Friday, 15 February 2008

The First Tale continued (pt2)

Maybe a floating sod had blocked the dyke. Leaning over the bow he peered down into the black grey water. The first light gave his reflection an eerie visage and the ripples distorted his face so that his immediate reaction was to pull back into the safety of the boat. Deryk was not one to be easily frightened though but it had been a horrible sight. He scrambled back to look again, this time he bravely extended his arm and brushed the water so the face disappeared. He groped under the boat trying to feel the obstruction.
"Want any help?"
Deryk was upon his feet before you could say enema, but this time he leapt the wrong way and tumbled with a messy splash into the cold night water.
The question had come from the bank and sounded nothing like you or I would ever recognise. It was like a squeaky chatter to the untrained ear but Deryk was in no doubt what it was. It was Miggy.
"You long haired spiny backed toothy idiot."
Squeaked Deryk in Miggy's native tongue as he spluttered out some more muddy bits of the river from his mouth. Miggy looked hurt. His spiny uncombed fur sprouted from his back in all directions, glistening with the beads of water that still clung to him. His large discoloured teeth protruded from his mouth even when his lips were closed together and his dark intense eyes gave him more of a kindly look than one of a fearsome creature. Fearsome creature he was though and an extensive manhunt had wiped out almost the whole of Miggy's colony in the broads area. It wasn't until after their extinction programme had been hailed as a success by the humans, that those same people came to realise that the poor old coypu had been wrongly persecuted. They were considered vermin though so that was a good enough excuse. The Dyke Dwellers though, knew far more about this rodent and its capabilities, so, they built a secret enclosure where the coypu could safely live until the main danger had subsided. Consequently, even when verbally abused, coypu would always think kindly of the Dyke dwellers because, if it hadn't been for them, Miggy and his kind would have been extinct long ago.
Miggy slid down the bank and slipped silently into the water scarcely disturbing the surface. In a moment, a very wet and dripping Deryk was lifted upward and, clinging to Miggys back, he was carried up the bank where he could clamber down onto soft earth and waving grass. This was not how he'd expected to conclude his nights work! Miggy stood and looked at him with dark piercing eyes, his mouth barely open, a whisp of hot breath escaped into the thin morning air. Deryk tried to squeeze the water from his clothes. The wax trousers tucked into the wellies had made a good watertight seal and now his legs had filled out like oversized jodpurs and swayed from side to side as the water tried to escape.

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