Of all the creatures in Aerwiar, the snickbuzzard is perhaps the most lobidious. Why? Read on to find out, although I warn you—I haven’t slept since seeing the picture at the bottom of this post.
Podo was sipping thick black bean brew and half-listening to his new friend Lennry Gardensmith blab about the superior quality of his wife’s apple crunch recipe when he saw Paddy Durbin Thistlefoot emerge from the patrol office. Thistlefoot marched across the street, fists pumping, and burst into Gully’s Saloon, demanding bean brew.
“Strongest you got,” he said, kicking his muddy boots off at the door.
“What’s got you all sizzled?” asked Lennry.
“They don’t believe me, that’s what.” Paddy pulled up a stool at the table where Podo and Lennry sat. “They said my math was bad. I said that may be true, but I didn’t think it could be bad four mornings in a row. They thought that was pretty funny.” He took a long, noisy sip of his bean brew and shook his head. “But the more I think about it, the more certain I am that I had eight hogpiglets yesterday. And the day before I had one more than that. Ten!”
“That’s not right,” Lennry said.
“Eh?” Paddy counted on his fingers and moved his lips.
“You said you had eight yesterday, and the day before you had one more than that. That makes nine, not ten.” …
Paddy furrowed his brow and nodded slowly. “Nine. You’re right. Plumb forgot about that one.” He and Lennry raised their mugs to math and sipped. …
“If you’re so smart, what’s taking my hogpiglets?”
Lennry shrugged. “Could be wolves.” …
“Pah,” Podo said. “Wolves run in packs. They don’t slip into pens and swaller a hogpiglet whole. Was there any sign of struggle?”
“None,” said Paddy.
“Footprints?” Podo asked.
“Hard to tell in the slop.”
“Well, then, I’d say you’ve got snickbuzzards.”
Lennry gasped. “Snickbuzzards?”
“What’s a snickbuzzard?” Paddy asked.
“I don’t know,” Lennry said, “but they sound mean.”
“Aye,” Podo said. “They are. Terrible mean. Razor sharp beaks. Talons like daggers. And the worst part?”
“Yes, yes?” Lennry and Paddy said.
Podo sipped his bean brew and raised a bushy eyebrow. “Bellybutton.”
“No,” said Paddy with a shiver. “Not on a bird.”
Sorry about that, everyone.
Thankfully, there are no snickbuzzards here in the Hollows, so it’s perfectly safe to head over to the forum for some bibes and conversation. A few topics to get you started: Movie casting, visiting the library, Janner and Grigory, and books that tell us who we are. See you there!