A True Story
Page 2BY midday the island was out of sight. Then the tornado hit us. A giant twister spun the boat round violently and sucked her up to a height of around 200 kilometers. It didn't drop us back into the sea, but while we were up there, a wind caught us, and we were blown along under full sail. We were airborne for seven days and seven nights. On day eight we saw a huge country, like an island in the air, but shaped like a ball, and shiny and bright. We put ashore and dropped anchor. We got out of the boat, and went to explore: the country was inhabited, and farmed. During the day, we couldn't see anything in the sky, but as soon as it got dark we could make out lots of other islands quite close; some were larger, some were smaller. They were the colour of fire. We could also see another country beneath us, and cities in it, and it had rivers and seas and forests and mountains. We guessed this must be our own world.
We decided to press on inland. But we met the Hipporaptors and got ourselves arrested. The so-called Hipporaptors are men riding giant vultures, using the birds as horses. The vultures are enormous and, mostly, three-headed. A clue to their size is the smallest of their wing-feathers would be about as long and thick as the mast of a decent-sized merchant ship.
The Hipporaptors' job is to fly around the place looking for foreigners, who they grab and take to their king. Naturally they arrested us, and took us to the king. He had a good look at us, and said "So, strangers, you are Greeks, are you?". When we admitted it, he asked how we'd got there, with so much sky to cross. We told him everything, and then started giving us his life-history. He said he was also a human being, and his name was Endymion. He'd been abducted from our country while he was asleep, and when he arrived became king. His country was the one that shines down on us, the Moon. He told us not to be downhearted: we would get everything we needed. "If I win the war against the Sun, you'll live happily ever after here with me."
We asked who exactly were the enemy, and what the war was all about