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Coming August 26th – SCOF 52 Ascofalypse Now

Book of Taunts, Volume 1, Chapter 3 - SPRING 2021

David, House Grossman

So David sojourned to the South to the land of Florida for he heard that its waters fairly teem with Tarpon.

At the ascending of the dawn, they launched their boat and made their way to the center of the lagoon that David might taunt the Tarpon, the mightiest of fishes that follow the shore, and lifting up his voice he said:

“Let all the fishes of this lagoon swim forth and hear my voice. Come out to me and take counsel, for I have heard you are ruled by a mighty king, but that he is an evil tyrant, and that if ever you swim forth he harries you from all sides, and if you hide in the mangroves he follows you. Show me your King, and I will harry him, and amongst the mangroves I shall pursue him. Show me your king that I may catch him, and then I shall rule over the fishes of the mangroves, and to me you must do obeisance!”

But the fishes of the lagoon did not come out to him, nor did they lead David to their king, for they were afraid of the Tarpon and of David.

But hearing this commotion the Tarpon themselves came out to meet him, and Megalops himself swam forth with his courtiers and grandees, and arraying themselves before him they waited for him to speak.

Upon seeing Megalops, his courtiers and his grandees, David of Grossman lifted up his voice in taunt of the Tarpon, and upon Megalops he called down evil.

“O Megalops, King of the Fishes who follow the Coast, I have heard of your might, and your size, your great wisdom and strength, that you fear neither fish nor man. And now I propose a contest between us this day. Swim to and fro before me and I will trick you with my flies. You will fight with your strength and your powerful leaps, and I will fight you with my strong right arm and the power in my legs, that I may lift you from the waters, and you will bow to me.”

And the Grandees and Courtiers of Megalops cried out “Let the man be silent, and let Megalops speak!”

With that Megalops replied to David, “O David of the House of Grossman, I have heard your words and your taunts this day. Why have you left the land of your forefathers, and why do you come here to seek me? For you speak as a man addled by the apothecaries, and as one whose voice is made coarse by incense. You heard, did you, that I am the mightiest of fishes that swim the coast, and so did you not fear to seek me? I have not come to bother you in your land, so why must I bow to you? Is it not so that when I engage with you, and I show myself above the waves that you might see my silver armor—for it is the finest in the sea—it is you that must bow to me? And now let the sun not reach noon if you will not bow before me seven times!”

Now this word was displeasing to David, and in great rage he began casting his flies. With that, Megalops took his fly and, turning toward David, he showed himself above the waves that David might see his silver armor, and Megalops threw his fly back at himso that struck David was in the cheek, and the blood ran into his beard. With even greater rage David again cast his fly, and again Megalops took it, and again he showed himself above the waters that David might see his silver armor, and again David would not bow to Megalops. This time Megalops took the fly, and turning from him, he parted the line and left David staring at the surface of the waters.

Turning back Megalops spoke to him, “David, why do you stand there staring at the waters with your mouth agape like a fool in the circus? Have I not told you, and is it not so that before the sun hits noon you must bow to me seven times?”

Then David took counsel with his boatman and his boatman told him, “If Megalops had come to you in your land, he would have to do your bidding, but it is you that have come to him. So now take counsel, and if it pleases you, when Megalops shows himself above the waters, then bow down to him, and see if you do not prevail.”

Then David again cast his fly, and again Megalops took it and began to engage with him. This time, when Megalops showed himself above the waters that David might see his silver armor, then David did bow to him, and Megalops was unable to throw the fly. Then Megalops showed himself again, and again David did obeisance to him, and Megalops was held fast by the hook. Five more times did Megalops leap above the waters, and five more times did David bow to him so that the word of Megalops came true. Seven times David was made to bow to Megalops before the sun had reached the noon sky, and in that hour he prevailed against Megalops. And to this day, any man who sallies forth to meet Megalops and his people must bow before him when he leaps above the waves if they wish to prevail, for he is the King.