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An Amazing Discovery Regarding the Primitive Boggart

An Amazing Discovery Regarding the Primitive Boggart

I have been strong proponent of the view that the intelligence displayed by many faeries is a form of mimicry and that, outside of the so-called noble fey species, true sentience is not a trait possessed by the creatures. Dr. Heineman and I have clashed repeatedly on the issue of intelligence, and I am sure he will gloat when I state the following: the included photonic capture proves that the so-called “primitive” boggarts are not nearly so primitive as once thought. Their use of tools is not the only evidence I offer to support this statement. The boggart in this photograph spoke to me.

Not well, mind you. His grasp of the common language was not firm to say the least. His grammar was poor, and the vocalizations were difficult to make out, but we carried on quite a conversation, which I will now relate to you in the hopes that you can provide me your thoughts. Let us move past the revelation that the boggarts are not evolutionarily the ancestors of the noble genera, at least not to the degree previously accepted by all the experts in the field. I am writing a detailed paper for Urbana Natura in which I will offer a detailed examination of their tool and language skills. For this missive, I would like to focus my subject to the matter of the conversation between myself and the boggart. His name is Krethun.

I can see Dr. Heineman laughing loudly at this, but nevertheless. I shall press forward, swallowing my pride, as it were.

With fall fast approaching, I had decided several days earlier to press deeper into the Park in search of a body of water. I have been reading of late a wonderful paper by E. D. Smithe on the hunting of dragonfaeries –a faery analogue for what I remember in my youth as brilliantly colored predatory insects similarly named. Their aerial acrobatics are unparalleled, according to Smithe. I took with me my equipment of course, so that I could share any discoveries with the larger world.

After countless hours of stumbling, I had a nasty encounter with a hive of stinging flits of which I will say nothing except to thank Mr. Wiggins for his recommendation of Mrs. Morstimply’s Tincture. It has done wonders not only on my moth faery wounds but it soothed the burning from this encounter with the flits as well. I have written a letter of praise to the parent corporation behind the medicine.

Despite my fresh wounds, I pressed on, for I was determined to perform feats of science and when I am so determined, no stings or bites will stop me. Minutes after taking a break, I saw the glint of sunlight reflecting off water through the trees, and I knew that I had found a small pond. I’d previously stumbled upon such a body of water in my earlier explorations, but as my notes have been in such a disarray, I could not return to the exact spot. Sometimes I wonder if there may be a supernatural force behind my inability to properly map the geography of the Park. It seems at times that things are not where I would have expected them to be. Now, I am sure some of you will accuse me of perhaps sipping tonics to excess, but I assure you, I am always stone cold sober, especially after an unfortunate incident at a dinner party with Miss Watkins a month ago.

No, I will not go into the details of that either, I am afraid.

To return to my narrative. I had located the body of water and I proceeded to set up my P.C. at the edge of the water. The dragonfaeries move so quickly and are so shy to the presence of bipeds that I set my newly patented (No. 139201-1) Automated Clockwork Shutter Actuator to make captures at a predetermined period of thirty seconds. I attached my experimental automated plate loader (patent-pending) and fed a dozen plates into the hopper. Then I retreated to the shade of a lovely Willow not far from the water’s edge to catch up on my reading and perhaps, if I am being honest, a little sleep with the a reading pillow.

I woke some time later with a start to the sound of my capturer falling into the water! Oh dear readers, you can imagine my anger and panic I am sure. I flew to my feet and dashed to the equipment. Immediately I could see that the automated plate loader was utterly destroyed, but the rest was most likely salvageable. I set to work cleaning and disassembling the device right there, despite the waning sunlight. As I am sure you know, the longer you wait to make such repairs, the more difficult than ca be.

I was somewhere between polishing lenses 3 and 4 when I felt a sharp poke in my calf through the fabric of my trousers. I assumed the source was an errant weed and brushed at it with my hand. I received a sharp stab to the hand, a pain that was accompanied by the tiny bellow of the ferocious boggart!

I am embarrassed to relate my next action. You must understand that I acted purely under instinct– When something at a height of eight inches wield a tiny spear attacks me, I react in self defense.

I kicked the poor creature half-way across the pond before I knew what had just transpired.

I have seen illustrations of boggarts before, mostly drawn from trap-caught specimens, as they are generally considered too ferocious to approach when living. Never have I read an account of a boggart wielding a stone-tipped spear, fastened with rope made from reeds, wielding a ferociously painted shield decorated with what appeared to be a rat skull.  The capture included with this missive was made by my timer shortly before the boggart attacked my capturer, thinking it some kind of weapon.

And of course I most certainly do not recall reading of any previous incident in which a boggart was seen wearing a little red fez.

If I were an unlucky scientist, this story would end here, but fortunately, boggarts are a hardy bunch, and he was merely dazed by my counter attack, and his hat, shield, and weapon had fallen to the ground at my feet after he was catapulted into the water. Boggarts, similar in form to amphibians, are natural swimmers, so he was in no danger. If anything, my attack had only made him more angry. It was as he swam back toward me that he let loose a stream of foul-mouthed curses enough to cause this scientist to blush, and may I remind you that this scientist has spent time at sea!

I believe at this point I sputtered something along the lines of “You have the capacity for speech!” And my memory is a tad hazy on this fact, but I believe his response was something along the lines of—

“An’ Krethun can kick your arse too!”

With rapid and tense negotiation involving the handing over of several coins and a bit of rope, I was able to negotiate a cessation of hostilities. Fire faeries began to rise from their day’s resting places and lit up the air around us as night fell and our conversation deepened beyond slurs and profanity.

It seems that the boggart had mistaken me for another human, and having seen very few, is apparently not capable at telling one person from another. His tribe lives on a small island in the pond, and lately, they had been under attack by the minions of someone he called “Lady of the Wings.” I have taken the liberty of replacing inappropriate slang with the word “lady” for the purposes of this missive.

As he described his tribe’s recent battles, I began to suspect that this Lady he spoke of was identical to the urban legend of the Bird Queen! You may scoff, but as I pressed him with questions, I was able to discern that the boggarts’ ultimate adversary was a woman with an unusual bond with birds. The stories are uncannily similar, you must admit.

Like anyone, I had assumed that stories of the Bird Queen were a story told by city guardsmen to frighten urchin gangs into returning to their orphanages of origin. I’ve heard firsthand an account from urchins of their attempt to rob a seemingly addle-brained woman in the park, and being assaulted en masse by dozens of large ravens. I thought it merely a tale meant to entertain, a boast of sorts perhaps. But now I am not so certain.

Krethun claims that the Bird Queen wishes to subjugate his people like she has the birds, and while I have seen no evidence to this, Kerthun displayed a wound that was clearly delivered by the talons of a hawk.

I have promised to think of how I might assist the boggarts in this matter, and now I turn to you for your counsel as always. Something seems missing from this story. Why would the Bird Queen want to control the boggarts as well as the birds of the Park?

I believe that there is a mystery here, and one that I must solve soon, or a war will break out in the Park! Krethun informed me that messengers have been sent to other tribes of boggart in the Park, and soon they will gather to do battle with the birds. (More tribes! How many might there be, I wonder with amazement?)

I have promised to return to Krethun for further discussion, and I believe I will bring Miss Watkins with me. Her work on Field Sounds has gone so well that I would like to include her, and make recordings of the boggart. Our next edition should contain these recordings as more proof that the boggarts are not the mindless beasts previously thought.

Sincerely, Julius T. Roundbottom

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