Wind and Fog

by Lord Dunsany

“WAY FOR us,” said the North Wind as he came down the sea on an errand of old Winter.

And he saw before him the grey silent fog that lay along the tides.

“Way for us,” said the North Wind, “O ineffectual fog, for I am Winter’s leader in his age-old war with the ships. I overwhelm them suddenly in my strength, or drive upon them the huge seafaring bergs. I cross an ocean while you move a mile. There is mourning in inland places when I have met the ships. I drive them upon the rocks and feed the sea. Wherever I appear they bow to our lord the Winter.”

And to his arrogant boasting nothing said the fog. Only he rose up slowly and trailed away from the sea and, crawling up long valleys, took refuge among the hills; and night came down and everything was still, and the fog began to mumble in the stillness. And I hear him telling infamously to himself the tale of his horrible spoils. “A hundred and fifteen galleons of old Spain, a certain argosy that went from Tyre, eight fisher-fleets and ninety ships of the line, twelve warships under sail, with their carronades, three hundred and eighty-seven river-craft, forty-two merchantmen that carried spice, thirty yachts, twenty-one battleships of the modern time, nine thousand admirals….” he mumbled and chuckled on, till I suddenly rose and fled from his fearful contamination.

* * *

Source: Fifty-One Tales

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