Mysterious PathsRiddles are little poems or phrases that pose a question that needs answering. Riddles frequently rhyme, but this is not a requirement.
Mysterious paths on the sea I sailed,
My guide an almanac I read.
I conjured Luna to be veiled,
Then later, show again, blood red.
Marooned, (my ship had been worm feed);
Friendly natives first brought meat.
When wearied of our lasting need,
Their elders came aboard to meet.
"My god," I claimed, "will frown on you,
And take your moon to make you pay!"
The moon then seemed to fade from view;
In short time, it went clear away.
The chieftains gaped with fear and awe,
All cowed, they quickly filled my wish.
Bringing food and drink, we saw,
The grain and corn, the meat and fish.
For months they served us without fail,
Until the time our rescue came.
Dear reader, knowing now this tale,
Can you guess my famous name?
On his fourth voyage, Columbus was marooned, his ship riddled by shipworms. The natives provided food, but wearied of this after several months. Columbus had his copy of an almanac written by Johannes Muller von Konigsberg (1436-1476), a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer. His astronomical tables said an eclipse of the moon would occur on Thursday, February 29, 1504. The Admiral invited the chiefs to a meeting and told them his god was angry and would take the moon from the sky in three days. The moon would return, a flaming red, and then disappear forever unless they helped the white men. It all happened as Columbus predicted, and the chiefs capitulated, whereupon Columbus had his god return the moon to its normal color.
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