Beasts_of_Heaven The_Feast author-mrboo barn_cats questionable

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Beasts of Heaven VIII
Feast and Famine

By MrBoo

The farmer left his house and walked towards the barn. It was a fine crisp fall morning with the sun just appearing over the mountains. He took a lungful of the cool air and let it out slowly, relishing the scents of the season. The crops had been plentiful this year and the harvest was almost complete, with only the wheat still left to be brought in. The root cellar was full and his wife and daughters had been busy preserving food for the winter. The Feast was coming up soon and it promised to be the best in recent memory.

As he neared the barn his reverie was interrupted by a loud screeching, coming from behind the smokehouse. The farmer rushed over to see what it was, although, based on the pitch of the noise, he already had a good idea.

Rounding the corner of the building, he saw that one of the barn cats had caught an orange fluffy foal and was making sport of it.

“SCREEEEE!!! Why huwt babbeh? Wostest owwies!! Mummah!!! Hewp babbeh!!! Why nu sabe fwuffeh fwom munstah?”

The cat had mangled one of the foal’s hind legs and whenever it tried to escape, she tackled it and threw it down again.

“Weave babbeh ‘wone, munstah!” the foal cried, “Am onwy wittwe babbeh! Huu huu huu!!!”

The cat grabbed the fluffy by its scruff and held it down, kicking at it with its rear legs.

“SCREEEEE!!!!!! Babbeh gotta wun ‘way!!!”

The farmer didn’t want to interfere with the cat’s kill, but the noise was probably distressing to the bucks still in the barn.
“That there’s a good job, Miss Puss, but gods a’mighty, that thing’ll raise the dead with all that hollerin’.”

When the foal saw the man, it pleaded even louder. “Mistah hewp babbeh! Munstah twy to num fwuffeh! Nu wet babbeh be nummeh!”

The man took a good look at the creature. It was still very young, no bigger than a rat. “Now, whar did yew come from? Did Puss ketch yew in the woods or be they more o’ yew close by?”

“Babbeh onwy twy make gud poopies an’ bad munstah gib wostest owwies!!” the foal blubbered.

“Well, what say yew, Puss? Are there any more out yonder?” the farmer asked, but with the human involved, Miss Puss had retreated a few yards away and was busy cleaning herself.

“Mistah hewp babbeh? Nee’ mummah! Nee’ huggies an’ wub! Huu huu huu!! Nu wan’ be nummeh!”

“Don’ yew worry none, lil’ fella, Miss Puss ain’t lookin’ to eat yew, jes’ have a lil’ fun, that’s all. But like muh pappy always said, nits grow into lice.” The farmer brought his heel down on the foal’s head and smashed its skull with a satisfying crunch. Picking it up by the tail, he flung it into the nearby tree line. The cat leapt after it and the farmer went about his day.

----------


It was the day before The Feast, and the farm was a beehive of activity. The farmer’s wife and daughters had left for town the previous day to help with the preparations, their wagon crammed with not only food for the feast, but trade items in case one of the caravans showed up. Pots of honey, jars of preserved fruits and vegetables, salted pork as well as yards of fine lace handcrafted by his daughters filled the wagon.

It was the job of the farmer and his sons that morning to get the bucks ready to go to town. The farmer wanted to leave no later than midday, as that would have them arriving in town by suppertime.

Before they left, the farmer took a last look at the broodmares that would be staying behind, in care of an old big fluffy mare. The midsummer festival had been fruitful, with eleven of his mares catching. The four barren mares would, of course, go with the bucks to the Sacrifice.

All in all, the farmer was pleased. He may only need to buy a couple of new bucks come Auction time, if everything worked out. Finding Eema, the big fluffy midwife, they checked on the gravid mares together.

They all rested comfortably in their stalls, with ample straw and grain in their troughs. As the farmer passed by, they greeted him.

“Hewwo, boss. Fwuffeh am soon-mummah! Wiww gib babbehs wotsa huggies an’ wub!”

“Boss nu wowwy, Eema gon’ take gud cawe ob dese soon-mummahs,” Eema said. She had given the farmer many healthy broods over the years and had been acting as midwife and doctor since she had left her child-bearing years behind. Her once dark blue fluff was now shot with gray and she had a pronounced stoop, but there was no better big fluffy to have around when it came time for foaling.

“I ain’t worried none, Eema,” the farmer said, “and it shan’t be much longer til we see some lil’ ones. More bucks than fillies, I’m hoping. Yew reckon?”

Eema looked at the expectant fluffies and smiled. “Eema see mo’ bucks, wess fiwwies.”

“Good!” the farmer said, returning the smile. One of the younger barn cats ran over and began weaving through the farmer’s legs. He picked it up and handed it to Eema. “Keep a sharp eye out for shit-rats. Ahm thinkin’ they’s ‘bouta stage a comeback. Yew know what to do if yew ketch one.”

“Eema know,” she said, licking her lips, “jes’ hope dey am tendew an’ juicy!”

“Well, we’ll be back in two days so don’t let them goats wander off an’ keep the critters fed.”

“Yus, boss. Wiww do!”

From outside the barn, the farmer’s oldest boy, Sama, called. “Pa! Yew ‘bout ready?”

“Ahm a comin’”! He called back and trotted over to where they had the bucks gathered in the shade of the big oak tree next to the house. On a small table, Rany, the youngest son, had laid out a quick lunch of bread, cheese and boiled eggs, which they ate before setting off.

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The herd was facing a crisis. They had moved into the woods at the beginning of summer and found a place with ample food and no other competition or predation. So they did what they did best: they reproduced with abandon. Soon, the herd had more than doubled in size as litter after litter of healthy foals were born. They suffered the normal attrition from chance accidents, but for the most part, the herd lived a fat, happy life.

Lately, though, things had begun to change. The days grew shorter and the nights colder. Green leaves turned to yellow, brown and red. The nests that were once warm and cozy had become chilly and uncomfortable. And the food supply was dwindling. Berries were harder to find, and the tender grasses and flowers were being eaten and not growing back as before. Special friends were having to travel farther and farther to find good food for the soon-mummahs and the dark-time cries of foals with empty bellies became more common.

The leader knew that there was a problem and had sent out scouts to look for new areas to which they could relocate. It had been several bright-times since the last scout left and the herd grew impatient. They began to wonder if the leader was really a smarty after all, or just another dummy fluffy.

Finally, a scout returned and made her report to the leader. She told of a place that once was home to humans, but as she watched, they took all of the big fluffies and walked away, leaving houses full of nummies behind.

At first the leader was skeptical. “Da hoomins weave aww dewe nummies? Take biggie fwuffehs an’ gu? Am fwuffeh suwe ‘bout dat?”

The young mare nodded, “Yus, dey walk ‘way. Weave biggie housie an’ nummehs. Fwuffeh seen it.”

The herd leader called his two most senior toughies over. “Hab aww fwuffehs come to da biggie twee. Hab impowtant ting to teww dem.”

Once they were assembled, the herd leader left his nest and, flanked by his biggest toughies, strode to the center of the group.

“Fwuffehs!” he began, “Dis pwace am nu gud fo’ fwuffehs. Nu nummehs an’ tyu cowd. Smawty hab foun’ a nyu pwace wif nummehs and wawm nesties fo’ ebafwuffeh! Nex’ bwight-time, we gu dewe!”

The herd let out a cheer. “Yay! Smawty am bestes smawty!“

The herd leader accepted their praise and when he returned to his nest, he found several fillies and mares, lined up, ready to show their appreciation with special huggies. Afterwards, he laid back on his bed and reflected on how good it was to be the leader.

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The farmer and his sons drove the group of bucks down the dusty road towards town. The afternoon sun was hot but the big fluffies were used to long toil in the heat and obediently followed where they were led. He put Sama in the important position at the rear of the group, making sure that none were left behind. The boy was almost full grown and needed to be challenged. The farmer figured that they would be returning from next year’s Feast with a new wife for him in tow.

It was dusk when they finally reached the Feast area, just outside of town. A large field under shady trees was being set up for the holiday, with long tables resting on trestles ready to accept the harvest’s bounty. Farm families that had arrived early had made camps at the edges of the field and already cook fires were burning and some preparations were already under way.

While his sons moved the bucks into the holding pen, the farmer sought out the rest of his family. He found them camped under a large elm tree, busy making desserts for the Feast. His farm produced some of the best peaches in the valley and his wife’s peach cobblers were a favorite.

After supping on a stew of corn, field peas, tomatoes and onions, the farmer thought that he would go and visit with the other farmers. He took Sama along, so that he might become part of the group. They joined a gathering seated on benches, under a pavilion. Next to them five whole hogs were being lowered into pits to cook all night.

One of the farmers had brought a keg of beer, cooled in the river. The bung was driven in and soon bowls of the brew were passed around. One went to Sama, who looked to his father. The farmer nodded his approval with a smile and together they toasted the harvest.

The farmers talked of farmer things: crops, rain and weather, soil and field bucks. After a time, the farmer asked the question that had been most on his mind.

“Seems like them shit-rats is comin’ back, yew reckon?”

Many nodded in agreement, but some scoffed. “That’s cuz yew ain’t got no hounds. Git yerseff some doggos, won’t have no shit-rats.”

“Dogs’ll et up more ‘en ‘em beasts do,” the farmer argued. “Ah’ll jes’ stay with muh cats. They feeds they seffs. Ain’t never seen no doggo int’rested in mice nor rats.”

They argued back and forth for a while, then concluded that with the harvest in and winter coming, fluffies would cease to be a problem soon. With the problem solved, the farmers returned to their camps. Tomorrow was going to be a big day and they needed their rest.

----------


The first part of the farm that the herd encountered was a stubbled field. They were disappointed when they couldn’t find the easy pickings they expected. They moved on but found only bare, empty farmland.

“Whewe am nummehs?” they asked, “Why smawty bwing us hewe if nu nummehs?”

Foals cried for nourishment from mothers whose own bellies were empty. “Babbeh hab tummeh owwies! Nee’ miwkies, mummah, nee’ miwkies!”

“Sowwy babbehs, bu’ mummah got nu miwkies! Huu huu huu!” the mothers cried, their once rounded teats now drooping and barren.

Meanwhile, the leader was worried. He had the scout brought before him. “Whewe am da nummehs? Fwuffeh say dey am nummehs hewe. Whewe awe dey?”

“Dey oba dewe,” she said pointing across the field, “in biggie housie.”

“Fwuffeh betta be wight ‘bout dat,” he replied and bopped her on the snout, “ow smawty gon’ gib sowwy hoofsies, mebbe fo’eba sweepies!”

The herd kept moving and eventually came to the barnyard. They could see the barn, but closer still was a pond with ducks and geese, as well as a pen with several goats, idly chewing on straw.

The pond was surrounded with green grass and the herd happily made a bee line for it and started eating. The waterfowl were unnerved by the fluffies and began quacking and honking. With the adult fluffies busy eating, some of the foals went to the edge of the pond.

“Hewwo biwdie fwiend!” chirped a yellow colt, “Wan’ pway?”

A duck stuck its neck out and grabbed the colt in its beak, swallowing it down whole before it could chirp. The other foals nearby saw it and ran away.

“EEEEEPPP!!!!! Munsta!! Munsta!!”

Two more were eaten before the rest gained the safety of the herd.

“Mummah! Am biwdie munstahs!” they exclaimed, but the feeding fluffies ignored them.

Another small group of foals went to explore the goat pen, crawling underneath the fence and approaching a black and white spotted goat.

“Hewwo, be nyu fwiend? Shawe nummies wif babbeh?” asked a jade green filly.

The goat looked at the foal and took it in its mouth and chewed it up before swallowing it. The other foals ran back to the herd with cries of “Munstas!” Soon the whole herd was in a panic as word of foal-eating monsters spread.

Once again, the leader confronted the scout. “Fwuffeh am dummeh! Nu say dey am munstahs!”

“Fwuffehs needa gu tu biggie housie! Am safe dewe!” she said.

The leader stood on his beefy hind legs and yelled, “Fwuffehs, fowwow tu biggie housie, am safe dewe!”

As quickly as they could, the herd fled to the barn, hoping for salvation.

----------


The morning of the Feast dawned bright and sunny. The cook fires had been burning all night and delicious smells wafted through the camps. Children ran and played while the adults cooked and made ready for the festivities.

A small caravan arrived and the trade was heavy. Salt and other spices were popular, as were bolts of colorful cloth and farm tools. In exchange for some pots of honey and jars of preserved fruit, the farmer acquired a bag of salt, some dried herbs and a new axe, which he gave to Sama. The farmer’s wife admired some fine colorful cloth, but the farmer knew that simple homespun was best for farm folk. He did trade some of their lace for new bonnets for his wife and daughters.

At midday, a horn was sounded, calling for the start of the Feast. The folk loaded the boards with dish after dish as the eating commenced. There was all manner of meats: roast pig and goat, fowl, game from the mountains and fish from the river. Vegetables cooked in many different ways: boiled, steamed and fried. A whole table was laden with loaf after loaf of breads and cheeses. For drink they had beer, cider and wine.

There were fresh melons and berries as well as stewed fruits and compotes. For sweets they had pies, cobblers, boiled puddings and tarts. It was a feast of plenty and none were turned away hungry. Even the bucks in the enclosure were fed boiled potatoes, their favorite.

The day wore on and soon dusk came. When the first stars appeared overhead, a bell was sounded and the people all gathered around a large tent on the edge of the field. The men carried torches as they stood and waited. Finally, a figure emerged from the tent and all knelt before her. It was the Priestess of the Feast, dressed in robes of midnight black and cobalt blue and crowned with a wreath of autumn leaves atop her raven hair. She ascended a low dais and addressed the crowd.

“Good people of the valley! This was a year of plenty! And we must thank the gods for their benevolence!”

At this, the people cheered and rose to their feet.

“It is now time to show the gods our appreciation for their favor! It is time for sacrifice!”

The crowd began to chant: “Sacrifice! Sacrifice! Sacrifice!”

“Follow me to the place of offering!” the priestess stepped down and walked through the crowd, who followed her. She led them away from the feasting area to a place surrounded by evergreen trees. Here there was a large rectangular pit, deeper than a man was tall. At the bottom was a layer of wood, covered in sticky black pitch.

The people lined up along the long sides of the pit, while the priestess took her place on another dais at one end. She stood there solemnly, holding a torch.

“Bring forth the offering!” she cried. There was a trampling of many feet and the big fluffy bucks and mares were stampeded to the pit by men waving torches and bearing whips. The bucks tried to stop at the edge, but pressure from behind caused them to cascade into the pit, crying and screaming. Again, the chant of “Sacrifice! Sacrifice! Sacrifice!” went up.

Once they were all in the pit, the crowd fell silent as the priestess spoke.

“Good people of the valley! Kneel in reverence as we pray!” The people once again knelt. “Oh mighty gods, we thank you for your blessings and in return, to show our appreciation, accept this, our offering to you, and continue to bestow upon us your good fortune!”

The prayer finished, the assembled people rose. The priestess held her torch on high and cried out. “We give these lives back to you, oh mighty gods!” She dropped the torch and suddenly the fire flared up, igniting the pitch. The blinding smoke and the screaming of the burning bucks went out into the night sky and up into the heavens.

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There was a gap in the barn doors and the herd quickly filed in. The leader and a few of his toughies waited outside until the last fluffies entered before they themselves went into the dim interior. The herd milled about in the center as shafts of golden light shone through the upper windows. It was quiet, except for a few whines from the scared foals.

“Fwuffeh smeww udda fwuffehs,” the leader told his henchmen, “an’ smeww nummehs, tyu.”

The scout fluffy cautiously nosed about the barn. She knew that there were nummies here, but couldn’t see them in the darkness. Her sense of smell was good, which is why she was a scout, and she smelled food. But she also smelled something else. It smelled like other fluffies, but not quite the same. In the half-light, she bumped into what felt like a soft rock covered in a rough skin. It smelled like food, like the empty fields they had walked through.

Before she could call out her discovery, she saw, in the shadows, a pair of yellow eyes looking at her. Am munstah, was her last thought before the figure behind the eyes leapt out and grabbed her by the throat.

The herd began to complain and the leader was getting angry. He gave sorry hooves to a panicking mare to shut her up then addressed the herd. “Dey am nummehs hewe! Gu fin’ dem!”

Suddenly the cry of “Munstahs!” went up and the fluffies crowded together in a tight group. Looking around, the leader saw several pairs of yellow eyes and long slinky bodies circling the herd.

The toughies took positions at the outer edge of the group, ready to fend off any attack. But the monsters swooped in and, one by one, the toughies disappeared into the shadows, screaming. The air in the barn became rank with the stench of shit as the fluffies lost control of their bowels out of fear. Dams gathered their foals and some brave stallions stood over them, while some simply hid behind their forelegs or reverted to sucking their hooves. The herd was about to break and bolt in panic.

Before they could, the barn door burst open and blinding sunlight streamed in. Standing in the doorway was a small figure, too small for a human, but bigger than a fluffy. In its hands it held a curved scythe at the ready.

“Shit-wats? In bosses bawn? Eema don’ tink su!”

The leader had had enough. From the lying scout to the birdie monsters to the creatures in the shadows, it was too much to bear. He was the leader and it was time that others recognized it. He stepped forward, his cheeks at full puff and the meanest look that he could muster on his face.

“Dis am hewd wand nao! Gib nummehs ow get wostest owwies! Smawty nu foowin’!”

The herd was encouraged by this show of bravado and their hearts swelled with pride. Their smarty was the best smarty and now they would get some nummies. But the big fluffy had a difference of opinion.

“Nu, dis am bosses wand an’ ‘ou am onwy shit-wat,” she said, “an’ boss say, ‘ou see a shit-wat, kiww a shit-wat!”

The scythe sang out and the leader’s head was harvested. Eema waded into the herd, swinging the cruel blade back and forth as the herd fell before her. The barn cats joined in the melee and the barn became a scene of carnage and mayhem.

Eventually, Eema hunted down and dispatched any last survivors. She discovered a trio of foals hiding behind the severed back end of a mare, hugging one another desperately and crying. She popped them into the pocket on her shift for later use. She missed, however, a pair of weanlings who fled through the barn door and ran away, back into the woods as fast as they could.

With a wooden hay rake, Eema pushed the dead and dying fluffies out into the barnyard and piled them up. She wanted the farmer to see how she had protected the farm in his absence. Once that was done, she went back to her chores.

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The Feast was over and the next morning the farm families struck camp and set off for their homes. Leaving at daybreak, the farmer hoped to return to the farm by noon. Their wagon was lighter for the return trip and the goats had no trouble pulling it. The women wore their new bonnets, while Sama proudly carried his new axe.

Arriving home, the farmer’s wife and daughters unloaded the wagon while Sama and his father went to check on the broodmares, The first thing they saw was a pile of dead multi-colored fluffies. A cat was perched on top, casually cleaning itself.

“By the gods, whut is this here?” the farmer asked himself, scratching his head.

On the side of the barn they found Eema. She was squatting down by a small fire, roasting three small creatures on sticks. When she saw the farmer, she stood, smiling.

“Hewwo, boss. Eema hab a stowy to teww ‘ou!”



Uploader MrBoo,
Tags Beasts_of_Heaven The_Feast author-mrboo barn_cats
Rating questionable
Source Unknown
Locked No

Comments


- Reply
MrBoo: This one's a bit more fluffy-centric.

And look, four letter names! Progress, people, progress.
- Reply
Anonymous1: I thought in this universe people worshipped fluffies? Or was that just some sort of retarded cult?

- Reply
MrBoo: @Anonymous: this is set in the town from Beasts of Heaven VI pt 2. Here fluffies are not worshipped but are instead pests. The big fluffies (or anthros) are used to work the fields.
- Reply
Anonymous2: @MrBoo: Oh, so that why that character talk somewhat like a retard, that actually reminds me of another story about anthros being used in farming, but I am just sad it never got a ending...

I got nothing against them being used for work like that, as long as they are given proper shelter and food, and aren't treated like crap.

- Reply
guodzilla: @MrBoo: You forgot the after-feast orgy, where all the young male farmhands (and any others who might be interested) get together with the latest unbred big-fluffy fillies/mares and...
...well...
...you know...
>;-)

- Reply
MrBoo: @Anonymous:
I would say less retarded and more in a regional dialect. And the difference in how the fluffies (big and small) are treated reinforces my ideas on how a fractured society would re-develop itself. In some places, they are given divine status, while elsewhere they are considered either vermin or disposable labor.

- Reply
MrBoo: @guodzilla:
Oh, no you don't. I listened to you before and started writing anthro stories. I'm done with fluffy pornography.

Although, a story about the midsummer festival where the big fluffies are bred might be interesting. Hmmm......

- Reply
guodzilla: @MrBoo: LOL
Um...oops?
(snicker)
- Reply
Anonymous3(2): @MrBoo: Still would take a moment to understand what they are saying, but at least it isn't with a Cajun accent...

I would have to look at the other stories, but do they really worship fluffy?
Normal fluffy might be ok, but a uppity smarty would get them all killed because it wants everything, unless it eats itself to death first.
- Reply
Anders_Breivik: Not to nitpick, but those kind of sacrifices were quite rare in human history. Farmers were devout but also quite poor and not very keen in wasting resources. Burning an animal alive is funny, but you end up losing meat and valuable byproducts. Usually animal sacrifice is done as a form of ritual slaughter.

- Reply
MrBoo: @Anonymous:
Interesting. So do you find an accent more difficult to understand than fluffspeak?

I suggest that you read my other stories in this series. In some places, the fluffies are considered divine, in other places they are either amusing pets or outright pests, depending on their impact on the society.

- Reply
MrBoo: @Anders_Breivik:
Who are you, sir, to inject logic into a story about imaginary creatures?

Seriously, though, the concept here was that the big fluffies matured so rapidly that it was more resourceful to start each spring with a fresh batch of workers than to feed idle laborers over the winter. Add in a little paganism and there you go.

Are there holes in this concept? Big enough to drive a truck into. Having to train a new crop of field hands every year would be a pain in the ass, for one.

But its speculative fiction. Its limited only by our imagination.
- Reply
Anders_Breivik: @MrBoo: Well, I just wanted to inject some logic in the story, usually stories on the boorou feature humans that behave as stupidly as the fluffies. However, if you look up on Youtube for "ritual slaughter" or "animal sacrifice" you will see how old cultures performed their sacrifices: the animals were killed cerimonially in public, then a standard butchering was performed.