The next morning Bedrich wakes up early and has a large breakfast with the Psychais. It was a lovely breakfast of crepes with whipped cream and strawberries. Bedrich loved his sweets and filled his belly with as many crepes as he could eat. When the time came, he thanked his hosts and continued on his way. As he sailed through the swamp he felt uneasy as if someone was watching him. He looked around but saw nothing unusual. Maybe it was his nerves since he has never crossed this swamp before.
He heard the usual sounds of a swamp; the croaking of frogs, mosquitos, herons, and woodpeckers. He also saw the usual sights of a swamp; snakes, crocodiles, newts, water striders, and snapping turtles. He saw other things too. A one point he even saw eyes above the water, watching him pass by. Not the eyes of a crocodile but these eyes were larger and redder and deadlier. Bedrich wondered if he should worry. Suddenly, his boat comes to a stop. He had finally reached land. He jumps out of his boat and takes a few steps when he sees a man with a broad hat, a cloak and a staff. He approaches the man. “Why, hallo, Odin,” Bedrich greets the man.
Odin turns to address the little brownie, “Hallo, Bedrich.” Most would have jumped at the sight of Odin’s face. He wasn’t hideous at all but he was missing an eye and it its place was an empty black socket. Odin was a friendly old man. He knew every creature in the lands and protected ever animal in the woods. He was a humble man who lived in a cave. By no means he was not hermit and though he lived a life a solitude he enjoyed the company of people who visited him. Odin was an enigmatic man most people assumed he was a wizard.
“What brings you around to these part of the woods?” Bedrich says.
“Oh, yes, well, I’ve noticed a swamp here. Strange, isn’t it? I woke up one morning walked out of my cave and saw this. It appeared overnight. I’ve been trying to figure out where it came from. I must have been sleeping soundly because I did not hear a thing.”
“It is strange. I have been through these woods for many years and never encountered such a thing. I met up with the Psychais who live there now. “
“Do they?” Odin said in surprise. “Why the move?”
“Their home was destroyed by a crocotta.”
“A crocotta! Dear my. I thought they were extinct.”
“They thought so too. Until it attacked them. They fled and came upon the swamp and have made their home in there.”
“Interesting to know. Where are you heading now, Bedrich?”
“I was going to see you about the swamp.”
“Well, I wish I knew more,” Odin said. “Come to think of it, something like this happened many years ago near a friends home but sadly my friend disappeared before I could discover anything about the swamp. Sadly, the swamp dried up… I believe it is time for me to make my home somewhere else before it swallows me up. I advise you to move on, Bedrich.” Odin walked away.
Bedrich stood staring at the swamp for a moment. Something did not seem right about that swamp. Then he saw the eyes again, from the water, watching him. Legend of Archibal
to be continued….