They were an incredibly odd trio---the lumberjack, the lizard, and the spider.
But, they had a task to perform and a foe to conquer.
The two-headed snake of Thester was loose in the forest---forty feet long with a two foot girth.
The lumberjack had to chop down a ring of trees of a certain depth all 'round the forest---he'd been at the task for days now---he was nine feet tall and stronger than ten other men.
The lizard was much smaller than a man but could blow fire, very hot fire, from it's mouth---it would ignite the ring of felled trees---it was resting in the shade...
The spider was as large as a normal man and had the job of weaving the embers of the burned trees into a cage for the snake---it was eating a weed that helped it produce its silk.
The three of them had no idea they were engaged in what the man who assembled them considered a sacred act...
The Thaumaturge of their country had told the three what to do but hadn't explained the intricacies.
He was compelled to defeat the two-headed reptile and had actually been friends with Thester, many years ago.
Yet, the evoker of the snake had taken a much darker path...
The two-headed monstrosity was really of no danger to anyone but the Thaumaturge; but, he thought it best to keep that to himself and maintain his grand position with the people of this country.
He had, in fact, instilled fear into the people about the satanic creature.
He'd chosen the lumberjack because he'd been born large, strong, and bereft of creative thought.
He'd chosen the lizard because he'd given it the power of producing streams of fire with its breath.
He'd chosen the spider because it was an artisan of weaving.
The lumberjack was finished with his chopping and sat down to drink ale and break wind.
The lizard, nearby, heard the result of the flatus and awoke.
The spider ambled over to the other two and spun a bit to warm up.
Naturally, all three had the power of speech.
They sat there, silent, until the Thaumaturge arrived...
It was sunset when the Thaumaturge finally made his appearance.
The lumberjack began to speak but the Thaumaturge motioned silence.
The lizard began to speak and the Thaumaturge again urged quiet.
The spider spoke:
"I am ready to weave but the lizard must reduce this ring of trees to the smallest embers possible."
The Thaumaturge looked quite wicked and said:
All were silent then.
The sun had set.
The moon rose.
The two-headed snake could be heard issuing its contrapuntal hisses...
The Thaumaturge told the lizard to circle the forest and quickly employ his incendiary ability.
He told the spider to follow along and weave the embers into a protective barrier.
He whispered to the lumberjack:
"If this fails, you must protect me."
The lumberjack had no reason to question the Thaumaturge and simply said, "Yes".
Before the moon reached its zenith, the trees had been reduced to innumerable coals.
The woven barrier was complete.
The snake approached the glowing silken hurdle and slithered right through...
The lizard and spider made haste to depart.
The lumberjack stood in front of the Thaumaturge, who stood very still.
The snake, having two heads and the ability to move like lightning, sunk its fangs into both men.
The country round-about had a new Thaumaturge---one who dealt in no magic, one who had no satanic enemies, one who never worried and always gave simple advice to the people who revered him.
Thester, with his two-headed snake, moved to another country---seeking someone who practiced sorcery...
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"...mysterious and fantastical story telling with an amazing and often thought provoking twist." ~~ Author, Jane D. Watson ~~ "I have to applaud an author that can make me consider the human condition while presenting me with dragons and spirits and...