|Marauding with Monsters|
(False) life experiences
Chapter I - Animal, Vegetable, Horklump or Gnome?
A Horklump can be overcome by casting Flipendo to retract its spikes and then pulling it out of the ground. During my myriad travels across this magical globe of ours, I have beheld many strange sights and encountered a veritable bestiary of peculiar and exotic creatures. The vast majority of creatures I have had the misfortune to encounter have been of a decidedly threatening variety – not so the Horklump, which is similar to a large, bristly toadstool and is actually an animal rather than a plant. I well remember the time when, during a particularly satisfying sojourn with some fans of mine in the wilds of Essex, I offered to clear a pathway in their quaint, suburban yard (I quail from terming this square of scrub and turf a 'garden'), which had been ubiquitously blocked by several Horklumps. The usual technique for Horklumps is to hit them with a Knockback Jinx then, taking a good firm hold on them, twist and yank them from the ground. Needless to say, when I had cleared the pathway of every last Horklump, my fans were more than grateful and rewarded me with several bottles of their home-brewed Celery and Beetroot Wine – which, of course, I promptly declined.
Gnomes are rather more threatening than the inert and somewhat tedious Horklump. These little pests are endemic to even the most well-tended garden – like my own, for example, which stretches to eight, well-manicured acres. A rather common way to deal with garden gnomes is to grab them as they pop up from their burrows, and spin them in a circle. After doing so, keep spinning them (make sure that they are well away from your hair) above your head and then launch them as far as possible. However, I have found that the most efficient way of dealing with this potato-headed garden blight is to Flipendo the little blighter, grab him by the legs and fling him over a low wall or hedgerow – preferably not into your neighbour’s smaller and less cared for garden! One must be careful of the gnome's tiny, yet razor-sharp teeth, but a well-targeted Flipendo Knockback Jinx will deal with them most assuredly.
Chapter II - Of Impish Idiosyncrasies
To dispose of an Imp, Flipendo it then pick it up and drop in the nearest cage, hole or bottomless pit. I well remember the time when, on a particularly dangerous trek along the banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland, in search of the fabled 'Weetimorousbeastie', I chanced upon a snickering cluster of Imps. Not to be confused with the pixie, these small, spiteful creatures are mischievous in the extreme and often waylay the unwary traveller, pushing and tripping them in a most unpleasant manner. As a well-seasoned traveller across this magnificent globe of ours, I, of course, am never 'unwary' and immediately upon spotting the snickering gang, I whipped out my trusty wand and cast a particularly well-aimed Flipendo Knockback Jinx at their cavorting leader. Before his gibbering cohorts could react, I then proceeded to grab the upended Imp by its slimy ankles (being careful not to besmirch my lime green robes) and threw it into the Clyde where it floundered most satisfyingly before dragging itself on to the opposite bank and fleeing in the direction of the nearby sewage works. Thus were the Imps defeated – the remaining band of jabbering pests running back to the filthy hole from whence they came.
Chapter III - A Frenzy of Furious Fire Crabs
Subdue a Fire Crab by casting Flipendo then casting Incendio. I well recall the time when, on a peculiarly perspicacious journey into the heart of the Fijian rainforest, while engaged in a legendary odyssey to rescue the Giant Fire Crab from extinction at the hands of unscrupulous wizard poachers, I had occasion to rest awhile in the shade of a banyan tree. While performing certain urgent ablutions, I was attacked by a veritable horde of furious fire crabs – these dastardly crustaceans obviously ignorant of the fact that I was endeavouring to save one of their kind from going the way of the dodo. Gracefully, I managed to dance away from the fearsome blasts of flame roaring from their posteriors and immediately whipped out my trusty wand. With several deft and delightful casts of the Knockback Jinx, the fire crabs were all flipped on to their backs, their pathetic legs waving uselessly in the fetid Fijian air. Leaving their exposed bellies to the burning rays of the searing Fijian sun, I went jauntily on my way – with an avowed intent to join the unscrupulous wizard poachers and assist them in wiping out every last trace of these cruel and savage crustaceans.
Chapter IV - Dire Dog Spirits
Gytrashes are only hurt by the light directed from a Lumos Spell. The black, vampire-infested forest of central Romania is not so bleak and forbidding a place than the twisted heart of the New Forest in Hampshire, England. It was here, several winters ago that I chanced upon two of the most dreadful creatures known to wizards and witches. I well remember the hour, late in the day, as I wandered gaily through the blighted woodland in search of the infamous Wild Ponies of that area. I entered a leafy glade, only to be confronted by a pair of prowling Gytrashes. These large dog-like spirits barred my way and so, whipping out my trusty wand, I cast Lumos to illuminate its tip, whereupon the Gytrashes retreated from the light and I was free to pass through the forest unmolested.