>> Friday, December 11, 2009
"She's called Cregga Rose Eyes, wields a pike that four otters couldn't lift!" Osmunda nodded in admiration. "Hurr, she'm got'n a purty name awright." Russa laughed mirthlessly. "There's nought pretty about it! That one's called Rose Eyes because her eyes are blood red with battle light. I'd hate to be the vermin that tried standin' in her path."
"D'you know why I'm alive today? 'Cos my enemies are dead."
“Oh, it’s hard and dry, when the sun is high/And dust is in your throat,/ When the rain pours down, near fit to drown,/And soaks right through your coat./But the hares of the Long Patrol, my lads,/ Stouthearts they walk with me,/ Over hill and plain, and back again,/ By the shores of the wide blue sea./ Through mud and mire to a warm campfire,/I’ll trek with you, old friend,/O’er lea and dale, in a roaring gale,/ Right to our journey’s end./ Yes, the hares of the Long Patrol, my lads,/ Love friendship more than gold. /We’ll share good days, and tread long ways,/ Good comrades brave and bold.”
"It'll wallop a weasel,/Sock a stoat,/Or fling a ferret from 'is coat,/ 'Twould knock a fox clean out his socks,/My liddle stick o' wood!"
"Who'm dig deep'n make best 'ole?/Only us'n's, we be moles!"
They must've numbered fifty or more when we first met 'em, sir. By my count they still got'n thirty-two." "Hardly enough for eleven bold chaps 'n' chapesses like us," Riffle snorted scornfully. "Thirteen if y'count Tam an' Russa. I say, thirteen, is that unlucky?" Lieutenant Morio stood up, dusting off his paws. "Aye, unlucky for them when we catch up with 'em."
"Night comes soft, 'tis daylight's end,/Sleep creeping gently o'er all,/ Bees go to hive, birds fly to nest,/ Whilst pale moonshadows fall./ Silent earth lies cloaked in slumber,/ Stars standing guard in the skies,/ 'Til dawn steals up to banish darkness,/ I must close my weary eyes./ Safe dreams, peace unto you, my friend,/ Night comes soft, 'tis daylight's end."
"I say, you rips up there, leave us alone or we'll scoff your jolly old leader. I'm quite serious, y'know. Chop, chop, yumyum, eatim alla up, as you blighters might say, savvy?"
"Wot does the Major mean by arboreal verdance, sah?"
"Hmm, arboreal verdance, lemme see, I rather think it means treetops, leafy green ones."
"Oh! Then why didn't 'e say treetops?"
"Why should he when he knows how t'say words like arboreal verdance?"
Rockjaw cuffed the moaning rat lightly. "Hush thy noise, or I'll give thee summat to moan about an y'won't see your arboreal verdance again!"
"Thanks to seasons an' jolly good luck,/ We've all got a sword an' a head,/ An' the way we'll tuck into these vittles,/Will show that we're living not dead."
"A hare in a frock coat so fine an' so long,/Scraped on a small fiddle an' banged a big gong,/He seized the poor mother an' gave a loud cry,/'Let's warm up our paws with a reel, you an' I!'/'O mother sweet mother oh may I look now?'/'Come stir y'stumps daughter an' look anyhow',/As she whirled around the good mother did call,/'There's a handsome one here with no partner at/All!"
"Ah'll give yon Warfang an' his ilk some deathsongs t'sing!"
"...Radiant in splendour fair,/Ever mine, hidden where?"
He stared at Midge for some time, then asked, "Could you have turned Rinkul into a toad?" Cocking his head, Midge returned the stare boldly. "That's my business, Warlord."
"Come on, thee cowardly scum. Ah'll wager nobeast warned ye about Coodwife Grang's eldest son. Eulaliaaaaaa!"
"Why can't they just be like ordinary peace-lovin' creatures an' leave us alone?" Paw on swordhilt, the squirrel Champion shrugged. "Hard to say, really, Skip. There'll always be vermin of that kind, with no respect for any creature, takin' what they please an' never carin' eho they have to slay, as long as they get what they want. Peaceful creatures to them are weak fools. But every once in a while they come up against beasts like us, peace-lovin' an' easy-goin', until we're threatened. Win or lose then, we won't be killed, enslaved or walked on just for their cruel satisfaction. No, we'll band together an' fight for what is ours!"
Perigord shook his head and smiled mockingly. "Oh, is that all you've got t'say? Wasted you're breath, really, didn't you?"
Held fast by for Rapscallions, the Major still struggled to break free and get at his enemy, even though he was twice wounded. "So be it, foulface. Come on, vermin, let's have at it, wot!" Damug looked Perigord up and down. Dried blood was caked over the Major's brow, covering his right eye, while the Redwall tunic hung from him in shreds, revealing a ragged scar on one shoulder. The Greatrat sneered contemptuously. "Your fighting days are over, fool. I'm going to make an example of you in front of your friends. Conquered beasts always learn to behave better when they see thier leader executed. Get him down in front of me and bend his head!"