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Skuttle and Autumn

Arrowtail February 15, 2009 User blog:Arrowtail
This might be a little late for those of you who already read it, but this fan fic includes spoilers for The Legend of Luke!

Martin was on an early morning walk with his companion Gonff, Prince of Mousethieves. They had slipped away through the east wallgate to escape the early morning hustle and bustle of Redwall Abbey. Martin glanced back at the red stonewalls. It was only three seasons ago that he had returned from a quest to find the topmost abbey spire completed and visible for miles around.

“Ahoy matey! What’s wrong with your face?” Gonff asked, as much in good spirits as ever, “Don’t tell me now your wonderin’ about what happened to your ol’ dad’s parents! We’ll have to trapes all the way back to the Northern Shores again!”
Martin couldn’t help but smile at little mousethief’s manner. “No, I just still can’t believe that the Abbey is already finished! We were only gone for a season!”
Aye, but it just goes to show what good hardworking woodlanders can do, matey!”
They were already nearing the section of River Moss called Wuddship Creek. The creek was where the good ship Wuddship had been sunk to speed up the flooding of the old castle Kotir. The ship was refloated but the river was still slow in the area. Martin and Gonff waded through the bulrushes by the creek’s edge and boarded the ship.
“Hi ho and away we go!” sang Gonff as he clambered aboard. He opened his tunic and pulled out a bundle of scones, some raspberry jam, and a flask of dandelion and burdock cordial. He spread some jam on a scone and lay back on a pile of sailcloth. “Mmmff scrumff, good stuff this! Columbine must ‘av made ‘m.”
Martin rolled his friend playfully off the sailcloth, “You little burglar! I’ll bet your Columbine left those on the kitchen window sill to cool this morning!” He took one himself and bit into it, “Mmmm, these are good!”
Gonff prided himself in the cooking skills of his wife. “What d’ you mean they’re good, Matey? They’re superb!”
However, Martin wasn’t listening to him anymore, he was looking further upstream, with ears straight up and paw on sword hilt. Gonff immediately fell quiet. He knew his friend well enough to know that something was wrong. “What is it matey?” he whispered.
“Sounds like a tussle further up the stream,” his friend whispered back, “Scout ahead quietly Gonff, it sounds like river rats.”
Gonff slid off the boat and away through the under growth with nary a sound. He was back within minutes.
“You were right matey, it’s river rats. There’s around a score of ‘m, at least enough to make a good scrap. They’re the ones we ran into on the quest, you know Riddig and ‘is daddy Girfang. They’ve got two hedgehogs trussed up by their paws hangin’ from a tree.”
“Are you sure it was Riddig? I didn’t think that they’d be this far south.”
“Yup, I’m sure matey. You never know what vermin are gonna do next.”
“So you said that there was a score? Hmm. Alright, here’s the plan. You remember what we did to rescue little Chugger from the Flitcheye a few seasons ago? Well we’ll pretty much do the same thing again. You circle around and climb the tree that the hedgehogs are hanging from, you’ll have my sword, cut them loose as I walk in to the camp. I’ll yell ‘Redwall’ and you throw the sword to me. I be busy separating vermin from their heads while you get the hedgehogs hidden in the loam, then come back and cover for me with your sling as I make my escape. It worked last time, but we had Dinny and Trimp with us, I hope it’ll work again! Let’s go.”
They melted back into the shadows as they drew nearer to he camp. Martin watched the tree that the hedgehogs were tied to rustle as Gonff climbed. When the tree stopped moving Martin knew Gonff was ready. He strolled into the river rats camp stepping on tails and looking around as if nothing was out of the ordinary.
Girfang the leader of the group jumped up yelling, “Cum on yew lazy idle bunch there’s only one!”
Martin stopped in the middle of the camp and roared, “REEDWWWAAAAALLLL”
The vermin froze as the sword came to a whirring stop next to Martin’s right footpaw. Martin grasped the sword and began attacking the vermin with a will. The squeaks of the hedgehogs as Gonff cut them loose with his small dagger were totally drowned out as Martin’s blade separated vermin from their innards. Suddenly, a barrage a large river pebbles hit the vermin gang from behind. Martin took the opportunity to slip away into the trees. He took out his own sling and added to Gonff’s firepower as he worked his way over to wear Gonff was standing. They took the paw of a hedgehog each and ran a short way. Gonff stopped, breathing hard, “Martin, how’s about we climb this tree and wait till they run past us?”
“Good idea. Let’s get moving.”
Gonff, who had been the last one up, barely had time to pull up him footpaws before the first river rats came dashing up. Undecided, they searched around while they waited for their boss to show up. When he did, he was raging mad.
“Well don’t just stand there! Look for ‘em yew lardbarrels!”

Gonff couldn’t resist, “Hoi! Who yew callin’ a lardbarrel, fatface?” He called in a passable vermin voice. Girfang roared about him using a whippy switch to punish anyone who came within reach. “Cum on who said dat? Cum ova here an’ say dat to me face!”

The vermin gang ran off back to their camp with Girfang chasing them. Gonff, Martin, and the two hedgehogs scrambled down to the ground.
“Well, now!” Martin said looking at the hedgehogs, “You can’t be more than 13 seasons put together! What are your names and how did you come to be tangled up with that lot?”
The older of the two, a female, replied, “My name is Autumn and this is my little brother Skuttle. We’re woodlanders. That band of rats attacked us. We don’t know what happened to Mama and Papa.”
Gonff gave Martin a meaningful look, “Don’t worry young ‘uns you can come back to Redwall Abbey with us and not have to worry about any more rats or vermin of any sort!”
They made their way back to Redwall where they were confronted by Columbine, Gonff’s wife. “So NOW you two decide to show up! To think, spending all morning fighting river rats and saving hedgehogs while the rest of us have to stay at home and do the chores! Shame on you!”
Gonff and Martin strode after her into the beautiful Abbey while Autumn and Skuttle ran off to play with the other Dibbuns. Martin could not hold in a satisfied sigh. Life at Redwall was good!
Over the next few days Skuttle and Autumn became regular little terrors along with their new friend Gonfflet. Martin sat under an apple tree in the orchard with Columbine as they watched the strawberry bushes wriggle with Dibbuns that thought themselves undetected.
"Those three. You'd think they'd be shy and quiet after their ordeal with those river rats." Columbine stated.
"Well at least they've bounced back easily enough. I know what it's like to have your parents murdered by vermin." Martin quietly replied, "I don't think I've fully gotten over it and I'm full grown. They deserve to have some fun."
"Well, I suppose you're right, Martin. But I do wish they would express their feeling in a way other than trouble-making, my Gonfflet included."
Martin just smiled as he lay there and Columbine left to finish some of her morning chores.
Meanwhile the Dibbuns in the bushes were planning a raid on the kitchen windowsills. Gonfflet always seemed to know exactly when to stage these raids. When the pies, pasties, and scones were cooled off enough to grab but before the Friar and his helpers had time to bring them in for lunch.
Autumn wasn't to sure about stealing from the kitchens, but Gonfflet and Skuttle were both ready and eager to do so.
"Cum on, it bees fun ta snatch e' likkle scones from windersills. Friar nevr knows where they bee goin'. Beside, he aways get mad at me da insted o' us innosent likkle dibbuns!"
So they all agreeed an a "folproof plan" and set offto the kitchens.

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