>> Thursday, October 22, 2009
Picture by cybercatmania
"Well well, you're not short of nerve, mouse. What's your name?" The answer was loud and fearless. "I am called Martin, son of Luke the warrior!"
"I am a warrior! Martin son of Luke! I will live, I will not give in and die up here! Do you hear me, Badrang? I will live to take back my father's sword and slay you one day! Badraaaaaaaanngg!"
Felldoh sat listening to the soft snores of his companions. "Oh yes, let's think of something later," he chuckled lightly to himself. "How to sprout wings, and defeat Badrang and his horde with outside help from a mole and a mousemaid. By my brush, why didn't I think of those two good ideas before?"
"Silence, wot a lovely word."
"It'd sound better if you shut yer gob an' gave it a chance."
"Oh Grumm, you're a dear!" The mole made his way back to the tunnel, murmuring to cover his embarrassment, "Oi bain't no deer, oi be a mole, an' doant 'ee fergit it, mizzy!"
"Go to sleep, you filthy bunch. /I'd love to lay you all out with a punch. /How'd you win a mother's heart /With a squiggly trunk like an eel's back part? /Is that awful smell the reason? /You haven't washed all season. /So go to sleep in your scruffy beds. /May nightmares enter your beastly heads, /And when sunlight heralds new daybreak /May you wake with a tummy ache."
Felldoh was completely lost for words. He turned away from the cart and started breaking some driftwood up for the fire. Celadine dabbed at her brow with a dainty lace square. "Oh my, oh my. I'd be all season just trying to break one teensy piece of that wood with an axe, and look at you, sir, snapping it in those great paws of yours like it was dead grass!" Trefoil the other squirrelmaid unceremoniously bundled a pile of tunics at Celadine. "Here, missy, get your paws wet washing those through and leave that poor fellow alone before he turns into a beetroot!" The temptress flounced off in a huff, laden with dirty washing. Trefoil began snapping wood alongside Felldoh. "Take no notice of her, friend. I've seen her fluttering her eyelashes at dragonflies."
"Oi know lots o' things but oi doant know why oi knows 'em."
"The old earth gently turns as the seasons change / Slowly. /All the flowers and leaves born to wane. /Hear my song o'er the lea, like wind soft and /Lowly. /Oh, please come back to Noonvale again."
"Never. I would rather die!"
"Hoho, missy, that kin be arranged."
"Harr, the murderin' scoundrels, 'ooever they are."
Pallum could not resist doing a comical impression of the warden. Strutting stiff-legged, he glared at Grumm and spoke sharply. "I am the law. These are my marshes. I am the law!" Both the hedgehog and the mole burst into subdued chuckles. The warden turned and glared at them. "Make fun of the law, and I deal with you. I am the law!"
"He seems to know the country well enough." "Oh yes, and do you know why that is?" Martin smiled knowingly. Leaning close he whispered into Rose's ear so that the warden could not hear. "Because he is the law!"
"O fie on you, O great disgrace, /Look at that sad unhappy face, /I'll not walk with you, /Not one pace, /You're not the one I love."
"What can I say except, break a leg!" Felldoh looked puzzled until Ballaw explained. "In the actin' game it's our way of sayin' good luck to a chap." The baby Fuffle waved his wooden spoon. "Break bofe legs!" There was laughter and applause for the infant's wisdom.
"Yurr am oi, Malcumm, completely disgusted, /'Stead o' water oi bin drownded in custed!"
"You Rambling Rosehip Players, you seem to make a joke of everything. Don't you realize we're in the middle of a battle, fighting for our lives?" Ballaw patted his head with a bandaged paw. "What d'you want us to do then, laddie buck? Break down an' weep? Make the best of the situation, m'boy."
"Don't think about what you could have done, concentrate on what you plan to do; it is more useful."
"I'll just go back to buryin' yer dead an' wait fer you to turn up as a customer."
Rose stared at Martin; it was as if she were looking at a strange creature. He was still as a rock, the blood rising behind his eyes as his paw whitened with the furious grip he had on his sword handle. The blade rose above his head and fell in a straight line, pointing at Badrang's hated fortress. The horde went silent, staring up at the Warrior mouse, waiting as the word rolled from his lips like steel striking stone. "Chaaaarge!!!"
He was trying to force himself to stab and slay the foebeast when the rat whined out pleadingly, "It's me, matey, Wulpp. Don't kill me!" Brome gasped. It was Wulpp, the searat whose injured paw he had treated when, disguised as a corsair, he had gained entry to Marshank. Brome thrust the javelin into the sea close to Wulpp's neck. Leaning down, he muttered to the terrified rat, "Lie still. When we're gone take off south down the beach. I never want to see you again. Good luck!"
"I'm arf a stoat an' arf a mole, /An' I'll bury youse all in a nice deep 'ole, /Down, down where it's still an' cold, /An' y'never live to get old!"
"I was never in a war, is it always this complicated?" Rose shrugged as she twirled a sling. "Your guess is as good as mine, Pallum. I was never in one either!"
"But furr all seasons everybeast shall amember thoi name, Marthen 'ee wurrier!"