THE SLINKER'S FAULT

A SANTHARIAN FAIRY-TALE

 
Master Tribell's Miraculous Narrations   
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Introduction. "The Slinker's Fault" is a lovely fable you can find in "Master Tribell's Miraculous Narrations". It deals with the friendship of the Ice Bear and the Slinker of Cyhalloi and the adventures they have together. And it explains how the Slinker's tail came to its characteristic black tufted tip...

 

hen the land of Cyhalloi was young, though not much more different than it is now, the animals got along quite well. They were civil to one another and acted much like good folk would to one another. One of the greatest friendships was betwen the Slinker and the Ice Bear.

Yes, odd indeed. But the Slinker was much smaller then, and looked much like his brother ferrets. Both were covered in rich brown fur, much different than they way they look now.

They often travelled together, and made a good hunting team. When the pair felt hungry, the Bear would place the Ferret upon his head.

"Look for a Meal for us to Share, dear Slinker," the Ice bear would ask.

"Anything for a friend!" The slinker exclaimed and searched the lands from his perch.

The Slinker would spot their prey with beady black eyes. The Ice Bear would bring down the catch and eat first. The Slinker would not eat much, and enjoyed picking the meat off the bones.

This pattern worked very well, they were happy together and got along. But as the Bear ate, the bigger he got.

"Dear Bear, There is not enough food to feed me!" The slinker would point out, his belly empty.

"Dear Slinker, I am sorry! The hunt makes me tired, and eating the meal makes me regain the energy I need. Unfortunately it makes me drowsy as well, and I am too tired to hunt. Pick off what you can for now. Tomorrow, I will bring down enough for us both." Then the Ice Bear would fall asleep, forgetting his promise.

Soon the Ice Bear dwarfed the Slinker, and left little food behind for his bady-eyed friend. This made the Slinker worried.

"Soon the Ice bear will need entire animals for himself, and then he would be full and tired. I will surely starve, as I am not big enough to hunt the beasts of this land." The Slinker schemed and thought of a way to feed himself, without having to worry about the Ice bear.

 

One night, while the Ice Bear was asleep, the Slinker wandered off, thinking. He stumbled upon the body of a great Elk, and became excited. "At last! I can eat this whole meal for myself, and I shall rival the size of the Ice bear! No longer will I need him!" And greedily he ate the Elk, enjoying the meat that the Bear would eat himself. And as he ate, he became bigger and bigger, nearly the size of his Ice Bear friend. When he finished the carcass (Which was not long for he slinker was very hungry) he returned to his friend, who was worried about him.

"Dear Slinker! You are so large now! How can we hunt the same way we used to? You are too big to sit atop me and look for food!" The bear complained.

"My eyes still work fine, friend Bear! We will just have to work differently! Come! I have an idea that will work!" And the slinker showed the Bear to hide himself among the snow, and wait for animals to come close, and then pounce upon them.

"This will save your energy, and both you and I can eat our own meals!" The Ice bear agreed, and the Pair continues to live together as friends, lying in wait for their prey to walk by.

As these two laid in the snow, their coats lost their rich brown color. They became the same color as the snow, and did not need to bury themselves in it. But they no longer needed to run or chase their food, and they became cold. When they talked to one another, their voices were chattery for they were cold and frozen.

"Friend Bear! I am so cold! What should we do to warm ourselves up?" The slinker asked the bear.

"Well, Slinker... I have an Idea! We can find a deserted encampment of people, and warm ourseves around the burning embers of the fire pit!" He demonstrated to the Slinker as he coiled around half of the fire-pit, lying close to the still-warm rocks.

The Cyhalloian Slinker

View picture in full size Image description. The Cyhalloian Slinker. Picture drawn by Eshoh.

"Such a wise idea, Bear! We shall have the best of all worlds tonight! Full bellies and warmth!" And so the Slinker wrapped his form like the Bear, laying close to the warm rocks. But unlike the Bear, the Slinker had a tail. In an attempt to curl as close as possible, the Slinker put his tail near the fire.

Late at night, the embers still warm, the Slinker's tail caught fire. The tip of his Tail was aflame and he awoke in a flurry of fear and anger. He screamed and bellowed at the top of his lungs, as he tried to extinguish the flame. The Bear grabbed his friend and batted at his tail in an attept to help. He swatted out the fire, but the Slinker had a black smudge at the tip of his tail. The Slinker cried all that night, for not only did his tail hurt, but his wonderful white pelt was now ruined by a black smudge.

The Bear did not sleep at all that night and arose with the sun in a very gruff mood. When the pair went out to hunt, they made out poorly for their prey would spot the smudge of black on the Slinker's twitchy tail and run away. The Bear became more frustrated at this; he was tired and hungry, and it wasn't his fault. After a long and fruitless day, the Bear was thankful that they would be warm as they slept by a fire-pit, but the Slinker wanted none of it.

"Surely you are CRAZY, Bear!? I singed my tail the first night! I can only expect to be ablaze and charred by morning!" The Slinker whined, and he won out, forcing the Bear to sleep away from the warm fire pit and among the icy snow. The Bear became bitter, for now he was tired, hungry and cold, and it was not his fault.

The next morning, weary, cold and hungry, the Bear said nothing to the Slinker until they departed to hunt.

"Friend Slinker. Perhaps if we hunted seperately, far from one another, we could double the amount of food we recieve. We would not bring down the same animal, and we would not scare others in the area."

"A great idea, Bear! I shall stay right here, and you can move on; as the sun sets we can meet up again, and share our food!" The slinker agreed, and hunkered into the snow, shooing off the Bear.

The Bear only smirked as he wandered away, no full intention of returning. He continued to walk until the black tip of the Slinker's tail could no longer be seen. And the Bear dug himself a cave in the snow, and slept.

His departure from the Slinker made his friend sad, but soon the Slinker moved on; he brought down his own food and blamed the Bear for what misfortune he came upon.
 


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