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Twelve Trails of Christmas archive

By rath8325 - Posted on 08 December 2009

The Twelve Trails of Christmas Archive


#rathxmas Starting tomorrow (Tues.) at noon the Named prehistoric clan cats begin "The Twelve Trails of Christmas".

#rathxmas Also known as "A Pre-Hisss-teric Holiday". Inspired by @SheilaRuth, perpetrated by me.

Clanchirps #rathxmas Starting with Ratha, each Named clan member will sing a verse of the song, then the rest must act it out.

#rathxmas One verse for each "trail" along with the accompanying escapade. Possibly longer, since the Named can't count well.

#rathxmas If you liked the Named Thanksgiving ClanChirps ( #rathanks ), "Twelve Trails" should be a Tweet treat.

#rathxmas These cats inhabit The Named Series and leave footprints all over the pages.

#rathxmas Warning! The Named "Twelve Trails of Christmas" or "A Pre-Hisssteric Holiday" starts tomorrow at 12:00 noon PST.

#rathxmas Remove all breakable objects and any unrelenting ailurophobes from your local reality.

If you miss it, use the tag #rathaxmas to find the Tweets. I'm not using the ClanChirps preface because it takes up a lot of space.

#rathxmas "Twelve Trails" was inspired by Allan Sherman's "Twelve Gifts of Christmas" and Bob Rivers' "Twelve Pains of Christmas." Blame them.

#rathxmas The Named promised not to completely mangle the traditional song. I've asked them not to be too outrageous.

#rathxmas Since they also want to encourage people to buy the Ratha books as holiday gifts.

#rathxmas Ratha's Courage, the lastest novel in the series is available at:

#rathxmas If you perfer independents, it is at Indiebound:

rathxmas If you would like it dedicated to a specific person and autographed (with a Ratha doodle, of course), find it at:

rathxmas We have Ratha's Creature again! so that you can get complete sets of the Named series.


12/08/09  12 noon PST

#rathxmas If you liked the Named Thanksgiving ClanChirps ( #rathanks ), "Twelve Trails" should be a Tweet treat.

#rathxmas Starting with Ratha, each Named clan member will sing a line, then the rest must act it out.

#rathxmas One line of the song for each day, along with the accompanying escapade.

#rathxmas It may take more than twelve days, since the Named are lousy at counting above three.

#rathxmas Sort of a furry version of the songs by Allan Sherman and Bob Rivers. Blame them.

#rathxmas All The Named together sing - "On the first trail of Christmas, my clan leader asked of me..."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Wait, just a tail-flick, Ratha. Before we go any further, I want to know what I'm getting into."

#rathxmas Ratha: "Each one of us sings a line of the song, then we have to do what the line says."

#rathxmas Fessran: - "What? Not only do we have to sing the song, but we have to do these crazy things?"

#rathxmas Ratha: "That's what the writer-creature wants."

#rathxmas Fessran: "The writer-creature can stick it up that place under her tail."

#rathxmas Ratha: "I wouldn't advise that. We wouldn't be here without her.

#rathxmas Bira: "Yes, Firekeeper leader. Don't. I wouldn't like to go poof and disappear. Or any of us."

#rathxmas Ratha: "What are you squalling about Fess? You've got an easy line."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Maybe, but NINE of them?"

#rathxmas Bira: I thought you couldn't count, Fessran."

#rathxmas Fessran: "For some things, I can. That many? Clan Leader..."

#rathxmas Ratha: "If anyone can handle it, Singe-whiskers, you can."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Thanks. I think."

#rathxmas Bira: "At least you didn't get stuck with the soaked birds. How am I going to do that, Clan Leader?"

#rathxmas Ratha: "Even though you have the task, everyone else must help you."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Did the writer-creature make that rule?"

#rathxmas Ratha: "No, I did. I've got the first line. Do you think I can catch the beast and get it up there by myself?"

12/08/09 2 PM PST

#rathxmas Ratha sings: "On the first trail of Chistmas, the clan all brought to me. A threehorn deer stuck in a pear tree."

#rathxmas Fessran: "I still think you should tell the writer-creature to stick it..."

#rathxmas Ratha and Bira together: "FESSRAN!"

#rathxmas Fessran "All right, all right. Someone go get a deer."

#rathxmas Mondir "I will. I'll get a small buck. He'll have the head and nose horns, but they'll be little. I'll be back."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Good. I don't need to get gored just for a crazy song."

12/08/09  4 PM PST

#rathxmas Ratha: "Now the pear tree. Do we have a pear tree on clan ground?"

#rathxmas Bira: "I know about trees, but what is a pear? Thakur, do you know?"

#rathxmas Thakur: "It sounds like a fruit, but I've never seen one. The treelings eat plums."

#rathxmas Bira: "Could we use a plum tree? If we don't know what a pear is, how can we find a pear tree?"

#rathxmas Thakur: "Does it have to be a pear tree?"

#rathxmas Ratha: "There really isn't much difference. And the writer-creature isn't that strict about things."

#rathxmas Thakur: "There's a plum tree nearby. I'll show you when Mondir gets back."

#rathxmas Bira: "There he is. That was quick. He's got one of Thistle-chasers vine-rope things around the deer's neck."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Good, because it's fighting him. Thakur, where is that scatting plum tree?"

#rathxmas Thakur: "Follow me, everyone."


12/08/09  6PM PST

  #rathxmas Ratha: "Well, we're here. Mondir, Thakur, please bring the deer to the tree. We'll need Cherfan too."

#rathxmas Cherfan: "Here, clan leader."

#rathxmas Ratha: "Is Thistle-chaser here? Fessran, where's your son Khushi? "

#rathxmas Thistle: "Am here. My treeling too."

#rathxmas Ratha: "Good.  We may need you to make those vine-tangles that you're both so good at."

#rathxmas Ratha: "First we're going to try a panther-pile.  If that doesn't work, we'll try doing it with vines and tangles."

#rathxmas Cherfan: "Well, I know where I'll be. Right on the bottom of the pile."

#rathxmas Mondir "I'll be with you, big fella. At least someone else will be between us and the deer."

#rathxmas Khushi: "Do I have to do this too?  I'm just a scout."

#rathxmas Ratha: "Yes you do. Now I need some good climbers. Bundi and Mishanti?"

#rathxmas Bundi and Mishanti together: "We're here!  So are Grunt and Belch if you need them."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Dungballs! They brought those walking mountains. Can't you two go anywhere without your rumbler creatures?"


12/09/09 12 noon PST

#rathxmas Ratha "All right, we have the panther-pile ready.  Bundi, Mishanti, up you go. Take the end of the vine-cord  in your teeth."

#rathxmas Bira: "The deer is ready. Ashon helped calm it down. He's with me."

#rathxmas Ratha: "All right, clan females, you're on top of the pile. Try to grab the beast without using your claws.

#rathxmas Bira: "Up you go, little threehorn. Have you got him, Thakur? Ashon, push against his rump."

#rathxmas Ratha: "Bundi, Mishanti, pull on the vine rope.  Slowly."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Scats and dung-balls, we've almost got him up! Arr, he's kicking!"

#rathxmas Ratha: "I'll scramble up and help you, Thakur.  Watch those horns!"

#rathxmas Thakur: "No, clan leader!  The pile is stating to tip!"

#rathxmas Fessran: "Too late, she's already up there."

Thakur: "I'm sliding! Oww, yarr!"

12/09/09 6PM PST

#rathxmas Ratha: "Keep the panther pile from collapsing!"

#rathxmas Thakur: "Too late, clan leader!"

#rathxmas Bira: - "You're falling on me, Thakur.  Yeowww!"

#rathxmas  Thistle-chaser: "Vine rope! Let go, or will strangle deer!"

#rathxmas Bundi: "That nearly pulled out my teeeeth, owww!"

#rathxmas Ratha: "Stop struggling, you scatting deer!"

#rathxmas Thakur: "Oooof..."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Hisssss! Owowooraar...!"

#rathxmas Bira: "Eeeeeyowch!"

#rathxmas Fessran: "Does anyone besides me have deer-prints on their...."

#rathxmas Bira: "I've got one on my ear!  It hurts, and it's worse if I try to wash my face.  I hate not washing..."

#rathxmas Ratha: "I need to re-think this..."


12/10/09 12 noon PST

#rathxmas Cherfan: "Clan leader, we've tried three times and we can't do it.  Either the beast is going to break a leg, or one of us will."

#rathxmas Bira: "I have an idea.  Did the writer-creature say if the tree had to be standing upright?"

#rathxmas Ratha: "What do you mean?"

#rathxmas Bira: "If we knock the tree over, we can put the threehorn among the branches. Would that work?"

#rathxmas Ratha: "The writer-creature didn't say anything about where the tree had to be...."

#rathxmas Fessran: "When surrounded by a stampeding herd, duck through the sucker-hole."

#rathxmas Thakur: "She's giving you wiggle-room, Ratha. I advise you to take it."

#rathxmas Thistle-chaser: "Can tie deer to branch, so he stays. At least long enough for song."

#rathxmas Ratha: "I hate to knock over a fruit tree.  Even so, how would we do it?"

#rathxmas Bundi and Mishanti: "If you didn't notice, we brought our rumbler-frends, clan leader..."

#rathxmas Thakur: "That tree won't bear again.  It's nearly dead, and there are many more."

#rathxmas Ratha: "All right. Get those...rumbler things.  And swipe the smug looks off your faces, you two."

12/10/09 6 PM PST

#rathxmas Bira: "Well, we're certainly ready for the next line of the song."

#rathxmas Ratha: "What?"

#rathxmas Bira: "All right, both Bundi and Mishanti sing."

#rathxmas Bundi and Mishanti sing "On the second trail of Christmas, my leader begged from me.  Two rumblers to shove!"

#rathxmas Ratha: "Those aren't the right words..."

#rathxmas Rumblers Grunt and Belch: "Urrrugh, grrruh, HRRRUGH!"

#rathxmas Plum Tree: "CRASH. CRUNCH. GROAN...."

#rathxmas Threehorn Deer: "Eeeeughhhh!"

#rathxmas Mondir: "It's down.  What a mess.  My nose hurts..."

#rathxmas Ratha: "Now Thakur, Mondir, get that son of a leaf-eater into those branches.  Good.  Now make your treeling-tangles, Thistle!"

#rathxmas Thistle: "Tangles tight, treeling done, deer stuck."

#rathxmas Ratha: "I don't believe we've really done this.  I have to step back and take a long look."

#rathxmas Thakur: "And sing both parts this time, dear clan leader."

#rathxmas Ratha sings "On the first trail of Christmas, look what you did to me!  A three-horn deer stuck in a plum-tree."

Ratha sings:"On the second trail of Christmas, you drove me near-cra-zee!  Two rumblers to shove and a three-horn deer stuck in a plum tree."

#rathxmas Ratha: "And if you don't like it, writer-creature you can stick it up under your tail!"


12/11/09 12 noon PST

#rathxmas Bira sings: "On the third trail of Christmas, my clan all gave to me..."

#rathxmas Bira sings: "Three drenched wrens, two rumblers to shove, and a threehorn deer stuck in a plum tree."

#rathxmas Bira: "Clan leader, I can catch grouse, but wrens are too small and fast."

#rathxmas Ratha: "Remember, you have everyone here to help you."

 #rathxmas Bira: "Grouse have hens.  Three drenched hens would work."
#rathxmas Fessran: "Don't let her wriggle out of it, Ratha.  If I have to do a crazy thing, she has to."
#rathxmas Bira: "I'm not wiggling! Besides, I've helped in a bunch of crazy things already. Ratha, does it have to be wrens?"

 #rathxmas Ratha: "Sorry, Bira.  Wrens.

#rathxmas Thistle-chaser: "Have idea. Maybe can catch small birds by what they eat..."


12/11/09 6PM PST

#rathxmas Bira: "Mondir, please bring me that chunk of fatty meat from the beast we culled a few days ago."

 #rathxmas Fessran: "Here are the branches you wanted, Bira. I bit their twigs into sharp ends."

 #rathxmas Thistle-chaser: "Not sure, but know little birds like greasy stuff.  Eat in winter to keep warm."

#rathxmas Bira: "I'm tearing off the fat and poking it onto the twigs  Now I'm putting the branch on the fallen plum tree."
#rathxmas Thistle-chaser: "Away from threehorn, so deer doesn't scare birds. Away from rumblers too."

 #rathxmas Bira: Now I need a good quick pouncer.  A youngster, or someone small.  Mishanti?"

 #rathxmas: Mishanti: "Here, Firekeeper Bira.  Oooo, already here come birdies!"

#rathsmas Bira: "Pounce!"

#rathsmas Mishanti: "Arrrowwwph! 'Guh 'un..."

#rathxmas Ratha: "He caught it.  Good, Mishanti!"


12/12/09 12 noon PST

#rathxmas Bira: "Now, Mishanti, give your bird to Khushi."

#rathxmas Khushi: "Hmph. It's too small for eating. It's all feathers."

#rathxmas Ratha: "You're not eating it, you're holding it."

#rathxmas Bira: "Gently please, We don't need to kill the little things."

 #rathxmas Thakur: "Get ready, Mishanti.  There's another."

#rathxmas Mishanti: "Mrrrowph!"

#rathxmas Bira: "Mondir, take the bird from Mishanti, please.  That's good."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Here's bird three.  See, I can count."

#rathxmas  Mishanti: "Grrahrrow...ooour...ow!  Missed.  Rrrratchooo! Grease up nose!"

#rathxmas Bira: "Wait and try again."


12/12/09 6 PM PST

#rathxmas Mishanti "Yeerow, missed again.  Rrrratchooo! Birds getting fast."

#rathxmas Thakur: "And smarter.  Let young Ashon try, Mishanti. You need a rest and he's good at catching birds."

#rathxmas Ashon: "All right.  Arrrrooomph!  Arrr...Rrrratchooee! Uck I've got rancid goo all over my face."

 #rathxmas Bira: "I have to think about this. Wren-holders, hang on to your birds. The first two were easy, but this last one..."

#rathxmas Fessran: "I've got an idea. Yes, me.  I do get them, you know.  When we Firekeepers carry wood, the pine sap goop sticks to our teeth."

#rathxmas Bira: "If it will stick to wet teeth, it will stick to anything."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Smear some on the branch. When the birds land to peck at the fat, their feet will stick."

#rathxmas Bira: "Good idea, Firekeeper leader. do I keep the sap from getting in my fur?"

#rathxmas Fessran: "I'll do it for you, Fluffy-butt. Wait just a tail-flick...there."

#rathxmas Bira: "You are a true friend, Singe-whiskers. Here comes another bird.  Mishanti, are you ready again?"

12/13/09 12 noon PST

#rathxmas Mishanti: "Yesss! There the wren goes. Get stuck, birdie.  Good. Yeeearrrowph!"

#rathxmas Bira: " Good, you got it!  Ashon, are you cleaned up? Take the bird from Mishanti."

#rathxmas Ashon: "I can't.  It's feet are stuck to his face..."

#rathxmas Bira: "Then just hold it, Mishanti.

#rathxmas Ratha: "Well, Bira and Thistle, the idea worked, but what a mess. Grease, pine-sap, feathers, bark. He'll never get clean again.

#rathxmas Wren "Cheep, cheeeeep!"

#rathxmas: Mishanti: "Ooourrrrr...."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Now I know why these days have their name. Chriss-Mess!"

12/13/09 6 PM PST

#rathxmas Bira: "How do we soak the wrens without losing, chilling, or drowning them? We'll have to be quick."

#rathxmas Ratha: "Wait.  Khushi's bird is already soaked.  He drooled all over it."

#rathxmas Bira: "Maybe we don't have to wet the birds in the creek. Bird-holders, think about things that make your mouths water."

#rathxmas Thakur: "A new first for the Named.  Drooling on command."

#rathxmas Ratha: "Let's have some fun out of this.  Make it a race.  Who can soak their bird first?"

#rathxmas Fessran: "Khushi's already won it.  My son, the slobber-mouth."

#rathxmas Thakur: "He got his bird first.  Anyway,  Mishanti and Mondir are left."

#rathxmas Bira: "No fair!  Mondir is much bigger.

#rathxmas Thakur "As a herding teacher, I've seen  small males out-drool the bigger ones."

#rathxmas Bira: "Those poor little birds. We'll have to clean them up and dry them off."

#rathxmas Ratha: "At least drool is warm."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Well, while our gallant toms are...uh...making water, Bira and I will start a fire."


 12/15/09 12 noon PST

  #rathxmas Bira: "My verse is nearly done.  The fire-creature is in its nest so that we can warm and dry the wrens."

#rathxmas  Bundi: "Mishanti's still got that bird stuck in his whiskers."

#rathxmas: Ratha: "We'll get it off.  Who won the drool-race?"

#rathxmas Thakur: "Would you believe it? Mondir did.  His bird is dripping."

#rathxmas Fessran, "So now you can sing, Fluff-butt."

#rathxmas Bira sings: "On the third trail of Christmas, I could only say, Yowweee!"

#rathxmas Bira sings: "Three drenched wrens! Two rumblers to shove, and a threehorn deer stuck in a plum tree."

Kushi and Mondir: " 'An we 'it 'ou 'irdie 'ow?"

Wrens: "Cheep, cheep, cheep, cheeeeeeeeep!

12/15/09  6 PM

 #rathxmas Cherfan is the the big guy in charge of the Named herders. He's easy-going, loves to eat (anything!) but doesn't take any nonsense.

#rathxmas Cherfan sings: "On the fourth trail of Christmas, my clan leader asked from me.  Four bawling herds..."

#rathxmas Bira: "Three drenched wrens...."

#rathxmas Mishanti: "One still gooed on face..."

#rathxmas Bundi: "Two rumblers to shove..."

#rathxmas Ratha: "And a threehorn deer stuck  in a plum tree."

#rathxmas Cherfan: "Awright, you flea-bitten excuses for herders, we have to round up several bunches of herdbeasts and make them bawl."

#rathxmas Bundi: "You mean, make them couple? This isn't their mating season."

#rathxmas Cherfan: "Wrong word, hairball.  I mean bawl as in bellow, honk, roar. Loud."

#rathxmas Thakur: "Looks like we're back to threehorn deer again..."

#rathxmas Bundi: "Our rumblers Grunt and Belch can bawl."

#rathxmas Thakur: "I imagine they can.  I don't want to be here when they do."



#rathxmas Bira: "Mishanti, come closer to the fire-creature.  The heat will help melt the pine sap and we can get the poor wren off your face."

#rathxmas Mishanti: "Poor face wants wren off.  Just eat stupid thing."

#rathxmas Bira: "Easy, it's coming away, and it's still alive. I didn't pull off any wings or legs. There. It can peck all the goo off."

#rathxmas Mishanti: "Lucky bird. Me, have to pull out fur to get goo off. Never should have done pouncing."

#rathxmas Ashon: "Maybe I should get some baby face-tails over here. When I tried to back a little elephant up, it nearly deafened me."

#rathxmas Thakur: "Face-tail noise isn't exactly bawling. Squealing, honking, and trumpeting, yes. Not bawling."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Dapplebacks and stripers are loud.  I used to herd horses; I should know."

#rathxmas Thakur: "Horses don't bawl. They neigh, snort, grunt, bray, and whinny, but they don't bawl."

#rathxmas Mondir: "Isn't braying like bawling?"

#rathxmas  Cherfan: "You're splitting whiskers, herding teacher. Just get the beasts together and make 'em yell."

#rathxmas For the latest recap/archive, see  I have to catch up on the others.

#rathxmas Next Twelve Trails will be up at 6PM today, unless I get flooded out by the rain, or run over by a water truck.


 #rathxmas Ratha: "Cherfan, how are we doing on the 'four bawling herds' verse?"

#rathxmas Cherfan "Well, we've got the herdbeasts.  Herders and herding teacher, please report."

#rathxmas Thakur: "My cub students have rounded up more threehorn deer to go with the one stuck in the plum tree."

#rathxmas Threehorns: "Eeeeughh!"

#rathxmas Cub students: "I'm cold." "I'm tired." "I got poked by a deer." "I wanna go back to my den..."

#rathxmas Fessran: "May the writer-creature get eaten by the UnNamed! Thakur, your cub students are already bawling."

#rathxmas Ashon: "Khushi and Mondir helped me get the face-tails. Khushi's late. A face-tail threw him into a thornbush."

#rathxmas Bira: "Fessran and I got some dapplebacks and we'll swat their tails. Watch those kicks!"

#rathxmas Facetails: "Yeeearagh!  Rah-yeeee!"

#rathxmas Dappleback horses: "Brreeee-heee-heee, hruuugh..."

#rathxmas Wrens: "Tweet, tweet, cheeeeeeep!"

#rathxmas Ratha: "My ears! Cherfan, sing your verse!"

#rathxmas Cherfan sings: "I don't know which trail of Christmas, but my clan leader burdened me.  With too many bawling herds ..."

#rathxmas Cherfan sings: "...three drenched wrens, two rumblers to shove, and a mangy deer stuck in a rotting tree!  Graaahrow!"

#rathxmas Thakur: "What did we do with the treelings....?

#rathxmas No virtual animals, including wrens, were harmed in the making of this program. Well, maybe the clan cats...


12/18/09 12 PM PST
#rathxmas Take a break from the Black Friday shopping madness. Experience some prehistoric feline madness instead...

#rathxmas This is a cat conspiracy to make you enjoy the holidays, not just endure them.  And, yes, to sell books.

#rathxmas Ratha's Courage on Amazon Ratha's Courage on Indiebound

#rathxmas Thakur's name is pronounced "Ta-KOOR" since it comes from a Bengali word.

#rathxmas The treelings take center stage in this escapade.  For more about them:

#rathxmas The treelings first appear in Clan Ground, Book 2 of the Named Series:

#rathxmas The cats name their little companions by affixing an "eee" to the end of their own names.

#rathxmas Thakur has the original treeling, Aree. Ratha has Ratharee, Bira had Biaree, but she gave him to Thistle-chaser.

#rathxmas Thakur sings: "On the fifth trail of Christmas, my dear leader asked from me. Find five lost treelings...!"

#rathxmas Ratha: I'm grateful that we got away from that confusion.  My fur is still on end, though.  I need my treeling, Ratharee.
#rathxmas Thakur:  I think the noise scared the treelings off.  I can't find my Aree either."

#rathxmas Thistle-chaser: "Biaree gone too.  Worried."
#rathxmas Bira: "Don't worry, the treelings are safe.  I took my Cherfaree and the others to another tree."

#rathxmas Thakur: "Oh.  It wasn't another plum tree, was it?"

#rathxmas  Bira: "Yes it was.  Cherfaree and the others were hungry. Was that a mistake?"
#rathxmas  Thakur: "Not exactly, but..."

#rathxmas  Ratha: "Are you thinking what I'm thinking, herding teacher?"

#rathxmas  Thakur: "Yes, and it isn't good.  We better find them"


12/18/ 6 PM PST


#rathxmas Bira: "Here's the tree.  The treelings are up in the branches."

#rathxmas Thakur: "And the branches still have some fruit.  Oh no..."

#rathxmas Thistle-chaser: "Yreech! Yow! Pelting us with it.  Sticky. Stinky!"

#rathxmas Ratha: "And the treelings have been eating it.  Well, they're certainly having a holiday."

#rathxmas Thakur: "Fermented plums.  Again.  I'd better climb up and get the treelings before they fall out of the tree."

#rathxmas Thistle-chaser: "Too late. Biraree coming down. Will catch in paws.  Mrrrfff. Arrrr...yuck...really stinky, not just plum stuff."

#rathxmas Thakur: "Ratha, Aree looks like she's going to tumble.  Catch her!"

#rathxmas Ratha: "Ooof. She fell on me, and when she did, she..."

#rathxmas Thakur: "I don't want to know...."


12/19/09 12 noon PST
#rathxmas Thistle-chaser: "Is raining treelings! Someone else catch.  Am already a mess."

#rathxmas Bira: "Got Cherfaree.  He'll have to clean himself up when he wakes.  Yarrr, you little whisker-puller, my fur!"

#rathxmas Ratha: "I've got Ratharee. Has everyone got theirs? Good.  Wait. Is there one treeling still up there?"

#rathxmas Thakur: "Not for long.  Look out below! And duck, he's throwing things."
#rathxmas Ratha: "Whose treeling is that?  We've all got ours."

#rathxmas Bira: "Maybe a wild treeling who joined the celebration. Or maybe the one Fessran lost several seasons ago."

#rathxmas Ratha: "Whover that treeling is, it's coming down.  It's your catch, Thakur.  I've already got two."

#rathxmas Thakur: "Yarrrooof!  Got it.  This one does look like Fessaree. I'll return it to her."

#rathxmas Thistle-chaser "Won't want it back.  Not right away."

#rathxmas Bira: "Well, we have enough treelings. Let's get back to the other beasts so that you can sing, Thakur."

#rathxmas Thakur sings: "On the fifth trail of Christmas, a strange rain fell on me.  Five drunk treelings!"

Thakur sings: "Four bawling herds, three drenched wrens, two rumblers to shove, and a threehorn deer stuck in a plum tree."


12/20/09 12 noon PST

#rathxmas The Named "Twelve Trails of Christmas" or "A Pre-Hisssteric Holiday" starring the Named clan cats 12 noon PST today

#rathxmas The irreverent and irrepressible Bonechewer, from Ratha's Creature is back for a visit with the Named.

#rathxmas Bonechewer was possibly the best character in the series.  I, being young and stupid at the time, killed him off in the first book.

#rathxmas At least I thought I did, but he seems to think otherwise. He still comes around to haunt me.

#rathxmas Bonechewer sings: "On the sixth trail of Christmas, the clan brought down on me.  Six raiders slaying..."
#rathxmas Ratha: "Bonechewer?"

#rathxmas  Thakur: "How, by the Red Tongue's ashes, can you be here?  Brother, I thought you died."

#rathxmas: Bonechewer: "You clan cats have throught a lot of things about me and none have been true."
#rathxmas: Ratha: I thought we were more than just 'clan cats' to you, Bonechewer.

#rathxmas: Bonechewer.  You are. I didn't mean to be so harsh.  When one changes, as I have, one loses some of the stronger positive emotions."

#rathxmas: Thakur: "Brother, I am glad to see you, whatever you are.  But please don't upset Ratha."
#rathxmas Bonechewer: "I respect boundaries.  She is your mate now.  And, I suspect, she has grown out of me."

#rathxmas Ratha: "I have in some ways, though not in others."

#rathxmas Bonechewer "You love what you see of me in my brother.  It is right. I will not disturb it."

#rathxmas Thakur: "Though I rejoice to see you, I still wonder how you can be here."

#rathxmas Bonechewer: "The spirit of life in this season has powers over those of us who have taken the darker trails.

#rathxmas  Bonechewer: It has gifted me with the chance to rejoin you, sing with you, and even create nonsense with you."


12/20/09 6PM

#rathxmas Bonechewer: "Brother, I may need to borrow your herding students for this task."#rathxmas

#rathxmas Thakur: "I don't think you'll get much use out of them today, but you are welcome to try."

#rathxmas Herding Students: "We're hungry." "We're bored." "This is stupid." "I gotta go in the sand pile." "I wanna go home!!" "Wrrrwhaaahhh...."

#rathxmas Bonechewer: I see what you mean.  Well, cublings, pay attention.  You are going to help me do the next verse."

#rathxmas Student #1: "Why do we have to obey you?  Who are you?"

#rathxmas Student # 2 "This is strange.  I can see right through him, as if he's sort of here, but sort of isn't. "Hssst!"

#rathxmas Thakur "You will obey him because I and the clan leader say so."

#rathxmas Bonechewer: "I am a bit of an ectoplasmic manifestation at the moment. My apologies."

#rathxmas Student #1 "You mean you're..."

#rathxmas Bonechewer "A spirit. A ghost of seasons past, if you will.  A dweller by strange waters."

#rathxmas Student #1 "I don't believe in no ghosts!"

#rathxmas Student #2 "It's a trick."

#rathxmas Bonechewer: I have been known to be a bit of a trickster.  But you will find this trick fun, I believe."


12/22/09 12 noon PST

#rathxmas Cub Student #1: How will this verse be fun for us? This whole song-thing is dumb."

#rathxmas Cub Student #2: "I wanna go back to my den!"

#rathxmas Bonechewer: "Since we have a certain lack of real raiders, as my verse demands, I need some fake ones. And you cubs have been volunteered."

#rathxmas Cub Student #2: "Not me!"

#rathxmas Bonechewer: "A pity then.  I shall  have to summon some of my less than respectable UnNamed friends."

#rathxmas Ratha: "I suggest you youngsters take Bonechewer's suggestion."

#rathxmas Cub #1  "If we're raiders, we have to attack something.  What do we attack?"

#rathxmas Bonechewer: "The clan.  Your elders.  You don't think that's exciting?"

#rathxmas Thakur and Ratha together: "Bonechewer!"

#rathxmas Cub Student #1 "We cant really hurt 'em."

#rathxmas Bonechewer: "That's why I chose you."

#rathxmas Cub student #2 "But we can try! Watch out, herding teacher! I'm going to chew your ears!"

#rathxmas Thakur: "When you grow real teeth instead of those milk-fangs, fluff-ball..."

#rathxmas Ratha: "If I had any doubts that he's really Bonechewer, I just lost them."


12/22/09  6PM PST

#rathxmas Bonechewer sings: "On the sixth trail of Christmas, I brought down on the clan.  Six raiders slaying..."

#rathxmas Bonechewer: "Gather together, little cub-raiders.  Elders, be on your guard."

#rathxmas Fessran: "What the flaming scats is HE doing here?"

#rathxmas Ratha: I'll explain later, Fessran.  Everybody, listen. For now, just play along."

#rathxmas Fessran: "What about Thistle-chaser. For yowling out loud, he's her father..."

#rathxmas Bonechewer: "She won't see me or hear me. Until later."

#rathxmas Fessran: " must be useful being a ghost. Or an ecto-whatever-you-call-it."

#rathxmas Bonechewer: "It does, on occasion."

#rathxmas Ashon: "Can I be a raider too?  I'm still a cub student."

#rathxmas Bonechewer: "If you promise to not mault your victim too badly.  Yes."

#Cub Student #1 "I'm a raying slader!  I mean, I'm a slaying raider!"

#rathxmas Cub Student #2: "Can we attack you, Bonechewer-thing?"

#rathxmas Bonechewer: "You might find it difficult to even get a claw into me, but you can try."


12/23/09 12 noon PST

#rathxmas  Bonechewer: "Raiders, assemble! Good. Go!"

#rathxmas Cub Student #1: "I'm going for the herding teacher!  Rrraaah!"

#rathxmas Cub Student #2 "I'm pouncing on the herder leader. Watch out, old Cherfan!  Growwwrrr!"

#rathxmas All the cub students together: "Attack the clan!  Eeeerowrrr!"

#rathxmas Ashon: "Clan leader, do you mind if I jump on you? I'll be careful?"

#rathxmas Ratha: "What's one more cub on top of me. Go on."

Fessran: "I have cubs all over me! Youch!  You little..."

#rathxmas Mondir: "They're cheating.  There are more than six here.  All the cubs are being raiders. They're chewing on my tail. Help!"

#rathxmas Bonechewer: "I never said I could count..."

#rathxmas Clan elders: "Yow, ouch, grrrrf, get off me, quit that you fur-ball..."

#rathxmas Cubs: "Wowrr, this IS fun!"

#rathxmas Fessran: " Fighting. The true spirit of this Chrisss-Mess season.  Yeerouch!"

#rathxmas Ratha: "Enough! Sing your verse, Bonechewer!"

#rathxmas Bonechewer sings: "On the sixth trail of Christmas, the cubs ran wild and free. Six raiders slaying, five drunk treelings...."

#rathxmas Bnechewer sings: "Four bawling herds, three drenched wrens, two rumblers to shove, and a threehorn deer stuck in a plum tree..."

#rathxmas Don't take the Named as an example of what to do for the hoildays.  Have a happy and safe season!

#rathxmas Twelve Trails will resume on the 27th with Thistle-chaser and seven seamares sloshing etc. etc.

12/28/09 12 noon PST

#rathxmas According to older traditions, the winter solstice holiday lasted 12 days, encompassing Christmas and New Year's Day (I think).

#rathxmas To me, that makes more sense than trying to cram everything into two or three days. So  the Named are reviving the old tradition.

#rathxmas Thistle-chaser sings: "By seven trail of Christmas, took all the clan to sea..."

#rathxmas Ratha: "It may have taken us an additional day to reach Thistle-chaser's beach, but we're all here."

#rathxmas: Thakur: "And some others have joined us. Greetings, Quiet Hunter."

#rathxmas Thistle: "Here's lagoon where Thakur learned to swim in sea. Seamares further ahead."
#rathxmas Thakur: "Yes, where you taught me.  I remember."

#rathxmas Quiet Hunter: "This one is glad that Thistle's leg is better."

#rathxmas Thistle: "And taught me how to fix bad leg.  Worked! Can dance on sand, see!"

#rathxmas Quiet Hunter: "This one is glad that Thistle can dance."

#rathxmas Thistle: "Happy that Quiet Hunter will dance too. With this one."
 #rathxmas Fessran: "Uh, Thistle, I don't see any seamares."

#rathxmas Thistle: "Wave-wallowers out swimming.  Will come.  First, we dig clams."
#rathxmas Fessran: " Dig what?"

#rathxmas  Thistle: "Not remember? Clams. Squirty, shelly things.  Seamares smash and eat."

#rathxmas Ratha "It has been many seasons, Thistle."
#rathxmas Thistle: "When Named caught and kept Splayfoot and other seamare friends as herdbeasts, clan had to dig clams to feed them." 

#rathxmas  Fessran: "THAT's why I didn't want to remember."

#rathxmas Bira: "This is starting to sound messy..."

#rathxmas Ratha: "Thistle, can you show us again?  Everyone, please listen to Thistle-chaser."

#rathxmas Fessran: Is there anything in this song that isn't? May an uncountable number of fleas pester the writer-creature!"

#rathxmas If you enjoyed this, please treat yourself to a Ratha book, or give one to a friend. Thanks!

#rathxmas Thistle-chaser and her seamare friends inhabit Ratha and Thistle-chaser (Named #3) and leave wet sandy footprints on my keyboard.

#rathxmas Seamares are based on extinct fossil creatures:


12/28/09  6 PM PST

#rathxmas Thistle "Will show Named clan how to find clams to dig up for seamares.  Find hole in sand."
#rathxmas Fessran: "Which one?.  There are LOTS of holes in this sand." 

#rathxmas Thistle: "Look for hole a little bigger than others. Then step on hole hard and pull foot back quickly."
#rathxmas Bira: "Why do you step on the hole instead of digging beside it?"

#rathxmas Thistle: "If clam under sand, clam won't like you stepping on hole and squeezing sand down. Will blow out water."

#rathxmas Bira: "I'll try first.  There. Oooarrr, what a fountain! I'm getting drenched!"

#rathxmas Thistle:  "Not quick enough. Should be easy."

#rathxmas Bira: "Easy for you, maybe."

#rathmas Thistle:"Doing, not talking. See other hole there?  Will step on hard, then..."

#rathxmas Clam: "Squirt, sloosh, splat!"

#rathxmas Thistle: "Yeearreeech! Arrrr..."

#rathxmas Bira: "Hah! It got you!"

#rathxmas  Thistle: "Hrmph.  Must be out of practice..."

#rathxmas Twelve Trails up again at 12 noon and 6 PM

#rathxmas Hope everyone is having a good holiday.

#rathxmas If you enjoyed this, please treat yourself to a Ratha book, or give one to a friend. Thanks!

#rathxmas Thistle-chaser and her seamare friends inhabit Ratha and Thistle-chaser (Named #3) and leave wet sandy footprints on my keyboard.

#rathxmas Seamares are based on extinct fossil Paleoparadoxia:

#rathxmas Find Ratha and Thistle-chaser:

12/29/09  12 noon PST

#rathxmas   Ratha: "All right.  We've dug up a bunch of clams and smashed them on the rocks, as Thistle said."

#rathxmas  Thistle: "Seamares coming.  Scatter clam stuff just above waves, so seamares have to wallow on shore."

#rathxmas  Bira: "And we're all soaked and full of sand.  Can't we clean up and dry off first?"

#rathxmas  Fessran: "No point in it, soggy-butt.  We'll just get wet again, sloshing around with those creatures. 

#rathxmas  Thakur: "There's the seamare you call Splayfoot. And her colt, Guzzler."

#rathxmas  Fessran: "Some colt.  He's bigger than his mother now."

#rathxmas  Seamares: "Heee-YONK, onk, onk..."

#rathxmas  Thistle:  "Now you get around seamares, so can have as many as needed for song."

#rathxmas  Mondir: "This can't be much harder than herding dappleback horses.  Seamares aren't much bigger."

#rathxmas  Cherfan: "You ever seen dapple-backs with tusks like those?  Rrrrharrr, you guzzling wave-wallower, don't take a poke at me!"

#rathxmas Guzzler: "Hooo-ONK, YONK, YONK!"


12/29/09 6PM PST

#rathxmas Thakur: "The sea-colt is just trying to protect his mother. Easy, herders."

#rathxmas  Thistle: "Will calm seamares. All in clan, stay still. Must be gentle."

#rathxmas  Ratha: "Thistle, be careful. Yarrr, she's touching noses with the colt and rubbing heads with the mother. That's... "

#rathxmas  Thakur: "Amazing."

#rathxmas  Fessran: "Salty, sticky, and dangerous."

#rathxmas  Bira: "The whole seamare herd is around Thistle, but they aren't harming her."

#rathxmas  Mondir: "How many seamares are here?"

#rathxmas  Fessran: "Who knows. More than seven."

#rathxmas  Ratha: "They're doing what Thistle wants.  Gobbling clam-scraps and splashing in the surf."

#rathxmas  Bira: "Brrr, this sea wind is cold.  Thistle, sing your verse!" 

#rathxmas  Thistle sings: "On seven trail of Christmas, took all the clan to see.  Seven seamares sloshing, six raiders slaying..."

#rathxmas  Thakur sings: "Five drunk treelings!"

#rathxmas  Thistle sings: "Four bawling herds, three drenched wrens, two rumblers to shove..."

#rathxmas  Thistle sings: "...and threehorn deer we stuck in plum tree!" 

12/30/09 Skipped due to hubby's follow-on medical checkup.


12/31/09 12 noon PST

#rathxmas Twelve Trails returns, with all the grace and delicacy of a rampaging face-tail (hairy prehistoric elephant). 12 noon and 6 PM PST today.

#rathxmas Khushi is Fessran's son.  He's good-natured, kind, but a bit unsure. He has a bad habit of becoming an object for hairy elephants to throw.

#rathxmas As in the first chapter of Ratha's Challenge.

#rathxmas Khushi: "On the eighth day of Christmas, I really had to flee.  From eight face-tails flinging..."

#rathxmas Fessran: "We're back from Thistle-chaser's beach, and my son, Khushi, can sing his verse here on clan ground."

#rathxmas Khushi: "So I have to herd together a bunch of those hairy, elephant face-tail things and make them throw stuff."

#rathxmas Ashon: "The face-tails like to throw you, Khushi. Just get a little closer to them..."

#rathxmas Khushi: "Nope.  Not taking that trail, Ashon. I've had enough of getting tossed into thornbushes."

 #rathxmas Thakur: "Herders, let's help Khushi by rounding up some face-tails."

#rathxmas Khushi: "Pick small ones, please...."

#rathxmas Mondir: How will Khushi know when he's got enough of the beasts?"

#rathxmas Ratha: "Here's an easy way.  Khushi, look at all of your toes.  If an UnNamed raider bit off two of them..."

#rathxmas Khushi: "Ow! My foot would hurt."

#rathmas Ratha: "I can't count very well either, but if you match each of your remaining toes to each face-tail beast, you should get it right."

#rathaxmas Khushi: "Do I also use my dew-claws? They're sort of like toes..."


12/31/09 6PM PST

 #rathxmas  Thakur: "I think we have enough of the face-tailed beasts, Khushi.  Where do you want them?"

#rathxmas Khushi: "By the creek, so that they have mud to throw.  Better than throwing rocks at us."

#rathxmas Ashon: How will you get them to throw mud? For once, they seem in a pretty good temper."

#rathxmas Khushi: "I'll fix that.  I can't throw, like a treeling, but I can back-kick."

#rathxmas Thakur: "That's good, because the treelings are still...well, unavailable."

#rathxmas Khushi: "Everyone bring some creek mud and make a pile near the face-tails. Keep adding the stuff as I kick it away."

#rathxmas Khushi: "All right, we're ready.  You tuskers take...THIS! Grrowff!  Splat!"

#rathxmas Facetail: "Ehraaaahhh!"

#rathxmas Ashon: "Yeeoww! Good back-kick, Khushi. Got the beast right between the eyes.  Let me try!"

#rathxmas Ratha: "I'm next.  Clan leadership does have its privileges.  This is for all the times you tuskers have butted me across the meadow. Yarr...Raaagh!"

#rathxmas Bira: "It's working!  One of the facetails is scooping up a trunk-full of mud."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Clan leader, that isn't out! Oh dungballs..."

#rathxmas Face-tail: "Ehraaahhh! Splat!"

#rathxmas Ratha: "Eeeyowreeech! Rrrr..."

#rathxmas Thakur: "At least they weren't rocks."

#rathxmas Ratha: "Khushi, sing your scatting verse before I bite off ALL your toes and some other pieces too!"

#rathxmas Khushi: "Uh...on the eighth trail of Chirstmas my clan leader snarled at me.  Eight face-tails flinging..."

#rathxmas Ratha: "GrrrAAAHrrrrr!"

#rathxmas Khushi sings: "A clan leader slaying, and all that other stuff, and I am running so far away from here!"

#rathxmas Thakur sings: "Six raiders slaying. Five still-drunk treelings!"

#rathxmas Fessran sings: "Four bawling herds, Ratha, don't you chase my son! Three drenched wrens..."

#rathxmas Bira: "Two rumblers to shove, and a threehorn deer that's wrecking a plum tree!"

#rathxmas Thakur: "Bira, can you help me pull Fessran off Ratha..."

#rathxmas Happy New Year's Eve!

#rathxmas No virtual animals were harmed in the making of this program, although some virtual hairy prehistoric elephants were annoyed.


01/01/10 skipped (holiday)

01/02/10 12 noon

#rathxmas Fessran sings: "On the ninth day of Christmas, I went on such a spree
Nine toms romancing...."

#rathxmas  Ratha: "Clan males, gather around Fessran.  Each one, tell her why she should choose you.'
#rathxmas Bira: "Ratha, I went after Khushi, found him and told him that you were no longer angry."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Since Khushi's back, I'll start with him.  If I wasn't your mother, scout, how would you court me?"

#rathxmas Khushi: "I wouldn't because you are, but if I did...uh, well I like little cubs.  I found and cared for Mishanti before Thistle-chaser raised him."

#rathxmas Khushi "I would be a good father. I would dig you a nice new den for the cubs and fill it with soft moss and nice-smelling pine needles."

#rathxmas "I would pat the small ones so gently, let them climb all over me and play with my tail.  I would be so proud because they would be yours and mine."

#rathxmas Fessran: "The clan female who does take you will make a wise choice. I almost wish that it could be me."

#rathxmas Cherfan: "I'll be next. Lovely, swift, brave, clever Fessran, I will keep doing what I have done before. And more of it."

#rathxmas Cherfan: "I will raise the plumpest herdbeasts so that I can feed you and your cubs the choicest, most tender meat."

#rathxmas Cherfan "You will be sleek and sassy, with beautiful thick fur.  And even more fun to snuggle and cuddle every night."

#rathxmas Fessran: "That is why have chosen you before, my huge, strong, soft, sweet Cherfan, and I may again. Mondir?"

#rathxmas Mondir: "I would be your warrior, fighting beside you and defending you from raider attacks.  My cubs by you would be strong and fierce."

#rathxmas Mondir: "We would train them as Firekeepers.With such torch-bearers, the UnNamed would never again venture onto clan ground."

#rathxmas: Fessran "Your words are like the Red Tongue flaming in my heart and belly, young warrior."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Now Mishanti.  Small, but still growing fast. Toughened through an early struggle to live. Young, but promising."

#rathxmas Mishanti:  "Know best places to catch yummy fishies. Thistle taught how. Would feed you.  Make your fur and eyes shine."

#rathxmas Mishanti: "Would dance with you in moonlight on beach.  Be so happy, would chase tail, get dizzy, and fall in water."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Now that is true affection. I am impressed. Thank you dear Mishanti!"

#rathxmas Mishanti: "Would shake off good afterwards, so wouldn't get you too wet..."


01/02/10  6PM PST

#rathxmas Fessran: "The wise and thoughtful herding teacher of the clan, Thakur.  How would you win me?"

#rathxmas Thakur: "In the same way as I have won Ratha. I would celebrate your speed and endurance by racing you up a mountain."

#rathxmas Thakur: When we reached the top, I would show you a vison of our world, how it is now and how it could be."

#rathxmas  Thakur: "And then, as night crept over the peak, I would lift your paw into the sky, and touch it to the stars."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Perhaps you will someday, although I will never try to take you away from Ratha."

#rathxmas Ratha: "I thank you for that, Firekeeper.  Next, Bundi."

#rathxmas Bundi: "I know about you, Fessran.  You tend the Red Tongue because it gives you command and leadership.  Power."

#rathxmas  Bundi "I could give you command of a great animal power. Imagine a whole herd of my rumblers and all of us riding on them."

#rathxmas Bundi: "I would give you a young rumbler and teach you how to ride it. Then you could teach and lead others."

#rathxmas Fessran: "The Named would become The Rumbler-Riders. That is an incredible idea, but I'm not sure Ratha or I are ready for it yet."

#rathxmas Ratha: I'm not sure what to say. Someday we may need to use your idea.  In the meantime, we move on.  Quiet Hunter?

#rathxmas Quiet Hunter: "This one is bound to Thistle-chaser, but if ...I ..were not, I would give the greatest gift this one knows."

#rathxmas "Quiet Hunter: "The upwelling beauty that is the guiding and teaching Song of this one's hunter tribe."

#rathxmas Quiet Hunter: "With voice, with movement, with dance, this one...I...would re-create it for you."

#rathxmas Fessran: "I believe Thistle is very happy that she chose you. Even though this Song is not for me, I am honored by the thought."

#rathxmas Ratha: "Wait, who is that?  He's not a clan male. By the Red Tongue's flame, Night-who-eats-stars! Why have you come?"

#rathxmas Thakur: "Easy, Ratha. Night isn't your enemy."

#rathxmas: Fessran: "Greetings, star-eater. I think you have a few more stars in your pelt than you did last time. 

#rathxmas  Ratha:  "I want to know what his intentions are. If they are peaceful, then he should say so. Unless he can't speak."

#rathxmas Thistle-chaser: " Can talk better than me. Doesn't choose to. Will whisper to me, so can speak for him."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Let me guess. Night is here as part of the  crazy song, so, as incredible as it seems, he is also courting me."

#rathxmas: Thistle-chaser: "Night says yes."

#rathxmas Fessran: "And you are going to offer me something to make me choose you?"

#rathxmas Thistle-chaser: "He says yes."

#rathxmas Ratha: "Since you brought us the Red Tongue's coals in a hollow log, your offer must have something to do with that"

#rathxmas Thistle-chaser: "He says  it does. He says will give many more ways to use flame creature."

#rathxmas Thistle-chaser: "Fire-carrying log only beginning of trail. Much more lies ahead."

#rathxmas Brief intermission to get all the prehistoric cat hair out of the Twitter tubes.
#rathxmas Thistle-chaser: Flame-creature can make water hot, make it froth, change it to mist. Can melt soil, change it into hard shiny stuff."

#rathxmas Thistlechaser: "Fire and flame-mist can push, move, turn, change world, change lives.  Full taming of fire-creature best gift of all."

#rathxmas Fessran: "If I trusted Night, I might take his offer. I'm not sure."

#rathxmas Ratha: "I brought the Red Tongue's flame to the clan. They and I will decide together what trail we take with it."

#rathxmas Thistle-chaser: "He says it is too soon for you. Now he is going."

#rathxmas Ratha: "Wait, we need to.."

#rathxmas Fessran: "He's gone. I was thinking it might be wonderful to have cubs with stars in their black pelts...who's next?"

#rathxmas Ratha: "I don't know.  We seem to have run out of toms..."

#rathxmas Bonechewer: "Have you forgotten me, clan leader?"

#rathxmas Ratha and Fessran together: "Bonechewer?"

#rathxmas Bonechewer: In this form I may not be able to couple, but I certainly can court."

#rathxmas Ratha: "As long as you can speak, you can charm the fur off anyone."

#rathxmas Bonechewer: "For such faith in me, I will tell you one precious thing. Night's offer is the strongest."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Then I should choose...HIM?"

#rathxmas Bonechewer: "I said his offer is the strongest, not the best. And I have not yet made mine."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Ratha, he doesn't have to...I don't want to upset you.  I must be dreaming, Is this real?"

#rathxmas Ratha: "No, Fessran, it's all right.  He's the ninth one in the song.  Bonechewer, tell her what you would give."

#rathxmas Bonechewer: "What I gave you, Ratha. To sink her teeth deep into the world's flesh, to feast on life's passion, bravery, and beauty."

#rathxmas Bonechewer: "To see, stalk, smell, taste, and marvel at creatures you not only haven't seen, Fessran, but can barely imagine."

#rathxmas Bonechewer  "I would walk with you all your life on the world's wild hunting trails, and when your life ended...

 #rathxmas Bonechewer: "... if you chose to become spirit and journey with me, we would rise from this world and run the paths beyond."

#rathxmas Ratha: "Fessran?"

#rathxmas Fessran: "My head is still spinning..."

#rathxmas Ratha: "Bonechewer's wrong about Night's offer being the strongest. If it were possible, Bonechewer's offer would be the best."

#rathxmas: Fessran: " But I can't...stupid song! All right, I won't choose one of you toms.  I'll choose ALL of you..."

#rathxmas  Fessran: "For an enormous cuddle in a panther-pile. Females, join in! Ooof, Cherfan, I should have known you'd be the first..."

#rathxmas Ratha: "And somehow Bonechewer is in here with us.  Sing, Fessran!"

#rathxmas Fessran sings: "On this ninth trail of Christmas, I think I'll stay awhile in this nice warm panther-pile, with nine toms romancing..."

#rathxmas Fessran sings: "Eight face-tails flinging, seven seamares sloshing, six raiders slaying..."

#rathxmas Thakur sings: "Five drunk tree-lings!"

#rathxmas Fessran sings: "Four bawling herds, three drenched wrens, two rumblers to shove...

#rathxmas Ratha sings: "And the threehorn deer still stuck in a plum tree!"


01/03/09 6PM PST

#rathxmas The next verse features Shongshar, from Clan Ground.
#rathxmas I didn't really intend to include him, but he crashed his way in. He's what you'd get if you gave Dick Cheney a big fur coat and sabertooth fangs.
#rathxmas  Clan Ground was first published in 1984. Funny how reality and fiction interact.
#rathxmas Read the first chapter of Clan Ground here:

#rathxmas Shongshar sings: "On the tenth trail of Christmas, my spies brought word to me. Of ten hordes a-peeping..."
#rathxmas Ratha: "Who is that? Oh, no, it can't be..."
#rathxmas Shongshar: "Remember me, little clan leader? I come to warn you about hordes of  UnNamed that threaten clan ground."
#rathxmas Fessran: "I remember you, Shongshar.  These scars on my foreleg and chest remember your fangs."

#rathxmas Bundi: "I remember you in these burns I got the night your followers pushed me into the Red Tongue's nest."

#rathxmas Thakur: "I and my treeling Aree remember you, Shongshar. Your twisted Firekeepers tried to kill both of us."

#rathxmas  Bira: "Go away. All you bring is evil, pain and horror. We don't need any more ghosts since we have Bonechewer."

#rathxmas Ratha: "No Bira.  Shongshar brought more than that.  He taught me a lesson that was bitter but needed."

#rathxmas Shongshar: "Ahhh, you see now, little leader.  Your people need to dance dangerously close to the fire..."

#rathxmas Shongshar: " fling themselves high, to burn with glorious fever, to adore and tremble before a great power.."

#rathxmas Ratha: "Not in your way, Shongshar.  Not by terror, not by viciousness, not by hatred."

#rathxmas Bira: "We dance around the fire and we leap in its light, but no one fears, no one suffers."
#rathxmas Thakur: "Our treeling friends that you wanted to destroy now dance with us."

 #rathxmas Ratha: "We are still making cub-steps along the trail of worship, but we must find our own way."


01/03/09 8PM PST

#rathxmas Shongshar: "Even though I am dead, my voice can still guide and protect you from the threatening hordes of the UnNamed ones."

#rathxmas Ratha: "I know that trick, Shongshar. You scare us with the enemy outside so that we will cower under you."

#rathxmas Ratha: "Even if there were hordes of UnNamed raiders surrounding us, we would reject your cruel path."

#rathxmas Shongshar: "You call me cruel? I am here because you Named me, because you took my cubs from me..."

#rathxmas Ratha: "I had to do that for the future of the clan. Yes, I gave you pain, but you chose to act as you did. Sing your verse and be gone."

#rathxmas  Shongshar sings: "On the tenth trail of Christmas, the clan risked too much to be free..."

#rathxmas  Bundi sings: "Don't need your kind of se-cur-ity..."

#rathxmas   Fessran sings: "You'd really better flee..."
#rathxmas   Shongshar: "All right, I'll go."

#rathxmas  Bonechewer: "I don't believe I've met you, Shongshar. I'm Bonechewer. We must have a lot in common."

#rathxmas  Shongshar: "What do I have in common with you, renegade?"

#rathxmas  Bonechewer: "Well, for one thing, we're both dead..."

#rathxmas  Bonechewer: "Join me on the starry trails for awhile and let the clan finish the song."

#rathxmas Ratha sings: "On the tenth day of Christmas, we rejoiced that we stayed free..."

#rathxmas Ratha sings: "In your eye, you ten hordes a-peeping If you're really there...!"

#rathxmas Fessran: "Nine toms romancing, eight face-tails flinging, seven seamares sloshing, six raiders slaying..."

#rathxmas Thakur: "Five drunk tree-lings!"

#rathxmas Mondir: "Four bawling herds, three drenched wrens, two rumblers to shove..."

#rathxmas Thistle "Free poor threehorn deer from fallen plum tree..."

#rathxmas Striper is the Named word for the three-toed (center hoof prominent) Hipparion horses. Often shown in paleo-art totally or partially striped.

#rathxmas The young herder Ashon is intoduced in Ratha's Courage, getting pelted with mud thrown by a face-tail.

#rathxmas  Here's the Twelve Trails archive and recap page:

 #rathxmas Ratha's Courage on Amazon Ratha's Courage on Indiebound

01/04/10  6PM PST

#rathxmas Ashon sings:"On the eleventh trail of Christmas, I was surprised to see.  Eleven stripers swiping..."

#rathxmas Ashon: "Cherfan and Mondir, are you having trouble with those striped horses?  May I help?"

#rathxmas Cherfan: "Yes, indeed, youngster.  Help us get the beasts together so that we can finish that flea-bitten song."

#rathxmas Bira: "Herders, can you keep the stripers away from the cub nursery?  They're poking their heads in."

#rathxmas Bira: "They're stealing the soft dry grass right out from under the little cubs!"

#rathxmas Ratha: "They are also ripping down and dragging away the hides we hung up to dry."

#rathxmas Fessran: "And taking sticks and branches from my Firekeepers.  We need the wood to keep the guard-fires going."

#rathxmas Thakur: "Rrrarr, you greedy horses, stop taking the fruit I got for the treelings!"

#rathxmas Ashon: "Yow, they are swiping everything! Crazy stripers."

#rathxmas Thistle: "Am mad at stripers too."

#rathxmas Ratha: "What did they do to you, Thistle?"

#rathxmas Thistle: "Was hungry.  Caught fish from pond to eat, and river-crawlers to give Thakur. Laid them out on bank."

#rathxmas Thistle:"Striper came up, brayed loud. Startled me. Ran away.  Came back, food all gone.  Even the river-crawlers."

#rathxmas Thakur: "The river-crawlers?  My delicious river-crawlers? Gone? That's too much!  We've got to stop this."

#rathxmas Fessran: "Cull a few. That would show them who rules here. And I haven't had MY holiday feast yet."

  01/04/10  8 PM PST

#rathxmas Ratha: "You'll get your holiday feast, Firekeeper, but not right now. Does anyone else have an idea?"

#rathxmas Ashon: "We could distract the stripers. A lot of new grass that has just grown up in the meadow near the creek."

 #rathxmas Ratha: "Good thinking, young herder. Let's drive the stripers together and take them to the meadow."

#rathxmas Mondir: "Here we go.  Heyarrr, you horse, don't kick at me!"

#rathxmas Cherfan: "Be careful, Ashon.  That stallion is rearing.  Watch those front hooves!"   

#rathxmas Striper: "Breee hee hee! Hrughhh..."

#rathxmas Ashon: "Missed, grass-eater. Swipe at me, will you?  Here's one across your backside.  "Rrrah-hah!"

#rathxmas Cherfan: "That got him moving. Good, they've found the grass and they're feasting on it."

#rathxmas Thakur: "Hopefully the food will keep them busy and out of our fur."

#rathxmas Fessran: Don't be so sure. Ashon, sing your verse!"

#rathxmas  Ashon sings: "On the eleventh day of Christmas, I ducked a big horse-ie! Eleven stripers swiping..."

#rathxmas Fessran sings: "All those other mangy creatures. In-clu-ding the wri-ter."

#rathxmas Ratha "And that threehorn deer caught in the plum tree."

#rathxmas This feline gang inhabit the pages of The Named Series ( ) and leave footprints all over the pages.

#rathxmas Mondir sings: "On the twelfth trail of Christmas we drove herd-beasts to the tree..."
#rathxmas Quiet Hunter sings: "Twelve dapples drumming..."

#rathxmas Quiet Hunter: "This one thinks that driving litttle dappleback horses should be easy."
#rathxmas Ratha: "They can be tricky, though. Slow down, herders, or you'll stampede them. Especially you, Mondir."
#rathxmas Quiet Hunter: "It seems to this one...uh,me...that the dappleback stallion is getting angry."
#rathxmas Mondir: "You're being too cautious.  I can manage...Whoops! Yeowwr, the little beast jumped right over me. There he goes."

#rathxmas Quiet Hunter: "And the dappleback mares follow.  They run to the creek bank where the stripers graze."
#rathxmas Ratha: "Oh no, they'll stampede the stripers too! Cut them off.  Cherfan, Mondir, everyone..."

#rathxmas Cherfan: "Too late, clan leader. Mondir, you dung-brain, get out of the way or the stripers will trample you!"

#rathxmas Fessran: "Now we've got all the horses running wild."
#rathxmas Thakur:  "The horses startled the three-horn deer. There goes the deer herd."
#rathxmas Ashon: "Right into the middle of the face-tails.  Now the tuskers are charging."

#rathxmas Mishanti: "And rumblers too. Biggest mess ever!"
#rathxmas Fessran "Well, the treelings have recovered from eating overripe plums. There they are, jumping up on the dapplebacks."

#rathxmas Bundi: "All the beasts are stopping, turning around..."

#rathxmas Another five-star review for Ratha's Courage:


01/05/10 6 PM PST

#rathxmas Bundi "...and chasing us. Run!"
#rathxmas Thakur: "Did I just see a shamble-claw and a pack of bristle-manes join the bunch?"
#rathxmas Ratha: And that huge, nasty, wingless bird that once tried to eat me when I was young."

#rathxmas Thistle: "Seamares in the creek. Barking raiders too. And the blubber-tusker. How?"

#rathxmas Bira: What's that creature? It looks as big as a rumbler."

#rathxmas Fessran "It doesn't have fur or ears.  It's all feathers,skin and scales, and a big head. Those jaws are crammed with fangs much longer than mine."
#rathxmas Ratha: "Is the creature another giant bird? But it doesn't have a beak."
#rathxmas Thakur: I believe that the humans call that creature a 'dinosaur'.  Specfically, a Tyrannosaurus rex."
#rathxmas Fessran: "I thought all those things were long dead! What's it doing HERE?"

#rathxmas Ratha: "Ask you-know-who.  Everyone, listen.  Hide up in the trees!"

#rathxmas: Bira: "This isn't fair.  The writer-creature is CHEATING!"

#rathxmas  Fessran: "We'll be safe.  She can't kill us off. She needs us."

#rathaxmas Cherfan: "Then why is your fur all spiked up, Firekeeper?"

01/05/10  8 PM PST

#rathxmas Thakur: "Help me up this tree, Ratha.  I'm a runner, not a climber."

#rathxmas Ratha: "All those creatures will exhaust themselves charging all over clan ground. Let's just hide and wait."

#rathxmas Quiet Hunter: "This one suggests that singing the last verse may calm things down."

#rathxmas Ratha: "Then, Mondir and Quiet Hunter, sing it."

#rathxmas Mondir sings:"On these Twelve Trails of Christmas, I don't know what's coming next."

#rathxmas Quiet Hunter sings: "A creature humans call 'Tee Rex' "

#rathxmas Thakur sings: "It's too far out of context."

#rathxmas Fessran sings: "This is making us all wrecks!"

#rathxmas Mondir sings: "Twelve dapples drumming, eleven stripers swiping, ten hordes a-peeping..."

#rathxmas Fessran sings: "Nine toms romancing, eight face-tails flinging..."

#rathxmas Thistle sings: "Seven seamares sloshing, six raiders slaying..."

#rathxmas Thakur sings: "Five drunk tree-lings!"

#rathxmas Bira sings: "Four bawling herds, three drenched wrens, two rumblers to shove..."

#rathxmas Ratha sings: "And the Named all hiding in a plum tree!" 

#rathxmas T. Rex:" GRAAAHHAAAAA!"

#rathxmas All the Named cats together: "Have a Happy 2010, everyone!"

#rathxmas Fessran: "Where did that T. Rex go? Grr, I am so going to shred that writer-creature...."

#rathxmas Finally THE END












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