Mattimeo the Warrior
It was the summer of the Warrior's return. Martin rocked to and fro in his bed. Martin the Warrior spoke to him: "Tell your father to bring back the red of the badger."
All was quiet in the camp of Squirreldeath. Squirreldeath was planning on his invasion of Redwall. "Pinktooth! Lightclaw!" he shouted. The rat and the stoat came rushing in saluting smartly.
"Mattimeo, wake up! It's me, Martin!"
"Hmmmmm? Oh hi, Mart, what's up?"
"Matti, Martin told me to tell you to bring back the red of the badger."
"Oh, go back to sleep. I'll think about this."
Book one: the Rock Bed of Red Rock
"Matthias? Where are you going with the line, hook and tackle?"
"We're going fishing, Mordalfus, don't you remember?"
Mordalfus sighed. He remembered the days when he was Brother Alf the pondkeeper. Soon they were fishing in the abbey pond, throwing back countless perch. Finally they had caught (1) a grayling, (2) some accidental oysters, and (3) a crab. The grayling and the crab took some struggling to haul in, but it was worth it.
Woodlanders came from all over Mossflower: Flugg and other shrews, Captain Snow, Squire Julian Gingevere, Sir Harry the Muse, Orlando the Axe and his daughter Auma, and Jabez Stump and his family. Baby Rollo squeaked, "Otters, otters!" Everybody was there except Mattimeo: he was puzzling over about how he would bring back "the red of the badger". Finally he decided to go and share the news with his friends. When he got there, merriment was everywhere. The otter clowns were flipping as usual, and he could not say a word without it being drowned out. Silently he took his seat and started applauding.
The otters had ended, clinging onto the ceiling, when Mattimeo banged the table for silence. Constance called, "Looks like Mattimeo wants to say something."
Ambrose Spike laughed. "Perhaps he wants some October ale."
"Quiet, PLEASE!!!' said Mattimeo. "During the night, young Martin ..." He was interrupted by a clang. Two little ones were shoving each other, and one had fallen against his armor. Mattimeo picked up the one that had made the clang, and said to the little fellow, "No fighting while the feast is going on, please return to your seat." The little ruffian rushed over to Tim and Tess and started chatting with them. "OK!" said Mattimeo, "As I was saying, during the night, young Martin was spoken to by Martin the Warrior. Martin told my son to tell me to bring back 'the red of the badger.'" A small crowd gathered and started searching Constance. From the crowd a noise could be heard:
"Shoot a flagon and drink a dragon,
Squirreldeath was on his way. He was near Redwall Abbey. "So, Halftail, have you got the plan?"
"No, chief, I thought you were carrying it."
"Fool!" said Squirreldeath, striking him with the butt of a spear.
DONG! "Wha-wha-what was that, chief?" asked Whiskerous.
"Who knows?" whispered Pinktooth, "The chief's in a foul mood."
Tim found some red on Constance -- a little dried blood. "I don't think that's it," said Mordalfus. The crowd hurried over to Orlando.
John Churchmouse scratched his head. Maybe it's that rock badger Matthias was telling us about.
"OK," said Basil, "but when is that fish coming?"
* to be continued *
Copyright © 1996 Samuel Dashiell Shemitz
Last updated 11/30/96
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