The Epic of the Otter-skin Tunic

The dwarf king Hreidmar had three sons; Fafnir, who was an accomplished warrior; Regin a supremely skilled metal smith; and Otr, who could turn himself into an otter. One day while Otr was frolicking by a river in his otter form,  he was spotted by the mischief god Loki  and some of his buddies.

“Hey y’all look at this!” shouted Loki as he chucked a stone at the “otter.” His aim was dead-on, killing Otr on the spot. Loki then decided to commemorate his own awesomeness by skinning the otter and fashioning it into an epic otter-skin tunic. A little later, Loki got to thinking if anyone could appreciate the epicness of an otter-skin tunic, it’d be the dwarf king. So Loki and his crew paid a visit to the Hreidmar’s home.  The king and his remaining sons immediately recognized the pelt and were overcome with grief and rage (though they did have to admit it was indeed a sweet tunic), so they bum-rushed Loki and his friends, taking them captive.  Next the enraged dwarves tried to exact reparation by refusing to release Loki’s friends until he fulfilled their demand to return the skin of their deceased family member(and it had to be stuffed with gold too).  Loki quickly acquiesced, went out and quickly returned with the otter-skin now filled with gold and a magic ring that could produce more gold.

Of course the gold and the ring carried multiple curses that would bring death (Loki was already pissed-off at the dwarves for bum-rushing him and taking his friends hostage, but separating the mischief god from his fine otter-skin tunic was the worst mistake anyone could make). The curse of the gold brought out the greed in the dwarves’ hearts and they started fighting over the gold like bums going after a bologne  sandwich. Being the best fighter, Fafnir came out on top, killing his father and sending his brother, Regin, packing. Fafnir subsquently carried the gold to a cave in a nearby forest, and as a result of one of the treasure’s curses, slowly transformed into an enormous dragon, far too large to enjoy the awesomeness of the otter-skin tunic.
Over the following years Regin’s anger towards his brother never subsided nor did his lust for the gold (and the otter-skin tunic). During this time Regin acquired a foster son, Sigurd (AKA Sigfried).  Since Sigurd’s natural father was known to have been a proficient ass-kicker (he’d once killed a she-wolf by biting its freak’n tongue off!), Regin deduced it may prove productive to send a now adult Sigurd to take out Fafnir. Regin proceeded to tempt Sigurd with tales of the horde of gold protected by a vile dragon. Regin then told Sigurd this gold could be his and he’d provide him with a sword for the task if only Sigurd would agree to give him the dragon’s heart in return. Sigurd recalcitrantly refused at first,  but at the mention of a sweet otter-skin tunic, he put up no further resistance.

Regin, being a few IQ points higher than Sigurd, advised him to dig a pit at a trail near the dragon’s lair and to stab the dragon as it walks past. As Sigurd was digging the pit he was approached by a weird old man who advised him to dig trenches to catch the dragon’s blood and to bathe in it. Not being the sharpest tool in the shed Sigurd followed the old man’s instructions exactly.  Heeding the advice of a random weird old man this time would prove fortuitous since this old man was actually Odin in disguise.

Sigurd hung out in the pit until Fafnir returned from doing whatever it is gold hording dragons do when they aren’t protecting their horde (probably eating people and relieving themselves). As Fafnir walked past, Sigurd ambushed him and sucker-stabbed him in the left shoulder. The subsequent battle with the severely wounded beast did not last long.  Fafnir knew Sigurd had come for the gold (and the otter-skin tunic), and warned him that the cursed gold would only bring death. Sigurd, in a moment of unusually deep thought, replied that most men spend their lives trying to gain a fortune anyway so he didn’t have any problems with that.  Death came as a release for Fafnir,  since he’d really been dead on the inside ever since growing to large to take advantage of the sheer awesome of the otter-skin tunic.  Per Odin’s earlier instructions, Sigurd then took a dip in the the dragon’s blood and was imdued with invulnerability except for a spot on his left shoulder where a leaf was stuck (he was not in the habit of bathing thoroughly). Regin then appeared and told Sigurd to cook the dragon’s heart and serve it to him.

Sigurd then built a fire to roast the dragon’s heart. As he was cooking the heart, Sigurd poked it with his finger and tasted it. This small taste of the dragon’s heart flooded his mind with unimaginable wisdom and knowledge.  Lucky for Sigurd this new knowledge included bird language. At this time a bird perched nearby told Sigurd he’d heard Regin talking to himself about how he’s planning to do in Sigurd so he could have the dragon’s heart, the gold, and the sweet otter-skin tunic all to himself.  So going on the word of a random woodland critter he’d met a few seconds before,  Sigurd resolved to kill the man who’d raised him. As Regin  approached to take the roasted dragon’s heart, Sigurd informed him he knew of his foul plan and raised his sword.
“How did you know?” a shocked Regin blurted out.
“A little bird told me,” Sigurd replied coldly just before lopping off the dwarf’s head.  Sigurd then ate  more of the dragon’s heart before deciding to save the remainder of it as a gift to offer his future wife. After all, how could any lady turn down a guy offering a partially eaten-dragon heart AND sporting an otter-skin tunic?  Sigurd then  entered the cave to claim the cursed treasure and, above all, the awesomeness that is the otter-skin tunic.

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… and knowing is half the battle.

“Basilisk Awareness” stickers  are now available through my shop on cafepress. Alert your friends, loved ones and the general public as to how to properly protect themselves from the dangers of basilisks.

 

http://www.cafepress.com/naturalselections.597539914

The Basilisk

The basilisk is said to be the king of serpents, not for its stature, but for its crown as well as its ability to dole out death with a glance and its breath that is so toxic/caustic that can burn up all vegetation in the immediate area and can even destroy stone. The blood of the basilisk is bad news too; any poor bastard who is (un)lucky enough to be able to get close enough to stab it will be done in by its toxic blood running up the weapon and killing the holder (basilisk blood is the active ingredient in Chuck Norris’s deodorant).  The basilisk is said to be the result of a rooster incubating an egg from a snake. As one would expect of one being from such a mixed-up background, the basilisk has serious issues; when it runs out of people to kill, it kills animals; when it runs out of animals to kill, it kills plants and herbs; and, according to some, when a basilisk runs out of stuff to kill, it spends every waking hour nursing a crippling addiction to “Farmville.”
In spite of its ability and willingness to so readily bring death, due to its diminutive size, the basilisk does not have a great deal of physical strength. Additionally, there are two creatures that are able to kill a basilisk; weasels and chickens (of course). It is said that the odor of a weasel’s urine can kill a basilisk. So one solution to a basilisk infestation is to toss a live weasel into a basilisk’s burrow. The terrified weasel will piss all over itself, killing the basilisk in the process (though the weasel usually does not survive being in such a close proximity to the basilisk).  Chickens are the one creature on God’s green earth that basilisks actually fear, and rightly so. For chickens are immune to the gaze and toxins of the basilisk.  Additonally, though it is a chicken that may bring life to the basilisk, a chicken is the one critter that is best suited to take it away; the crow of a rooster is absolutely deadly to a basilisk at close range and a large bird may inflict a fatal flogging.

Remember, November is basilisk awareness month.