It was a beautiful, crisp autumn day in late November when a small handful of friends gathered in the woods for a belated holiday meal. The table was constructed crudely yet with care from a massive redwood stump, ensuring that all would be equidistant seating, promoting togetherness and equality.
The host beamed happily with thick simian lips and gestured to the grand feast of berries, straw, grass, nuts and roots that lie heaped before them.
“My friends,” said the Sasquatch, “I know we all had to celebrate the holiday alone, what with our friend Hodag’s unfortunate run in with two boys on a hike. As I hear it he is safely lying low until the fervor blows over. But in the meantime, I thank you for joining me in a leftover meal of brotherhood and bond.”
“Pleased to be here, to be sure”, Mr Leeds responded gracefully. His shock of wavy hair was tied back with root, his wings folded neatly behind his high angled back and his cloven hooves tucked below the table.
Pukwudgie, ever the curmudgeon grunted noncommittedly from his high chair. He was quite sensitive of a lot of his physical attributes, his diminutive size, leathery grey skin and bulbous nose and ears notwithstanding. But he was also the oldest of the bunch and an amazing craftsman. In fact, he had crafted his own custom chair and had assisted Sasquatch in building the elegant table.
The fourth guest smirked at the contents of the table, but he dipped his shaggy head below the table, his antlers quivering with delight at what he had hidden from view. He was tall, rail thin and yet possessed a voracious appetite.
“In brotherhood, let us all feast on this delightful natural meal!” Sasquatch said.
Mr Leeds raised a cup of honeydew, made from an airtight woven stalk of grassroot in a toast. But then.. a sudden and intrusive THUMP interrupted the festivities. The trio glanced over at the other guest. Wendigo stared right back, a roast human leg now spattered on the table, his jagged fangs already dripping red. Mr Leeds cleared his throat in indignation and flapped his bat like wings once.
“What…is this, Wendigo?” Sasquatch asked. “You know what we agreed upon.”
Wendigo belched, causing Mr Leeds to scoff and Puk to giggle lightly. “You guys were serious?” He asked. “C’mon guys. You expect me to eat-”
“To eat what, ruffian?” Mr Leeds asked, his horse like mouth chewing a dollop of hay.
“Well, what you guys are eating. I mean, I eat meat. It’s kind of what I’m known for,” Wendigo explained. “What I’m feared for!”
Sasquatch cleared his throat. “Well, I’m little annoyed he brought meat to the table when we agreed on a foraging meal but.. I suppose in the spirit of the day, we can.. entertain his particular needs.”
“Perhaps, but what I simply must ask is..WHAT are we known for?” Mr Leeds asked sternly, his amber eyes boring a hole in Wendigo’s gaunt face.
Leeds answered with a direct stare. A single crunch of hay.
Wendigo sighed derisively. “Ok look, you guys are all relics, I’m sorry to say! Me, I’m in the public consciousness. There was a public image of me in a video game and 2 popular tv shows just last year! Leeds, you’re…The mascot of a hockey team. And not even a very good one.”
“Blasphemer!” A hoof pounded the table. Sasquatch raised a meaty hand in a silent plea for order.
“Our gracious host -I just have to say- people have been looking for you for years. You need to cut them loose, bud. Either make an appearance or just… fade away. And Pukwudgie… well, I mean… just look at you. Those ears..”
“BAH!” Puk hollered. He banged his diminutive fist on the table and began to wail loudly.
“Wen, you know how sensitive he is!” Sasquatch shouted, choosing to ignore his carnivorous guest’s criticism.
“WAHHHHH” shrieked Pukwudgie
“So inconsiderate! Thou art a lecherous whelp!” Leeds hollered.
“Archaic! Join the 21st century!” Wen screamed back.
“I’ll have you know good sir-!”
“Please tell me, I’m dying to know!”
“Those television programs are trifle-!”
“Trifle! I don’t even know what that means!”
Birds began to chirp gaily, bringing a peaceful aura to the round table.
Sasquatch was breathing heavily and lowered his hands. He took a scoop of berries and chomped them noisily. Puk feasted on a root strand and Wen took a nibble out of the leg.
“I’m sorry for raising my voice. But we all need to respect one another. Wen, you need to respect Mr Leeds and how he chooses to market his image and speaking pattern. You need to respect Pukwudgie’s… unique appearance. Mr Leeds please accept Wendigo’s choice of meal. I don’t agree with it either but we are all equal guests. Puk, I love you but… you need to love you for you.”
Hmph” grunted the little imp.
“Equality. Solidarity. Ok?” The gentle giant pleaded. His bestial guests grunted in assent.
“Very well. Now we can eat in piece.. Mr Leeds, please pass me the pine nuts.”
“Certainly good sir,” Leeds replied.
“Jersey Devils suck,” Wendigo muttered under his breath. He cracked apart a femur and licked at the marrow.
“Right then!” Leeds screamed as he unfurled his wings and leapt across the table. Puk clapped his hands and tackled with glee.
“To family,” Quatch sighed wearily. He ran a hand over his leathery face as his cryptid brothers brawled wildly. He sipped the honeydew and decided he’d probably need something stronger.