Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ferret versus Cat

There once was a ferret. It was a fearsome warrior, and among its people, it was known as a great hunter, bringing much food to its tribe. But a chill swept down from the north; a terrible winter fell early, and it did not abate. The druids cast their runes, and told the ferret that it must venture to the center of the world. There it would find the artifact that would end the winter, and save their tribe.

The ferret set out, resolute in its duty. The cold was terrible, but the ferret's fur was warm, and it survived, trudging through the snow all the way to the very bottom of the world. It dug there, long and deep, and found its way into the earth.

Many fearsome creatures lurked within the earth, and the ferret found them hard to defeat. They came at him in waves, and soon it was bloodied and weakened. Its strength and confidence eroded with every battle, and soon it was in full flight, darting between the feet of its monstrous foes. Finding a sanctuary in the dark cracks of the earth, it rested for a time, then ventured into the heart of the earth, its strength restored, but confidence still terribly weakened. No longer was it the confident hunter that had left the forests of its people.

There once was a cat. It was a coward and weakling, and was known among its people as a parasite, leeching resources off any foolish enough to give them. But a chill swept in from the south; a terrible winter set in early, and it did not abate. The leaders of the cat's tribe consulted one another, and decided to send the cat, the most expendable among them, on a likely suicidal mission: to find the source of this deadliest of winters, and to stop it.

The cat trudged into the snow. The cold was bone-deep, and the cat was too weak to withstand it; after a day of travel, it collapsed, falling into a lethal sleep. In its delirium, the cat repented all its sloth and sin, promising good behavior for life; and it had a vision, telling it that the winter's source was in the center of the earth. Then the cat awoke, being bothered by carrion birds, and staggered onward until it found a hole; a crack into the earth itself.

Within the earth, the cat found plentiful warmth and food. Tiny animals scattered before it; larger ones stood and fought, but were slow and clumsy, and fell to the cat's claws with ease. The cat's confidence and strength grew with every battle. It entered the center of the earth ready for anything.

The cat and ferret met. They both inched forward, looking at the artifact, the Winter's Heart; they stopped and glared.

They fought.

The ferret, defeated, cowered under its resting place. The cat, triumphant, taunted its opponent. Without any other option, the ferret spoke to the cat of its mission; the cat, startled, confessed that its own was the same. Nervously, the ferret crept from its hiding place, and together they shattered the Winter's Heart.

The ways through which they had come were closed by the artifact's destruction, so the ferret and cat, together, found other passages out. The cat's new skill and courage were bolstered in the journey; the ferret, its old arrogance lost, nonetheless regained some of the courage in the battles it and the cat fought together, and began to tutor the cat, so that it might learn from the ferret's greater experience.

When they came to the surface, they parted ways sadly; the ferret to return to its northern homeland, the cat to return to the south. Each carried a shard of the Winter's Heart, to prove their victory to their tribe, and prevent its reconstruction; and each carried a memory of their journey together.

So it was that Cat learned of Ferret, and Ferret of Cat, though their homes were a world apart; and when in generations to come explorers found one another, and trade followed after, it was the tales of Ferret and Cat in the Depths of the Earth that made peace, not war, the first relationship between the two great tribes of the surface.

And itte was goode.

1 comment:

King Kessler said...

If nothing else, you enticed my to watch the video all the way through!

Also I learnt that cooperation leads to a successful economy.