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Chapter 4: In The Woods With Woodies
“Tis true, I tell ya. The fourlegs got themselves a new whosit. He got there today. Saw him wit’ me own dear eyes I did, Sol.”
“Ah, yer sure it’s he, are ye Nedrick? This one’ll be the new protector? The conestibble I tink they call ‘em.“
Sol leant in closer to his woodsbrother, Ned, and whispered, “He’ll be gone in a right hurry once I get to ‘em.”
The two Woodies clasped hands and danced a brief celebratory jig together. This got them so excited they ran off into the bushes and pleasured each other, which was a common event as the Woodies were the horniest creatures on New Centauri, even to the point of sporting a set of small dark horns on their curly haired heads.
Some claimed that woodies developed horns because of their frequent sexual endeavors. The greater the horns, the more sex business they’d been engaged in. Ned and Sol were mere lads as far as the woodie community was concerned so their horns were still on the wee side. The two had minds made up to grow a sturdy set in record time.
The elders laughed at such folly knowing darn well that their best efforts, no matter how frequent and lusty, had failed to ever produce anything like those worn on the statue of the grand progenitor, Megansi. His horns curled back into circles. They were magnificent and unlike any woodsbrother had either seen or ever produced himself. Only a god among the peoples would possess such amazing headgear.
Ned and Sol laughed as they made their way to the forelegs village. They enjoyed nothing as much as running off the fourlegs from the Forest of Drappil. The fourlegs belonged out on the plains and away from their sacred forest. It had been a constant job fending the large lugs off. For young woodsbrothers it was a badge of honor to succeed at driving off a protector, a right of passage. It had been so for uncounted cycles.
Sol had quick success with the last constable. The fellow was no match for a wily woodsbrother. He had been amused that such a small fourleg, such a weak one, had the temerity to believe he was suited to be anyone’s protector.
“So what became of the last constable, Cyrus?”
Shay had wondered why such a quiet community needed a constable to begin with. Were the taurs a drunken and rowdy lot come nightfall? And where were the good citizens now at the middle of a beautiful warm day? Were they all hiding? Or did their work draw them away from town? But that wouldn’t explain why the shops on the main street were darkened and closed.
“Och, the fella had no stomach fer ta hart work. Couln’ be bothered confrontin’ ta menace in ta Fores’ o’ Drappil. But never ya mind ‘bout tat now, Good Saur. All tings in due time, eh?” Cyrus rubbed his big mitt across Shay’s neck and smiled coyly.
The more Cyrus handled Shay the less he could stay focused on the real business of settling in. He felt a pressing need that threatened to overwhelm him lest it was fulfilled. If Cyrus touched him again he didn’t know what he’d do.
The constabulary was just off the main street. It was small wood frame building with a large door and one shuddered window. Cyrus unlocked the door while Shay stood back visually inspecting the surroundings. There were many small shrubby trees to the back of the building, but he could see a thatched roofline just through their purple and red leaves. That must be the constable’s quarters.
Cyrus opened the shutters and let light flood into the office. There were few amenities to be seen. No clock on the wall. No pictures of politicians or flags standing in the corner. No “Seal of The Great State of”. There was nothing signifying any real constable’s presence in the place. It could have been a room devoted to any endeavor. He’d have to change that soon.
There was a tall counter obviously meant for addressing the business at hand. No desk and no chairs. Shay had to get used to the fact that taurs didn’t need chairs. If they had need of such things they would be prohibitively large and space consuming. Most of the time you stood or sat back on yer hind except when you were sleeping, but even resting could happen while you stood still.
There was a small clay lamp like something he’d have expected in the ancient Mediterranean area, but not here. He reached over to it and, not realizing it had some sort of oily substance smeared on it, he almost dropped the lamp. He stumbled and caught it just before it hit the floorboards.
“I’m goin’ ta be havin’ words wit’ Fiona I see. Sa little in here ta da and she misses cleanin’ ta lamp. Sorry, Mr. Sundowner. Tis na way ta greet a new constable.”
“Call me Shay, please. I’m not on duty yet. And don’t be too hard on your Fiona. I don’t want to be starting off on the wrong hoof, so to speak.
Cyrus, I’m curious. This is the constabulary, right?”
“Ta one and only one, Mr. Sundowner, Saur.”
“Well, where are the holding cells?” Cyrus face was a blank. “The jail? You do have a jail of sorts, don’t you?”
“A jail ya say. I don’ know as I’ve ever herta such a thin. What would i’ be fer?”
“When someone misbehaves or causes problems what do you do with them?” Shay was working hard not to betray incredulity. Was it possible to be so primitive that you never locked up offenders?
“Oh, we take ‘em ou’ ta stocks on ta edge o’ toon. They spend ta night or two locked in a verra uncomfortable position. Takes ‘em a good few days ta sort out ta pain o’ that experience, I tell ya. Only a fooltaur would act up again after that.”
“I see. You will take me out to see these stocks later, please. Am I to assume the constable’s quarters are out that back door and past the trees?”
Cyrus lead the way and Shay found himself standing in what was to be his new home, a lovely two-level cottage. There were straw mats on the floor and large patterned cloth pillows stored in a pile in the far corner of the room under a ramp. The ramp led up to a loft where he could see a large mattress of some sort. He was certain this was his new bed. It was large enough to sleep two big taurs. A feature he felt he would soon be grateful for.
“The pump house and dung hopper are off yonder there.” Cyrus motioned thru a rear window he had yet to open. “Down this ramp here is a cool cellar to store yer goods and foodstuffs. You’ll need ta keep ta door locked when ya aren’t in. The woodies are verra wily thieves.“
“Woodies?” Were these some sort of fox or raccoon-like critter?
“Were there na woodies where ya hailed from then, Mr. Sundowner?”
Shay noticed that Cyrus’s accent had devolved his name into “soondooner”. He found the pronunciation both unusual and charming. “ Not that I know of, Cyrus.”
“Ah, then you’re in fer a real treat. The woodsfolk are ta true menace ‘round these parts. Did na one tell ya ‘bout ‘em? Well, they shoulda! They single-handedly drove of Mr. Fairboraugh, they did. But he was little use ta begin with. They half as much did us a service, if you ask me.”
I suppose I should have known to expect complications. What with a quiet and pretty little town with no visible inhabitants save a single overly friendly and randy barkeep. Yep, there had to be something amiss or why would I be sent here? Woodie Realtions 101. It looks like I’m expected to write the manual on the subject. I hope the term “menace” is just a liberal exaggeration.
“I’ll be off ta get ta others now. Now tha’ we have our new constable. Ya must be tired from your journey. Tere’s a jug for water in ta cupboard thar and if you need ta ge’a few winks ya know where ta bed is.”
Shay stood dumbfounded in the middle of the floor.
He’s gone off to get the townsfolk. Where have they been? They’ve been in hiding after all! What could possibly be such a major problem that all the taurs had to leave their homes and town? Are these woodies more monsters than he’s been told?
He shook his head and tried to not let his mind carry him off to foredrawn conclusions. There had to be at least semi-reasonable answers. For the moment he needed to get a little rest before all of Taur’s Prairie descended upon him. He carried his pack and walking staff up to his bedroom and tested the mattress. It was like baby bear’s porridge in the Goldilocks tale, just right; neither too firm nor too soft. Good. At least one thing was completely satisfactory. He closed his tired eyes and fell of into a deep sleep.
Ned and Sol stood quietly in the woods just past the Constable’s Cottage. When they weren’t rubbing each other they’d been listening to the conversation the big grey fourleg and the new protector—the muscular, sexy taur both of them had imagined playing with—had been engrossed in.
Sol had listened for any clues to deal with the disposal of Mistah Soondooner. One thing he had already ascertained was the fourleg was no easy pushover. Some fourlegs must have figured out they’d need to send along a more powerful fella to deal with their “woodie problem”. Sol felt flattered that such a worthy foe was his competitor. Frankly, the last bloke had been way too easy to scare of. Soondooner was going to be a challenge. But a good challenge was something he was up for– literally and figuratively. He smiled at Ned who now had a tight grasp on his rising mast. Yea, I’m up for whatever he can deliver.
Copyright 2012 by G. W. German. All Rights Reserved. No part of this work my by republished without the express consent of the author.