And so it came it pass that Lord Stoatbeguiler of House Furryknickers became Lord of all the Northlands, well, except for that bit when the savages from Beyond the Fence held on. But Lord Stoatbeguiler knew that autumn was coming, and he knew how much the men from Beyond the Fence were terrified of having their nuts attacked by starving squirrels.
It was funny how the men from Beyond the Fence preferred to have their riches in nuts, rather than gold or silver. But Lord Stoatbeguiler had heard about their strange breakfast of porridge sprinkled with nuts and berries. So he rightly feared men who could consume such weird potions that early in the morning.
Still Lord Stoatbeguiler had lands to run and enemies to the south as well as to the north, so he had little time to worry about the breakfast habits of those from Beyond the Fence. He would worry about them in the spring and the summer when they started doing what they called ‘going on holiday’. A time when they packed up their tents, venturing out from the land Beyond the Fence into the lands of other Lords and setting up camp in any disused field thy could find.
Lord Stoatbeguiler had heard sorely afeared men talk of what happened when night fell at these campsites of the men from Beyond the Fence and their unearthly wailing of what they called campfire songs. He had once known a woman from Beyond the Fence, and she had been wild, untamed, sometimes spending several hundred of her nuts in the local supermarket with no regard for proper household budgeting or even any respect at all for Sell By or Best Before dates. He had tried to tell her of BOGOF and Two for the Price of one. But she had said that such deals would upset the gods of retailing and bring about the end of what she called the January Sales. This, she said, was a time of great mystical import to the people from Beyond the Fence, especially their womenfolk who would fight to the death for even a 10% off marked price item at such times.
But these days, Lord Stoatbeguiler was the Lord of all he surveyed. This was the lands of House Furryknickers, well, right up to the fence anyway. There was, also, that bit of disputed land over by the patio that the men from Beyond the Fence had claimed as their own. But come the spring Lord Stoatbeguiler would gather all his clans together and invade, taking back the lands from those Beyond the Fence.
No, wait. He had an idea.
Perhaps he would gather his clans together for the annual New Year’s Party and keep them here until the time of the January Sales in the lands beyond the Fence. Then he would invade, take back his family’s land and keep House Furryknickers in their rightful place as lords of all the North. Perhaps, if all went well, it was time to take the lands Beyond the Fence too. He could bring civilisation to those wild, untamed lands where they hardly ever mowed the lawn and never did any weeding. Perhaps, one day, when he was Lord of the Lands Beyond the Fence, he would do something about that unsightly ivy they’d let run amok all over their lands too.
But, for now, autumn was coming, and it was time Lord Stoatbeguiler to sit on his throne in readiness for the first home match of the season.