Warning: Canon-typical violence and devastation ahead.
"The Nesting Urge of Aluzza"
The desert city Zayd was bright and fair,
The pride of Imran people living there,
So fierce, so sharp of horn and slim of wing,
Who built a nation far beyond compare.
A land of air and flame, the bards would sing,
Its solar power gathered ring by ring,
Its mines a source of gold and precious jewels,
Before the hen Aluzza brought her sting.
Where once the gardens greened around their pools,
She shattered walls and scattered farming tools,
Then left the plants to wither in the sun
And drove the Imran stumbling like fools.
A bronze she was, the metal of the gun,
But brightened at the edges, overrun
With veins and streaks of bullion blazing gold,
And with her coming, battle was begun.
The army sallied forth from their stronghold
And all the soldiers did as they were told,
But then Aluzza breathed an orange sheet
Of flame with golden sparks that spit and rolled.
The desert could not burn, and that was sweet;
But buildings could, a bitter herb to eat.
Aluzza razed the length and width of Zayd,
And sent the army fleeing in defeat.
Their allies on the coast were sore afraid,
Who had already faced a hen and paid,
So when the Imran fled their homes in fear,
Madhusudana had but little aid.
The mountains were no better, stark and sere;
The Eofor all turned a deafened ear
Upon the Imran plight and pleading cries;
No shelter could they find, not far or near.
The burly males debated truth and lies,
Mulled how to kill the death that wheels and flies,
But in the end it was the heroes slain
And not the dragon roosting on her prize.
The females, lean and fierce, pushed down their pain
And gathered what they could, for boon or bane.
They carried crying children on their backs
And started walking on the blasted plain.
They took their lances, whips, and swords in packs,
Grenades and poisons bundled into sacks.
The solar cannons lay in ruined wrecks,
The dragon's maw effective as an axe.
Aluzza gathered gold by pounds and pecks,
Then piled it upon the groaning decks.
She drew the drakes into a mating fight,
From which she chose the strongest, and had sex.
Their mating set the city all alight,
What hadn't burned in battle or in flight,
And then she melted gold into a nest
To slumber through the desert's cooling night.
In time Aluzza's nesting urge was blessed;
A clutch of gilded eggs came to their rest
On gems and nuggets fine as could be found,
Kept safe from any hero, drake, or pest.
The watchful mother guarded, paced around,
And kept the beat with claw marks on the ground,
While dragonets grew strong inside each shell,
Their bodies nourished by the gold that bound.
At last the egglings pipped, and small chips fell,
Soon followed by much larger shards as well.
Three dozen hatchlings tasted desert air,
And each new voice gave forth a fearsome knell.
* * *
This is one of the Six Poems of the Fall, a rubaiyat.
Read an overview of the Six Races.