"at night like this"

Greebo was sleeping. It was one of those standard sets of feline activities, that didn’t interfere with the flow of ions and other -ons through the multiverse. Greebo’s sleep, however, was at the same time a great relief for everything that was walking, rolling, talking, singing, squeaking, and even sometimes fluttering in the wind. Somewhere in the distance, a not very clever cat meowed, though he was immediately silenced by his more wise brothers with high preventive reflexes.

If Greebo were now on a bean field, that had been planted surprisingly quickly around Lancre Castle, he would have been surprised. King Verence had decided to put a scarecrow there. The scarecrow didn’t stand out too much during the day – it was a pile of sticks clad in old rags and pieces of clothing that no one would put on themselves anymore. Usually (during the day) it didn’t even scare away flies, let alone sparrows (which were scarce in the bean field anyway, as they didn’t like such refined food). No one was attracted to beans. It was so saturated with everyday life with its stomach aches and the buzzing methane, that no one was in a hurry to be scared by the scarecrow.

But.. at night, and to be exact tonight … the scarecrow ceased to be a bunch of rags, and became the scare . Granny Weatherwax was just borrowing, but she was on the other side of the woods, and Nanny Ogg was airing her feet in the bed, so they couldn’t have known (Granny might have known, but she was too busy chasing a certain animal away). But in the moment Greebo opened the only eye in his scarred face, the scarecrow came alive.


There was no room for complicated thoughts in Greebo’s little feline mind. If it was a female cat, she had to be fertilized, if it was a male cat – severely bitten, if it was a small creature – eaten without question. He wouldn’t even have moved his tail now if it hadn’t been for the furious meowing that came to him from a distance. Greebo pricked up his ears. It was like an invitation to a banquet. Greebo sharpened his claws, tautened his tail, and, with a fury worthy of a barbarian attacking an enemy troll, started for the source of the sounds.

“Mrauuu, mrauuu!”

Greebo was sure the tomcat was mocking him, him, the king of the square. Oh, he will be counting the hair on his tail! The meowing, or rather the crazy palpitating screaming, raised the fur on his frayed tail upright. But when Nanny Ogg’s cat arrived, he saw a strange sight.

The Balkin’s old cat was running around in a field of beans, followed by a bundle of rags and sticks, swinging the fabric in all directions without making a noise. Greebo was a cat, so he hadn’t thought that a scarecrow flying around might be unnatural. Rather, he was taken over by Balkin’s cat. It was his old enemy, whom he had defeated thirty-four times. He must have been hit for waking him up while dreaming about cream!

Greebo attacked. However, the scarecrow attacked at the exact moment. The cat, furious that someone was interrupting his fight for supremacy, lunged with teeth and claws at the scarecrow, hissing furiously and meowing excruciatingly. Balkin’s old cat made a deliberate retreat, leaving behind the strange phenomenon of Greebo battling the haunted rags.

The scarecrow was not a monster from other dimensions. It was the night of the solstice during which various magical debris gathered and curled into one place. Greebo was scratching, tugging, and biting, almost blindly administering feline justice. After a few moments, there was almost nothing left of the scarecrow, that could be animated in any way. Greebo snorted at the remnants of rags and broken branches, then walked contentedly home to rest at the foot of Nanny’s bed after a hard and rewarding struggle.

As Greebo was falling asleep, he heard a tiny “squeak” somewhere in the distance. Hearing the sound was only possible thanks to his keen cat’s senses.

Verified: Mastodon FAN/Mastodon ART