ISTR something about Hobbits being somewhere on the evolutionary line between wolverines and Italians, and them greedily lighting the "fireworks" they found in a box marked with the Elf Runes "Army Surplus".
Boggies are an unattractive but annoying people whose numbers have decreased rather precipitously since the bottom fell out of the fairy-tale market. Slow and sullen, and yet dull, they prefer to lead simple lives of pastoral squalor. They don't like machines more complicated than a garrote, a blackjack, or a luger, and they have always been shy of the "Big Folk" or "Biggers," as they call us. As a rule they now avoid us, except on rare occasions when a hundred or so will get together to dry-gulch a lone farmer or hunter. They are a little people, smaller than dwarves, who consider them puny, sly, and inscrutable and often refer to them as the "boggie peril." They seldom exceed three feet in height, but are fully capable of overpowering creatures half their size when they get the drop on them. As for the boggies of the Sty, with whom we are chiefly concerned, they are unusually drab, dressing in shiny gray suits with narrow lapels, alpine hats, and string ties.
They wear no shoes, and they walk on a pair of hairy blunt instruments which can only be called feet because of the position they occupy at the end of their legs. Their faces have a pimply malevolence that suggests a deep-seated fondness for making obscene telephone calls, and when they smile, there is something in the way they wag their foot-long tongues that makes Komodo dragons gulp with disbelief. They have long, clever fingers of the sort one normally associates with hands that spend a good deal of time around the necks of small, furry animals and in other people's pockets, and they are very skillful at producing intricate and useful things, like loaded dice and booby traps.
They love to eat and drink, play mumblety-peg with dim-witted quadrupeds, and tell off-color dwarf jokes. They give dull parties and cheap presents, and they enjoy the same general regard and esteem as a dead otter. It is plain that boggies are relatives of ours, standing somewhere along the evolutionary line that leads from rats to wolverines and eventually to Italians, but what our exact relationship is cannot be told. Their beginnings lie far back in the Good Old Days when the planet was populated with the kind of colorful creatures you have to drink a quart of Old Overcoat to see nowadays. The elves alone preserve any records of that time, and most of them are filled with elf-stuff, raunchy pictures of naked trolls and sordid accounts of "orc" orgies. But the boggies had clearly lived in Lower Middle Earth for a long time before the days of Frito and Dildo, when, like a very old salami that suddenly makes its presence known, they came to trouble the councils of the Small and the Silly.
As the day of the party drew nearer, carts drawn by sturdy plow-goats rolled through the bullrush gates of
Boggietown, laden with boxes and crates, each bearing the X-rune of Goodgulf the Wizard and various elvish brand names.
The crates were unloaded and opened at Dildo's door, and the mewling boggies wagged their vestigial tails with wonder at the marvelous contents. There were clusters of tubes mounted on tripods to shoot rather outsized roman candles; fat, finned skyrockets, with odd little buttons at the front end, weighing hundreds of pounds; a revolving cylinder of tubes with a crank to turn them; and large "cherry bombs" that looked to the children more like little green pineapples with a ring inserted at the top. Each crate was labeled with an olive-drab elf-rune signifying that these toys had been made in the elf-shops of a fairy whose name was something very much like "Amy Surplus."
My favourite bit...
When Dildo's eyes became adjusted to the pale light, he found that the grotto was almost filled by a wide,
kidneyshaped lake where a nasty-looking clown named Goddam paddled noisily about on an old rubber sea horse. He ate raw fish and occasional side orders to travel from the outside world in the form of lost travelers like Dildo, and he greeted Dildo's unexpected entrance into his underground sauna in much the same way as he would the sudden arrival of a Chicken Delight truck. But like anyone with boggie ancestry, Goddam preferred the subtle approach in assaulting creatures over five inches high and weighing more than ten pounds, and consequently he challenged Dildo to a riddle game to gain time. Dildo, who had a sudden attack of amnesia regarding the fact that the dwarves were being made into chutney outside the cave, accepted.
They asked each other countless riddles, such as who played the Cisco Kid and what was Krypton. In the end Dildo won the game. Stumped at last for a riddle to ask, he cried out, as his hand fell on his snub-nosed .38, "What have I got in my pocket?" This Goddam failed to answer, and growing impatient, he paddled up to Dildo, whining, "Let me see, let me see." Dildo obliged by pulling out the pistol and emptying it in Goddam's direction. The dark spoiled his aim, and he managed only to deflate the rubber float, leaving Goddam to flounder. Goddam, who couldn't swim, reached out his hand to Dildo and begged him to pull him out, and as he did, Dildo noticed an interesting-looking ring on his finger and pulled it off. He would have finished Goddam off then and there, but pity stayed his hand.
"It's a pity I've run out of bullets", he thought, as he went back up the tunnel, pursued by Goddam's cries of rage.
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