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Oliver D. Bernuetz's Stories

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Yavor and the Lightning Cats

"Deformed? No, I was not mained in a fight. Nor was I born like this. Have you never seen an Alynx like me before? Humph, seems like your knowledge of Yinkin lore is poor. Let me tell you how some Alynx may come to look like me. Long ago..."

"...there was a pair of Alynx kitten twins. So alike that even their dam could not tell them apart. They even smelt the same if you can imagine that. Like all kittens they were full of energy and tricks. They loved to climb and hunt and adored nothing so much as to crouch down and wait for birds to fly overhead. Then they sprung up and snatched them out of the air. They grew proud of this and started boasting that no one was quicker than they. Well, everyone knows how kittens and youth are so no one took too much offense from all this lip farting. No one except Elmal who couldn't stand such vain, empty bragging. One day he'd heard them proclaiming how quick they were once too often. He was off duty so was free to teach them a lesson. He strode purposively over to where they sat in the grass bragging and grabbed them by the scruffs of the necks. "Quick, eh. Let me show you some true quickness". They spat and struggled but he shook them until they settled down. He took them very far, even to the edge of the Storm Tula and hid with them in some bushes next to a meadow. "Watch", he said "and learn". They squirmed and wiggled and waited impatiently but finally Elmal cuffed them about the ears until they settled down. "Now watch", he said. The kittens watched and
saw something go streaking through the meadow. Woosh it went one way, then woosh the other way. And then it was gone. "Wow!" the kittens went, "What was that?" "That", said Elmal, "was my kinsman Yavor Lightning. Lighting by name and lightning by nature. He is a swift and deadly warrior. Now do you see that there are those who are quicker than you?" The kittens nodded absent mindedly in agreement and sat there, stunned. Shaking his head Elmal went back to the stead. The kittens though just sat there and whispered to one another. "Would that we were as swift as that brother! Then would
we be the quickest for sure and show that Elmal." The other kitten nodded in agreement and they sat and thought and sat and plotted and sat and hatched a plan just like they were chickens. They found the tallest nearby tree and one of them sat and waited for Yavor to return.

Well Yavor was surprised to see an Alynx in the Fire Tribe tula so he zipped over to the tree. "What are you doing here young one?" he said, not unkindly. The kitten smiled at him and said, "I've come to pit myself against the great Yavor. I have heard that you are the quickest of the quick." Yavor smiled at this display of ego and nodded. "And what can you do so quickly little one? Run, fly, catch javelins from the air?" The kitten smiled and said, "Climb trees. I can climb trees faster than anyone. I challenge you to a tree
climbing contest." Yavor was taken aback. He was no woodsman or squirrel. But he was certainly quick and he smiled again. Lightning did have a certain affinity for trees after all. "And what would I give you if I were to lose then?" "Some of your speed," the kitten answered. Yavor frowned at this but then slowly nodded agreement. "And what would I want from you? I have my own claws and I don't want your fur." The kitten smiled and asked Yavor a question about the females of the Fire Tribe. Yavor stammered and blushed and then muttered, "Two." The kittens smiled and said, "I have long ago lost count. If I lose I will give you what the ladies love in me." Yavor was stunned at this offer. How could he lose? He nodded in agreement. "All right," he said. The first one to the top of this tree wins. Agreed?" The kitten nodded. "Agreed." Yavor said, "On my say then. Ready. Set. Go!" The kitten leaped up into the branches and Yavor leapt up the trunk. He quickly lost sight of the kitten and smiled to himself satisfied. Soon I will have as many women as I want, he chortled inside. Imagine his surprise when he reached the top of the tree and found the kitten waiting there for
him! "But how?" he stammered. The kitten wasn't even breathing hard! Yavor hung loosely from the top of the tree and panted. The kitten smiled and started down the tree. Yavor followed slowly after. He found the kitten waiting at the bottom of the tree for
him. "All right, all right." he groused, "You've won. Here is some of my quickness." Saying so he handed over part of his lightning. The kitten smiled at him and put it in his claws. He bowed and thanked Yavor and bounded off into the bushes laughing.

Wait a minute thought Yavor. Why is that little rascal laughing. Yavor decided to follow him and soon caught up. When he did he couldn't believe his eyes! Was he suddenly seeing double? And then he realized what they had done and he was furious. He roared in his displeasure and grabbing his mighty javelin Treeburner hurled it at the kittens. The one who had taken his lightning grabbed his brother and dodged out of the way. Putting his brother on his back he dashed off at full speed back to the Storm Stead. Grabbing his spear Gutburner Yavor pursued. He was as fast as fast but now the kitten was just as fast. Even carrying his brother as he was. The kittens raced just ahead of Yavor and didn't stop until they had reached the Storm Stead and hidden under Orlanth's very chair! And weren't the gathered thanes and Orlanth surprised to suddenly see an armed member of the Fire Tribe in His hall. They had arrived so fast that even Elmal hadn't had time to warn anyone. The thanes bristled when they saw Yavor in Orlanth's Hall and even Yavor was taken aback at where he was despite his fury. But his thinking was as quick as he was and he said the one word that was guaranteed to stop the thanes. "Justice! I come here Lord Orlanth looking for justice from those two!" Saying so he pointed beneath Orlanth's throne and Orlanth's brother Urox reached under and dragged the mischievous pair out. He held them out, one in each hand, for all to see and Orlanth spoke. "Who claims these two as kin?" Yinkin stretched and yawned from where he lay by the fire. "I claim these rapscallions as kin, brother. They are some of mine though I misremember who their mother is.:" All present save Yavor laughed. Yavor bent his knee and spoke again, "Lord Orlanth these two tricked me out of what's mine." Orlanth frowned at this. "Are you two tricksters too? What did you do?" And they explained how they had tricked Yavor into a tree climbing contest with one at the bottom of the tree and the other
waiting at the top. Orlanth's smile was quickly smothered though all others present laughed which made Yavor even angrier. "I want my lightning back!" he stormed. At this Orlanth leapt up from his throne and waxed wrothfully. "I. AM. THE. ONLY ONE WHO CAN STORM AROUND HERE!" He roared. Yavor quickly simmered down. He sank to both knees. "I still ask for justice Lord Orlanth." Orlanth relaxed and looked at the kittens. "You must give your prize back kittens!" The kittens pouted at this. "But we won! Can't we give him something else?" Oralanth was shaking his head but Yavor's ears pricked up at this. "I can have something else? Then I want what makes them so...attractive to the ladies." Everyone gasped but Yinkin strolled over to Yavor and whispered in his ear. Yavor nodded
and looked to Orlanth.for permission. Orlanth looked to Yinkin and he nodded. The kittens looked terrified but Yinkin winked at Orlanth without Yavor noticing so Orlanth reluctantly nodded his agreement. Yavor, grinning from ear to ear, stalked over to the kittens and took out Gutburner. The kittens quailed but a look from Yinkin settled
them. They quivered as Yavor, smiling victoriously neared, ready to cut...

Later Yinkin sat at the hearth licking the wounded kittens. "There, there," he said. "It's not all that bad is it?" "But they're so short!" wailed the kittens waving their stumpy tails
pathetically. "Well, it's better than the alternative isn't it? And I didn't really lie. Many women do love our long tails. Little good two of them will do Yavor though. But you two will have to decide whether lightning claws are a worthy exchange for long tails all by yourself."

"And you know what? Many of us do decide so."

This page last modified September  02, 2004


Last updated September 26, 2016

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