Enter the Fuzz Farmers -- Here There Be Monsters
The group was rapidly settling in to their new home. They were all learning the rhythm of jungle life and altering their own ways to go along. Violet
and Action, the muffalo, had each given birth to health young bulls calves Dave had named Speedbump and Muffaliath. In time, it was hoped one would go
on to sire more calves in his turn.
The guinea pigs did what guinea pigs do -- they ate and made more.
Mando was enormously productive even if no one was exactly thankful for that.
And the bedrooms proceeded apace.
But something was wrong.
Dave was the group's main hunter and outdoorsman, and he had been spending plenty of time in the jungle itself watching the animals and learning their
ways. He thought he knew roughly what the local ecosystem was, the balance of predator and prey, but the jungle was going silent. The small animals
were disappearing. The predators were leaving.
And Dave didn't know why. It made him nervous. He couldn't find any evidence that the big predators were being killed off, and usually one predator
only gives to a larger one, but where was it? What was it?
Deep in the night, the alarms were sounded as a strange and hideous monster attacked the walls. It walked on two legs but seemed more like an upright
fish than man. Ma'am set her jaw, determined to help take it down, while Jupiter gasped, his face bleaching white. Tiny fingers of madness touched
each of the four who helped dispatch the strange monster that night, and they left it lay where it fell. Each returned to their spots to dream dark
and troubled dreams that night.
Dave secretly hoped that the strange beast was the source of the jungle's imbalance, but as time went on, he still saw no signs of things returning to
normal. Finally, he tracked down Jupiter and convinced him to form an expedition into the jungle to find the problem before it found them. Jupiter
needed some time away from constructing the new living spaces by the point and agreed to come along.
The two set out with their faithful muffalo, Violet and Action, and Dave road Vanessa, one of the group's braver alpacas. Dave thought he had a trail
picked up, something freakishly large, so the pair followed it down alongside a stone ridge. Without warning, a massive beast came boiling out of the
undergrowth! It was huge ... easily larger than anything either of them had ever seen: head, four claw-tipped limbs, long snaky tail, and two massive
wings all in shades of the deepest amethyst.
The two men looked at each other ... was it? No ... but it had to be -- DRAGON!
Even as the shock was wearing off, they heard the pained bellowings of Violet from the trail behind them. The beast had a lean and hungry look.
Clearly, it had hunted all the easy game out of this section of jungle, and Violet presented the first easy meat it had seen in some time. It was
incredibly fast, but Dave and Jupiter directed their mounts to charge back the way they came, and they fired as soon as they got within range.
The battle was joined.
The beast was intent on its prey, but soon it switched its attention to the two men. A sweep of tail knocked Jupiter off Action who charged into the
fray like the brave beast she was. Now both muffalo cows were in danger, and Dave and Jupiter knew they had to act fast.
"Keep it between us!" shouted Dave from Vanessa's back. "Don't let it focus on one of us"
For a while, that strategy seemed to be going well, but then the dragon opened its massive jaws and spat a gout of fire at Jupiter. Jupiter kept
trying to evade, but the fire was everywhere.
"Just move when it spits it at you!" yelled out Dave.
Jupiter was going to yell something angry back, but he was too busy rolling to put out singing clothing. But then the dragon pulled its other trick.
Lifting its tail, it shot out another gout of fire ... from its butt! This one fried Dave where he sat on Vanessa's back. She immediately tossed her
rider and ran about trying to put out the flames on her woolly coat.
And the rest of the battle consisted of Jupiter and Dave alternating between rolling out flames and firing their guns and dodging angry dragon until
the massive beast finally died. All the while, an inferno of dragon fire grew in the jungle around them.
It was amazing anyone emerged alive, but they did all walk out ...
... except for poor Violet.
The rest of them got their burns tended by Wanda. They would survive. Poor Dave took Violet's death particularly hard though and went into a funk. The
only thing the others could do was give him space and hope he'd past his guilt over the loss of his favorite muffalo.
Despite burning in the conflagration, the body of the dragon survived, and Bluto went out once the flames had died away to salvage what was left. He
hauled it back, and Wanda and Ma'am exclaimed over it's massive size and set right to work butchering it. It left a truly impressive pile of meat and
a staggering roll of cured hide.
"I don't know what we're going to do with all of this!" Exclaimed Wanda with her hands on her hips. "Dragon meals, dragon kabobs, dragon meat pies,
dragon steak ..."