Jacob Harper

== Cluny the Scourge ==

A Tale From Redwall

The setting sun cast its ever-knowing gaze over the camp of the Juskakiir clan of the eastward coast. Foxes, rats, stoats, ferrets, and weasels sat amid a campfire frying freshly caught pike and berries. A vixen called Teila danced madly about, shrilly singing an old vermin ballad.

“Cluny the Scourge was a mighty rat,

His fierce single eye seeing all his foes’

His enemies wailed under the might of his tail,

He knew no equal,

Til the fateful day he saw Redwall,

Cluny thought, ‘that castle is mine!”

“His mighty horde knew no fear,

With their Warlord to lead,

Cluny finally bested the badger and the hare,

The great Abbey was now his fort,

But the Warrior came with his great sword

And severed the bell, turning Cluny to cake!”

A young ferret called Scarbelly snorted indignantly and threw an empty jug at the vixen. “Ah shaddap, ye ol’ two-faced crow! Ev’rybeast ‘ere knows that un’!”

Teila eyed the young one with an air of annoyance. “Thou know naught at all, young un. The story of Cluny is one to learn from.”

“Wot can yew learn from a long-dead, one-eyed bilge rat?”

“You can learn from his mistake-underestimating Redwallers. They are a powerful force, underestimated time after time, which has lead to many a downfall of Warlords, Emperors, and Corsairs over all."

Scarbelly spat into the fire and glared at Teila. “Dat ain’t th’ point, vixen. We all know ‘bout th’ Scourge, Ev’rybeast does. No reason tah keep flappin’ yer gums about th’ blighter.”

“You know nothing of Cluny.”

An ancient pine marten vaporized next to Scarbelly, clad in a ragged blue tunic, wobbling on an old hawthorn cane. The ferret spun up and drew a dagger, holding it to the ancient one’s throat. “Wotcha mean by that, gramps?”

The pine marten shoved the blade away from the hand of Scarbelly in the blink of an eye. In an equal amount of time, he was nibbling at a cold bowl of mushroom and parsley soup. “Exactly what I said: you know nothing of Cluny. I, however, am a different matter. Come, friends, and I shall tell you what I know of the Scourge.”

The vermin of the Juskakiir clan crowded around the old one, eager to hear of the legend, the myth, the Scourge.

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