Blogs and tales by Warren R. Smith

Troder of the Mish’dee Orb

As a rule troders have no sense of family history. And why should they? When every one of these crusty disagreeable specimens of bad manners and worse personal hygiene have fallen off the wrong side of bed one day reasonably they find themselves a troder.

Is this enough introduction to a troder’s background?

"Meh. Get on with the story or shut your big trap," would say Krank. And I would have to agree this once. Though, I’ll quickly add while troders are all a mean and nasty lot this one, Krank B. Shorn, takes pride in naturally being the meaner.

At the fall of twilight Krank shuffled about in his ragged slippers holding a steamy cup in one hand while scratching his rear with the other. By any standard he felt crabby which is the most agreeable mood you’ll be lucky enough to find in a troder. Noting his crabby mood Krank decided it was perfect time to attend his correspondences. It was a veritable stack in his eyes — that stack consisting of the only letter he’d recieved since moving west.

He handled the letter. It was from ol' Pisser, a troder back east, Krank’s old stomping ground. He and Pisser had not seen each other since time out of mind.


As a another rule troders don’t open and read their mail before they reply. That would be in bad form. Krank read Pisser’s name on the envelope and after a moment’s reflection scratched out his answer: "Drop dead you moron."

He signed it and stuffed it in an envelope that would go out next day unless he could think of some other helpful advice to add post script.

I should make it perfectly clear that Krank B. Shorn the Meaner was a true authority on being that way.

Krank’s cave in the western woods had all the conveniences for the modern brutish lifestyle. But he maintained a sense of tradition — namely: that a troder’s cave shall be littered with the remnants of a thousand misdoings-done. You shall find them tossed in the corner or lining the shelves like knick-knacks. But make no mistake; all are accounted for. They are gnawed over bones too precious ever to be done with. This is a literal fact and no mere analogy toward something like a grudge. A troder does not hold a grudge — has never even heard of such a thing. "Meh."

"I found this unsanitary thing on the kitchen counter. I believe it is yours."

The Woman of the Forest entered from the back of the cave holding out Exhibit A. It was a favorite bone splinter Krank used for a toothpick. His lip curled into a snear. The moment the Woman stepped in, any woman, it reminded him of the driving concept behind mortality.

"You are not invited," he said.

Firmly rooted as the tree of life with just as many birds in her hair she held the splinter up. "This must go." It was like she owned the place. That was her magic. And out she went onto the twilight forest lawn. Krank followed to see the Woman would do no further damage to his miserable abode.

On a low stone wall the Woman laid the bit of bone and covered it with her hand. Krank got there just as she lifted her hand away. Instead of a favorite toothpick now lay a dead bird. Krank could have sworn it once was a bone splinter because picking his teeth with a dead bird was a silly idea. He sure didn’t like how things were shaping up.

Like the moon in two pools by the sea, the Woman took a deep breath, the clouds closing her eyes. Suddenly the troder knew his time had come — betrayed by a dead bird; claws curled, yellow beak slightly agape.

When the Women spoke it was not to one Krank troder but to all things within her domain. The forested hills fairly rippled. "Breast feathers warm in color even in death…​"

The troder’s face felt strange. The woman had the way of sunshine passing over a cliff face, warming. Plink! A pebble slid down his cheek. She caught it. Laying on her palm now it was a glittering diamond.

"So," said the Woman presenting it to the troder.

"Meh," he replied. But he was really worried.

She balled up her fist and blew over it. In her hand now lay a tiny white worm. "I thought you were in there." She placed the little thing into the bird’s mouth where it disappeared.

Krank couldn’t appreciate this business. The mud slogging through his veins dried up wherein he forever turned to stone.

Fluttering awake the Robin glanced left and right and darted away, bobbing with each stroke, belonging to the day.