Anja Osenberg from Aachen, Deutschland
The Fogman (Fictional Short Story for children)
By: Noel N. Villarosa
October 21, 2015
It is mid-winter again; the sun is low in the sky. During the night when the sky is clear, land surfaces will emit heat into space and, therefore cool. In the process, it formed cloud water droplets or ice crystals hanging in the air, typically we called it fog.
During the Age of Sail, sailing ships were what most people used for trading and naval warfare. Many battles started and ended with the draping of a sad white fog in the air signaling lost, deprive, agony, and misery. On a misty island, they called luggerstone was where the fog returned after crossing the sea; they believed it was here on this island where the fogman believed to return during those periods.
The story of fogman was believed had begun during a battle happened during the golden age of sail where disputes over trade caused conflicts. Many believed on the good leadership of an Admiral named Pinuel, he had been leading most of the battle and have won. With the good tactics administered by Admiral Pinuel, he had triumphantly stopped many attempts of invasion of the much powerful forces of enemy’s armada.
Admiral Pinuel was a good navigator and mathematician; he could maneuver his ship effectively by taking the windward position or the direction of upwind from the point of reference. His tactic was to give way to the leeward vessels and since his ship was a square-rigged warship that would often ride from the windward direction, thus giving it more advantage over the opposing warship, in this way they could choose when to engage and when to withdraw. Mostly in this kind of situation, the opposing vessel would expose its bottom to be shot and eventually retired in the sinking.
Until one battle, they fought a much bigger and an aggressive enemy firing bow chaser cannon towards their ship, they were forming the line-of-battle tactic which favored the larger ships to sail steadily and maintain their position in the line in the face of heavy fire. The line formed was moving perpendicular to the axis where Pinuel’s vessel was moving that was why it broke their line through it and isolate Pinuel’s ship to the rest of his fleet, trying to double up or had encircled their ship and fired relentlessly on them. Pinuel’s ship was badly damaged, all of his men got wounded and died on the ship, only Admiral Pinuel survived and had managed to jump off the vessel and swum aimlessly away from his sinking ship.
Pinuel had swum at the rage of the sea, luckily grabbed a piece of floating wood, enough to fit his body on it, and tried to paddle his way to an island. Pinuel suffered hunger and pain until his body succumbed to severe exhaustion and was lying unconscious at the top of the wood. The wind might have helped him of being marooned on the misty island called “luggerstone.” Pinuel was awakened by the small strokes of waves upon his face, even though badly injured, he managed to crawl into the valley, and drunk on its water, with no knowledge about that magical stream of water connecting into the sky, slowly it caused him to sweat so hard; the sweating continuously washed away his flesh into water, and blending with the stream of water; whenever cool air passes over the moist land, it generally formed into a fog. Pinuel’s mind was still clear what had happened into his transformation, he was still focused on getting back to the sea to continue protecting his countrymen from the enemies, he had wished for the wind and the mountain where he belonged now to grant his last wish to become the fogman warning sailors for any dangers, preventing them not to pursue their sailing into a marked foggy place. He even made a chant for the wind, mountain, and the sun with a beautiful hymn in order to send him as fogman into the sea and land:
When the sun is low
When the sky is clear and aglow
When the heat fills the space
Allow me to form into ice crystal brace
To hang into the air
Waited to fulfill and repair
Unduly grace of vapor to meet its fate
Forming as fogman that never sleeps on his wake
With his chanting, immediately Pinuel’s mind communicated with the wind, mountain, and the sun, sending him into the sea and land as the fogman.
The villagers will always remember Admiral Pinuel as the great sailor who had brought hope to his countrymen. He will always afloat out in the sea and land, always a lookout for sea travelers and voyagers. So whenever you see fog, it is telling you to be careful in going through that place for it is warning you of dangers behind that misty cloud.