The Legend of Archibal

Chapter 6 The Hunter

 

For the next several days the rumors of the wild wolf began to stir around town. The sheep owners were afraid, the town folk were worried but since the wolf had not yet attacked any of their sheep all they could do was fret, but one night when all was tranquil the wolf raided a sheepherder’s sheep. The man was so agitated by the whole thing he went running to the tavern to calm his nerves. Walter overheard everything from the kitchen.

“I tried to get a shot,” he staggered to say as he drank his pint of beer with feverish thirst. “It was too quick. It killed all my flock and before I shot it simply ran away. I do not even know if I hit it. It was all too quick. I am still shaking, look at my hands, look at my hands!”

The other patrons started talking loudly among each other, they were now concerned. “It is just a wolf,” said one of the men. “A lone wolf, nothing to fear.”

“It was quick,” mumbled the poor sheep herder. “Too quick.”

“I’ve killed coyotes and foxes,” said another. “A lone wolf is nothing I can’t deal with.”

“A lone wolf without its pack is vulnerable,” said someone else.

“What gun were you using?” said one more. “Only a good gun will kill wolves.”

“I’ve got nothing ter fear,” spoke another. “Nothing scares me, not even a wolf. I could easily catch that wolf and hang his head on my mantle.”

“Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!” all the man agreed in unison.

“Let’s go now and hunt him!” said a patron finishing his beer, but that proved to be harder than they thought. Night after night, they failed to kill the wolf and soon things got worse. More and more sheep herders were losing their sheep and the worst part was that nobody was able to shoot a bullet. They were frozen in fear but nobody would admit to it, instead they all gathered in the tavern to drink away their defeats. Fear spread like wildfire among the herders and hunters alike, but fear also took over the town’s people. What were they to do if nobody was able to stop this mad wolf? What would happen next if the wolf decided to attack them? The tavern was filled with discouraged men. Their courage had vanished and now terror filled their thoughts.

The Legend of Archibal

“I saw smoke coming from the Black Forest. Is she the one that lives there?”

“Well,” Jacobi fumbled with his words. “Of course. How do you know about the witch?”

“A friend of mine told me about the witch,” Walter said.

“Of course you know about the witch,” Jacobi smiled.

“Can I come too, Jacobi?”

“My dear where I am going is no place for a boy,” Jacobi said. “If the Crocotta smelt you it will not hold back. Especially, if nobody knows you are missing.”

Walter felt a bit disappointed and Jacobi must have noticed it. “I tell you what,” Jacobi said. “Next time I come around, you can come with me.”

“Really?”

“Of course, I always keep my promises,” Jacobi smiled at him. He said goodbye to Walter and with five hops he vanished through the rats’ hole. He was tempted to follow but he was afraid to come face to face with the Crocotta again and as Jacobi said would not suppress his urges.