>> Monday, January 4, 2010
Picture by Moundchap
Courage may blossom in quiet hearts,/For who can tell where bravery starts?
"Away o! Away o! Now bend yore backs an' heave ho!"
Abess Germaine opened the proceedings by pointing an accusing paw at the Warrior. "What does this creature stand charged with?" Answers came rattling back like hailstones. "Always helping others!" "Defending our creatures with his life!" "Never considering himself!" "Being good and kind to all about him!" "Assisting Abess Germaine to design the Abbey!" "Bein' the best friend a mousethief ever had, matey!"
"Thank you-thank you all. What can I say?" The irrepressible Gonff pounded him on the back. "That's easy, matey, you can either say no, an' sit around with a face like thunder until the flippin' Abbey falls down on us, or you can say yes, when do we leave?"
"Don't encourage him, mates. I've heard that song. There's still another forty-seven verses t'go yet!" Martin leaped on Dinny suddenly, stifling the mole's mouth with both paws. Trimp sniffed at the Warrior severely. "Don't be so bad mannered, sir. Let poor Dinny finish his song. Chugger and I were enjoying it!" Martin shot her a warning glance, his voice an urgent whisper. "Don't make another sound, Trimp. Gonff, throw some water on that fire, and let's get in the stream, quick!"
"Aye, an' thy ole grandad allus said you'm wurr ee most gurtly 'andsome creature. Noice ole beast ee wurr. Oi used to take 'im for walks lest ee bump into trees. Bloind ee wurr, pore creetur!"
"Sometimes friends do go from us-it will happen more and more as you grow up, Chugg. But if you really love your friends, they're never gone. Somewhere they're watching over you and they're always there inside your heart."
Trimp was trying to hold on to Chugger, but he wriggled out of her grasp and went swiftly on all fours to Folgrim. Smiling up into the otter's scarred face, Chugger grabbed a pasty and lectured him like a mother squirrel. "Eaty all up now, or y'don't grow bigga strong like me. H'i eatim up if you don't, silly ole riverdog!" Suddenly folgrim burst out laughing at the little squirrel's antics and took a big bite of the proffered pasty. "You ain't eatin' all my breakfast up, liddle sir, ho no!"
"Hogstamp pawclap all around the floor,/Shake those spikes that's what they're for./Day is ended work is done,/Hogstamp pawclap everyone!/Curtsy the pretty maid bow down sir,/You've never danced with one so fair./Take y'partner one two three,/Swing to the left love follow me!/Rap rap rap! /Let's hear those paws,/I'll stamp mine if you stamp yours,/Round an' round now jump up high,/Lookit that young hogmaid fly./Hogstamp pawclap, move to the right,/I could dance with you all night,/Skip into the middle o' the ring,/Raise y' voice let's hear you sing!"
"Though I'm not certain I want to know now. I have a feeling inside that 'tis going to be a long and tragic tale."
"So when the house at last was built,/His wife nailed up a sign,/Which stated "THIS AIN'T NINIANS!"/She said, "That shows 'tis mine!"/Then when the countless seasons passed,/And all within had died,/The rain and storm of ages long,/Had swept the sign outside./It washed the first three letters out,/But left the rest intact,/The sign now reads, "S AINT NINIANS!"/A church? A joke? A fact!"
"You vermin scum, oh mercy me,/Beware when Luke puts out to sea,/Keep that windlass turnin', bend yore backs an' push!"
"Would you like to name the ship, son?" Martin would not let anybeast see tears in his eyes, so he rushed off along the shore, calling back to Luke, "Call her Sayna after my mother!"
"You will stay and help defend our cave against all comers, protect those weaker than yourself and honor our code. Always use the sword to stand for good a right, and never do a thing you would be ashamed of, and never let your heart rule your mind."
"You and I shall stand watch together, 'til the ravenwinged shades of night are flown down and earth is reborn in fiery sunlight to day!" Luke leaned on the taffrail, eyes searching the shoreline. "Well said, Beau, very poetic, mate."
Beau peeped in at Luke, his face a mark of mock accusation. "Why aren't you dead, sah?" Luke shook his head in disbelief. "Why aren't you?"
"Far too hungry to let things like dyin' interfere with my plans, old feller."
"Cold 'n' wet wouldn't be so blinkin' bad if I wasn't flippin' well starvin' t'death. What would you sooner do, Vurg, freeze t'death, drown t'death, or starve t'death?" The mouse opened one eye and murmured, "You didn't say wot wot."
"Why the devil should I say wot wot?"
"'Cos you always say wot wot!"
"I've sailed northern seas before-they can be treacherous." Luke smiled fearlessly. "As treacherous as you?" Vilu Daskar returned the smile. "Not quite."
Luke kept his head bent, resisting the rope's tug. "How does it feel, murderer, to have death starin' you in the face?" he gritted out from between clenched teeth. "Think of all the innocent creatures you've sent to their deaths. Go on, tell me how it feels?"
"Take a deep breath, buckoes, it'll be yore last!"
Luke the Warrior pressed his face close to that of his mortal enemy, crushing him tighter and whispering, "Cowards die a thousand times, a warrior dies only once. The spirits of all you have slain are watching you, Vilu Daskar, and they will rest in peace now that your time has come. You must die as you have lived, a coward to the last!"
"...For sweetness can be lost, like a faithless lover's kiss!"