It wasn’t a good place to hide.
Why they thought so, well, I can’t answer that. None of us could.
The ravens had spotted the nest first, and when they brought Octavius and myself to it, well, I understood why we’d such a helluva time finding the damned Kinderzähne.
They slept in trees.
They were wise enough to stay away from the speaking trees and from those that were marked by the dryads. Had we not had the ravens with us, though, it would have been a long time ere we found them.
Once the ravens spotted the first nest, well, the rest was easy.
The birds spread out over my lands and Blood Lake. As they did so, Octavius went back, found some of the dogs and had them spread the news.
Soon, dozens of dogs could be heard howling and barking, yipping and yapping as they made their way to me. In a matter of minutes, I was surrounded by them, even the speaking dogs thrilled with the sight before them.
A single Kinderzähne sat in the nest on the tree’s top, and it knew that death had come for it.
As the dogs raced around the tree, greeting the creature in their own way, Brutus came up beside me.
“Yon Kinderzähne knows it is time to die,” the great dog observed.
“Aye,” I nodded, “that’s a fact.”
We stood in silence for a moment.
“They don’t fight when they’re cornered like this,” Brutus stated.
I glanced at him. “No?”
He shook his head. “You’ll appreciate this, Blood if you’re anything like your kin.”
I watched the Kinderzähne stand up, stretch, and then draw a long, thin knife from behind its back.
“Ah, this is a strong one,” Brutus murmured approvingly.
The Kinderzähne took off its shirt, tossed it down to the dogs who tore into it, and then placed the tip of the knife against the center of its breast. Even from where I stood, I could see the dark blood well up around the blade’s tip.
The creature let out a high, sharp laugh, plunged the blade into its chest and pushed down.
For a moment, the Kinderzähne stood still, then it dropped the knife, took hold of either side of its opened torso, and pulled.
The creature’s innards spilled out into the tree limbs, and the Kinderzähne tumbled after it.
Brutus was right.
I appreciated it.