Topic: Simple Örtel's Repast: A Cautionary Tale

When poaching small game in forest land near Württemberg, an elderly peasant known as “Simple Örtel” stumbled on the tumbled ruins of a burnt-out village, a once-prosperous hamlet named Ortonbach.  Its inhabitants massacred during the 30 Years War, other peasants shunned the haunted ruin.

The half-starved peasant soon found a cheerful fire with a small pot of stew boiling above it.  Politely calling out to discover whose meal he had interrupted, he was soon joined by a trio of emaciated vagabonds, their skin covered by ragged bandages and their faces hidden by rusted-out iron masks.  They urged him to join their meal, sharing their hearty stew with the hungry man.  As payment for their hospitality, they suggested Örtel’s slender calf and foot would do nicely.  To his surprise, the foolish peasant happily complied.  The agony of his leg's removal didn't seem important.  His hosts provided him with a sturdy new leg, wrought of yellowed bones bound with rusty iron wire.  The slender trio wished Örtel well and urged him to come back soon.

When food is hard to find in his village, Simple Örtel knows he can always find a meal amid the crumbling walls of Ortonbach.  He always brings someone with him, since he never knows what his hosts might ask for next.

Last edited by Sir Wulf (2017-03-16 00:21:14)