Tall Tails 3.
We’re going on a lion hunt… and we’re not scared….
Join Sylvester and his doughty band of explorers as they fearlessly journey where the paw of kitten has feared to tread, in search of the savage, man-eating li.….what’s that, Sylvester? Really? OK. …in search of the savage, man-eating buffalo.
Day one: Base Camp
Well, here we are, on the eve of our great journey, planning our route through the highly perilous terrain and checking our supplies. I have put Taz in charge of supplies, as he is the brains of the outfit, but slow. I see he has packed plenty of food and…well, just food really. Unfortunately, I have had to put Penelope in charge of map reading, even though she’s no good at it and we haven’t actually got a map. I’ve warned her that we can’t be stopping all the time so she can wash her paws. She will have to put up with the heat and the sweat and the flies like the rest of us. Marvin is actually looking forward to the flies. Marvin will go ahead to clear the way for the rest of us. I can trust him to do so without fear of the dangers that lie ahead, which is the advantage of having little imagination. We will eat one last meal, then rest for a short while – just three or four hours – before setting out.
Day two: Departure
We slept a little longer than we anticipated, so we are behind schedule. We must put some miles behind us before dark, so just one small snack, a quick wash and a tweak of the whiskers and our journey begins. It is not long before we encounter our first obstacle, a sheer, concave cliff of smooth, buff-coloured rock – very few claw-holds and only a single, narrow path on which to balance. We stop for a snack to gather our strength, then we begin our arduous climb. I send Marvin ahead – that’s what he’s for – then I follow. Just below the summit, I call to Marvin to help me up the last few feet, but the face that appears over the edge is not Marvin’s. It is Penelope’s. She came up the back way and is sitting washing her paws with an air of studied contempt. I push her off and tell her to come up the correct way, or I’ll send her home. I also tell her to wake up Taz while she’s down there and ask him if he’d care to join us, please? Tsk…such unprofessional behaviour. I am forced to eat a snack to calm down and to restore lost calories.
Day Three: The Swamp
After a late start, and a hurried breakfast, we continue our journey. Thank goodness, we are traversing flat terrain today. Penelope stops, sniffing the air. We ignore her, of course, as she’s always complaining that she can smell something bad – usually me or Marvin. This time, however, she might have a point. I catch a whiff of it too. Phewwww!! Then, we see it in the distance…a mighty and dangerous looking swamp of evil-smelling grit and slime. I send Marvin ahead but, just as he is approaching the edge, an enormous apparition appears before us, rising dripping from the ooze, clouds of noxious steam rising from her steel grey back. It is “She Who Must Be Obeyed”, the evil Queen of all she surveys, legendary nemesis of all travellers. She looms over Marvin, before grabbing him by the neck and pinning him to the floor, her slavering tongue poised to strike….poor Marvin. Too late to save him, and he hates having his ears baffed. I take the opportunity to have a quick snack, by which time She Who Must Be Obeyed has finished with Marvin. I look around for my team and see, to my dismay, that Tazz has blundered into the swamp, to be sucked down into the murk. There is no hope for him now, but I will guard his food ration, lest he should return.
Day Four: The Cave
We awake with a start, somewhat later than expected. It is exceptionally warm and comfortable this morning and it is with reluctance that I stir the troops from their slumbers. Breakfast soon perks us up, and I can’t help noticing that Taz has returned to us after his misadventures in the swamp. He honks quite a bit, but mum…I mean, She Who Must Be Obeyed, freshens him up a little for us. We don’t want to attract predators, so cleanliness is important. Not as important as Penelope thinks it is, though. We have no choice but to wait for her while she cleans thoroughly between each of her toes. We pass the time gnawing on each other’s ears, then we have a quick snack. We are finally ready to set off, and after a very short time, Penelope notices the mouth of a cave on the distant horizon. She insists that caves are always full of treasure and we should explore it, but the entrance to this one seems to be guarded by a large golden beast with a huge, gaping maw. I send Marvin ahead, and he reports that the golden beast is nothing more than an effigy and would be quite easy to move if we all worked together. I wake Taz and we set to, Penelope and Marvin pushing from the rear, me lifting from underneath, and Taz steering from inside its mouth…laying down…with his eyes closed…AHEM! With the guardian fish beast thing out of the way, we can explore the cave properly. I send Marvin ahead and I watch him disappear into the darkness. He soon rushes out again. “TREASURE!” he shouts…and, sure enough, we find the cave stuffed with enormous jewels of pink, green, blue and yellow, all perfectly round and smooth. We decide to hide the treasure and to collect it on our return journey. For now, we must press on if we are to succeed in our goal of finding the fearsome, man-eating buffalo…after a snack and a lie down.
Day Five: The Demon
Ooh…how long were we asleep? I don’t know. I can hear the sound of drumming in the distance and strange voices, all muffled. I can’t make out what the voices are saying, but they don’t sound happy. We should move on immediately, but we decide we have just time for a quick breakfast. Before us lies our greatest obstacle, a gigantic mountain, with a wide plateau at the top which, legend has it, is home to some ancient, kitten-eating beasts. We must proceed with caution. We wake up Taz and check that our packs have enough food to last us for the journey. They have, in fact, a little too much, so we partake of a light snack to reduce the weight. Then we set off. The mountain looms before us, its summit shrouded in mists. I send Marvin ahead, to tackle the lower slopes and to check that it’s safe for the rest of the party to proceed. Just as we are about to begin our climb, there is a great bang and a crash and the ground begins to shake and the sky to darken. A huge shadow blots out the light and we find ourselves face to face with a demonic creature of enormous proportions. His eyes seem to glint in the sun and his legs are of a white so bright, it hurts our eyes. Fascination overcomes our fear, and we feel brave enough to approach a little way or, at least, Marvin does, because I’ve sent him on ahead. The demon appears to fold itself in half and drops slowly to the floor. A huge hand reaches out and there, on the ground before us, suddenly appears our quarry – the fearsome, man-eating buffalo! I’ll admit, it’s a little smaller than I imagined and I hadn’t expected it to be imprisoned inside that container, nor did I expect it to flap around in such a tempting fashion…Penelope has her nose pressed up to the container, and I warn her to take care. Man-eating buffalos are not to be trusted, even if they are an attractive shade of orange and black.
Whoa…!! I have just received an update. Penelope has just informed me that this is not, in fact, a buffalo, but a butterfly…
So, what’s a buffalo, then? It’s HOW big..? Horns…? It lives WHERE…?
OK…so maybe we’ll go and hunt the man-eating buffalo later. I mean, man-eating buffalos need to be hunted. After a quick snack and a nice lie down…