January 1, 2011

Starting in the Middle of the Story

I blame myself...
If I had been more help to Gimbledorf things may not have gotten so far out of hand.  It all started when he began the autumn round up of the wild straws on the hill behind our little farm.  The bear had been causing a lot of destruction and the straws were afraid of being trampled.  You can't really blame them but if they weren't so nasty folks might be more inclined to help.  When Gimbledorf talked to Renard and his friends, they all agreed that the straws would be safer on the top of the hill where he could keep an eye on them. 
Of course they weren't thinking of the turkey.  If anything can scratch up the forest floor, it's a turkey.
The rain made walking harder for the straws and things were moving slowly.  Gimbledorf had sent word to his cousin, Nutledge, who lives on the next hill.  The idea was to bring the two herds together for the winter months.  That way they could keep the group a little tighter during the chaos of hunting season when the forest would be overrun with hunters for about 6 weeks.  Nutledge left his straws with his family until the roundup was over.  Since these straws are from the back woods, they were a little more unruly because they don't live in a populated area so they're not used to being near big people.
And that's when the trouble began.  The turkey, growing bold because of the bounty of autumn berries and seeds, moved in closer to Nutledges's home scaring the straws who were corralled there.  They began to panic and stampeded right through the fence into the grapevines where they scattered far and wide.  The family didn't know what to do.  The only ones at home were the younger dwarves and their mama.  Papa was out hunting.  So by the time anyone had figured out what to do, the straws were long gone.  Now if it had been Gimbledorf's herd, it might not have been so bad but as I mentioned, these straws were a little more on the wild side.
Most folks in the neighborhood aren't aware of the straws.  In fact, outside the world of faerie, there aren't many of us who know they exist.  Well, for that matter, there aren't many who know there are dwarves in the neighborhood either.  We may be the only family they've chosen to reveal themselves to, so far.  So you can imagine when the little teeth marks on their doors and the holes in their tomatoes started appearing over night, they thought they were being attacked by rodents. Dogs were posted near doors, traps were set and cats were put in the garden and worst of all...poison bait was put out.  The war had begun.
Now up to this point, the folks around here seemed to exist fairly well with all the critters in the forest. Except the marauding raccoons who've raided my chicken coop on more than one occasion.  That's where I draw the line but that's another story. 
Of course the straws steer clear of the chickens for obvious reasons.  Still, if left to their own devices, they can really stir up trouble in a normally peaceful neighborhood.  As a result of the big people's revenge on what they thought were the culprits, the animals who usually ignored the straws were on the rampage.  The only thing that kept the straws alive was the fact that they are so skinny and can hide behind anything.  Well, that and the animals respect for Gimbledorf.  He'd always tried to keep peace on our hill and in the valley beyond that are shared by the dwarves, the animals and the straws.

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