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Satyr Tales

Twisted stories to amuse and confuse.

Fantasy Farce: A Shiv in a Snow Storm

‘Burr, if you don’t stop wheezing on me I’m going to castrate you and leave you here to die.’

‘It’s-not-my-fault! The air’s freezing my lungs. The snow is knee high and just in case you hadn’t already noticed I’m just a tad out of shape at present.’

‘Well, you still look perfectly spherical to me.

Now then, the extraction point is just up ahead. If I know, The Shiv, he’ll already be there and have secured the place. But still, be on your guard.’

                ‘That’ll be a little tricky. My hands are so numb I can’t even draw my sword.’

‘Not that it would do you any good anyhow; What I meant is, try and keep out of sight. Hopefully the snow storm should mask your considerable silhouette.’

***

Burr finally eclipsed a virgin white mound. He wheezed heavily for a few moments then toppled face forward tumbling the rest of the way down the slope.

His momentum delivered him up next to the crouched form of Gretchen. She had her bow drawn and was scanning what at first glance appeared to be a mountain range ahead of them.

Once his brain caught on to what he was seeing Burr realised that it was in fact a castle dominating the horizon; complete with battlements, banners, gargoyles and other generally expected aesthetics such a stone bastion would sport. The structure gave the impression that it had risen up out of the blanket of deep snow and stood resolute against the bleak white and grey twilight landscape.

‘Good work on the camouflage, Burr. You’re learning.’

‘Accident’ mumbled Burr through a face full of snow.

‘Yes, you are, Burr. You’re just a helpless little piglet trapped in the quicksands of fate, aren’t you?’ The elf pinched Burrs rosy cheek playfully. Not used to the sour, monotone elf being companionable he warily muttered, ‘Yes, Sir…Ma-am…M’lady…’

The elf got comfy, shouldered her bow, lit her pipe and resumed her reconnaissance while she waited for Burr to right himself.

‘Right, there I am’ he huffed eventually. ‘So, what’s the plan?’

‘Simple,’ purred the Ranger. ‘Sneak through a convenient break in one of those tumble-down walls, stealthily stalk and ruthlessly murder in cold blood anyone we come across; we then loot and pilfer anything of value we can realistically carry, find The Shiv, get a fire going then get the kettle on. How’s that?’

‘Marvellous’ groaned the fat man. ‘It’ll be child’s play I’m sure.’

‘Ok, off we go…’ and with that she was away like a wraith through the swirl, running atop almost three feet of powdery snow and barely creating a stir.

The lithe fey vaulted a downed tree, hop scotched stones over a fast-flowing ford then somersaulted up the ruins of the nearest fortified wall.

Burr stared open mouthed after her like a dumfounded cow. He rearranged his tussled tunic and tightened his belt with grim determination then started off after her. Huffing like a great steam train he galloped forth like only a morbidly obese man in knee deep snow can.

Presently, Burr picked himself up once more and spat out a mouthful of snow. He narrowed his eyes and set his sights on vaulting the downed trunk. After adjusting his back straps and brushing some snow off his breasts he launched in to action like a stoned sloth.

Burr collided with the tree with such colossal force that a family of snow foxes were ejected from their safe haven like a bunch of furry bullets out of a cracked and rusty cannon.

The dazed vixen gingerly sniffed the unconscious Burr, turned her nose up at him then piddled on his leg. She gathered her albino pups and led them away into the blizzard to find another place to wait out the storm.

From her vantage point on the battlements Gretchen winced at Burrs rigorous display of ineptitude, unsheathed a dagger then stalked off silently into the keep.

***

Burr awoke sometime later, freezing cold in the ruins of the tree and smelling somewhat like wee.

He clambered to his feet and stomped about to get the feeling back in his body. Lucky for Burr he is very well covered and never truly feels deathly cold. Although he often says he does it’s only because he doesn’t move about all that often, so what do you expect?

After slipping and sliding through the icy water of the ford the bulky man attempted to ascend the stony outcrop Gretchen had so easily scaled earlier. The tumbled down stone work was treacherous, jagged and icy. Therefore, our reluctant hero decided to risk trying to gain entry elsewhere.

Not having much experience or imagination in breaking and entering military institutions, Burr decided he’d just try the front door. Along his route to where he assumed the front door or portcullis or what-have-you would be, he stumbled across several corpses of castle guards lying face down in the deep snow on the outside of the fortification. They’d obviously fallen from height, say, from as high as the battlements Burr was now stood before.

Now Burr was no freelance murder detective with a predilection for being in the right place at the right time, but he hazarded a guess that it wasn’t the fall that had killed any of these poor individuals. Using the power of thought and all his skills of deduction he deduced that, on account of the patch of what appeared to be raspberry slushy around the deceased’s necks, the victims had in fact had their throats cut before being jettisoned off the wall.

The bodies were ridged and far too heavy to turn over so he couldn’t really prove his theory, but in retrospect Burr was quite happy not to have to come face to face with an orifice in a human that wouldn’t naturally be there. So he just assumed that this was indeed the handy work of The Shiv and moved on.

With a bit of exertion and a lot of huffing Burr heaved the great double doors open.  Quite cleverly the Shiv had been good enough to leave a set of keys hanging from the frost encrusted mouth of a dead sentry propped up against the doors.

The supposed master infiltrator, espionage specialist and cut throat extraordinaire was certainly starting to live up to his reputation. Up until recently, reading between the lines, Burr had regarded him as nothing more than a common, albeit lavish, cat burglar.

Burr found further evidence of this mysterious felon’s passing as he ventured into the courtyard. Chiefly in the form of very cold, very dead soldiers. Each one had a look of such shock upon their features. One or two others, more worryingly, sported the relaxed expression of undisturbed peaceful slumber.

A smithy was face down in his cooling trough, some sort of fire poker or half-finished skewering implement poking out the top of his skull. Some butcher or trapper was flopped over his latest kill, his own cleaver deep in the middle of his back. An archer was pinned to a practice target through the chest with one of his own arrows. Another deadly shaft had penetrated through one ear and out the other. The man’s frozen expression was caught somewhere between smirking amusement and even ridicule then abject horror and agony.

Curiosity led the fat man across the well-trodden courtyard to some crude stables where a healthy-looking brilliant-white horse seemed in distress. Now, normally Burr is very much not a person who is confident around horses. Horses are, for all intent and purpose, the size and weight of a car but with no real discernible brains at the helm. If a car is going a bit doolally all one might have to do is simply switch it off, or perhaps even unplug it. As far as he was assured, you couldn’t really unplug a horse and Burr wasn’t about to conduct a search in order to find a likely input socket.

Anyway, the horse was all saddled and bagged up ready for a journey it seemed, however due to the swift and unforeseen influence of The Shiv, the passenger was no longer fit to travel. The rider had been garrotted with his own riding crop and, unfortunately for the horse, the frozen body which now slumped over the gate had become entangle within its reins. Despite all its strength the poor thing just couldn’t shift the overhanging dead weight.

Quick as an orangutan sausage back up through the digestive tract of an unsuspecting vegan Burr had realised the animal’s predicament and set about putting paid to its plight. Now, Burr couldn’t open the gate or shift the cadaver because it was lashed to the horse and he could get over the body to untie him. Nor could he climb between the stone and timbers of the stable wall because the horse filled the entire things interior. However, a thought struck him. Whipping his extendable handigrabber-reaching-aid out of his backpack he patiently and meticulously unwound the beasts tack from about the dead rider.

In another ludicrous and unlikely display of forethought Burr shifted the cadaver out of harm’s way and opened the gate to allow the animal to roam free.

The errant equestrian entity pranced and gambolled freely about the courtyard tossing its forelock gaily. Once calm Burr re-approached to stroke the things nose and have a damn good rifle through the bulging saddle bags for tasty loots.

After foraging through some seemingly pointless and underwhelming cargo Burr eventually unwrapped a peculiar package of plush purple velvet and gazed in wonderment at its contents. His features lit up as a dazzling curio refracted the moons silvery light…

***

hannah-dickens-1072231-unsplash.jpg

Photo by Hannah Dickens on Unsplash

These things always culminate at the highest peak. Or the tallest tower. Or the top floor. The climatic pinnacle if you will. It’s just the way of things. Sub consciously knowing this, and from having spent his whole life immersed in playing fantasy table top and video games and watching every fantasy film ever produced, Burrs legs led him towards the keep.

Again, another helpful sentry sat on the snow outside the main gate with a ring of keys dangling from his icicley mouth.

An hour later, after side stepping around, climbing over and through the remains of some more very unfortunate castle guards Burr eventually beached on the landing of the tallest tower. Winded, wet and exhausted.

The gold-leaf adorned door at the end of the short corridor swung gently open to reveal Gretchen, leaning on the door frame with her arms folded, a delicate goblet in one hand.

‘Punctual as ever, Burr.’

‘Sorry,’ he wheezed, struggling for breath. ‘Animal welfare concern.’

‘Come, meet The Shiv and get warmed.’

***

Despite Burrs previous disposition towards, The Shiv, the professional killer turned out to be a most charming little chap, sitting there on a throne at the end of the dining table wearing the castle commander’s adornments and accessories. All of which were far too big for him, mind. But that just added to his quite comical and surprisingly comradely composure.

Burrs first impression of the little serial killer, or Malakai Shaggyflanks as he is actually named, was of a psychotic jockey turned psychotic jester. A very lippy, rather intoxicated jester with a death wish and a penchant for stealthy, albeit rather tasteless, murder. He had a very direct and colourful vocabulary and a quite endearing, if sometimes entirely incomprehensible, regional dialect.

The poor previous incumbent of that most comfortable room was also sat at table, just not in his appropriate spot. He had been stripped of all garments and was wearing just his long johns, with a long cigar poking out of his mouth and a full goblet in one hand on the table. Trickles of scarlet dripped out the corners of his mouth and nostrils.

‘Y alright there, Y’ ‘Ronour?’ bellowed the impish cutthroat. The Shiv winked at Burr, ‘Excuse him Mr. Burr, I don’t think he’s feeling quite himself today. Allow me to introduce him. ’Dis ‘ere is the right honourable Viddick Peppersnort.’

The Shiv leered at the castle patron with quite possibly the most malignant smile Burr had ever seen on a human. The kind a hungry shark gives an oblivious diver the moment he turns around.

‘Right nasty bastard.’ The Shiv confided, ‘When folk don’t do what he tells ‘em, he burns villages to the ground. And that kind of bastards always attracts a lot more bastards to ‘em.’ The short man indicated a dispatched tower guard slumped in a corner who, for some obscure reason, had a cauldron over his head and bruised and smashed fruits and vegetables all around him.

‘So, introductions complete, back to business if you please’ announced Gretchen helping herself to another goblet of fiery wine from a large silver decanter. ‘Shiv, what about the damn Seal?’ a note of urgency apparent in her tone made Burr attentive.

‘Seal?’ muttered Burr. ‘What…?

‘Gone.’ Shrugged the little man. ‘Must have shipped it out already on a fast horse.’ The gnomish man casually hefted a potato and jettisoned it at the cauldron-come-headwear. It made a wonderfully satisfying ‘toooong!’ sound on impact. ‘Six. Hell of a risk if you ask me. But then, I’m not the kind of man who likes taking risks you understand.’

‘What’s a seal?’

‘In that case we’re done for. A good courier could be half way to the Drakk by now.’ Dejectedly Gretchen hurled a large carrot, end over end like a throwing dagger, at the cauldron hitting it squarely. ‘Seven. I don’t like to fail Shiv, as you know. Something must be done. Any ideas?’

‘Ahem? Excuse I, but: What Damn Seal?’ Enquired Burr trying to keep his temper.

‘Shush, Porker!’ snapped the elf slamming a hand on the table and making everyone jump. ‘We’re busy! Real people talking!’

Apparently, the Shiv didn’t like to be interrupted either. And of course certainly not whilst actually about his business. Having learnt this Burr was very happy to take a back seat on the proceedings and keep extremely quiet and unobtrusive.

But that was okay, the cosiness of the room with its golden glow of candelabras, the warmth of the roaring fire, the bold wine and the full stomach of some meaty animal off the spit made Burr feel quite dozy. As the ranger and the murderer plotted easily, as only old comrades can, Burrs eyelids became very, very heavy.

Talk remained on the same tack of this mysterious artefact for some time and a new plan was being finalized in order to retrieve it. Apparently it was all very important and it was imperative if Burr was to get home.

Naturally, the scheme involved many a death defying leap, several bouts of courageous impetuousness, an idiocy of suicidal charges a lunacy of cold, sleepless nights and almost certainly a drastic loss of important body parts.

During the proceedings pacing about had occurred, as did thoughtful chin rubbing; anxious hand ringing could also be observed. Apparently, this was to be no easy feat.

‘So what do you think Burr, do we have an accord?’ demanded Gretchen as the pair concluded their plan.

‘Hmmm, wha-? Oh, sorry must have nodded off there. What was the question?’

The elf growled with frustration through tight closed peepers and tight clenched fists.

‘The plan, man!’ Squeaked the astonished killer. ‘We need the Seal back so we can get rid of you!’

‘Oh, that! Well I’m bored of that story now…’

‘Beg pardon?’ stated the elf, doing a very good impression of an astounded human.

‘Apologies,’ continued Burr. ‘I didn’t want to interrupt your fascinating discussion, to which I was not be a part. But is this what you were talking about?’

Burr took the velvety package out of his backpack and unravelled it. The room became a lot shinier, almost blinding in fact. He used his handy aid to place it far across the table between the Shiv and Gretchen.

The grinning cut throat sat back in his throne, genuinely impressed. ‘The Seal? Well I’ll be buggered by a zombie on pancake day.’

‘Seriously?’ Spat Gretchen. ‘You didn’t think to tell us this earlier-’

‘-You never asked!’ Burr cut in. He helped himself to a large, overly ripe tomato. ‘And besides, I did try to tell you.’ Without gauging the shot he lobbed the fruit haphazardly over his left shoulder. He was rewarded a delightful, sploooonnngggnnnn! ‘Ah, one to me I think.’ Burr smirked and lifted the decanter. ‘Drink?’

The mini sneak nodded his head and grinned approvingly. The sultry Elf simply scowled daggers at the fat man for a moment. ‘You stink of fox pee!’

***

Kindest regards,

The Satyr

 

Castle Photo by Mike Cottam on Unsplash

Horse Photo by Hannah Dickens on Unsplash

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Satyr Rant: Lavatorial Conduct

As we near the end of festival season once more I can’t help but raise an issue that’s been bugging me for a while. Considering the nature of the thing I was at first reluctant. But the situation hasn’t improved as far as I can tell. Therefore I must log my distaste thusly…

Dear So-Called Gentlemen of England,

Is it completely beyond your capacity to use a public toilet correctly? I fail to understand the complexity of it all.

Having recently visited a well-known town in the middle region of the country, let’s call it Nottgranthamdonshirevilleingham, one is becoming increasingly concerned and indeed most perplexed that this is a countrywide phenomenon.

Even I, whom is used to going number twos in the woods (as indeed bears do by the by) have at least an inkling on what is expected in a public lavatory. And indeed, like my beautiful forest a public convenience should be treated in a similar vein. I.e. leave no trace and take away nothing but fond memories.

Is it tantamount to the krypton factor or simply impossible to get everything in the bowl? Preferably the same one you originally sat on? Is it so indecipherable or impossible to remember to use the flush mechanism once the ablution is complete?

What purpose or function does the toilet tissue roll serve whilst entirely unravelled and spread liberally all over the floor? Yes it may be thoroughly absorbent, but the only liquid on the floor would have come from you or should already be in the toilet!

Are you under the delusion that those of us of a serving stock like to constantly remedy your mess? As if they have nothing better to do?

Clearly the next user of that particular cubicle is going to need it in much the same vein, and clearly that person isn’t going to be you again, unless of course you have a severe stomach upset of course. Even so, isn’t it a grand idea and genius flash of forethought to leave the scene as neat and as tidy as you would like to find it in the first place?

But wait, are you saying the cubicle was in the state when you came across it? Yet you still used it anyway? My upper left buttock. Even a pig wouldn’t sink so low.

I must confer, a life time or two ago whilst residing in the Anglia region of the country I frequented an educational institute for young mens and womens for they had a rather formidable open library. A rather vast an unwieldly proportion of the student body there was formed of folk from outside of the immediate continent.

Now, I am nowhere near as well travelled as I would like to be. However, it was fair to say that a goodly amount of these students had never even seen what us Brits tend to recognise as, and take for granted, a classic, traditional, British toilet. Or throne as I believe it may be referred to by many.

At first, I will grant you, there were some lavatorial issues being raised. Therefore uprisings within the cohorts of cleaning staff, and quite rightly steps were taken to remedy those issues and introduce a trial-period poster displayed on the back of each and every cubicle door. Those who think I am speaking in jest, see here:

Rant_Lavatorial conduct bmp

(By the way, the above was just a little snippet of a full laminated A4 page. I shouldn’t really have to go into too much detail but you get the picture.)

It’s a good call. Surely degree levels students should be able to follow clear and concise instruction no matter the job in hand. ‘Sit on the seat. Don’t stand.’ Was my particular favourite. The whole thing was done in a considered, well-mannered way; reserved and unobtrusive.

By the way, if any student should be concerned that they should not be studying at degree level, simply take the toilet test. In fact, would it not be a good idea to introduce this test into the application process? If they end up sitting backwards on it, or squatting besides it, reject them immediately.

Anyhoo, it worked. Well, certainly in the halls of accommodation entirely comprised of overseas students. They took note and learned proper toilet etiquette and proper privy propriety.

So why then, in the predominantly English halls was there still an outright problem? Upbringing? Class clash? Moral fibre? Complacency? Idiocy? Bowel and bowl disorder?

Do they do this at their own home? If that’s the case I very much doubt I shall be visiting for tea and scones any time soon. I believe the same issue was raised in regards to the female toilet facilities, but I can’t possibly comment on that as my investigations can only get me so far.

The place I went to recently in Notgranthamdonshirevillehole was much the same, possible worse. Toilet paper is important! Hygiene is incredibly important! Laundry bills are important! Is it a dirty protest by half the country? In which case, who is it aimed at? Not the polish guy with the little yellow slip-hazard sign and a mop who is just trying to earn minimum wage. Not the proprietor of the establishment who in all probability has his own private convenience on site. Is it targeting society in general? Is it a ploy by some underground activist movement raising the concern to the public that we shouldn’t have to relieve ourselves of our waste in such an ignoble manner?

So I put it to you, who are these villains? What is their cause? But more importantly, how do we oust them?  If any of you have an inclining as to who these nefarious miscreants are, let me know. I’d very much like to get to the bottom of this one… Now please wash your hands.

Kindest regards,

The Satyr

Fantasy Farce: On A Beast Hunt

Raaaaagh! Come and die, bastards!’

‘Rrrrrrr…come and…die?’

‘No from your gut, man! Feel it welling up inside you, then let it burst forth in a torrent of rage and spittle. Raaagh! Again.’

‘Grrrr, come and…get it?…I’ve forgotten the words.’

‘This is hopeless’ exasperated, Heldman the Barbarian relented and sat down on a tree stump to finish his beer. ‘How are you going to strike fear into the hearts of your foes if you can’t even make them soil their britches with your ferocious war cry?’

‘I’m sorry, I’m just not that kind of bloke, I…’ started Burr, lowering himself slowly onto the grass.

Heldman continued unheeding, ‘It is as if you’ve never even been in a fist fight before, never stretched your manliness more than reaching for the next tankard. Or lamb shank. What did you do previously, I mean in your own world?’

‘Well, er, I was a gamer…’

‘What like a poacher? But Gretchen said you didn’t know the dangerous end of an arrow let alone which part of the bow shoots it.’

‘True’ said Gretchen materializing out of the woods otherwise entirely silently. She took up a fallen log and helped herself to a wine skin. ‘Closest he ever got to mastering the hunt was when he threw his bow away in frustration and accidentally concussed a hedgehog.’

‘Well, at least you got to eat that night right?’ beamed the Barbarian hopefully.

‘No, the concussed hedgehog managed to out-stagger him before he could summon up enough energy to deliver the death blow.’

The massive, ripped, semi-naked form of the barbarian slumped and generally looked rather glum, as if he had lost empathy with the world. ‘So, what were you, a pie maker or something?’

‘No er, no I just sat about all-day playing games.’

‘You mean like a gambler? A card shark, you can count cards and dice and such?’

‘No, not exactly, I play on, er, I guess a machine. It’s called a, ‘computer’; this ‘computer’ makes all the sounds and the FX and all your little men run around slaying each other…you press buttons…’

The barbarian’s mighty brow furrowed and fixed the fat man with a genuinely concerned and bemused face. The kind of expression a giant might use when being ambushed by a lone goblin armed with a limp lettuce leaf.

‘I don’t understand you or your world at all, Burr. I’m not sure I can help you.’

‘Please help him, Heldman’ breathed the sulky elf, ‘if not for his sake, then for mine – he needs to learn to fight in order to get back to his own world and I’m just plain sick of the sight of him.’ Not used to emulating human expressions Gretchen tried a doe eyed pout to sway the warrior, but gave up and just sneered at the fat man instead.

‘But no-one can be that useless!’ He can’t even hold a sword up for a minute without sweating!’

‘Can we not just fill him up with potions and get him to jog round and round the forest until he loses weight?’

‘Hm, brilliant idea, Elf. But I’m wary that the thunderous plod of his hooves and his thighs slapping together would rouse every orc, Wildhorn and brigand in the area to us. And I don’t think even us two could fend off all that lot all at once. I know I’m the mightiest warrior this land has seen in an age, but I don’t want my last lament on this earth to be remembered as being hacked to death by a hoard of irate forest gnomes whilst babysitting a fat idiot.’

The warrior stroked his square, bristly jaw. ‘Hmmm, we could always fit him out in the thickest plate armour and the biggest shield and just hope he can take the punishment.’

‘Great idea and one to keep for later. But if you hadn’t noticed we’re not exactly flush with coin at present; and besides you’d never meet a smith with enough metal to cover his tits alone. What about if we nab a gutplate from an ogre?’

‘Hmmm, worth a try if we can manage to stand the smell of ‘em.’

‘We have to put up with a similar stink now!’

Burr shrugged his shoulders sullenly as the pair glared at him.

‘Good point.’ Conceded Heldman. ‘Oh look, it’s no use let’s just kill him and bury him in a shallow grave and be done with it. There’s simply no way to help him.’

‘Hey, I am still here you know!’ whined Burr, rocking back and forth on his bottom in order to reach his backpack without having to get up again.

‘Only in body…’ said the Elf coldly and turned back to the barbarian. ‘Look, the wizard said our fate and that of the land is entwined with the Podgling. Either we help him or we’ve doomed ourselves.’

The handsome warrior sighed then straightened his back and set his jaw. ‘Right, fair point. On your feet Burr. And pick up that sword. Gretchen, you’re going to spar with him.’

‘Oh, God…’ huffed the petulant Elf.

Burr eventually made it on to his knees and got up off the grass. Only then did he realise his sword was still laying on the ground. So he therefore had to lower himself back down on to one knee, then use the sword to lever himself back up again. Panting and wheezing he took up position opposite the elf who was gingerly nibbling a pheasant leg.

‘Ok Burr, here we go.’ Said the warrior in his most level and patient tone. ‘Feet wide apart, shoulder to your enemy. Now don’t take your eyes off her…’

‘But she’s not even playing properly, she hasn’t got her sword out yet…’

‘Never mind that Burr, just focus, eyes on her hands; now take the biggest lung full of air you can into the pit of your stomach. Then, run at her screaming and waving your sword about. Go!’

‘But…’

‘GO!’

‘Aiiiiee!’ Burr squealed and stumbled towards his unconcerned prey. Unaccustomed to moving all his limbs at the same time he half paused every few steps to swing the blade around.

Eventually he got within striking distance of his target. The elf didn’t even take her eyes of her meal as she side stepped, flicking her sword from its sheath and disarmed Burr as he ambled by. The sword flew off, end over end, in to the undergrowth and landed with a wet thuck!

Burr’s legs couldn’t keep up with the memento his belly had produced and he went down in a big, huffing, blubbery pile amidst an explosion of detritus from the forest floor.

The barbarian’s forehead slapped into his palms and he groaned the low, prolonged groan of someone not used to being defeated.

Gretchen tossed away the remnants of her lunch and beamed, ‘that was fun. Shall we do it again?’

‘Mo!’ Groaned Burr through a mouthful of leaf litter.

A violent thrashing from the forest brought everyone’s head up; even Burr’s as he struggled to turn over onto his back. The barbarian was already in a fighting stance with his broadsword ready and Gretchen had dived for her bow. By the time she’d rolled into cover she had an arrow notched and ready.

A large, sweating, bovine-headed man staggered out of the dense foliage clutching at his chest. At an awkward angle, protruding from his body, was Burr’s sword. The thing looked at the three heroes in astonishment, blood pouring from its gaping mouth and fell face first into the clearing. The sword erupted out of its back as it hit the ground fountaining more blood.

Heldman and Gretchen exchanged a glance, then the Elf roared, ‘Ambush!’ The woods exploded with motion as monstrous ram-horned men burst into the clearing waving crude clubs and other primitive death dealing apparatus. An ugly, malformed, reeking dog-thing attached itself to Burr’s forearm and started trying to wrench it off.

The barbarian took huge strides to meet the charge of three of the grotesque things, swinging his mighty weapon in death dealing patterns.

The elf rolled under the swing of a Wildhorn’s stone axe then shot another in the chest at point blank range. Shouldering her bow and unsheathing her sword in a heartbeat, she rushed through the defence of another slicing its guts open before leaping at a tree and back flipping off into another. Safe on a high limb her bow was again in her hand and fletches started appearing in furry chests.

Luckily for Burr, the evil hound’s fearsome teeth couldn’t penetrate his steel armbraces but doggedly held on. Adrenaline even lent him the initiative to wrestle his dagger from his belt and plunge it into the beast’s eyes and throat.

Around the barbarian bloody limbs and decapitated heads hit the ground and he howled with the glory of battle. His last victim raised its club to block his overhead blow, but the crude thing offered no resistance and the sword thunked down into the creature’s thick skull splitting it to the jaw, horns and all.

Panting, the heroes looked around them warily; it was all mess and blood and foul secretions. Burrs bottom lip was trembling as he pushed the spasming dog corpse off and tried to right himself.

‘Ah!’ said the barbarian brightly, lowering his weapon. ‘Lovely. Oh quick, Burr! On your feet, this is important!’

The barbarian grappled the fat man to his unsteady feet and snatched up a beast-man’s head off the ground. ‘Now then, hold this above your head, beat your chest and shout, RAAAGH!’

Swooning, Burr did as best as he was told. He lifted the dripping horned head as high as he could, about shoulder height, slapped his chest weakly with his palm, murmured raagh and then feinted dead away.

Kindest regards

The Satyr

Satyr Rant: A Drunting We Will Go…

(Originally penned around March, the end of the Foxing season. Strap yourselves in, this is a biggy)

Drunting: The noble and traditional Old English act of getting inebriated in the countryside and setting a flock of beagles on a cute fuzzy thing for sport.

 

Disclaimer

#1. I am neither for nor against!

#2. This has been such a hard piece to pen. There are still many untapped arguments out there but I simply can’t fit them in or they just aren’t humorous enough. This is already too long!

 

Introduction

Oh my dear, Mother Nature. You humans. You can be a frightfully strange lot. Originally, I merely wanted to pen a small piece regarding the pastoral pastime of fox huntings (neither for nor against!) and offer up some light jollificating observances. But by golly the more I look into it the more confused I get and the further my imagery of the human psyche eludes me. Let me do some prelude and exposition first. But one word of context that must be spouted outright now, then remain at the forefront of your mind throughout the following is, BALANCE. You may proceed:

The Prelude/ Preface/ the Story So Far…

There I was enjoying a lovely elevenses of chaffinch jam on toast when a wide-eyed, dishevelled fox ran through my encampment defecating profusely as it went*. Then seconds after that a growling, mewling and howling horde of canine burst through the clearing, clearly on the foxes scent. Also defecating liberally as they went. Then seconds after that a host of horses charged after the hounds, so too, fouling flippantly as they went. But we’re not finished yet. A stampede of black attired gentlemen and ladies waving placards and improvised clubs came hurtling through the now dilapidated scene chasing the horsists!

The desecration! The destruction! The huge piles of doings! Since then I’ve had to move hovel!

* For those of you whom are unaware Fox poop stinks! Smells not dissimilar to the middens in hell. And I should know…I got very lost once**.

** Fabulous, fabricated, fabled creatures like myself don’t have a predetermined notion of heaven or hell, so we go where we please.

Yes I am a poor, humble, naïve, forest-dwelling goat boy living on the fringes of society, but something must be done. And Yes, I don’t fully understand you lot; but come now, an Englishgoatmans’ hovel is his castle! Only my oxen and pet hedgehog are allowed a bowel moment anywhere in my territory. It’s expected. And my poop scope and I can cope with it.

Now let’s quickly deal with some nonfiction about Fox genocide. Ahem, I mean, er, fox oppression:

The Hunt Today

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Actual for-proper fox hunting, avec le chien, was banned in 2004 (actually coming into effect a year later). Long and short however, there’s still a tense, controversial and irrevocable dispute going on that will often be called into question, rearing its fuzzy orange head in the near future…very near future…it’s not going to go away any time soon. A bone of contention that sleeping dogs won’t lie with.

Now it’s worth noting that I’ve no idea if the dogs were set on the fox originally or merely came upon it by accident whilst out on a drag hunt*. It’s entirely plausible that it was coincidence rather than a pre-arranged bout of law infringement.

*Where a domesticated plebeian in the house liveries of the hunt master is coated in fox bile and made to run through the woods pretending to be a fox for the amusement of the hounds and drunken lookers on. This is the preferred and legal method today by the way…

However, hunting furry things in this manner today is still considered fair game in Northern Ireland, Canada and America just to name but a few places. By the way, tell an American he/ she can’t hunt anything at all, from wobbles to bears and even people, and he’ll laugh in your face then shoot it off.

A couple years after the ban and it was called into question again but it wasn’t given its full hearing time in parliament and rejected; since Teresa May has become president it came into question again but it was flat put down. But it will be called up again and often. If you want any further deets about this just enter relevant words into Go Ogle and there will be a plethora of hits provided to work your way through. But for now, just dally with the most recent polls to know where the UK stands:

  • An opinion poll in May 2017 revealed overwhelming public opposition to hunting with dogs, including the repeal of the Hunting Act 2004. 64% of voters disagreed with the statement that “the ban on fox hunting should be reversed”, including 46% who “strongly disagreed”. Just 11% supported the repeal of the ban. The poll was published in the aftermath of the release of the Conservative Partymanifesto for the 2017 general election, which promised a vote on the repeal of the Act.[64] Only 16% of Conservative voters want the ban overturned, with 50% opposed. – Wiki.

But the hunt in all its splendour does still exist in some form or another. And certainly fox hunting with dogs still exists as publicly published lists of the many offenders and their court hearings testifies. How are our various Police Forces, er, Policing it by the way?

Anyhow, attractive and sexy arguments about it are rarer then hens teeth. It’s still the same old same old: ‘It’s a non-cruel traditional sport’ against the ‘It’s cruel, pointless and…other…etc…’

My Bipedal Stance

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Just for the record I’m not one of your, ‘oh, fuzzy, cutey-wutey, foxy-woxy’ types. ‘He’s just trying to feed his widdle cubs’.

Likewise, nor am a ‘get off my land’ type, ‘they’re all nuisances and they’ll kill everything in the coup and just take one. Shoot ‘em on sight!’ type*.

*But just so everyone knows – Of course foxes only take one! One at a time! They don’t have a Bag for Life you know. They don’t have opposable thumbs! Mr and or Mrs Fox intends to take all of them. But many times out of a few they get disturbed whilst grocery shopping and they must escape. They can escape faster whilst not burdened with a mouthful of dismembered hen.

Anyway, onwards. I am not a stranger to this tradition, I am a long lived goat-man-thing and I have been very aware of this bucolic pastime ever since fat, rich, white men could sit up straight on a horse without habitually preening its mane for fleas. But it is only up until recently that I have been forced to voice any discouragement at all.

You see, Lord Tuffy Bumwhellp of Oxbridge and Twattinghamshire has been forced to expand the course of his (probably legal) hunts…dramatically. It was either that or his groundsmen will go bored and hungry this season. Not having any more paupers to shoot and little in the way of hikers to run down in his Land Rover, changes needed to be wrought. So, needs must when the devil has bugger all left to do.

However, I had no Me Mo. I had no facsimile. I didn’t even get the courtesy of a discouraging letter or knock at my hut flap.

All I get nowadays is a discordant bugle note piecing the veil of a rather happy recurring dream about Courtney Cox (before she had her face amputated and replaced with silly putty) and all of a sudden there’s the last frantic charge of the light brigade romping through my camp…through my pantry, through my veggy patch, my camp fire and my pet hedgehog…no pleases, no thankyous, no excuse us all …and excuse our dogs’ excrement. And our horses’ excrement. Nothing. Jot, not one.

Yes I disdain the foppery, for those of our more western readers who are more used to hunting with missile launchers, grenades and Gatling guns, please see hither:

[Insert Bill Bailey, Part Troll here] – I couldn’t find a decant clip sorry!

And I am with Sir Billiam of Wailey 100%. Could not have said it better m’sen.

What I do object to is being awakened at the ungodly hour of a quarter past second breakfast by a horde of joyriding delinquents in red, bugling out their new-fangled hit-pops through my f*&^ing hut! Either that or a band of irrational freedom fighters on a quest for revenge.

I’ve considered this conundrum long and hard. I am a true nature’s child. Born to be wild. I am Mother Nature’s emissary on Your Gods clean, green and fertile Engtain/ Britland/ UK-Dom/ America II/ or whatever. The question and argument is thus –

Fox hunting-barbaric and unnecessary? Or trad and sophisticated? Or more precisely:

Way of life, tradition, sport and recreation, sort-of pest control and untold jobs for the masses verses animal welfare, not killing cute things, stop being so rich and self-indulgent and…er, that’s it I think.

Hunting in the Prose

MAN VS MAN_INKED

Many Britfolk would have at least hummed along with this at some juncture in their lives –

A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go;

Pull up your socks and chase the fox

A hunting we will go…Thomas Augustine Arne-1778

A very old, fun and dainty little traditional tune about being British. Or something quite similar. For those of you still none the wiser as to what hunting is all about then allow me to inform, expand and quite possibly embellish –

Yes the daft, scavenging, canine beasties’ (Vulpes vulpes-Red Fox) numbers need to be kept under control. ‘They’d wipe out the whole chicken species just for something to do!’ Indeed. But more importantly, hunting gets you out in the sun shine…well, out under the grey skies and drizzle of New Brexitland…you get to meet up with your mates, ride a great charger, dress up like a box of Quality Streets and get leathered in the countryside. Sublime!

Early humans (Homo erectus) hunted animals for food way back some 1.8 million years ago, when we all had beards and Jebus hadn’t quite been invented yet. Likewise, back in ye old days most predators had to be hunted; as today in lost Amazonian tribes or Nomadic Saharan clans for instance, it’s simply a case of – if you don’t hunt the sabre-toothed lion, the sabre-toothed snake and the sabre-toothed pterodactyl, then they’ll hunt you. And all of your children, and your livestock. And your drinking buddy. And your pet sabre-toothed hedgehog.

And evidence indicates that hunting with the use of dogs can be dated back to betwixt 2000-3000BC. But Fox hunting for reals, as we now know it, greatly took off in 18thC when men all wore dresses and women weren’t allowed an opinion on anything.

It could be said that foxes wouldn’t be such a problem if human types hadn’t expanded their territories and agricultural so vastly. Foxes need somewhere to live and behold, food is laid out ready for them in convenient little wooden boxes with crap wire round them. All Mr foxy needs to do is dig under said hen-prison and the day is his. But not the chickens’. Either that or Foxy finds nourishment in discarded take away boxes on the city’s streets (foxes don’t have to be drunk to eat donner kebab meat).

The hunt business is huge with generations of families having worked the yards, the kennels and the stables etc for hundreds of years. Recent numbers detail a good 12,500 people in Britain today being employed in some capacity of and for the hunt.

Now hear this-

The denominator here is also known as the “Labour Force” or the “Economically Active Population”. In the three months to February 2017 there were 33.4 million people in the UK labour force and 1.56 million people classed as unemployed. These figures gave an official UK unemployment rate of 4.7%. – Probably Wiki

Hmmmm, 4.1% doesn’t actually sound that much. 1.56 mil sounds preposterous. Surely it’s a great idea to not add to those hideous figures?

And what will come of our disowner ship of the rest of the continent? Brexit or some such? Not sure how that’s going to work, meddling with tectonic plates and such. There may be trouble ahead. Then who’ll gives a toss about foxes? Not I.

It could be argued that fox hunts don’t actually impact the fox numbers that dramatically anyway, if anything they serve to bolster their numbers as competition between species members are equalized because territory and chuck huts are not as in great demand. But then surely what’s the point in foxhunting if it doesn’t sort out the problem? But then again, who cares if only a microscopic portion of the fox population is being subject to terror and hell on earth if there’s still plenty of cute furry things still a-roaming?

Apparently if the fox is caught in the jaws of a hound it suffers only for a few seconds, there’s lots of footage on an internet that shows how quickly and easily a pack of hounds can do this (although I don’t recommend it for family viewing time as it’s not for the feint hearted or veganistic). Furthermore the average time frame from when a fox is spotted to when its various bits of anatomy are scatter liberally about the countryside is a mere 17 seconds.

But still, Questionable practices if there’s still a fox problem in the area.

Yes, it’s possibly cruel. But so is nature – Tsunamis, earthquakes, Rolf Harris. And nobody is truly accountable.

Against the Hunt/ And in the Green Corner…

MAN VS MAN_INKED

In my mind, and I’ll state the obvious again, so a pinch of salt maybe required, I am naive…One whole fox. Upwards of 12 hounds, bred and trained since birth to track, chase and dismember the aforementioned prey. A flock of indulgent, drunken fat, rich, white folk on horseback. Horses bred and trained from birth to bear such slothful degenerates on their noble backs whilst not hoofing to death previously mentioned quadrupedal minions. Either that or several firearms of differing calibre but all made with one purpose on the agenda. I put it to you, what’s in in for the fox?

But hunt saboteurs, whether they want to be scary and intimidating or not, are. Rural terrorist’s in fact. If you dress all in black, hang together in big groups wielding sticks and obscuring your faces with balaclavas and ski masks then you are a potential threat to right thinking humanoids. And their horses. There’s plenty of scenes of outright battle on the sets of Emmerdale farm, check it out on Your Tuba. Not nice. Hopefully it won’t catch on.

Arguably, and possibly rightly – hunting is cruel. Yes it is, but then stoving in the heads of a whole coop full of tasty chickens is too. Nature’s way I’m afraid. Each chicken would have only taken seconds to slay. It’s not like Mr Fox is targeting children, Orphans or puppies. Is it?

‘The Fox Hunt’ is just a show of hedonism and superiority in a class war which will perpetuate until the dawn of a new world. Yes it probably is, but you humans aren’t going to change your ways any time soon. And since the ban the aesthetics of the thing have endured.

To my naïve mind, yes it probably is all of those things. Because I have rams horns on my head and don’t have a single penny to my name. I don’t even own a wallet. So what the f**k would I know?

Two Tribes Go to War (Here’s What I Know)

For billions of human days hunting has required skill, experience, knowledge of the territory and prey. We humanoids love meat. Proteins, fats, oils and salts, we even have special organs and digestive capabilities to process such rejuvenating delectables. Protein allows us to explore, scale greater heights plumb greater depths, think better thoughts with bigger, better brains and generally be all round bad ass and superior to everything else on the planet. Granted. We rule.

If you take bigger risks, and make bigger efforts to take down bigger healthier prey then you deserve to succeed and progress to the next level and so does your immediate and future generations of family…and possibly the rest of your tribe.

Did you know, there are still indigenous tribes, predominantly in deepest Africa, Australia and Brazil, cut off from the rest of the world (except of course for, The Attenborough), who still hunt their nourishment with rudimentary gear and still get to eat. They still get to reap the benefits of juicy, delicious beasts.

For a very fine example; Initiation for a newbie warrior-huntsmen of the Sand People of the Kalahari Desert, Southern Africa, a young man-boy is to track, chase and eventually exhaust and slay a caribou or some other noble and sinewy creature.

When he’s dealt it the death blow, he anoints himself with the blood of the creature/ his quarry then proceeds to say a big ol’ blessing not only for his kin, and probably newly acquired wife, but more importantly for the thing that is now exhausted and bleeding, very gracefully mind, at his naked, bruised, torn, exhausted and cut feet. Utter respect for the animal. They both went through the same ordeal. Man pitted against nature. And in this instance man, all on his tod, won and will probably survive until the next encounter.

The Chaser:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=826HMLoiE_o

Rainforest; offering to mother prior to the hunt:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIjEyj8Y4zo

Initiate and family have to eat. Deer or other mammal thingies need to eat green things. Circle of life. Nature at its best. Everything within reason. Don’t take more then you need or that you can either process, store or digest. Equilibrium. BALANCE.

One of my uncles started his training in gameskeepering at a staggeringly early age; not with a telescopic sight, or infrared night vision goggles. Not with a troop of mercenaries, and a jolly-hockey-sticks-what-ho, band of 3-sheets-to the-wind, oh-my-little-Chelseannette-has-just-graduated-with-5-Stephen Hawkins-star-A-levels…but with a stick. Just a stick. One more time. A stick. Just an ordinary every day, pick it up while you stroll around the country side stick. When a similarly aged boy of his acquaintance flushed a rabbit out of its lair in the bushes or cave or what have you he’d bop it on the head with said bopping apparatus. End of. Supper. It was war time too no less. But let’s stick to the point. I’ll come back to that another time. Let’s just say the word ‘rationing’ and move on.

Furthermore, from what I can tell, all the be-horsed fox slayers are largely vegan or veggy who just want to be seen in public spending their abundance of leisure moneys on frivolous activities; People who wouldn’t know a fox trifle if it splatted them in their face. And the rest only touch meat that has been reared, butchered and cooked by someone else. And all the fox activists are vegetable and non-meatiest folk too who wouldn’t know the pointy end of a hunting spear if it poked them in the behind. And piscarians? Just bugger off. Go reconsider your fundamental life principles. So what, the fish just passes away peacefully in its sleep just after it’s coated its self in beer batter and checked itself into the nearest chip shop? There’s principles, then there’s misguided and then there’s just plain deluded…anyhoo…

The only people who don’t seem to mind eating real food and real meat caught, shot and prepared by themselves are the groundlings – the gameskeepers, hound keepers and horse stabilizers.

Solution. If You Could Call It That. If There Is Such A Thing. Which There Probably Isn’t…

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So basically it’s a case of and it all boils down to:

Way of life, tradition, sport and recreation, sort-of pest control and untold jobs for the masses VERSES animal welfare, not killing cute things, stop being so rich and self-indulgent and…er, that’s it I think.

Equestrians need to eat their veganistic twigs, fluff and grit; houndsmen/ doggists need to eat their chum and feed their rabid killers on orphans and immigrants; horses need to eat their porridge and feel superior to everyone else. Granted. Totally with you on that. Nature’s way. Mother’s way.

But I say again and with even more vigour than previous – 5 billion hounds, a cavalcade of horse and a bevy of wine cellars buttoned up in red coats. Is that balance?

Each piece of the paradigm is important and has bearing I’m sure. Even today it could be argued – if the pest control side of things actually worked. However…One horse, one gun, one man. Even that’s over kill…surely? Why not give the dog the gun? Now that’s a sport! NO, even better! Give the fox the gun and the horse has to ride the man!!!! The dog may drink tea and spectate quietly with me. But no pooping. BALANCE!

Ahem…But I am a gracious goat persons, I am not without tolerance and understanding. I can be reasoned with. I propose this…well I have a session of suppositions actually:

Number one, which ever red coat or red coats’ minion shoots the fox, he then has to eat the fox there and then. Raw. And none of his cognac-addled mates can go home for sherry and truffles until he’s finished every last morsel.

Either that, or whoever’s hound takes the initial throat wrenching bite out of the caught creature, the owner has to then eat his dog. There and then, or else none of his hoodlum idiot friends can go home for sherry and dolphin bits. Balance!

And if the owner doesn’t want to eat his hound then I get to shoot all of you with my newly procured M4 Carbine and no one is allowed back for pheasant trifle and swan salad. And if a fox comes and poops anywhere near my larder one more time it’s going to get it too. Or I’ll just beat it to death with a soiled beagle.

Secondly, how about one of the demonstrators, an urban radical opposed to the idea of cute cuddly things being chased, volunteers to be greased up in fox juice then runs around the countryside flapping his arms about while a horde of bagels lollops after him. His silly ski mask friends can watch and cajole him along. Everyone’s enjoying a bit of harmless fun in the countryside, together. A bit of exercise, a bit of socialising – all classes together mind-and with healthy volumes of booze all round. Sorted. And plus if anyone dies in the proceedings its less people in the world to moan about the hunt, for or against or otherwise.

Thirdly, and this is my favourite, I’m very much leaning towards this one in fact. BALANCE. Equilibrium! Everything in order…Every time anyone shoots at a fox (whether it’s a hit or a miss), I get to shoot at them with my newly procured M4 Carbine. Similarly, next time an activist takes a swing at or lobs a petrol bomb at someone just doing their job or trying to have a bit of fun, then I get to shoot them in their Super Dry Ski-masked face and their Apple Mac at point blank range…

…In fact, f*&k the fox, if any of you trample my hut once more all of you are gonna get the full magazine in to your bulbous, pompous, feckless, self-serving, self-assured, presumptuous, righteous arses!

Huh, calm…breathe…drink wine…Fox poop stinks damnit!

Fair enough? Good. Now say hello to my little friend!

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Kindest regards

The Satyr

SATYR RANT: Killing Time Or Time To Kill?

Dear Reader,

Allow me to commence this post with a long, loud, ear splitting: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHH!!!!! And then the swear word of your own personal choosing to garnish.

Other possible beginnings or even titles to this post could be: ‘You’re kidding right? Or ‘Fact, much stranger than fiction. Discuss.. How about, ‘You just can’t make this stuff up’ or indeed ‘Stupid people of Britain, pack it in! It’s not becoming! 

Ahem, I apologise. But continue reading and you will understand the causation of my vexation and outrage…

Some of you will know from a past post that I am owed a sum of monies by her Royal Highness’ termagants in the governmental department for Driving, Transportation and Petty Recriminations.

Bad judgement calls were made, lack lustre administration took place, inadequate systems and procedures were half-heartedly followed, complacency and incompetency occurred in abundance.

But I am not one to hold a grudge. No sir. The matter has been resolved with the minimum of swearing, hair loss and ranting on my part. I haven’t put in a formal complaint because I will be happy just to be getting my money back…which I needlessly gave to them in the first place due to an admin cock up on their part. And I did receive said money back a few days ago…in the form of a cheque…two cheques actually. Why two you ask? Because of reasons. The mind boggles…

But to the point – some of my readers will have prior knowledge that I am a humble, rugged, chisel jawed goat boy living on my tod at the fringes of civilization. Now I put it to you: what the Gordon Browns’ bonk stick am I supposed to do with a cheque? Nay, two cheques!

But hold! Fret not readers, you’ll be surprised to hear that this is not in fact a problem for yours truly. I merely employ the powers of my apposable thumbs and the sorcery of a modern day telephonic communications device with Go Ogle capabilities. And lo and behold, after a few minutes research I determined that the nearest village to my dwelling sports something called an ‘Post Office’ where I can deposit my hard gained monies. Huzzah and happy days!

Modern tech, right? Gotta love it, right? And modern services and conveniences, right? Wrong…

So all one should have to do is hike the odd mile to said village with these tatty bits of paper with monetary sums doodled on and have these services exacted upon them by a professional in the know as stated on their interwebs page. It’s almost too easy…

Therefore I braved the searing heat and humidity and stalked confidently across the countryside towards quests’ end. What ho! And this sleepy little village convenience was open at its publicly designated time too! Lady luck is with me today, I chorused. A deuce of hurrah all-round!

Sweaty, exhausted and bedraggled I proudly proffered my pathetic papers to the mysterious, wizened, owlish gentleman hiding behind a counter in a box of glass (not sure what the deal is with the box. At first I thought he was a coin operated vending machine). But anyway, our interaction progressed a little something like this:

‘My good man,’ I chimed, ‘I have reason to believe that if I give you these two slips of paper you’ll somehow transmutate them in to digital money for me!’

‘Of course, Sir’ beamed the mystical Alchemist over his nose-perched seeing apparatus. An aura of benevolence filled the pokey room with his kindly smile and twinkly eyes. He continued, ‘all you will need is one of my special envelopes here and of course your bank paying-in slip…’

The dusky radiance faded somewhat into a sombre gloom. ‘Ahem,’ I began, ‘the what the whom the when now? Your inter nets literature specifically said you could provide me with both pointless bits of paper to accompany both my pointless bits of paper!’

‘Oh no sir, must be a miss-print. Head office deals with what goes on the Inter-Googles and Bing Coms.’

The cosy glow evaporated entirely until there was just the air of a long unvisited cemetery on a misty night.

‘So you don’t actually provide the service advertised then?’

‘No. Not as such, sir.’

That which I specifically needed and have travelled on foot, nay hoof, to acquire? Or you do, it’s just I needed to have visited a bank first…’

‘Correct. Well, I have the envelope?’

‘But what good is that?’

‘Hmmmm….’

‘Hmmm, indeed. So what services can you offer me?’

‘I could sell you a disposable BBQ or a pack of sparklers?’

‘And let me guess, the disposable BBQ can’t actually be recycled; standard waste receptacles state upon them ‘no hot ashes’, so the thing has to remain on the scorched grass in the park then? So not that disposable really. And I can only assume that the sparklers can only be lit by a children’s’ safety blowtorch, hm?’

‘…Erm…’

Vast and unwieldy swear words occurred.

POST CLERK

So a trip into town would seem in order.

Now then, I am most un-fond of British Public Transport. I must check my Moaning Records to see whether I’ve dabbled on this subject previously*. But never mind onwards; on this particular venture it wasn’t just going to be the puke on the seats, the litter in the isles, the Chavs that live there or the simpleton employed to drive the damn thing that irked me. No, in this instance I was feeling more wretched about having to give a government-owned body my money in order for me to reclaim my money back from them in the first place. Bastards!

    *Just in case I haven’t yet – it’s pathetic. Laughable even. Ask a German what they think of our system and he will smile and say, ‘didn’t realise you had one’. I once waited at the bus stop in this self-same village for 3 hours for two buses that never materialised. Sigh. I had a good rant about that but I’m not sure I published. 

Anyway, so out to the outskirts of the village and toward the bus shelter I meandered. On checking the timetable there in, which hadn’t been updated since 2016 by the way, I finally deduced that there wasn’t to be another bus due any time soon for at least another couple of hours. If it arrived at all!

So what to do to kill the time until then? The public house isn’t open yet, so I suppose I’ll have to wander to the other side of the village and visit the convenience store. Where upon I might procure some rejuvenating caffeinated refreshment and a sustaining sandwich of undiscernible content…

…It was not to be…

There were unmarked police cars and un-uniformed official personnel surrounding the place and barring my way. I spoke to a rather jovial and loose lipped officer who couldn’t help but reveal that this was now the scene of a foiled armed robber and they were going to need a good couple of hours yet to finish faffing around and eating cake.

I laughed the laugh of the exhausted, bemused semi fictional goat person and told him of my trials of the day thus far. He shared a giggle and a consoling word, but never the less I still had to hop it until they’d sorted things out.

So to the butchers? And get some much needed nourishment? No because the only currency I had other than the two naff bits of paper was the bus fare need for my town trip. Dilemma. AAAAGHH!

Bigger, hairier, swearier words.

Deary me this day just keeps on getting better and better doesn’t it…

By now I am a very hungry, very tired and very thirsty goat boy. It’s been hours since second breakfast and my water bottle is hot to the touch. The contents of which taste remarkably similar to the aforementioned container.

But wait, a eureka moment bonked me on the noggin; an old acquaintance lives around hither somewhere (let’s call him Big Brother Billy Goat Gruff), I shall call in. Furthermore I have his back door key upon my person. I’m sure he’ll understand…I can replenish my water supply, take the weight off my hooves and possibly raid his fridge in the process.

Sigh, again it was not to be. The family was all either out at work, or at a disco-tech or something. Furthermore, they’d left a key in the back door…So, a long thirsty wait at the bus shelter then…

Much later than expected I finally alighted the bus, parting with the last of my real monies not quite knowing how I’d be able to get back again. Spin on. 3 fudging hours later…3 funking hours later, and I disgorged an exceptionally angry and exceptionally exhausted goat boy. Someone was going to get a good telling off. Who and for what I didn’t care.

It should have been a twenty minute ride! I was to find out later, by valuable and official sources that all traffic to the nearest town were delayed inevitably because of unforetold and unforeseen road works on the main entry point to the town. On information derived from hastily constructed diversion signs, a hapless and exasperated lorry driver drove his rather tall lorry under a rather short bridge on the other end of the town’s main route. Thereby, effectively grid locking the whole town and shutting it down completely.

Huge, foul words of curse.

But eventually I made it without altercation to my bank branch and relievedly placed my bits of torn, chewed, ratty paper on the counter, wept a little, knocked on another wall of glass and politely asked the teller withinst to do his business. He looked at me with a soft, hope inducing smile, and golden glory shone in his eyes and in a happy, confiding, friendly voice said… ‘No.’

‘N-n-no?…’ I spluttered, lower lip a quiver, hair falling off my head in tufts.

‘Sorry…er, Sir, but we closed half an hour ago. We close early on Wednesdays.’

‘But, but, but…why? Everywhere else is open…’

‘Sorry sir, we leave the doors open so customers can use the machines…’

I bellowed the biggest, hairiest, sweariest string of words I knew to the gods and with righteous fury slammed both fists on the counter. At precisely that moment a kind of gas sprayed me full in the face and a metal curtain replaced the glass wall in front of me with a resounding kerchung! Incredibly loud alarm bells assaulted my keen ears and big red flashy lights circled the roiling fog.

SATYR ZEN

An uncertain amount of time later I awoke on a comfy, blue bank manager’s sofa; very dazed and very confused. I was eventually allowed to leave the premises via the escort of the talkative undercover policemen I had met earlier outside the village convenience. The town and surrounding villages were on high alert after that morning’s ruralized robbery (or bucolic burglary if you will).

Turns out this gentleman was actually in charge of the armed robbery response team of the town’s police force and was now doing the rounds in town. He must have just popped in to the branch after me to get some cash out for evening cake or something. He vouched for me to his heavily armed colleagues and the bank manager telling them he’d spoken to me earlier in the day and knew that I wasn’t an urban terrorist*, I was just a little angry and upset and had had a very long and trying day…

    *Apparently and luckily for me angry-ist and terrorist are two totally different things. Not sure how. All the terrorists I’ve ever heard of seem frightfully angry.

…Not only that but he bought me a bucket of Colonel Mc Coronary’s Deep Fried Chicken Buttocks and gave me a lift home in his special under cover car too. Funny old world isn’t it…

But what have I learned from this little escapade? Well put it this way, from what I understand – all you real people have to deal with this type of nonsense every day throughout your rather short lives. Many a rod for you own collective backs. So I’m just glad I’m not one of you. Furthermore, never try and get money out of the government. It’ll always cost you more in the long run.

 

Kind regards

 

The Satyr

Mind Murmur:   My Office for the Season

(Originally penned around 18th April)

SPRING! Let’s all bellow it together now, SPRING!

Gosh I’ve missed her…

I am a warm bloodied goat-boy so I need to hibernate. It’s quite important. Personally I think we should do away with the tradition of winter altogether. Ban the damn thing I say. What good has ever come of it? And whose silly idea was winter anyway? I bet it was the romans. Probably Caligula.

Anyhoo, I’m technically an all-weather goat but your-own-personal-god, damnit! I need my sun!

Its 21 degrees out here (At the time of writing)! Id almost forgotten what vitamin D tastes like. And I’ll tell you precisely how British Vitamin D tastes. It tastes exactly like a great pint of British ale in a great British beer garden with a great British book or note pad and writing implements. Boom. One happy British goat boy.

And oh what it is to be alive in British spring time.

Ladles and jelly spoons, I present to you: my office for the next few months.

2018-05-13 18.05.30

I may dip my hooves in the lake, I may rax out upon the jetty.

Occasionally the odd fisher-person, holiday maker or nature pursuer will pass me by and we’ll exchange a pleasantry or two.

The water here is almost always calm. The geese are boisterous but still worth a gander. Like I, the proper water fowl round these parts are demure and un-encroaching.

There’s the odd bit of litter hither and tither – a can of Monster Sugar Content, or crumpled packet of Lambert and Butler, or a Colonel Mc Coronary’s burger wrapper that some dullard or other has discarded. But otherwise the place is relatively clear, clean and sterile of human impingement.

Yes, I shall be most happy here. There’s the odd honk of the aforementioned gooseys and digital bleep from the hard core fishing enthusiasts’ rig.

But otherwise, we are peaceful and calm. Tranquil.

So, the next few posts published will undoubtedly have been fruited from this spot.

I consider myself very lucky.

There follows a little taste of the spring time awesomeness that I have been lucky enough to spot and things I have missed over the long and barren cold season:

 

A fine, happy and healthy summer to you all.

The Satyr.

SATYR RANT: My Ox Cart – The Fast and the Furiously Fined.

SATYR RANT:       My Ox Cart – The Fast and Furiously Fined.

My ox cart likes to go very, very fast. Especially when I’ve fed it its special oats (a concoction of my own making similar to that which Santa feeds his reindeer.) It’s a Dual Bovine GTI with the aforementioned top of the range fuel injection and the most incredible exhaust system which actually makes me go even faster! It does tend to make the cart rather fumy and nidorous but what the hell do you expect?

Anyway, every now and then I get a speeding fine or parking fine or some other seemingly implausible violation of vehicular conduct, which causes me, my ox cart and my bank manager considerable grief. But not such a big beef. They are your laws and in this democracy I have to adhere to them. However, in my defence, I have to inform you that it’s pretty hard trying to a fix a speedometer to an oxen’s bottom. They don’t like it. That and the fact that I’m flying cross-country about 3 meters above any traffic is irrelevant. However, I still have to account for my actions.

Onwards, as I’m a dwindling fantastical species previously thought to be extinct on this isle the government has set up a benefits system for me*. Lush! I don’t actually have any real monetary coinage per se. I just get it paid into something called a ‘current account’. When I go to a shop or pub if you will, I wave a tiny, little bit of plastic, about the size of a business card, and lo and behold the lady behind the bar says thankyou and walks off. So I take my beer and I sit down. What a wonderful world, eh?

*It’s very important to the government that they give me money so I can pay my council tax for my hut. And then in doing so I…give it back to them…for reasons unknown.

Anyhoo, when I get court fines, as I don’t really earn an income, monies-for-being-naughty exit directly from said benefits before they visit my ‘Current Account’. I have nothing to do with it. It has nothing to do with me. It just sort of…happens. Sorcery!

But a few months ago I was merrily and obliviously about my business, writing prose about baby swans and puppies and cloud formations, when I got a rather nasty red inked-letter from a company called Collectica, a debt collection agency. These rather abhorrent administrators work on behalf of her Majesties Royal Government (I assume because they themselves don’t want to get their hands dirty with any real work or tarnish their good name. Gotta love a Patsy).

This distressing array of threats and lists of monetary sums proclaimed that I hadn’t paid my most recent fine to her Maj and all her little minions. I therefore elected to respond by contacting them through an telephonic instrument and shouting ‘bollox’ at them in a proud and happy voice. Then put said celestial apparatus down. The results of that communique were in no way encouraging….

Turns out that if I didn’t settle up within 24 hours a pack of large gentlemen with dull tools were to be set about my person with gusto and brevity. So naturally, I had to self-extract then sell on a kidney in order to able to pay them off immediately. It might be worth noting at this juncture that on the back of the letter was another list, full of bailiff and auctioneers costs for the privilege of them flogging all my stuff!

FEES

But here’s the thing, a bit of plot as it were, it turns out that a duplicate account was set up by person or persons unknown, by establishments unknown at the advent of my last vehicular faux pas. Fined monies were being paid out of my usual benefits before they reached my ‘current account’ as is their want and nothing untoward was awry. Happy times. Low stress plays.

However, the other account was left bear with nothing in the cupboard and nothing under the stair. Except for mouse shit. So three months down the line, after not a nugget of gold was deposited therein, her Majness decided she’d had enough and sent the debt collectors after me. No communiqué in the meantime what so ever. No telephonic herald, no electronic mail, no facsimilia, no surly letter with reserved amounts of red ink. No Royal Messenger Pidgeon. Nothing. Nada. Diddly squat. F%$k all. Or as footballists would say F.A.

So straight to the arse as it were: ‘you owe us lots of money, so were going to come round and seize what paltry possessions you do have and when we realise that you are poor and have no material wealth we will take our toll in blood.’ God save Her Graciousness.

Some might say I was a little bemused by this. Some might say I was a little outraged by this. While others will say I went postal and carved up the nearest hamlet and drowned them all in a flood of carnage, blood and bile.

But I did none of those things really, fun though it might have been. Instead I sat down with another borrowed cellular telecommunications device and set about sourcing the bottom line in all this nonsense. Easier said than done. Let. Me. Tell. You.

Is it/ was it a problem on Collecticas’ part? The DVLAs part? The benefits people’s part? Who knows? And to this day I still don’t. Because it didn’t matter who I called or who I even got through to or passed about by-

They don’t know their own departmental names! They don’t know their job titles or who their colleagues are! They don’t know what their voice mail/ switch bored messages say or what those numbers even are! They don’t know which department deals with what!

Who am I supposed to trust? Who am I supposed garner advice from?

OX CAM

Baby Jesus knows how many hours and ‘mobile-minutes’ have been wasted going round and round and round just trying to get through to someone who at least knows what I’m talking about.

I’ve spoken to hundreds of people and amassed and complied quite a tomb of names, reference and account numbers – I’ve realised Customer Service really isn’t the government’s thing, especially when giving back money. Bizarrely enough Collectica were quite approachable, who would have thought- eventually, when the immediate staff person I’m talking to finally realises they’re not going to be verbally abused and I’m not a psycho they finally relinquish their name and we established rapport. They can be quite courteous, respectful and helpful. Well, helpful up to a point…helpful as far as they can…we go round again, no one knows who is to blame, no one knows their own name, what their job entitles, where they live, what they had for breakfast etc.

‘What? Money? You want it…back?’

What if I had been a dear, sweet, old lady with an infirm heart and an even in-firmer bowel tract? Or perhaps any person unfortunate enough to be incapacitated in whatever capacity so that they were unable to work? Perhaps even someone of a nervous disposition? Doesn’t bare contemplating…

But let’s spin on just a bit. Eventually I got through to someone who knew what I was talking about, who knew what they were talking about and who knew how to remedy it. God bless America. Or Engtain. Britland. Whatever. He said just relax and we’ll pay you back quickly in instalments. Sorted. Let it lie.

Now let’s spin on a few months to now. Right this minute. I try to procure nourishment and sustaining beverages from a local comestibles purveyor. The little magic card of wizardry gets declined. I instantly get some concerned communications from my bank-persons urging me to speak with them as I have inadvertently raped and pillaged my ‘current account’, something called an ‘over draft’ (again, I think it’s something to do with my oxen’s tail pipes, but who knows) and it’s ‘overdraft limit’. To an insurmountable tune.

I panic. I weep. I leave the premises humiliated and embarrassed but more importantly: without a single drop of wine to bolster my nerve. I then proceed to go back through months and months of bank and benefit statements trying to find out where the issue is.

Turns out nothing happened. Not one bean was reimbursed. And I only found that out by calling all the people, places and department I previously had and going round and round and round and round and round again…so it appears…’whoever’ messed up again and the right paper work wasn’t even sent through and yada, yada, yada…

I am now two months in to debt with my bank-person-bloke because of the over payment to Collectica (including their astonishing ‘Admin. Fee’) which I didn’t need to make and subsequent bank charges from my ‘overdraft’ and further violation of its ‘limits’. Sigh.

I try my utmost to never asked anything from anyone in my life, but now I’m asking for something I’ve certainly never had the Gaul to ask for before, ever (what with being British) – an apology!

But I put it to you: Do you think I deserve an apology? Do you think an apology should have been forth coming without me having to rant about it and waste my time, energy, phone bills and already stretched sanity?

If the answer is yes to any of those questions, then I should proceed…But then, hang on…who do I ask an apology of?…

Believe me I’m not about to spend the next full week of my life phoning round to get some damn answers and going stir cray-cray in the process.

So therefore I’m going to do the only thing I can do and that thing is to make a special Satyr post ranting about it instead…oh look, yay me!

Kindest regards

A poor goat boy.

FANTASY FARCE: On A Pig Hunt

Another extract from the same, similarly titled huge piece that will probably never see the light of day in its entirety.

 

FANTASY FARCE: On a Pig Hunt

     ‘Gretchen, it’s still dark outside. Surely I need to be able to see our quarry in order to shoot it.’ Burr stumbled down the rickety tavern steps, ricocheted of a dozing horse’s bottom and landed face down in the muddy and empty street. The elven hunter, who was casually checking her fletches, rolled her eyes and sighed.

‘I told you we were getting up early’ she began, in that slow, monotonous droning Burr had come assume was how all elves spoke. ‘The best hunting is at dawn and dusk. And It is going to take us a while…well, you a while, to waddle out to the forest.’

The fat man lifted his grimy head from a puddle ‘But I’m still half drunk! All the delicious woodland creatures will hear me a mile off!’

‘And smell you…’ said Gretchen, soothing the startled horse. ‘Well it’s your own fault. I told you to get an early night. But instead you squandered the last of your time and coin on filthy rot gut and filthier floozy’s.’

Burr had managed to get a leg up under himself and was just gearing himself for the final heave toward verticality ‘Hey, I am a man!’ he panted. ‘A roguish, alpha-bull! I need to range and strut about my territory hollering and such…’

‘Quite. I am not sure I agree with any part of that statement, however this is precisely one of the reasons why we are out here in the first place. You have never slain anything wilder than a bacon sandwich. From adolescence, pauper or prince, my kin learns to track, kill, clean and cook his or her own food. And nothing goes to waste.’

Exhausted, Burr gave up trying to right himself and elected merely to fall sideways in the foetus position with a wet splat. Wheezingly, he rejoindered ‘Well back where I’m from all a young buck needs in order to provide for himself is a smartphone and the Just Eat app. either that or a conveniently localized fridge and microwave.’

Continue reading…

Kind regards

The Satyr

Satyr Strips: Strident Sparrows

A week or three ago I mentioned in passing the colony of barbaric sparrows ruling the roost from the eves of my cottage. Now as spring is marching its way back through the desolation of winter the tiny, seemingly diminutive creatures have gone into overdrive. Their activities and most noticeably their noise has increased elevenfold.

What are they doing up there?

To demonstrate their demonic ways I have stripped them in cartoon form thus:

snow satyr

Mining

Rat Drawn Chariot

captain-jack.jpeg

Regards

The Satyr

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