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The heroes in the Irfai songsAuthor's Notes
Set sail in boats with monster heads
Which guarded both the front and rear
Like our sweet infants' sailor-beds
Each tiny cradle, built so tight
That it can float, and lull the child
While Momma works and catches food
And Poppa hunts the monsters wild
Sleep little babe, upon the waves
And dream of Death, Snagtooth and Whale
Expiring on your brave harpoon
Someday the bards will sing your tale
Historical note: The Irfai tales are often exaggerated; the tales talk of tall ships with extravagantly-carved figureheads at both ends of the boats; in reality, the monster heads on traditional Irfai ships were mostly painted on, and sometimes were no more than painted eyes. However, intricately-carved cradle-boats are used in the modern day by well-off Irfai, and both intricately-carved, well-made cradle boats and cheaper (and often leaky) knock-offs are sold to tourists.
This was written in response to Alex Whisman sharing one of his photographs as a prompt in the September 2011 Muse Fusion.
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