the end of the table
you just broke," he said. "The man with the  white  beard.  The
one still holding a glass in his hand."

     "Aha!  Mister  Gibberling!  So  we  meet at last!" snarled
Belkis. Mister Gibberling, who was  indeed  an  old  man,  rose
slowly to his feet.

     "Uh I don't quite understand . . ." he began.

       "You are the one who is giving dragons a bad name," said

     "Wh-what do you mean?" asked Mister Gibberling.

     "Your  maps! Your stupid, nasty little maps!" said Belkis,
burning the edges of Mister Gibberling's beard as he spoke.

     "'Here   There  Be  Dragons'!  That  is  absurd!  That  is
cheating! It is the refuge of a small mind!"

     "Yes  !  Yes  !" agreed Mister Gibberling, putting out his
beard by emptying his wine-cup over it. "You are right! I  have
always felt mine to be quite small!"

     "I  want  you  to know that over the past several thousand
years we dragons have taken great pains to stay out of the  way
of  humans," said Belkis. "We have even taken to assuming other
forms such as that of the little lizard Bell, which you  saw  a
bit  earlier.  We  do not want people to know that we are still
about or they will be forever pestering us.  Take  any  foolish
young  knight out to make a name for himself: What is the first
thing he does?"

     "I don't know," said Mister Gibberling.

     "I  will tell you," said Belkis. "He looks for a dragon to
kill. If he can't locate any, though, he finds  something  else
to  do.  Perhaps even something constructive. But you with your
dragon-filled maps! - you are keeping the old legend alive when
we want it to die. We want people to forget, to leave us alone.

     Every  time  some  young  squire  gets hold of one of your
maps, he has visions of heading for the mountains  around  here
in  order  to  make some rank, to get to be a knight by killing
dragons. This leaves dragons with the choice of eating them all
or  trying  to ignore them. There are too many and most of them
pretty tasteless, not to mention hard to clean. So  we  attempt
to  ignore  them.  This is often very difficult, and it is your
fault. You have been responsible for maintaining a thing better

     Also," he stated, "you are a very poor geographer."

     "My  father  was Royal Cartographer, and his father before
him," said Mister Gibberling.

     "What  does  that have to do with you?" asked Belkis. "You
are a poor geographer."

     "What do you mean?"

     "What  lies over those mountains?" asked Belkis, gesturing
with a scaly wing.

     "Drag  Oh!  I  mean  more  mountains,  sir,"  said  Mister

     "Admit it! You do not know!" said Belkis.

     "All right! I don't know!" cried Mister Gibberling.

     "Good,"  said  Belkis. "That's something, anyway. Have you
quills and ink and parchment handy?"

     "No," said Mister Gibberling.

     "Then  go  get  them!"  roared Belkis. "And be quick about

     "Yes,  sir!"  said  Mister  Gibberling, stumbling over his
cloak as he dashed from the hall.

     ".  . . Be very quick about it!" said Belkis, flaming. "Or
I will take this place apart, stone by stone, and drag you  out
by your whiskers like a rat from a brick heap!"

     Mister  Gibberling  was  back in record time. While he was
gone, though,  Belkis  ate  three  roasted  pigs  and  a  dozen
chickens with dumplings.  Then he roared again and scorched the
ceiling and charred the throne.

     "You have them now?" he asked.

     "Yes,  yes!  Right  here! See?" "Very good. You are coming
with me now."

     And  with that, he seized Mister Gibberling's cloak in his
talons and flew out through the great double-door at the end of
the  hall,  through  which the Honor Guard sometimes entered on
horseback. He took him high into the sky and they both vanished
from sight.

     "I wonder where he is taking him?" asked the third adviser.

     "It  is  probably  better not to think about it," said the

     "We'd  better  get  to  work  cleaning up this mess," said

     AND  THEY  FLEW far beyond the kingdom, and Belkis pointed
out to Mister Gibberling that there were  other  kingdoms,  and
that  there  were  rivers  and  lakes  and other mountains, and
valleys and plateaus and deserts, and ports  and  pastures  and
farms  and  granaries, and ships on the ocean and armies in the

     Every now and then he would say, "Are you getting that all
down on paper?" and Mister Gibberling would answer, "Yes! Yes!"
and  he would scratch away with his quill and record all of the
places which really existed in those spots where he had  always
been accustomed to write HERE THERE BE DRAGONS.

     Much  later,  they  returned. Belkis set Mister Gibberling
down in the courtyard, perching himself upon the wall like some
great, red-green bird.

     "Have you learned your lesson?" he asked.

     "Yes.   Yes,   sir,   great   Belkis,  sir,"  said  Mister
Gibberling,  clutching  his  maps  close  to  him,  as  if  for

     "Then  I  will  leave you now," said Belkis, "and I expect
you to make good maps from  now  on.  And  remember  this,"  he
added, "I want you to forget about dragons."

     "Yes,  I  promise," said Mister Gibberling. "I will forget
all about dragons."

     "See  that you do," said Belkis, "or I will hear of it and
I will return. You would not like that."

     "No, no I wouldn't!"

     "Then  good-bye."  And  Belkis  spread his great wings and
rose into the sky. No one in the kingdom ever saw him again.

     After  that,  though,  the  king came to listen to William
more than he did to his other advisers, and soon William became
his  first  adviser  and  his  old first adviser became his new
fourth adviser.

     And  Mister  Gibberling  went  on  to draw beautiful maps,
showing all of the things he had seen other kingdoms and rivers
and  lakes  and  other  mountains,  valleys  and  plateaus  and
deserts, ports and pastures, farms and granaries. His maps were
quite  good,  and  after a time people were no longer afraid of
dragons and they began to go over the mountains  and  to  trade
with  people  in  other  kingdoms, and to learn of them, and to
have other people come to visit them.

     After  a  time,  the king came to realize that his kingdom
was not so large as he had  once  thought  it  to  be,  and  he
encouraged commerce, to make his kingdom prosper and grow.

     One  day,  though,  while  he  was studying one of the new
maps, the king said, "My, but there are so  many  seas  in  the

     "Yes, sire," said William. "That appears to be true."

     "I wonder what lies beyond them?" asked the king.

     "Perhaps  they  go on forever and ever," said William, "or
perhaps there are other lands beyond them."

     The   king  nodded.  "I  believe  I  will  ask  the  Royal
Cartographer,"  he  said,  "since  he  has   recently   had   a
postgraduate course in cartography."

     So  he went to the chambers of Mister Gibberling and asked
him, "What lies beyond all those seas which your maps  show  as
bordering the lands?"

     Mister  Gibberling stroked his beard (which had grown back
in again) and he studied a map for a long while. Then he picked
up his quill, and with a great flourish of the feather he wrote
(in fancy letters) in that place at the farthest  edge  of  all
the waters:

                     -HERE THERE BE SEA SERPENTS-


Популярность: 7, Last-modified: Tue, 03 Sep 1996 10:38:50 GMT