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Satyr Tales

Twisted stories to amuse and confuse.

Evie and the Faerie Queen

Oh gosh, now is the time i suspect. New year, new horizons and hopefully a Publishing Agent to wrangle. Time to up the game…lets roll out the big guns…

Beholden! The first 3 chapters of my young Adult novella, complete with disclaimer (because I have to) and hastily scribbled illustrations.

Please click the link below to open this tale in PDF:

efq_chapters 1_3

Enjoy!

The Satyr

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Audiobook: Mum and the Messy Monster (Children’s Picture Book)

Hello you fine, fine people. And welcome to spring!

Please enjoy the final release of Mum and the Messy Monster. Play it to your little ones.

As originally intended, dedicated to Boof.

Mum and the Messy Monster

 

Kindest of regards,

The Satyr

Audio Books on Youtube!

Lawks! Behold readers! One has achieved a remarkable feat for such a techno-phobic forest dwelling goat boy, I’m on you tube!

There’s a good hand full of short fiction audio books already up there, mostly for young adults, but given time I shall convert all my pieces into audio format. WATCH THIS SPACE!

They are lovingly read by my good self or some other poor fool I’ve cajoled into doing it for me much more professionally. They also feature concept art and pretty pictures from either myself or some other like minded lovely person who has donated.

Question:

Does your phone or tablet keep getting wet whilst trying to read Satyr Tales at the same time as doing the washing up? Now you can have me read to you!

Fed up of crashing your car or bicycle into a hedge every time you need to swipe a screen on the latest silly tale from the Satyr? No fret, just let me read it to you! Hands free!

Fed up of listening to inane, repetitive commercial clap trap on your iPod whilst exercising? Say no more! Satyr Tales Audio is for you!

Observe:

Enjoy readers and listening, my gift to you! All I ask of in return is that you like, share, subscribe and comment.

Kindest regards

The Satyr

Fantasy Farce: Riskitt’s Gold

The whole never-ending maze felt like they were crawling section by section, compartment to compartment through one massive rusting machine. Or perhaps through the internal systems of some great, slumbering, ancient and infirm monster. Complete with associate smells and leaky bits.

The uniform, block stone walls were slick and sticky from insect poo and mould. The wreak of ancient air, harsh metal and good oil was practically edible.

There was a permanent sound track to their progress, a detached underlying bass hum. Always one persistent, dramatic, foreboding note constantly just on the edge of auditory periphery. This was accented every so often by a burp of escaping gas or wheeze of steam; either that or the occasional muffled rumble as chunks of either stone or metal moved about unseen.

To Burrs heightened and already frayed senses he half expected a massive foamy tongue or tsunami of fizzy stomach acids to come slurping round the next corner or out of the next door.

Normally his usually amiable Dwarfish associate would be very happy and very much at home here. But due to Burrs anxious presence he was very much not. Burr turned his attention back to said squat engineer who had finally calmed down enough to allow actual words and sentences to form. To Burr, it sounded like a distant thunderstorm gathering up all its pent up wrath…

‘…Burr, I have the patience of one of those Sunna Saints of yours.’ The dwarf’s eyes were tightly closed and his whole body was so rigid he vibrated. The storm grew more fractious and rumbled ever nearer. He continued, ‘I’ll have you know that I can hold my focus and nerve even when bombs are dropping and enemies are at large at my back and Mother Nature is doing her best to lay us low…’

‘Yes, I’m sorry, Bottkrak. It’s just…’

The storm was very much overhead and all enveloping…

‘…But what does send me kilter out of kelter is when I’m doing fine locksmith work like this and folk are whining and whinging and pacing up and down and asking me ‘HOW LONG NOW?’

The dwarf finally opened his fierce eyes and pointed a wide, hairy, grubby, stubby finger into the fat man’s face and bellowed ‘One break in my concentration and we’ll both be horrifically killed in milliseconds! But anymore crap, Pork Glugger and I’m going to take great pleasure in breaking this door down with your head. Understand?’

All of a once the storm broke, either that or Burr was luckily in the eye of it. The light spatter of the commencing precipitation cooled his forehead. Or maybe that was just his ‘I’m soon to be dead’ sweat pouring down his forehead.

‘Yes, of course. I’m so sorry, it’s just I’m a little nervous. He stammered. ‘And hungry. And thirsty…And cold.’

The oppresive gathering of dark clouds blew out of the many stony cracks and crevices then made a hasty retreat presumably toward the horizon; That  just left the pair of them in that tiny, dark, dank, dirty room.

‘As am I, Lardicus. As am I.’ rumbled the dwarf turning back to his work his anger apparently spent. ‘Hell of a thust on me. Haven’t had a beer in nigh-on a day and a night. But soon as I’m through this door everything will be well. Now concentrate, Plumper; pass me the three-quater inch Cocksprocket.’

‘I’m afraid I don’t know what a Cocksprocket looks like’ whined Burr, gingerly poking around in the Dwarfs’ expansive armour-plated tool box. ‘Is this it?’ he said hopefully, holding up something drippy with some sort of nozzle flapping about on top.

‘By Bumgrims Red Hot Poker, buck up man!’ there again, that distant rumble of thunder. ‘How have you gone through life this clueless? Do you want to get out of here this year? Alive? With all your limbs on the right way?’

‘Sorry, I’ve had no real experience in tinkering or machinery. These tools are all so strange to me.’

The short man gawked at the fat man. ‘You mean to tell me that you haven’t so much as changed a wheel on a horse cart before? I don’t know anyone who hasn’t changed the wheel on a cart before. Won’t get very far in life not knowing how to change the wheel on a horse cart.’

‘Well no, see, where I’m from horse and carts aren’t really used anymore.’

‘What? Why? How are you supposed to get your beer from the brewery to the tavern then?’

‘Erm. Well, by a wheeled mechanical device; a combustion engine I believe it’s called.’

The crouching dwarf turned again and raised a shaggy eye brow. He waved a pointy ended tool in Burrs general direction. ‘I know what’cha mean, one of them new steam powered buggers, eh. Trains and barges and such?’

‘Sort of, it’s called a car!’

‘Oh, well that’s more like it. Thank Bonki’s Hammer Head, you had me worried then. Hold up…’ The brazen beardy bastard paused his work once more. ‘So you can change a wheel on one o’ them contraptions but not on a horse cart?’

‘Well, no actually. Neither really.’

The dwarf’s eyes rolled around the places on his head where hair was slightly less prolific. ‘Useless. Utterly useless.’ He grumbled as he returned to technical in hand. ‘My kin have yet to develop a word to chastise folk like you, Burr. Simply because we’ve never met anyone like you before. Remind me why the Companionship took you into the fold again?’

Burr took a deep breath of the thin, fetid air: ‘Because if you don’t see that I’m safely home soon your world and all you’ve ever know will cease to exist and the very fabric of space, time and reality will rip itself apart in a cataclysm of fire, light and blood…Apparently.’

‘Hm. Well. I suppose you’re right there, Bloatling. Well, hold up then and let me concentrate. Otherwise this cataclysm of yours is going to arrive before we’ve even got out of here.’

***

rg_origconcept
Original Concept Sketch.

After a solid half hour of abject silence and absent minded thumb twiddling Burr finally worked up the courage to attempt to break the monotony.

‘So tell me, er, Noble Dwarf, why haven’t your people developed a machine that can do all the lock picking for you? You just jam it on the door and the machine opens it for you. Or perhaps a magical teleporting machine that puts you directly into the treasure room without having to go through all this palaver?’

The dwarf turned and shot Burr a look that suggested the fat man had just asked if he could defecate in his toolbox. ‘I want no truck with that new-fangled arcane muck!’ spat the dwarf. ‘Stick to what works, says I.’

Burr gingerly lit a cigarette from his lantern. ‘But surely your people are on the cutting edge of science and technology? You should be world leaders in this sort of thing.’

‘We likes our old, tried and tested ways.’ Grumbled the beard, now with a pair of telescopic eye wear on.  ‘Every one of my people is a craftsperson in his or her own right. From the highest to the lowest. Everyone is treated as an equal. No matter their wares.’

‘Well, in that case-why don’t you simply get the biggest, oldest battering ram you’ve got, and knock the whole building down around the treasure room? The rich stuff is bound to survive somehow.’

‘By Gimley’s Stupid Name, that’d never do. That wouldn’t be right at all. Some bugger’s put all their time and effort into this stronghold and all the ingenious traps. Simply busting through the whole lot would be unthinkable. Downright uncivilised. Sacrilegious even. Furthermore, where would be the challenge?’

Burr elbowed himself off the wall to stare directly at the dwarfs busy, rippling back. ‘You mean you and your brotherhood would rather risk life and limb to obtain historic treasure in the most drawn-out obstinate way imaginable. Just to prove you could do it?’

‘Aye, Chunkster. And what, exactly, is wrong with that? Any fool can become a pick pocket or a bank robber. But it takes decades of study and practice in the art of Locksmithery to protect or expose treasures like this.

It’s an understanding we have between the guild of locksmiths and the guild of thieves. ‘They make ‘em, we break ‘em’. No funny business or half measures. S’like an unwritten law. And a dwarf’s word is his bond.’

Burr slumped wetly back against the wall as the lecture continued.

‘S’what heroin’ is all about when you get down to it: risk everything. High reward. If you fail, you weren’t good enough and you probably end up dead.’

Burr sighed rolling his eyes, ‘Wow, your people and their culture. Mind boggling. You really hate embracing the future don’t you? Surely your lot won’t get anywhere by being so close minded and unimaginative. Think outside the box once in a while!’

‘Is racist is that, Podgling. All dwarf folk are pig headed, unimaginative and uninteresting. Not just me. It’s our natural state’. The gruff beard and eyebrows returned to their diligent finger work. ‘Can’t stand folk who are racist.’

‘Apologies, Sir Dwarf. I didn’t mean it that way. Look, can’t you just cut around the lock with that sharp, shiny thingymajig?’

‘Listen here, Fatling, if I tamper anywhere else on this door it’s likely to bring the whole place down around our heads. But worse than that, this bloody thing could reset all of our previous work and I’ll get trapped in this rather confined, airless cupboard with a fat, foul smelling incompetent. Either way, we’ll never find Riskitts Gold, the King of The Southern Gate won’t get his tribute and you’ll never get home. Ah, finally!’

The mighty door swung gently open to reveal another empty, dimly lit, stone chamber. Guttering sconces on the wall exposed a haze of dust dancing around the freshly exposed room.

The dwarf knelt down, eyeing up the flag stone floor and stroking his beard. ‘Ah, cunning old devil…’

‘What, placing a room on the other side of a door? Seems a straight forward practical approach to me.’

‘Holy Oldburns’ Tobacco Pouch! I’ve got no time or patience to berate you Burr, so kindly slap yourself hard in the face and concentrate. Now listen careful, Wobbler: only tred where I tred. An inch out either side and you’ll be impaled, garrotted or cast tumbling down into oblivion.’

‘Surely not all three at once?’

‘Nay, course not. Probably just the one. As I’ve been trying t’ learn ya: This is Artyfeks Attributum, one of the best security systems of The Age. The whole place is wired. It’s not meant to be cruel. Just more of a deterrent. A highly efficient and highly lethal deterrent. Prevention is better than cure, Blobman. Stick an Artyfeks logo on the front door of anywhere and only the most skilled or stupid thieves will even go near it. She needs to be treated with the greatest of respect. Hence the time and patience needed to cajole her into opening.’

They made their way steadily across the room on tippy toes. The burly dwarf was surprisingly cat footed for such a bulky block of foul tempered hair. Meanwhile Burr had lost all sensation in his legs and every shaky step was a miraculous feat in itself.

They came at last to a short corridor that led to the final door behind which the treasure would surely be situated. Even Burr could tell it was the final door because it had a certain defiant air to it. That and the gold ornamental Pegasus and Cockatrices seemed to be taunting them from their resplendent facets. They gave the impression that they were daring the thieves to try their luck. Mounted high on the stone door frame was what appeared to be a finely wrought filigree hamster cage complete with water butt, food dispenser and chrome running wheel.

In front of the door was a pedestal, ornately wrought in gold of course, that sported a strange rectangular box with a symbolically large leaver set atop.

The dwarf unceremoniously rummaged around in his underwear and brought forth a shiny disk of gold and silver; rather like a large poker chip but with glyphs, insignia and rune in abundance. As the light from the object refracted around the room an ethereal hamster appeared in the cage, jumped on its wheel and immediately started frantically pumping its legs. Sconces about the room leapt to life blazing with an uncanny, electric blue light. Mystical runes engrave into each stone around the room erupted into life in a vein similar to that of the disk.

‘Behold, Riskitts key.’ Breathed the dwarf holding the disk aloft. ‘The one and only four dimensional key for the one and only four dimensional lock. The key cannot be copied, the lock cannot be picked. This was the pinnacle of Artyfeks craftsmanship and pride of the Locksmith’s Guild. Bloater, our quest is at an end…’

Vehemently, reverently and other such words that end in ‘ently’ the dwarf used both hands to carefully slip the disk into a slot in the box below the abnormally sized gold leaver. He gave Burr the biggest saintly smile ever, the eerie blue light reflecting in his eyes, then dutifully he pulled back the lever. There was a formidable chunk, ker-chunk, a woosh of escaping air…and all the lights went out.

There was the sound of someone struggling against the lever trying to return it to its original position. Then there was a scrabbling, scratching sound as if someone were trying unsuccessfully to poke his fingers into the box underneath the lever to retrieve the disk. Then all was quite again.

‘Bugger.’ Said the dwarf in the darkness. ‘I’m sorry, Burr. It can’t done. We’re doomed. If Riskitt’s Key doesn’t work, then all this has been for naught and we’re trapped here forever. Or until the oxygen runs out…’

‘What! Just like that?’

‘Fraid so. System overload or something. Power drain after so long out of use. Some…something like that…’

For the first time ever Burr heard the sound of a dwarf being unsure. It was so unfamiliar that he almost didn’t recognise the voice in the thick blackness. He sighed, struck a match and relit his lantern.

‘Well, luckily there is something I have learned about technology and such from back in my world.’ Chimed Burr happily.

‘It’s useless, Swill Belly, nothing can penetrate such a thing.’

‘None the less,’ said Burr confidently. He withdrew another match from its box and stepped up to the unfathomable device. He poked the match into a tiny hole beside the slit and the key popped out with a click.

The dwarfs bushy eye brows raised in astonishment.

Burr wiped both sides of the disk on his leather jerkin then blew in the slot a few times before reinserting the disk.  Finally he gave the contraption a bloody good slap with his hand.

The dwarf hissed and ducked with his hands on his cap as gears and gizmos whirled overhead. The little phantom hamster reappeared and leapt back up on its wheel and sprinted for all it was worth. The weird blue flames erupted from their sconces once again and air flew back into the room. Burr watched smiling as bolts drew back, paddles flapped away and the door opened to the serenade of well-oiled mechanics.

‘See?’ Beamed Burr. ‘Tried and tested. But thinking outside of the box.’

The dwarf solemnly removed his leather cap and wiped his brow, all the while exhaling a relieved sigh. ‘Need to change me britches…’ he mumbled to no one in particular.

Ahead of them a golden glow…a plinth carved in ancient dwarfen runic hand. A fabulous golden tankard inlaid with rubies and next to it a vast gold hooped barrel already tapped with a gold, emerald encrusted spigot.

‘Thar she blows, Fatstuff.’ Respired the dwarf wide eyed and ringing his headware through his hands. ‘Riskitt’s Gold! Hitherto untasted by mortal in over two centuries. Ha! By Grum it’ll put hairs on ye chest.’ Smacking his lips he replaced his titfer and approached the plinth. Rubbing his hand together in glee he then helped himself to the gaudy drinking vessel.

Burrs jaw suddenly dropped and his eyes narrowed as he took stock of what the dwarf had just said.

‘You mean to tell me that we just spent over twenty four hours in this filthy, airless, trap ridden, er…death trap for some sodding beer?’

The dwarf shot him a glance back of almost dumbfounded hurt. ‘Not just any old beer, Chubster. Rustikks Gold!’ he exclaimed hefting his brimming tankard as if that made it all alright. ‘The finest beer ever to come out of the Mid-Land Dwarven holds. The original brew he developed and mastered. The one all his other brews were cast from. The secrets of which are only ever passed on by word of mouth. Nothing compares! Gaah that hits the spot! Fancy one?’

‘Love to.’ Said Burr closing his eyes and gritting his teeth. ‘Provided of course that’s it’s served in your upturned fleshless skull.’

***

Kindest regards,

The Satyr

The Night Before Christmas

Merry Christmas one and all!  A revisualisation of a classic seasonal verse, with additional silliness. Its traditional, so I get to post it every year. Read it to sleepy kids.

And of course, once again, the biggest things at Christmas time are the littlest people. So this is for Jack, Martha, Ethan, Conrad, Kobe, Harrison, Albert and Grace.

 

The Night Before Christmas-Revisited

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…

Well, except for two villains, a’ prowling the night

Creeping round Old Mrs Palins’ house, led by torchlight.

 

Gary and Jordan, were a veritable pair

United in crime, clad in counterfeit sportswear

T’was that time of year again, when they must provide for their kin

All the luxuries expected, to welcome the New Year in.

 

Neither had had, a real job up to date

Preferring to sponge, off of the welfare state.

So over to the rich side, of their town every year

To pilfer some presents and other assorted gear.

 

But what the pair didn’t know, was that Grandma Palin was a witch

A peaceable respectable one, homely but not kitsch.

Indeed the seasonal bunting, was all but for show.

Being a pagan she cared little, for reindeer’s and snow.

 

But she played along every Christmas, for it was both happy and wry;

And she baked breads and cakes, for the elderly nearby.

But the men bound her to a chair, then set her aside

And carried on pillaging, without breaking stride.

24894011798_b8f389e79d_b

photo credit: JLS Photography – Alaska 24 days to Christmas . . . via photopin (license)

 

Quite rightly Grandma Palin, became quite hotly vexed

To teach these thieves a lesson, she would have them both hexed

So the old dear did mumble and an incantation she did weave

Jinxing the villains and all they touched and perceived.

 

Lo all of the plunder did significantly alter,

Into big lumps of coal causing both rogues to falter.

The burglars were enraged and turned on the old crow,

‘Turn it all back, we need gifts to bestow!’

 

Said Mrs Palin, ‘Well Mr Burglars, I would if I could.

But first I need you both, to do something good.

To atone for your crimes and lift off your curse:

Make an honest festive gesture: Open your hearts not your purse.’

 

‘To dispel my magic’s, all you need do

Is give something back, to the community you eschew.

It need not be pennies or Frankincense or gold

Merely show a little love for all to behold.’

 

But the chums would have none of it and both curtly said

‘To hell with you woman, we’d rather be dead.’

To this the witch rounded, ‘So be it, it is done!

Not a gift you will enjoy ‘til the spells’ course is run’.

 

‘Now be off with you both, for I’m a busy gel

And you and your new coal, can go burn in hell!’

The two thugs did huff, then threw down the fuel

Ridiculing the old woman and humbugging the yule.

 

So off into the night, they went in search of more stock

But alas every gift unwrapped, turned out nothing more than black rock.

The duo began to quaver, as they considered their plight

A change in plan was required, at least for this night.

 

Gary knew a charlatan who liked to prey on the Ebayer,

And Jordan went to his local, to pick up a hot DVD player.

But the pub had just closed and the hacker was asleep,

So both men moaned wretchedly and into their palms did weep.

 

Whined Jordan, ‘There’s nothing else for it, we’ll just have to submit;

Do the witches bidding, or our families will fit!’

Cried Gary, ‘Let’s do some good, for the people we’ve done wrong.

And hope to god it works or we’ll have no household to belong’.

 

So the thieves turned to thinking, a somewhat dubious notion

How to repay the town, and prove to their kin their devotion.

Hence they made a plan, both brilliant and bright

Then ran back to old Grandma Palins to set everything right.

 

Sang the Witch, ‘that’s the way lads, I knew you’d come through;

Now up and dashing both, you’ve got lots to do.’

So the pair spent the dawn, diligent on their plan

And soon it was finished with a little help from the old gran.

 

A carefully worded contract, up the witches enchanted chimney flew,

Promising their hard labour once the night’s dilemma was through;

They solemnly promised Santa, they would help him this year and the next

If he could possibly help them, what with them being both destitute and hexed.

 

High above the land, a familiar sleigh did soar,

Carrying a rosy cheeked fat man and presents galore;

Pulled by eight little reindeer, galloping on through the black,

When an unopened letter arrived, top the bearded man’s sack.

 

‘Ho, ho, ho, what be this?’ said the jolly old man.

‘A late letter to Santa? Well, I always do what do what I can.’

But then he read more closely and immediately understood

Then hastily changed course for Gary and Jordan’s neighbourhood.

 

The pair were most shocked, when Santa’s sleigh came to land

Their mouths did drop open as he proffered his hand

Their plan had worked! Who could have wondered?

Santa shook both their palms and smiled as he thundered:

 

‘Come on then lads you’d best climb aboard,

And let’s get to delivering this yule tide hoard.

There’s something for everyone, ho, ho, even your kin;

Now let’s all hustle, before they realise the trouble you’re in.’

 

So in jumped the pair and the sleigh took off at speed

So high and so fast that Gary almost wee’ed.

Back on with Santa’s rounds and the duo worked as hard as they might

Depositing gifts in stockings, throughout the rest of the night.

 

No one was left out, and some households were even repaid

To make up for the previous year’s seasonal raid.

Santa made quite sure, the pair’s homes were both filled

With everything their kin wished for, just as the contract had billed.

 

Returning to Grandma Palin, the sleigh finally empty of toys

Jolly St. Nick boomed, ‘well done, same again next year boys?’

‘Of course Mr Claus’ they replied full of cheer;

‘We can’t thank you enough, we’ll start work in the New Year.’

 

Grandma Palin was gleeful and said with a grin,

‘Glad to see you’ve learnt your lesson, now get home to you kin.’

‘We thank you too Grandma Palin, for teaching us right.’

Now Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!’

photo credit: JLS Photography – Alaska 24 days to Christmas . . . via photopin (license)

photo credit: Jutta M. Jenning Frohe Weihnachten und ein gutes Neues Jahr – Merry Christmas and a happy new Year via photopin (license)

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 couldn’t 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

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

FOX N SATYR_INKED.jpeg

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…

fox-n-satyr_inked-e1529608594885.jpeg

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!

satyr-ranbie_inked.jpeg

Kindest regards

The Satyr

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