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Poem: "A Sea Silent of Dragon Shrimp" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "A Sea Silent of Dragon Shrimp"
This poem came out of the June 5, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "primal" square in my 6-4-18 Dark Fantasy card for the fest. This poem has been sponsored by [Unknown LJ tag]. It belongs to the Yellow Unicorns series.


"A Sea Silent of Dragon Shrimp"


Everyone agreed that
the dragon shrimp
were a primal terror.

They scared
the fish away.

They ate livestock
that strayed too close
to the edge of the water.

Sometimes, they even
capsized fishing boats.

And of course, they
ate the yellow unicorns,
whose power could heal
any illness or injury.

The dragon shrimp
attracted adventurers,
and mostly ate those too.

But then one party
actually managed to slay
the dragon shrimp.

They hauled the carcass
up onto the beach and made
the biggest seafood boil
in living memory.

They even paraded
the rainbow shell
through the streets.

Everyone hailed the heroes.

It was only after the sea
was silent of dragon shrimp
that anyone realized they had
been eating the capricorns.

Now, without the dragon shrimp
in the bay, the capricorns came out
every high tide and ate the crops.

Angry villagers tracked down
the adventurers and demanded
that they solve the problem.

"What do you want us to do,
bring back another one?"
the adventurers asked.

That wasn't popular at all.

Instead, the villagers insisted
that all wandering adventurers
spend some time at high tide
hunting the capricorns.

It didn't fix everything,
but it was better than letting
either the dragon shrimp or
the capricorns run loose.

* * *

Notes:

Mantis shrimp have devastating natural attacks and surprisingly diverse eyesight.

Capricorn has the front half of a goat and the back half of a fish or other marine creature. In this setting, the back half is more like that of a seal. They can swim, they can climb, and they are voracious.

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