The three griffon boys were batting a badger their age from one to another in a circle. The youth cried for help initially, but as they’d intercepted him walking home from school alone through a field, he resigned himself to bullying.
Suddenly he tripped and fell, his arm sinking into a hole as he tried to brace himself. The badger’s fingers stuck in something, and it came up with him as his tormentors pulled him free.
“Whoa, a skull!” exclaimed Parnaffin. “Awesome!”
“What’s that, now?” asked Jarnaffice.
“That’s a human. Adult male, if I had to guess,” offered Earnaffil.
“Definitely he was an adventurer, who quested for treasure and glory, killing evil witches and bringing beautiful lady humans back to his nest!” guessed Parnaffin.
“Humans didn’t live in nests,” corrected Earnaffil. “They stayed in hovels like our friend here.” The griffon shook the little badger, loosening the grip of the eye sockets on his paw.
Jarnaffice picked up the dirty bone and puzzled over it. “Could’ve been some kind of, like, a dad. Like he was out looking for food for his family, but he got buried or something.”
“No, no, he was buried long after he died,” huffed Earnaffil. “My hypothesis is that this human was a scholar. They had a surprisingly advanced body of knowledge, actually. We’ll never know exactly how much, since they’ve been extinct for generations.”
“That’s not true.” It was the badger boy who spoke this time. “There are some who walk still.”
“Please enlighten us,” grinned Earnaffil.
“The ones who get dug up, their shadows wander at night. They’re called Wingtakers, because they find the griffons that disturbed the resting places of their bones, and they pull the flappers right off them.”
“What about you? You got no wings,” quivered Jarnaffice.
“It’s not true, idiot,” squeaked Parnaffin. “Is it, E?”
“Of course not,” muttered Earnaffil. “Now let’s go. We won’t associate with vermin who lie or fools who don’t understand that they do.”
The griffon brothers padded away and took flight. When they were pinpricks in the sky, the badger replaced the skull in the hole and covered it with some dirt. He went along his way just fine.