Chapter 16:

Chapter 16 Survival of A Goblin

Hermit's Diary

This cruel game, a source of amusement for the goblin guards, involved placing bets on whether Kaka would drop the goblin hatchlings or not. Yet, despite the relentless barrage, Kaka endured the gauntlet and reached the tent. With a painful whimper, he tumbled inside, and as his body hit the ground, we too tumbled and rolled out of the comforting shelter of his meaty ears, landing on the harsh ground below.

We lay there, stunned and disoriented, on the unforgiving ground inside the tent. The dusty earth clung to our tiny goblin bodies, our plump ears still ringing from the ordeal we had just witnessed. Kaka, our miserable savior, groaned in pain, his body bearing the brunt of the goblin guards' sadistic game.

The makeshift tent, which Kaka had brought us to, offered little comfort. It was a ramshackle structure assembled from a mess of scavenged materials, barely managing to shield us from the harsh elements outside. The thin hide serving as a makeshift door flapped in the gusty wind, offering ominous glimpses of the outside world and the ever-watchful gaze of the goblin guards.

With a gentle touch, Kaka carefully plucked the one hatchling that had become wedged and was squirming in his ear canal. The tiny goblin's legs kicked in the air with helpless effort as he was placed gently on the ground.

We hatchlings quickly huddled into a packed pile, trembling with anticipation as we fixed our eager gaze upon Kaka.

Despite his bruised and battered body, Kaka managed to lift himself off the ground, his form still slumped and slouching. He began to explain, using his simple but effective manner of speaking in goblin tongue, "Listen, little gobbies, we ain't got time to waste, and you gotta soak up what you can. Them bad goblins, they'll come and put you through real nasty work or somethin' even worse. You gotta pick up some stuff, okay?"

With rapt attention, we hatchlings nodded vigorously, absorbing every word Kaka spoke. In our harsh and unforgiving world, Kaka's survival lessons were like precious gems of knowledge.

Kaka began with a simple piece of advice, "When outside, stay hidden, don't make noise. Blend in, be quiet. Stay hidden, no drawing big attention. Blend with stuff around, be small, and not stand out. Get muddy, use leaves, whatever's around to hide yourself. Makes it tough for others to see you. Poop and dung are your friends, big stink keeps monsters away. Night's when the real bad stuff's out there. Stay hidden and try to snooze when it's darkest."

"Collect food, find scraps, anything will do but be careful. Some things look like food but can hurt. Pick up whatever's not deadly and chow it down. Know your munchables from your yuckables. Learn from forest critters. Some critters know where munchies and quenchers are hiding."

"Stick together, safety in numbers. Stay close, there's safety in lumping up. Watch each other's backs and share the loot. Get good at sneakin' 'round and climbin' stuff. Trees and tiny spaces can save your hide."

"Avoid guards, they're mean. Stay away, don't make them mad."

"Learn camp, find hidey holes, and skedaddle routes. Get the hang of this place. Figure out what the sky and weather say. Helps know when it's safe to move or when to find cover."

"Be quiet, no goblins loud. Move without talking. Don't talk loud, bad goblins talk loud, we talk soft. Make up a secret way to talk with no words. Use signs and signals to say stuff without talkin'."

"Use what you find. Broken sticks for defending, old things for new things. Make stuff from junk. Broke sticks can bonk, and old stuff can find new jobs."

"Watch adults, learn from them, know what they do. Pass on what you learn to other little gobs. We're tougher when we stick together, and what we know is our survival."

As Kaka dropped these vital smarts, we little goblin hatchlings soaked 'em up like sponges, knowing they'd keep us from getting squished in this gloomy and unforgiving world. Kaka kept sharing his goblin smarts, talking seriously and caring as he taught us how to stay alive.

Kaka's determination to teach us was clear, but his battered and weakened body couldn't endure any longer. He collapsed onto the ground, and we goblin hatchlings rushed to his side, our high-pitched voices filled with worry. We screeched and squeaked while clutching at his frail body.

As Kaka's frail body gave way, we scuttled around him, our tiny forms filled with concern and fear. Our high-pitched goblin voices echoed in the makeshift tent as we screeched and squeaked in worry. Surrounding Kaka, we were a frenetic circle of pint-sized goblins, our eyes wide with fear.

Kaka, with a sigh heavy with regret, muttered, "Me sorry, itty bitties. My scrawny body is weak, and needs rest... no food for days... many days. One more lesson today, ya watch close."

Summoning the last of his strength, Kaka pushed himself back onto his wobbly feet. He started to hobble in slow, unsteady circles, his soft, paw-like feet patting the ground. With each circular pass, the earth yielded, forming a puffy patch with a gentle dent, a true goblin nest.

He grunted, "This be how ya make a good restin' place, how ya snug in for the night. Find soft ground, walk in circles, pat-pat the dirt, till it's soft for them goblin tootsies."

We watched in rapt attention, absorbing this final lesson of the day. Kaka's knowledge was a lifeline for us, and as we clustered around our makeshift bedding, we knew that these lessons were our best chance to survive in this brutal goblin world.

Kaka, with a heart full of care and compassion, rustled himself on the softened ground, creating a cozy nest for us. He patted the ground with his palm next to his head and extended a warm invitation, saying, "Come here, little buggers, crawl up inside my ears' embrace. It will keep you all warm through the night."

Without hesitation, we raced toward his ears, tumbling and rolling over each other in our eagerness. In no time, we piled up in a heap of tiny goblins, and Kaka wrapped us in his meaty ears, like a loving parent tucking their children into bed. He gave each of us a warm hug and planted a goodnight kiss on our little heads and puffy cheeks, a gesture of comfort amidst the grimness of our world.

However, as the night wore on, the pangs of hunger gnawed at our tiny goblin bellies. A group of hatchlings began to whine, their voices filled with desperation, "Kaka... we're hungry... our tummies are rumbling... it hurts, tummy hurts. We can't sleep with empty tummies."

Kaka, displaying the resourcefulness that came from years of survival in this harsh world, stood up and then squatted down, grunting and straining. With a determined effort, he expelled a large pile of steaming feces from his butt and said, "Dig in, little ones, while it's hot. This is your food for the day. Eat every last drop, and don't waste it, because it will be a few days until you get more."

The pile of feces that Kaka had offered as our sustenance looked utterly disgusting. Its smell was unnaturally foul, an assault on our tiny goblin nostrils, and a host of wriggling worms seemed to revel in their newfound home. The sight, color, and texture of the dung were enough to make anyone's stomach churn, and it was nothing short of vomit-inducing.

One of the hatchlings pointed a trembling finger at the repugnant pile and hesitated before speaking up, "B-but Kaka... this is poop. Poop is disgusting, it tastes bad, and it's stinky too. Poop is not a munchie."

Kaka let out a gentle chuckle, his voice a mixture of understanding and reassurance.

 "I know, wee one, I know it doesn't look or smell pleasant. But in this harsh world, we gotta make do with what we got. This be the grub that'll keep ya goin' 'til we can scrounge up somethin' better. It may be poop but it will fill gnawing belly."

With that, Kaka reached down, picked up a small portion of the feces, and took a bite to demonstrate. His expression didn't change, but his actions spoke volumes about the necessity of the situation. He continued, "It is not delicious, but it fills yer tiny tummies, and it gives ya the strength ya need to survive. Trust me, in this goblin world, we gotta take what we can get."

The hatchling's desperate hunger overcame his disgust, and he tentatively scooped a tiny bit of Kaka's steaming dung with his trembling finger. His face contorted in revulsion as he hesitantly put it in his mouth, the taste vile and repugnant. He sucked on his finger with a gagging expression, but the gnawing hunger within him was an irresistible force. With a determined resolve, he stuffed his mouth full of dung, each mouthful forcing the vile content down his throat with a sickening, squelching wet gulp.

The next hatchling, driven by hunger and perhaps a hint of madness, reached into the dung with his tiny hand and grabbed hold of a squirming worm. The worm wriggled like a giant noodle that had come to life, its slimy body glistening in the dim light of our makeshift tent.

With hesitation, the hatchling slurped the worm into his mouth and started to gnaw at it with a mixture of revulsion and disgust. Squelching, guttural gags echoed through the air as he chewed and munched on the repugnant worm. Vile juices sprayed out of his mouth with each bite, creating a grotesque scene.

The rest of us, driven by the gnawing pangs of hunger and the sight of our fellow hatchlings partaking in the revolting feast, soon followed suit. We, too, surrendered to the grim reality of our existence and indulged in the repulsive banquet laid before us.

Some hatchlings grabbed worms, their squirming bodies offering a semblance of sustenance. They slurped on the worms with voracious appetites, the juices splashing as they munched away. Others, unable to overcome their aversion to the wriggling creatures, settled for nibbling and licking the dung itself, their faces twisted in disgust. And a few hatchlings, driven by an insatiable hunger, dared to taste both the dung and the worms.

In a matter of minutes, what had initially resembled a colossal pile of dung was reduced to nothing more than a stinking stain on the ground. Our hunger, momentarily appeased by this grotesque meal, gnawed at us less relentlessly, but the grim reality of our existence remained unchanged.

Our grim mealtime came to an end, and we, the goblin hatchlings, scuttled back to the warm and soft embrace of Kaka's ears. We nestled under his meaty ears, seeking solace and comfort after our repugnant feast. Our tiny faces were smeared with the residue of our putrid and stinking meal.

 In the shelter of Kaka's embrace, we huddled together, our fragile bodies pressed close, finding a measure of security and warmth amidst the darkness and despair that surrounded us. The night was long, and our dreams were filled with the haunting echoes of our goblin existence.

The darkness of our dreams was abruptly shattered by a pitiful and heart-wrenching cry. I stirred from my fitful sleep and gazed in horror at the nightmarish scene unfolding before us.

A giant spider, the size of a hatchling, had descended upon our midst. It had ensnared one of our fellow hatchlings in its sticky webbing, and the poor goblin was writhing and struggling in agony. The spider, driven by its insatiable hunger, began to pull the bitten and webbed hatchling away, its dreadful intent clear.