What was I thinking . . . saving the life of a man . . . a man laying traps to nail my hide no less! Such vexing thoughts did nothing to fill Fearsome's empty belly as he followed the faint aroma of hocks and cabbages to a hillock overlooking a remote farm. With the taste of twigs and lichens still bitter on his tongues even barnyard leftovers would be a feast. The Northman's croft, thought Fearsome. He'll not be back 'til dusk.
As Fearsome wound his way down from the trees' cover and into the clearing, he caught another cold, and more unsavory, scent. He would risk the bone-crushing bite of 'iron jaws' to fill his belly. There is nothing on this isolated stead to fear, surely not the slack and swollen farm beasts idling the morning away, with troughs and feedbags still half-filled. Pathetic . . . yet this moment, I envy them. Let's see if they will share their handouts with a down on his luck 'relation'.
“Honk! Honk! Go back to your chickens, Pip!” The gray goose's wings and beak were both flapping so intently at the hapless little chick, she failed to notice the large hound approaching from behind.
"Pardon the interruption," Fearsome woofed. "I'm looking for something to eat . . ."
Before he had a chance to finish, the flighty goose spun around, took one look at the dog's three heads and turned completely white, before squawking, “WOLVES! Run for you life!”
". . . I was hoping you might have an egg to spare," Fearsome added, attempting to make himself more clear.
" The goat! The GOAT!" honked the goose, waddling off flapping and clacking and swishing her broad clump of tail feathers.
Most of Fearsome's eyes followed the frightened goose as she squeezed under a hay wagon. One pair looked with bewilderment at the little chick. “I must have got her 'goat'?”
“No,” peeped the little chick. “She meant our goat . . . by the pig trough. He might have something you can eat . . . if you're not too finicky.”
“Thank you . . . little bird. That goose called you 'Pip'. Is that your name?”
“That's what the hens started calling me. I don't think it was meant to be a compliment though.” The chick dipped his head and added softly, “Goose told me it was some affliction that poultry get.”
“Don't you listen to that feather wit,” said Fearsome. “Pip is a humdinger of a name.” He gave the downcast chick a nudge with his snout eliciting a cheery peep. “Say, aren't you afraid of me too, Pip?”
“I don't think so . . . unless you want to eat me.”