Kindred Spirit Lodge Presents
Perils of Porky
by Porky (Oisin's Steed)
The wind whistled through every crack and crease in the old barn door. Distant thunder rolled the hills to the South and rain incessantly lashed the slate roof.
Rider had already checked on her charges whispering comfort and scratching furred noses. Content that all were sheltered and secure she had eventually departed but restfulness was still far away for the sensitive animals in the stable block.
“Go on Porky, tell us story.” A roan snickered from third down on the right.
Porky’s ears twitched in thought, “Okay. Did I ever tell you about how she got that ugly little pup of hers?”
Said pup raised his watery little snout from the hay bale he cradled in,“Hey!” he squeaked.
The others laughed for they were fond of him, scrappy mongrel that he was, and meant no harm. All teasing done the inhabitants of the Lodges stable settled down for another tale…
Under the dusty spider filled rafters of The Olde Squeeky Duckes upstairs front bedroom Oisin lay replete and full of Grace. Pushing the snoring bar wench away she struggled to her feet and dragged up her breeches hissing a little as the leather scraped over her striped and scratched cheeks. Opening her pouch she set the agreed amount on the rickety little table dropped a kiss Gracie’s brow and wobbled out.
Weaving and reeling her way down the Squeeky’s lopsided stairs the drunken Bard continued her effort to get upright and get home. She had promised to join in Rider and Jasper in a hunt and she intended to return to the Lodge straighter than an arrow. Swinging up on the ever patient Porky she began to talk to her trusty steed, now a very captive audience.
“Yes sirree, huntin and fishin and huntin…ya know Porky I need a little buddy fer all that. They all got ‘em. ..dogs n cats n pets. They all got someone to talk too, Shasa got Meil..Mie..Mil..Milky, Trish got that big black cat...which is really clever when you think of it she just goes to the doctor...no vet bills...Ha!” she laughed at her own joke, a solo effort as far as Porky was concerned.
Calmed down a little from her raucous laughter Oisin slumped even further into the saddle and continued, “Aria's got her shoes to talk to, Jasper has that voice in her head, I saw WJ whisperin’ to her gavel…and the Capt’n…they say the Capt’n keeps a bird on her boat…sits on her shoulders sometimes…hahahahahaha....”
No matter what way Porky headed into the wind (and she was good at that) she could not drown out the wearying drunken monologue as it rattled on and on…
“A huntin’ dog’s what I need. Yup, a pup, a little fella with floppy teeth and pointy ears…lesgo getone Porks <burp>”
And so straighter than an arrow on the way to the Lodge’s hunting party Oisin as ever suddenly wheeled on a whim and took the road to the left that went deep into the forest.
“There’s a Puppy Farm in here somewhere …gotta be….”
Sobriety is a wonderful thing but not when it arrives too late. Oisin snorted herself awake to find she had been sleeping on Porky's back for dear knows how long. She found herself lost in the thick of the woods surrounded by Cypress, Pine and eerie darkness.
“Stupid horse!” she muttered and tried to turn her truculent mount around, but no amount of tugging on the reins would deter it from its trajectory…which was the quickest way Home. “This is why I called you Porky!” she grumbled at the furry ears, “Cos you’re completely pig headed!”
Porky had little time or inclination to listen to the under evolved idiot she carried about on her back. She viewed this state of affairs as some sort of karmic retribution. Or a reincarnation gone horribly wrong. Nevertheless it seemed that her cross to bear in this lifetime actually straddled her and bubbled a neverending stream of nonsense into her sensitive ears…or worse sang to her…Oh ye cruel and spiteful Gods!
Truth was if she’d wanted a sensible conversation Porky would be better off with a knapsack on her back…
ooooowwwwww! The howls suddenly erupted and echoed all around them.
Porky’s ears flattened…Wolves! Damn, she was still a good 3 miles away in this circuitous navigation to the Lodge. The howl came again…She listened intently, ears twitching, but it was hard to make out the distance as the carbuncle on her back kept moaning, clutching her head bleating, “Make it stop, make it stop…Oooh my poor head..”
At last Porky had a good fix on the howling cadence…Artic wolves, she mused. If I’m not mistaken (as if) they’re a sub species of the larger grey wolf, about 30 per pack and much too far south. Wonder what they’re doing here. Let’s see, they eat hare, muskrats and…lemmings…Aah, they must have got scent of the big fat suicidal lemming up top! Best trot faster. Not too far now.
Along the forest trail, winding through brush and bark and fern, from dappled light to deepest dark could be heard the rhythmic canter of determined hooves and the ...
“Aaah, ooh, eee, <barf>, yuck, all over my boot, ooo, eee, urg…” of a hapless rider.
Bursting through a thicket and into a large clearing Porky skidded to a halt. Both rider and horse watched in macabre fascination the 100 strong Wolf Council in session before them.
A sturdy circle of lupine legislates yodeled and barked their dictate over a shivering scrap of matted fur huddled in the centre of the ring. It seemed to Oisin the little fella was on a beaten docket his skinny little frame practically convulsing with frightened whimpers as the barks and growls surrounding him turned into slaverous snarls.
Several of the larger wolves began to creep slowly forward, fangs flashing, eyes aglow with murderous intent. The little whelp cowered, curling in on himself for what meager protection he could muster.
Oisin gasped, “Come on Porky we gotta rescue the little devil. I have a fantastic and heroic plan…”
She dug her heels into her mounts flanks imagining a dashing leap over the howling heads into the circle of wolves where she would snatch the little orphan from the jaws of death by the scruff of his neck and Up, Up and Away they’d sail over snapping slavering fangs and tearing claws and on, on to Freeeeedommm! And Glory, there’d be lots of glory too.
Porky also had a plan. She stepped sideways under a tree so that unfortunately a lower limb whacked Oisin on the head and felled her from the saddle. Porky then hid behind said tree rolling her eyes. When would the idiot learn to duck?
Struggling to her feet and rapidly straightening her dishevelment Oisin froze as she became aware of a hundred pairs of cold yellow eyes gleaming at her hungrily and one pair of strangely silver eyes aglow with tremulous hope.
Oisin locked eyes with her little guy, she saw the hope, and beneath that the wonder, and beneath that the love...love…her little guy loved her!
Oisin puffed up like a prize winning bantam, drew her sword and with a mighty warrior yell that tailed off to a sort of squeak ran full hilt into the furry foray.
Porky sighed heavily. Lemming pie tonight for dinner it would seem and probably Porkychops too. Tiredly she stepped out from behind the tree prepared to kick some sense into these mangy heads.
She hesitated and took in the scene before her. Oisin stood in the middle of the circle, the little whelp nothing more than a tuft of fur poking out of her jerkin where she had tucked him for safety. Yelling and roaring like a Minoan bullock she swung her sword in a continuous arc to keep the enemy at bay. Had her eyes been open she’d have noticed each and every wolf was prostrate on the ground whining and scraping in the dirt.
This went on for several minutes until the Bards screams grew fainter and her arm wearied. Finally exhausted she stopped her twirling and bent over winded at last opening her eyes to see her antagonists lying down before her. She straightened, “Hah! Who’s the daddy now?!”
“That would be me,” a voice came from behind.
Oisin nearly jumped out of her skin, so shocked she dropped her sword and had to scramble to pick it up again. She looked up at a tall caped and hooded figure stood on an outcrop above the circle. The wolves all seemed to be paying homage to her.
“Woo…woo…ahem...who are you?”
Oisin wasn’t sure but there seemed to be a slight hesitation there. “Tracey who?”
“Tracey…Tracey…” Another hesitation as the caped figure looked around somewhat disconcerted, “…Mossystone…yes Tracey Mossystone.”
“Well what are you doing all the way out here Tracey? Are you lost? Do you need some protection, cos I am Oisin Warrior Bard of Erin, aka Oisin the Mighty and I assure you…”
“NO!” the cloaked woman on the rock bellowed. “Ahem, I mean…No thank you kindly, brave, brave warrior but I am safe here at…at…” again an uncomfortable shift, “…at…at Wolves R Us, where I Tracey Mossystone am the Night Shift Manager.”
Now that Oisin took time to look she noticed the black hood undulated and rolled around the covered head and face. A strange snakey hiss also emanated from under the fabric.
“What’s wrong with your hood? What’s that hissing?” she frowned suspiciously pointing with her sword.
“Oh that’s…that’s…mmm…my heated rollers.”
“Oh.” Oisin was perfectly satisfied, nice to know the femmes were making an effort even in the forest.
“Sooo this is Wolves R Us…well your stock here were just about to eat this little guy.” She indicated the tuft of hair and two silvery eyes peeping out of her jerkin.
“Ah,” came the response, “That’s because that ones different. Dangerously different! It’s an orphaned cub, a were-…mmm….mmmm.”
“A…a…werey, werey nice…poodle.”
“A werey nice poodle?”
“Yes, a poodle, and the others don’t like it because it’s different. Animals can be so cruel sometimes.”
Oisin eyes brimmed with tears. She remembered how cruel all the other apprentice warriors had been to her went she was a young’un…always picking on her cos she preferred wenching and sleeping to running and jumping and working…she was different then and they had all called her Lazybreeches. Oh how it hurt! She gazed down at the little scarp of unwanted fur gazing hopefully up at her, eyes glowing like two discs of eerie moonlight…
“I’ll take him!” she declared with gusto. Porky merely rolled her eyes in despair.
And so, little guy was firmly wedged into a saddle bag, much to Porky’s private discomfort at having a ‘werey nice poodle’ battened down so close to her rump. Porky could see the were-mongrel cub for exactly what the little monster was, half were-wolf half feck knows what…and so, they departed the forest glade.
Oisin looked back over her shoulder and shouted to Tracey Mossystone, night shift Manager of Wolves R Us, “Thanks Tracey, I’ll be sure to recommend you to all my friends…and thanks for the free chewy toy!”
With a friendly wave she held up the squeaky sheep Tracey had given her …only to frown on noticing it was already torn asunder, it’s belly and mid section ripped out and held together with nothing more than a ribbon of rubber backbone!
She glanced back in askance at the innocent little eyes gleaming up at her from the leather bag at her side. Aaaah! Look at him, all sweet and cuddly and moon-eyed….obviously a sub standard chew toy….she hoped the little guy didn’t choke.
Several miles on and Oisin suddenly found her new little companion sitting behind her rather than in the saddle bag she had tucked him in.
“Hey, you’ll slip off and fall. Back in the bag with you, little sca…mp…” She held up the tattered remains of the leather bag, it was shredded and holed with the scorings of multiple teeny weeny teeth and claws. Frowning she looked down at a pair of angelic little peepers gazing lovingly up at her. “Mmm, need more chew toys.” She rode on with her new best friend perched behind her.
A few miles further still and she came across a little woodsman's cottage.
“Great” Oisin announced to no-one in particular, “I can refill the water flasks and you guys can go pee. I wonder who lives here.”
The voice from behind startled her for the second time. She spun round to find another caped and hooded figure, this time in scarlet. Again the hooded cowl seemed to undulate and surge with coiled hissing. Porky’s ears flattened and the poodle pup hid behind her hind leg, peeping out at the ominous figure.
Oisin, picking up none of these vibes, having no vibe detector to speak of, asked, “Tracey? Is that you? Shouldn’t you have those heated rollers off by now? You’ll totally dry out your hair and no amount of conditioner will…”
“Silence!” she was rudely interrupted. “Who is this Tracey…??”
“She works over at Wolves R Us. Same model as you only comes in black.”
“Mmm, ah…yes…ah that’s my sister…”
“And you don’t know her name?”
“Mmm...I know her as Traycee….you fooled me…with your…your… riddles…oh mighty Bard…”
Oisin puffed up a little…riddles eh, she’s have to work on those, what a fantastic sideline for a Bard…riddles. What’s red not black but…no wait...what’s once was black but now is red…no wait…what’s…
‘What’s an idiot on two feet?’ huffed Porky to herself. The pup glanced up at her and pointed a tremulous paw at the Bard. If Porky had eyebrows she’s have raised them in surprise and appreciation, Well, whatdya know, the little guy was smart too! And like myself he seems unfortunately cursed to be able to read this twits thoughts. Poor little bugger.
“So?” Asked Oisin, “Who are you then, and do you need any help because I am Oisin Warrior Bard of….”
“NO!...ahem, I mean no help needed, thank you kind and brave warrior.”
Sheesh, these woodland femmes are snappish! O thought to herself.
A breeze billowed the red folds as her companion continued, “I am …mmm…LaToya! Yes, LaToya, and I have come to visit Granny in the middle of the woods with a basket of food.”
Silence. Then, “I forgot it…but I picked her some berries on the way.”
Sigh. “I ate them…on the way.”
“Granny’s gonna be pissed at you. Can I get some water for my flask?”
“No don’t go in there yet I need to sharpen this axe.”
But Oisin was already walking to the door of Granny’s house in the woods followed closely by a figure in a red riding hood.
Watching their Mistress disappear into the small, honeysuckle covered cottage of doom Oisin’s animal companions re-acted in slightly differing ways.
The little pup scampered after her, but cautiously moving from bush to tree to picket fence to door jamb like a professional hitman keeping low and undercover.
Porky did her famous reverse trot, a horsey version of a moonwalk that made it look as if she was traveling forwards when in truth she was actually well on the way home rump first.
The interior of the cottage was gloomy and dominated by a huge bed pulled up close to a roaring fire. “I suppose the elderly feel the cold more.” Oisin thought, though the heat in the place could have knocked her over. “Hello Granny, I’m Oisin.” she introduced herself cheerfully, “Is it okay if I fill my water canteen?”
Granny looked at Oisin like she was a charity food parcel, not exactly what you’d like but not to be turned down either.
“My, what a big fire you have. All the better for that big cauldron to bubble on I suppose.”
Oisin tried to fill the ominous silence with polite conversation.
As her eyesight began adjusting to the gloom she became more aware of some inconsistencies with her hostess, like the enormous writhing bed bonnet perched atop of Granny’s head.
“My, what a big hissing hairnet you have…You woodland girls really like your curls.”
“My, what big hypnotic eyes you’ve g…”
Thud! Oisin hit the floor eyes spinning, mind mangled, and lay there semi conscious dimly aware of words and movements drifting around her.
“Drag her over to the pot, the waters heating nicely. And go tell your sister dinner will be at six and not to be late again, I hate it when the knights grow cold.”
“This one isn’t a knight, it’s a bard.”
“Damn, I knew it smelt funny…”
Then blackness enveloped her.
Oisin was having the nightmares again she became aware of a great roaring bedlam about her. Screams and bellows and crashing and …gods where was the snooze button in her head, she had no energy for all this, whatever it was.
She peeked open a bloodshot eye, then both widened in amazement. Two swaying medusas, hair coiled and hissing slowly circled an at least eleven foot werewolf. It slavered and slashed at the multiple striking snake heads that streaked out to rip and poison the already bloodied fur of its back and arms. Whip-like the serpents shot forward again and again relentlessly, each successful strike sinking with a thump into the furred flesh, pumping more and more venom into the enraged howling beast.
Oisin staggered to her feet. The sight before her was harrowing in its monstrosity. Her first inclination was to run while this diversion allowed her too. But even as the thought of flight entered her mind she was also on some subliminal level aware that the wolf was fighting for her, protecting her.
Also as she watched transfixed she knew something else, this was a young and inexperienced werewolf. Even O could see that the medusas were wearing it down, the claws were ineffectual swiping through the air missing the poisonous living arrow heads that constantly hit their mark again and again, burrowing deep into its hide. It was only a matter of time before the venom weakened it sufficiently for the death strike. And Oisin knew there would be no quick release here, just a slow and torturous lingering death.
Decided she quickly drew her sword and plunged deep into the back and shoulder of LaToya, angling down, slicing the heart muscle into two asynchronous beating parts before each stuttered and stopped.
It was a quick and clean death, almost soundless bar the dying hiss of the medusas tressed familiars, but the older medusa sensed it. Momentarily distracted she turned away from the wolf, her eyes widened in horror, her mouth a frozen o. The wolf struck deep into this moment of opportunity it leapt upon its assailant and tore a gaping hole in the medusas chest, heart and lungs spilled onto the floor in a bloody gush.
Oisin felt very woozy at the sight and smell of so much warm offal, but knew she must prepare in case the beast turned on her next. She did not relish the thought; her sword arm would be easily conquered by such brute force and raw animalistic power. Her only hope was to strike fast and hard, now!
The beast turned towards her and Oisin steeled herself, damn she’d missed her one slim chance. Taking up her position, sword poised before her in both hands, the fire light gleaming off its polished surface as Oisin sized up her mighty opponent. Immense and rugged, sheathed in lank matted fur already encrusted with drying blood, she gazed into its slavering bloody maw. Momentarily frozen by the cruel fangs that she could already imagine shredding her flesh from its bones and crushing the very marrow out of her.
Tearing her eyes away from her salivating gateway to Hades she locked eyes with the beast preparing for her last fight in this realm. Blinking she gazed into the eerie moon-discs she had so recently cradled down her vest? Above this a tuft of…of…poodle pompom??
A shrill scream and the demented whinnying of Porky from outside drew both wolf and warriors attention away from each other.
“Porky!” Oisin cried her horse was being attacked! “Porky!”
She flailed her way out the door into the harsh sunlight where to her horror an un-hooded Tracey was attacking a valiantly fighting Porky with her serpentine curls. Again the macabre medusa dance of death involved dozens of snake tendrils retracting then striking forward trying to snare the prancing, hoof flaying horse.
Porky was quick and snakelike herself in her ducking and dodging. All she needed was one good kick and this bitch was over the feckin rainbow!
“Run, Porky run.” Oisin bellowed as she streaked forward sword raised. “Run you stupid mare!”
But Porky had refused to run. She had seen this reptilian bitch sneaking up to the cottage to lie in wait and ambush her companions. If anybody ambushed that stupid bard it was Porky! Day in and day out She outsmarted, out thought and out maneuvered that useless lump of singing lard. No way was some hissy-fit snakehead gonna ruin her good thing!
Plus she kinda liked the were-pup. He was smart and cute and she sensed he would be a good addition Her team. So Porky had attacked like any valiant warrior-mount would. And now the idiotic Bard was sailing across the clearing waving her sword in the air like a 4th of July flag. Gods they were doomed if she got anywhere near the medusa! Those snake heads would strike her like a match!
Suddenly over their heads in one gods awful thunderous roar leapt the were-wolf. The black cowled medusa took one look at the beast and smelled the gore of her family off it. Realizing she had no back up from the cottage she screamed in anger and swirling flew at tremendous speed back into the forest.
Oisin made to follow furiously yelling, “I’ll get you Tracey Mossystone! You’ll never work in this forest again after I tell the management at Wolves-R-Us about you and your disgraceful after sales service!!”
The wolf too seemed prepared to follow but the sudden THUD behind drew its attention back to the warrior-bard now sprawled spread-eagled on the ground.
Porky stood by innocently. The were-pup looked inquiringly at her. She was gonna follow her, and probably be led right back to the home nest. Porky sort of shrugged, You’ll learn there’s times you gotta knock her out…it’s for her own good and she never remembers.
Several hours later they were all well on there way back to the Lodge, leaving the foreboding bowels of the forest far behind them. Oisin had come round in a broad patch of sunlight to find her little puppy excitedly licking her face…ahh sweet little guy, she tucked him back into her vest.
“There you go Nibbles. Yes, that’s your new name…Nibbles, ain’t it sweet, just like you.”
Porky stood patiently several feet away chewing on local vegetation. She looked across understandingly at ‘Nibbles’.
His little moon eyes stared back in bewilderment, But I’m called Hearteater, after my auntie…
Porky sensed his confusion and although their mother tongues differed they could converse quite happily on the animal plane. Get used to it Nibs. She sent back her dry advice. My real name is Clementine. Pretend she’s only named your poodle half and that you’ll always be Hearteater when the moon calls you, she placated his little speeding heart. Bless, he was a little worrier.
Unclear about all that had happened and only really aware of her thumping head and some very bad dreams about heated curlers Oisin quickly gathered herself and her companions together and set off for home.
Now, perhaps two miles from the foothills that led up to the Lodge’s meadows she saw a sign nailed to a tree. ‘Dragons Den for BDSM. We can Meet all your Needs. Free tour of Torture Chamber. Try before you Buy! Leather, Chain mail, Rubber…’
“Wow,” Oisin reined Porky in, “I wonder if they do chewy toys?”
Porky took of on a gallop directly homewards.
The storm had passed them by and the rain ceased to only a comforting pitter patter on the roof. After the snorts and whickers of appreciation faded away the inhabitants of the Lodges stables settled down for a well earned rest.
Porky’s ears twitched with pleasant memories, “Bard indeed!” she
mused as she drifted off to sleep, Who really tells the stories around
The End - 'Porky's Perils; Puppy Farm' - by Porky (Oisin's mare)
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