ABRAXAS the LOVESICK SEA DRAKE
“Into the winter I tracked Fenrir and his pack. But wiser now, I came well provisioned with traps and snares and a patience only gained by looking death in the eye, and driven by a promise given in good faith. I bent my back and baited every quarter of that wolf's territory, suffered endless sleepless nights while my quarry howled in ridicule. For my reward, I netted only bone-cold exhaustion. Yes, there were pelts—dozens, but not his. The wily Fenrir eluded me, slipping each and every stakeout, snare and trap until . . . That night. Winter was bitter. The snow piled higher and game grew scarce. Then, on that night, my ally—hunger—drove the lean and starving wolf to take the bait.”
“Bagged the monster—Bravo, Majesty!” A fitting end for my ode.” Quotes reviewed his notes with glee.
“Don't put away your quill just yet, faun,” said Constantio. “Before my tale is told, your ode will be an epic. I must tell you that, my sacrificial 'lamb' of sheepskin and lard did indeed snag the desperate Fenrir. His yowling and thrashing hailed me quickly to the scene. Alas, to my dismay I found the brute all hackles and lather—and broken free of the snare. With a torch in one hand, I hefted 'Thumper' in the other, all set for a scrape. Fenrir wasted no time in charging. Then by thunder, the infernal beast leaped past me as best he could and limped off licking his tender leg.
“All I could make out was a pair of menacing eyes glowing like coals in the night. I stooped with disgust to examine the remains of my 'trap', then felt another pair of eyes. I turned about to face a circle of glowering eyes surrounding me . . . drawing closer. And murmurs, growls getting louder . . . a pack of lean dark shapes came loping out of the night slowly closing in on me. I was the one trapped.”
“Majesty, did you get out?” Quotes was not thinking past the words he scribbled. “Heroes can't be eaten. Egads! Audiences desire a happy end.”
“I'll not spoil your drama yet.” Constantio laid more wood on the campfire before continuing. “No. I was not eaten. Those 'jackels' got their sacrificial lamb sure enough—but it was not me. The bait was my liberator. I threw the lard soaked skin to that drooling pack, and as they tangled tooth and claw to have a bite . . . I made tracks into the night.”