A Walk In The Woods.

© 2003, Foxy.

It was a day much the same as many others, as I found myself strolling along a shaded path in the wilderness. Sunlight filtered down through the canopy of leaves above my head, birds sung high in the trees below. All was well with the world, it seemed.

Suddenly the peace was shattered by a curse coming from around the next turn. As I peered around a tree, I saw a young adventurer armed only with a crude wooden stick, trying to hit a rabbit. The rabbit seemed to hop from side to side almost to mock the young fighter.

"What is the problem ?" I asked, startling the ill-equipped adventurer.

"I cannot hit this rabbit!" He cried. "How can I even eat if I cannot catch a rabbit?"

"Hmm," I pondered to myself, "I could simply fight this rabbit for him, but that will not teach him anything."

From what I had learned of surviving in the wilds, and from rangers, I had been shown how to make simple traps for these such times. So, I took the young fighter aside and explained how to make a trap, and patiently wait for an animal to be curious to the bait of the trap.

We crouched down in the undergrowth a little off the beaten path, watching as the same rabbit hopped over towards some vegetables I had been carrying in my pack. Our trap was nothing more complicated than a stick thrust deep into the moist soil, with a length of twine wound around it to make a noose. As I had surmised, the rabbit hopped over it without a second thought, putting it's leg straight into the noose, which pulled tight as it attempted to move.

Not that I wanted to watch the brutality of one man and his stick, but I'm certain the novice adventurer ate well this time, at least.

As I carried along the path, a loud sigh startled me. Mythic Sabre coming quickly to my hand, I was shocked to see a giant dragon laying down off to one side. The great beast glanced my way and sighed again. "Another ready to fight me."

"I am simply guarding myself, great dragon. You could easily slay me, or at the best, give me a nasty bite!"

In response to this, the dragon opened his great maw wide. To my surprise, I saw he had no teeth!

"As you can see," he sighed, "that would be quite difficult."

"How is it," I queried, "that a great dragon finds himself this way ?"

The dragon growled, in a rather unfrightening way. "That pesky museum keeper! Where do you think all those dragon's teeth come from? If it's not him, it's those idiot warriors trying to steal my scales! I ask you, do I _look_ like Chung Ryong? I'm not even blue!"

I let me guard up and sheathed my sabre. This seemed to relax my large friend some.

"So", I asked, "What brings you here ?"

"Oh, tis a sad tale!" The dragon lamented, "without the ability to even bite people in half, my brothers in the mythic dragon cave exiled me! So here I lay, wondering how to catch myself dinner."

So, I found myself explaining to a dragon, how to make a simple trap, using a nearby tree, and a somewhat larger noose than before.

"Then there is just the matter of waiting," I explained to him, "but first we must bait the trap to entice your prey."

"Oh, that part is easy," the dragon smiled toothlessly, placing a giant handful of tarnished ambers within the noose.

I bowed to the not-quite-as-mighty-as-other-dragons and wished him luck.

As I carried on down the woodland path, my mind strayed to the little fighter with his stick, and then to the dragon.

Nature, I surmised, was not without a sense of irony.

The End.