With his muscular body framed by the cave,
Tobias looked at his followers, their faces so grave.
‘Hear me now! Our medicines no longer work,
Our children are dying, this is our curse.
A whole generation wiped out in one strike,
We must act very quickly – this is our fight!
Last night the Gods visited me in a dream,
They told me of the magical powers of a stream.
The journey is hard – a course we must plot,
We’ll need to work together – are you with me or not?’
Tobias waited as the men looked around
Uncertain and worried – their fear profound.
They muttered to each other and into groups broke –
Until, at last, Tobias spoke ……..
‘Those that are with me stand alone,
Those that are not, go back to your homes.
Look after our families while we’re away –
You are needed too, so you do not betray.’
Tobias’ bronzed muscles gleamed in the sun.
He had a group of strong followers – his mission had begun!
They assembled at sunrise, with pikes and with spears,
Kissed their sick children and dried their wives tears.
The start of the journey was easy and firm,
They set off in sunshine – but soon that was to turn!
The sky grew dark and the clouds rolled in,
The rain lashed down with a thunderous din.
Some of the men decided to run,
They found this expedition was not much fun!
So left with a depleted army of men
Tobias faced the few and he spoke again.
‘We will face much worse along our way
But think what you’ll achieve if you stay!
Your bairns will be cured they’ll grow up to be strong,
So hold firm to your pledge – you’ll be home ‘ere long.’
So once more rallied they set off again,
An army of brave and determined young men –
But suddenly they heard an ominous roar –
A sound of the like they had heard not before!
And there before them a dark shape appeared,
With glowing eyes – skull-like face – shaggy coat – and a long grey beard!
The roar got louder as more figures abound –
The men turned to run but they were surrounded.
‘Stay where you are – don’t try to flee!
I will tempt them with food, just leave it to me.’
Tobias took a ham from out of his sack –
The animals smelt it and began to attack.
Tobias threw the ham down onto the ground,
The animals pounced issuing a terrible sound.
‘RUN!’ shouted Tobias ‘while the beasts I distract,
Run for your life – don’t just stand there, REACT!’
They hid for a while and then went on their way,
‘Till at last the stream before them lay.
The stream to cure their girl or boy,
They looked in wonder, love and joy.
Then high up above the stream arose imp-like figures, grey and green,
With wicked face and fin-like wings, the ugliest creatures ever seen.
A ghostly mist and a humming drone
Filled the air and made men groan.
The sound grew louder, as did their fear,
They fell to their knees and covered their ears!
Tobias could see his men lying prone,
He knew at this point he was on his own.
As the creatures hovered above the stream
He tried to remember the words from his dream.
The gods they had warned of creatures in flight,
Who guarded the stream during day and by night.
These creatures were vicious, their manners were dire,
The only way to be rid of them – was by building a fire!
Quickly he gathered some sticks and some bark –
He rubbed sticks together to create a spark.
He piled on more twigs till the flames built in height,
The imps started jabbering in their fright.
Then, gradually drawn in, one by one,
They were devoured by the flames – until they were gone!
The men, now recovered from their fear,
Saw what had happened and gave Tobias a cheer!
Then, with excitement, they gathered the water
(Water to give life to their son or their daughter)
They were greeted with ‘Bravo’, and laughter and tears,
Their bravery remembered for many long years.
Tobias was given ‘City Freedom’ for life,
Cause he was responsible that his town had survived!