One night in winter comes, dark but for milky shine of fat moon. I am in look-hut, cold even but I am snuggle in guard-blanket stitched by Grandmother Zozeech in time she not blind. This night I listen for owls in forest, hoot-hoot. I hear no hoot even but is perfect night for hunt mouse or vole. All shoosh, no wind.
I am at end of night guard, soon to bed. I wait for Frydeg arrive, do his guard. Frydeg is good friend of me. Most friend. We two are borned together, same day, me first. We grow together, do boy things together. We are like brother to brother, even but I have family brother. Now we are of thirteen years, come to be men, good men we two will be, Kumblant and Frydeg.
I watch for him. Sudden from forest come crashing of bush and crunch of leaf under foots. I take torch, shine down. ‘Frydeg, where you been?’ I say.
Yet but what I see is Tostidteekayk run from forest. Is pig-man of village. He run to foot of look-hut, wave up to me.
‘Kumblant, bring torch. Come,’ he say.
‘No. I am night-guard. What you want?’
‘Pigs are dead. All dead.’
I am not believe. I am suspect a thing not right – Tostidteekayk come from forest, yet but pigs live in small field, not forest. ‘Why you in forest?’ I say.
‘I chase. I wake to noise of kill pigs, I run from bed. See wolf. I chase in forest.’
‘I see no wolf. I hear no kill.’ I move shine of torch bright into face of Tostidteekayk. He seem to be more – more big, more hair, more ears, more eyes, more teeth. I say, ‘What you want, Tostidteekayk?’
He no speak. I keep torch shine at him, he keep stand there, one minute, two minute, three minute. I not move my eyes from look at him. Four minute, five minute, then -
O no – my clock! I have set to midnight, for end my time of night guard. It make me fright. I jump, and torch jump. I put torch shine back on Tostidteekayk. He is gone.
Where he go? I shine, shine all over, I walk slow round look-hut, shine every place down below. No Tostidteekayk.
Also no Frydeg – is time for end my night guard, Frydeg not here do his. I shine torch to door of Frydeg’s hut – is open. I lean out of look-hut, try see in Frydeg’s hut, shine torch in open door – I hear noise inside. I see nothing, yet but I hear noise like scratch, scratch, scratch.
I am very afright. Frydeg, his family. I lean more from look-hut, move torch shine slow to look hard in open door – no, I not see. And not hear. Is quiet, no scratch, no noise, no nothing. I wait. I am not move, I am like dead boy, my breath is stopped, my heart is not beat.
When it come, I fall back on floor of look-hut, terrifright. It is noise of ROAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHH. It is come from Frydeg’s hut.