But then, just when Gordo thought nothing could be more terrifying than the two beasts he had already faced , he suddenly found himself enveloped by a thick, white fog; a fog so dense that he could not see his horse under him, nor the brightly covered lovebird or even the end of his own short nose.
But he could hear something in the fog; a pounding; a deep, heavy pounding like the beating of a large kettle drum and then, amidst the fog, he thought he saw something flash, like the flicker of white lightning but, to his horror, he saw that it was not lightning but a row of sharp, white teeth; a monstrous mouth that loomed out of the fog and tried to bite him.
Frantically, he beat off the attacking mouth with his sword; his own heart starting to pound in time with the heavy drum.
But then he heard a voice in the fog; a horrible, cruel voice laughing and taunting him, “So, you think yourself something of a champion because you have slain ‘The Serpent with the tongue quick as lightning’ and ridden through the hollow log beast but you have never been lost in the hair of a fog-hag. You will not see light of day again, little man. Only my hair and then the dark of your own death”.
And, as she spoke the word death, the fog-hag lashed out at Gordo with one of her long taloned hands, slashing him upon his left arm and leaving him with a burning gash.
Then he heard the twittering of his little companion, the love bird and it seemed, for the first time, quite distressed and so Gordo reassured it, “Don’t worry my friend. Your stone princess has told me that it is our destiny to come through this fog and we shall, I have faith that we shall”.
But the fog-hag heard this too and laughed; a horrible, hissing sman like a pit of snakes, “Your destiny? Your destiny is to be my dinner”, she said.
And then, striking again at Gordo, this time from behind with a balled up fist as large as a cannonball, the fog hag knocked the squire completely out of saddle and stirrups and onto the ground and, bumping his head hard upon the ground, Gordo felt quite dazed and hopeless.
Then he heard that heavy pounding drum seem to speed up with excitement.
But, all of a sudden, he found himself back in the far away garden; the garden of his stone princess and she was looking down at him with love in her eyes and asking, “What is it that troubles you so, my love?”.
And, despairingly, Gordo replied, “I am lost in the hair of the fog-hag and I don’t know what to do? What should I do?”.
“All you need is courage, my love”, replied the princess, kindly, and then, leaning forward, the stone princess kissed him deeply upon the lips, adding, “Perhaps that may give you the courage you need”.
Then, waking out of his daze, the squire heard that pounding drum again and then saw a pair of glowing, purple eyes and a set of sharp, stalagmite long teeth opening above him.
But, just at that moment, an idea flashed into his head as bright as the burning glare of the fog-hags evil eyes, “If this fog is truly the hair of a beast then perhaps that drumming is its enormous heart”.
And then, aiming the point of his sword towards where the drumming was loudest, Gordo drove his blade deep into the fog and, suddenly, where he had stabbed with his sword, the fog started to turn a bright red as monster blood gushed from out of the thick, curling mist.
Then he heard a loud panic-stricken and feeble cry as the fog hag clutched its clawed hands tightly around its injured heart and then it was as if a strong wind was blowing from the west as all the fog started to clear away and, before long, the hair of the fog-hag had disappeared entirely and, picking himself up and nursing his injured arm, Gordo climbed back onto his horse.
Below, on the ground, was the dead fog-hags, bald corpse liken enormous dead spider with the head of an old, ugly woman but, clutched tightly within her six arms, was a shield of gold with a coat of arms like a spider upon it.
“Another present from destiny, like the sword”, thought Gordo, pulling the shield free from the grasp of the dead hag and carrying it upon his injured arm.
And, the moment that the shield touched the red gashes upon his arm they immediately healed up and disappeared; even the rips in his sleeve of chain mail, made by the hags sharp tearing claws, mended themselves.
“What a shield”, thought Gordo, “It is both a healer and a seamstress”.
But, far greater than the magic of the shield had been the power in his princess’s kiss that had given Gordo the courage to slay the fog-hag.
“Now I know that she does love me and that is worth more than all the magic treasures of this world”, said Gordo happily and, perching upon his shoulder and chirping a pretty melody, his little love bird friend seemed to agree.