An out-of-place and drastically overgrown thylacine? Naah–couldn’t be!
Things like this just don’t happen today. They are preserved in history.
During 1764 through 1767, a rural region in France was terrorized by a wild animal called “the beast of Gevaudan.” Incredibly, it attacked some 200 people, with 90 fatalities. Survivors described it as an extra-large wolf; but some contemporary illustrators drew it with a long, stiff tail unlike any wolf’s. Besides, wolves hunt in packs; the Beast hunted alone.
The royal government sent special hunters to kill it, there were at one time an estimated 10,000 hunters tracking it–and finally a local man shot it dead.
You need a place to hide, if you’re gonna see this.
This is the creature King Ryons and Cavall encountered on the plains in The Thunder King (No. 3 in the Bell Mountain series). No one had ever seen one before, and lived to tell about it. Ryons called it the Death Dog.
For no reason at all, everything here is working again. Thank you, Lord!
Okay–yesterday there was nothing green on any of the trees; and today there is, some leaves have budded. Spring is definitely here. And how do they do that without anyone noticing until afterward?
In a matter of weeks it’ll be time to start writing again, back to Obann to try to clean up the mess I left at the end of His Mercy Endureth Forever. I haven’t got the seed of the story yet: I have to wait on the Lord to give it to me. A nerve-wracking procedure sometimes, but it’s gotten me through twelve books.
Meanwhile, dear readers, finally I have some video of chalicotheres, the “knuckle-bears” that live on the edge of Lintum Forest. It comes from the BBC and Tim Haines’ “Walking with Beasts,” a source of inspiration to me despite its bent for Darwinian fairy tales. What can I say? The beasts are cool!
The video includes a shocking cameo appearance by a hyaenodon, aka the “death dog” that would’ve gulped down both Ryons and Cavall if he hadn’t been interrupted by–but I don’t want to spoil the story.
These are somebody’s idea of “the Top Ten Prehistorical Mammal Predators.” I didn’t actually count them, but I suspect they listed more than ten.
How many of these have appeared in Obann?
Andrewsarchus, Hyaenodon, Smilodon, Entelodont–plus a lot of critters not featured in this video. The books in which those four appear are Bell Mountain, The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, The Thunder King, and The Last Banquet. I do have fun, writing them up–and I hope it’s fun for the readers, too.
Note I have resisted the temptation to invent animals, like giant hamsters or talking clams. I deserve extra sales for that, don’t you think?
As I type up my latest chapter set of The Temptation, King Ryons reminisces (if a boy so young can be said to reminisce) his encounter with a great beast bigger than anything else that ever walked the earth. I modeled this creature on the prehistoric giant in this video–Baluchitherium. Yeah, they call it “Indricotherium” now, but I don’t. The clip comes from Tim Haines’ Walking With Prehistoric Beasts, and it’s the closest we can come to seeing what King Ryons saw.
Those little Hyaenodons who want to eat the new-born calf–they were, in fact, almost as big as a rhinoceros. Ryons and Cavall met one of them, too. Ask him about it when you see him!
All of this fun stuff is in my Bell Mountain books; so if you haven’t read ’em yet… But this is not a commercial.
As long as I’m reading The Thunder King, I thought I’d treat you to this video clip from Walking With Prehistoric Beasts, featuring the mountain-sized animal that rescued Ryons from the “death dog,” aka hyaenodon.
Don’t mind them calling it “Indricotherium.” They’re always changing the name. I stick with the old name that it had when I was a boy, “Baluchitherium.” Whatever we call it, this baby was the largest land mammal that ever lived–and the one that Ryons met was the biggest of them all.
Marvel at the work of God’s hands, and rejoice in it.
This is the monster Ryons and Cavall encountered on their way to Obann, as told in The Thunder King, Book 3 of my Bell Mountain series. (No, it is not about Labor & Industrial Relations: that is an amazon.com error that has cost me sales!) You might want to turn down the stupid music, which adds nothing to the presentation.
I wanted to give you a video of the “knuckle-bears” seen by Jack and Ellayne at the edge of Lintum Forest, in Bell Mountain, but the only one they had on youtube was literally two seconds long.
What? You haven’t read any of these books? (He shakes his head in painted disbelief.) Well, click “Books” at the top of the page and see what you think.