1050 CEIt takes ony a generation: even the most vivid terror is forgotten. The children have dreams of their own. At night, the river is dark, It mutters beneath its banks in vague threat. The trees snicker quietly with each unsettling wind. Our fires, however small, alarm me -- beacons to the creeping ships. Only the castle on the hill, settled over us like a broody nighthawk, sees the coming of quiet wood, and raises its wings for the young. My son scoffs at old tales. A roaring flame, he says, discourages predators. To him, the fortress is a stone weight, chained to our land, our lives. He left with a few things, in the night. City air, he said, makes free. I watch in dumb amazement his little raft beneath the branches, unarmed, drifting down the river, toward the sea.