The Legend of Archibal

Bedrich thought that would be nice, he needed to rest his feet and fill up his tummy. He proceeded to follow Jacobi who led him to a large tree with a small door built into it. When the door opened, anyone could see that the tree was hollowed out and made into a nice comfy home. It was one single room with a fireplace, a kitchenette on one side and a bed on the other. It was a simple place rather dim despite a fire burning in the fire pit. Jacobi began to meddle with some jars on the shelf in his small kitchenette. Bedrich made himself comfortable on one of the seats in front of the fire. Jacobi handed him a cup of tea which they both drank in silence in front of the fire.

“The most unusual day, I had yesterday, cousin,” Jacobi finally said.

“Do tell, cousin,” Bedrich said.

“I was doing my morning walk when I came upon a strange beast,” Jacobi said. “One I have never seen before. I climbed on top of a tree to get a better look and indeed it was the strangest thing. It looked like a dog, had a yellow-brown coat, some twenty dark stripes across its middle back to the base of its tail. It appeared to be a cross between a kangaroo and a small tiger, but there are no tigers that inhabit these lands. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. Just as quick as it had appeared it vanished further south. I swore I had seen a creature just like that many, many years ago, but they were all hunted down.”

“Hunted down? How terrible,” Bedrich said. “What creature, may I ask, was it?”

“It was called the devil wolf,” Jacobi said. “The humans thought they were magical even dangerous creatures. They roamed freely almost a hundred years ago. They could open their mouths so wide that a full grown hen can fit, swallowing their preys in one gulp. I was young the last time I saw one. What a pity what happened to them. They were beautiful creatures. Harmless.”

“Yes, yes it is a shame,” Bedrich agreed. “Leos always speaks of many extraordinary creatures he sees roaming the Black Forest. Some are the last of their kind.”

Jacobi shook his head sadly and sipped his tea. “How is Leos?” he said.

“Still the same Leos,” Bedrich said.

“Good, good,” Jacobi said. “How is your tea?”

“It’s splendid. I would like some more, if you don’t mind,” Bedrich said. Jacobi poured him some more. “Thank you very much cousin,” he said.

“There was also a hunter that came through,” Jacobi said. “Must have been after something.”

“A hunter you say?” Bedrich said, mildly surprised. “I wonder if it was the same one Leos saw.”

“A hunter in the Black Forest?” Jacobi exclaimed. “That is strange. I thought it bewitched every human that walked in it?”

“I thought so to,” Bedrich said, in thought. “Maybe it was a different hunter. Leos said he was accompanied by a crocotta.”

“A crocotta? Vicious creatures they are,” Jacobi said dourly. “How strange it is to see a crocotta around here. I never saw one. In fact I have not seen one since the war. If you say this hunter was accompanied by a crocotta then it must be a different hunter I saw. It is that time of year for many of them, you know.”

“Aye,” agreed Bedrich.

Somewhere deep in the Black Forest, a hunter carefully walks in the dense, dark timber land. Close by, the crocotta crouching on a branch above a tree keeping a close lookout for any game that could be near. The hunter slithered silently through with his bow and arrow ready to shoot at any movement he caught on sight. He was not taking any chances. No creature has ever escaped his deadly arrows. Though, he has bad luck on catching that one creature that keeps evading him, but not this time, this time he will not let it escape.

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