Marko in The Kidnap (2_15)

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Thrice-Told Tale #8

Marko with Ben

by Rus Hall


One evening in the early fall, Marko, vassal to Erik Greystone was riding hard to make it to Dunfirm before night fall. There was a big dance contest scheduled for that evening and he meant to win it. Ben, his faithful horse, was making good time galloping up a shady lane when he noticed out of the corner of his eye, a tadmon keeping pace with him.

Ben, never one to hold his tongue, mentioned this to the rider. "A tadmon?" Marko said scornfully. "Yeah right, what are you trying to pull over on me . . . well, I’ll be . . ." he trailed off after seeing for himself that the tadmon in question was starting to pass them. Marko urged Ben on, he had to know more.

He pulled Ben as close to the fence as they could and took a closer look at this unique fowl. He noticed that the bird actually had six legs. "Amazing! I’ve got to tell Eric about this." he thought. After about a half a mile of this, the tadmon put on a burst of speed, passed them, and took off up a hill to a nearby farm house.

Seeing an answer to this quandary, Marko and Ben vaulted the fence and made their way towards the house. There, they were greeted by another astonishing sight. All of the tadmons that pecked around the house had six legs. "Amazing!" he said again.

About this time an old farmer sauntered up to the vassal. "Something I can help you with, sonny?"

"Well, yes, uh, you could explain these six legged tadmons, for starters." Marko stammered.

"Oh, them." he said off handedly, "That’s the wizard Traquill’s doing."

"Tell me more", inquired Marko.

"Well, many years ago, the wizard Traquill was making his way through these parts and stopped by asking for a meal. Well darned if I was going to say no to someone that could turn ME into a tadmon. So, he supped with us that evening. After the dinner, he says to me, ‘Farmer Cotton that was an excellent meal and I would like to properly thank you for your hospitality.’ I said that that twern’t necessary, but he would have none of it. ‘I noticed that your four children were arguing over the two drumsticks, well, I shall cast a spell to alleviate that problem.’ So, he says some hocus-pocus and then up and leaves. The next morning, when I went to feed the tadmons, they ALL had 6 legs. I’ve been breeding them ever since."

Flabbergasted and a little hungry, Marko asked, "How do they taste?"

"Dunno, really. Never been able to catch one."


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