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Dark clouds gathered in the horizon. Furlong Ashbow sat in his plush armchair, poring over an ancient tome. The ancient squirrel adjusted his spectacles on his nose and turned another page. The door creaked open and his granddaughter poked her tiny nose in.
- "Whatya readin' G'ampa?" she squeaked in her tiny, piping voice.
- "Oh just a dusty old book, nothin' ye'd want to read."
She came in and climbed up on his lap and peeked at the book.
- "Read it to me, G'ampa!"
He smiled and pretended he was trying to hide it in the sleeve of his robe it was way too large to fit though. His little granddaughter crinkled her little nose in a scowl and folded her tiny paws.
- "Ya better read it or I tell Mamee, ya naughty G'ampa. She whop ya tail good."
He put the book back and gave her a pleading look.
- "Please, Belf. Please don't tell Mamee and I'll read it to you, you little terror."
She patted his head reasuringly.
- "Okay, I no' tell Mamee if you read."
She settled down in his lap as he began to read.
- "It was a long, long time ago, long before you were born. Long before even I was born..."
Icy winds swept across the Great Northern Seas as the ship Bladecleave, captained by the ferret Captain Roolger, plunged through uncharted waters. His two ships had been blown north in the raging gale, farther north than any ship had ever gone before. Here the waters were icy and there was no land in sight. Rain fell in torrents, washing over the decks of the two vessels, while gigantic whitecapped waves tried to sink them. The crew did all they could to keep from going over the side as they futilely tried to keep the vessel on course. Farther and farther they were blown north all through the night and by the time morning came around, they were worn out. During the early dawn hours the storm abated but the sea was still overshadowed by dark stormclouds. It was around midday when the first rays of sunlight broke through the clouds, shining on the calm blue-green waters as they lapped gently against the sides of the two ships. When they saw the sun break through the last clouds, the crews flopped down on the decks exhausted.
Captain Roolger shuddered in the icy weather as he staggered out onto the deck of the Bladecleave. A weary lookout the ferret, Rednose, passed him on his way to the mainmast and climbed up to the crow's nest and looked out across the sea.
- He immediately scrambled down shouting, "Land! Land to the nor' east! I can see it on th' horizon!"
- Roolger turned around and questioned the lookout, "Are you sure? Where?"
- "It's just on th' horizon over nor'east-" stuttered the excited lookout.