Finally, we get to the end of this tale, just in time for St. Swithin’s Day. I thought it would never come. If it rains today, it will continue for the next 39 days.
Are you ready to meet the Lupine? Do you have an axe, or some suitable weapon? Then you are not ready.
We’d been flying for many hours when a thought occurred to Scalzi. “Wil,”
he said, cautiously, “You don’t have a weapon!”
“I know.” He looked embarrassed. “I have a small hunting knife, but, I
didn’t expect to get involved with fighting the thing. I don’t even own a
Scalzi thought a minute. “We need to get you something you can use from
the top of the Catalypse. A spear would work. We should stop at the Mart
“The Mart of Wal? I hate that place. They have horrible business
practices, and their shops are crowded and merchandise is always on the
“Do you know of another place to get a weapon? It’d take a blacksmith days
to make one, and he’s going to charge you top coin for it.”
“Craftsmanship is worth the price!”
“I think I know why your people wanted to be rid of you.”
“KIDS! Don’t make me stop this cat! If I have to pull this cat over, both
of you are in serious trouble.” Time to remind them who was really in
charge of this mission. “Look. We all agree that Wil’s plan to leave
without taking a weapon was idiotic…” Wil looked ready to kill. Too bad
stabbing me was out of the question. It’s good to be the shirt. “… and
we all agree Wil needs to have a spear. Let’s just get one and get it over
The two sat in sullen silence while we descended to the village to get a
spear. It was a roky evening, and the mist made it difficult to land, but once we did, we found a nice, reasonably priced spear, purchased it and got back
in the air. Wil complained that adventures are expensive. No, it really
doesn’t matter where we got it. Nosy.
The Catalypse soon picked up the trail of the Lupine. We wanted to get a
good sense of the lair, and plan our attack. There wasn’t much to plan. In
the end we went with Wil’s suggestion that Scalzi fight on the ground so
that it was easier to flank the invisible creature. Something about
Everyone took their places, and waited for Herb to tell me when the Lupine
was near to spring our trap. We did not wait long.
On my signal, the team attacked. Scalzi swung his axe furiously in the
direction I’d indicated. Wil held the pointy end of the spear towards the
same invisible target, while the Catalypse pounced. As the Lupine became
injured, the wounds become visible, and the blood gave us all a target.
It was over in minutes. When the creature finally lost the battle, it
became completely visible. It had the face and torso of a wolf, but its
hind-end was like a horse.
So what if there was no treasure to loot? The menace was defeated.
We flew Herb back to his home. Last I heard, he’d settled down and had
quite the brood.
Though Wil and Scalzi sometimes argued, they had become friends. Someone said it was just like Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra. Someone got a slap to the mouth.
Me, I was returned to the Oracle and forgotten, while those ungrateful
jerks toured around the country, making huge speaker fees recounting their
adventure in front of audiences grateful to live in a world without the
Lupus Lupine. They don’t even bother to send Christmas cards.
No matter. The world will now know about my part in the defeat of a
terrible enemy, and how it was saved by a talking clown sweater.
And that’s the end of that. Happy St. Swithin’s Day.
roky / row – KEY / misty, foggy, cloudy. This one is kinda obscure, even for me. It’s one of those words you’ll find in provencial parts of England. But, as St. Swithin was a Bishop in Winchester (UK) and is considered a “weather prophet” and the guy to direct drought-related prayers, well, it seemed appropriate to pick a weather-related word from the UK.
And, if you’re as much of a Simpson’s geek as I am, you’re possibly remembering that Bart commented on the appearance of kippers for breakfast, asking if it was St. Swithin’s day already. This is because it’s a British slang term for the day that never comes, as in “Oh yeah, they’ll have that done on St. Swithin’s Day.”