Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day Three--Hundred-Twelve: What a Boar

Hey, diary? Remember how I came across a bear in the woods a few days ago? And it was rather a pleasant fellow? Turns out it's not the only creature out there to sport goodwill towards mankind.

As you may recall, Libby asked for a survey of the trees nearby. We need to figure out if they're appropriate for buildin' 'n stuff, and Grylock, Ed and me agreed to go along and defend her in case of trouble. Because, y'know, a bent goblin, a thin-limbed bard and a wimpy mayor are good bodyguards for a buff carpenter who single-handedly fought her way into, and out of, a castle full of monsters.

While pregnant.

Yeah. My wife, she is a tough douche.

We set out shortly after lunch, a scrumptious meal of deep-fried leaves covered in maple syrup. The noble with the animal hats took on the job of babysitting Grayson, as Libby was opposed to taking him into the forest, and the last I saw of the little tyke before we got back was a glimpse of the woman's hat floating off her head while Grayson pointed and laughed.

SO YEAH, into the forest we went. Libby took the lead, Grylock stuck to the rear, Ed and I wedged ourselves into the middle. We are unabashed cowards, 'specially when we're accompanied by a brute of a woman and a goblin who may or may not be some kind of assassin-diplomat. (Seriously, I saw Grylock peg a bird in mid-flight with a blow gun the other day. He's good.)

The forest was much as it had been the last time we visited, the leaves falling and the trees growing high over us. Libby seemed pleased almost immediately upon entering, as redwoods are apparently great for construction material. These ones were also in great condition, still relatively young and strong. She figured we'd have no trouble making a village out of 'em.

Could we make EVERYTHING out of them? Of course not. Not according to Libby. She's a connoisseur, y'see, and she likes a nice variety of woods in her furniture. She'd long ago pounded it into me that not all woods are equal: some are hard and sturdy, some soft and pliable, some aromatic, some smelly as shit, some pleasing to the eye, some purely practical. I dunno what the difference is between any of 'em, so I smile and nod and let her have her way.

Ed, uh, tried to argue that we needn't be so picky. She caught him one in the gut. Poor guy, he woofed so painfully. You don't tell Libby that trees are all the same, you just don't.

You may recall, diary, that the forest is on a bit of a slope. A shaded valley runs through the middle of it, and the trees get much denser the further in you go. Libby figured there must be some different trees further in, so she wanted to take a long trip into the valley to see what was available. Fine, dear, lead on.

… only we didn't get that far. We were stopped long before we hit the valley, stopped by a most unexpected sight that forced us to head back to Pubton.

We'd halted for a pee break - Grylock drinks WAY too much, and is always having to piss - when Edmund, strumming on his magical growing lute, suddenly pointed through the trees.

"There! There! 'tis wild movement over yonder! /
Let's hide, let's go, there isn't time to ponder!"

Ed and I ducked behind trees. Libby craned her neck to get a better look at whatever Ed had spotted, not caring enough to hide. Grylock came for a look as well, forgetting to lace up, and we all had to yell at him. Gods, he was still dripping. What a foul little man.

A few tense seconds later, we heard the light tread of feet on wet leaves. Grylock, sneaking forward a few paces, lifted his nose and sniffed. His eyebrow went up, and he looked back at us, lip twisting upward in what I imagine was bewildered confusion. 

"What is it?" I whispered.

"Uh…" He took another sniff. "A whole lotta wet fur?"

More movement ahead. The footsteps got louder, more pronounced, more numerous, accompanied by light squeals and snorts and hard breaths. We began to edge away, Edmund taking the lead, back towards Pubton -

- and then the first boar broke out of the trees ahead, its knobby snout sliding out from behind a redwood. It was sniffing the ground carefully, rooting through the leaves with its tusks. It rounded the tree, followed by another, smaller, perhaps younger. And behind that another. And another. And another. All carefully slipping through the forest in a long, graceful conga line, holding one another's tails in their mouths, as if to keep from getting lost.

Libby tried to duck behind a tree, perhaps finally sensing that boars were not to be trifled with. She was too late, though, and the lead boar spotted her leg. It lifted its head and squealed, and the whole pack went stiff. After several seconds of hesitation and careful observation, they charged.

But… politely so. Excitedly.

The boars, still in a line, trotted gaily through the forest, snorting happily as they came towards us. I swear the one at the head of the pack was smiling with that big, ugly mouth. It wandered up to Libby's hiding spot and nudged at her leg, presenting its furry ears. Carefully, after a moment of consideration - she'd been wondering whether or not to punch the beast - Libby reached down and scratched behind one ear. It purred.

What. The. Hell.

We left the forest that day with two-dozen boars at our heels, every one of them prancing merrily. The one in front even allowed Grylock to ride on its back. When we reached the outskirts of town we found three farmers waiting for us, all newcomers, who'd heard about our boars… and wanted to rear them for us, in exchange for a part of the community. How in the hell…?

I… I don't know what's happening today. We now have a population of boars living with us, for NO REAL REASON that I can figure out, and they're already cared for by farmers. Granted, most of the 'care' comes from the forest, 'cause one of the farmers told me that boars can be left to forage on their own, and only need occasional attention… but… still…


What the helllllllll…?


Dragomir the Surveyor


  1. What the hell indeed. Maybe there will be bacon.

  2. I'm oddly reminded of the Addams Family Values "Eat Me" song preformed by the turkeys (via Pugsley) that were so willing to get killed and maimed so they could be the first Thanksgiving feast...