Yrsa Yak Mother

Yrsa clipped the two rabbits to her belt, today had been slow on the hunting front, the animals seemed to be hiding from something, the forest had seemed quieter than usual. She glanced up at the sun filtering through the trees, noting it's low position in the sky and decided to head back to her camp for the night. Half way back an odd noise caught her attention coming from somewhere off to her left, there was still a couple of hours or so to nightfall so she decided to investigate. Moving forward, her large frame surprisingly quiet, she scanned the trees ahead for whatever was making the sound. As she drew closer, she recognised a sound that caused her heart to beat faster in her chest, it was the unmistakable sound of an ogre. Slipping her war axe from her belt she ghosted forward, ogres this close to her camp didn't bode well.

Ahead the trees seemed to open out into a clearing, and she could just make out the hulking greyish figure standing in the middle of it. She circled the clearing till she was downwind of the figure, quite aware of ogres incredible sense of smell, and crept forward through the brush at the edge of the clearing. Once she had a good view of the clearing she settled down to see what the ogre was up to. From here she could smell the rancid stench of the ogre, and her nose wrinkled in distaste. The ogre seemed to be facing off against something she couldn't quite see from behind it's bulk, she cautiously moved to her right, her eyes never leaving the ogre until she could see what the ogre was facing. Her brows raised in surprise when she saw it was a yak, one of the largest she had seen in a while. The yaks sides were heaving and blood trickled down it's flank from a large gash along it's withers, more surprisingly was the blood dripping from a large tear in the ogres side. Had the yak done that? Yrsa wondered to herself.

As the two figures circled each other she noted that the yak seemed to always keep it's back to an outcropping of rock at the edge of the clearing as if protecting something. The ogre suddenly lifted it's jagged blade and issued a roar, it was deafening and Yrsa winced, every bone in her body telling her to just run and leave this strange spectacle behind. To her surprise the yak bellowed back and then lowered it head charging forward with surprising speed and slammed into the ogre, the ground trembled as the two large figures collided. As big as the ogre was it wasn't prepared for nearly half a tonne of yak careening into it's legs and it staggered back dropping to one knee. In a flash the yak was on it again, this time it's long horns aiming for the ogres torso, the ogre bellowed again and stabbed it's blade into the yaks side sinking deep. As the bright red blood spurted out onto the ground Yrsa knew the yak was done for. She tightened her grip on her war axe ready to attack the ogre if it move in her direction next. However, there was no need, as the yaks knees buckled and it dropped to ground the ogre's hand slipped from it's dagger and his body fell back into the dirt with loud thud, once more causing the tree branches to tremble.

Yrsa held her breath for a long moment, waiting to make sure it was dead, the trailing death bleats of the yak the only sound in the still forest. After she was sure the ogre wasn't getting up she crept forward, still gripping her axe and every muscle tensed to run just in case she was wrong, but she had no need to worry, both figures now lay completely still. Once she got near her eyes opened in surprise once more, the ogres stomach had been ripped open and it's guts spilled out onto the ground, she nearly gagged at the smell, but her years of being a hunter allowed her to keep her stomach contents from joining those of the ogre. As she stood there staring in wonder at the disembowelled ogre a small bleat from behind her drew her attention. She remembered how the yak had seemed to be defending something, and moved towards the rocky outcrop. Before she got too close a small brown figure stumbled out and she froze, then relaxed it was the yaks calf, barely more than a few months old it seemed. The small form staggered towards it's mother, oblivious to Yrsa's presence. She watched as it nuzzled it's mother's unmoving flank, bleating pitifully. Yrsa drew her knife and stepped quietly towards the calf, it had no chance of surviving on it's own, facing starvation or being killed by a wolf. The calf looked up as she approached, still bleating but no sign of fear on it's small face, Yrsa hesitated as it looked at her and the mother's defiant bellow as she protected her young, rang out in her head again. Yrsa sighed, sheathed her knife, picked up the calf and set off back towards her camp.


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