The Story of Squish Squash and the Log Races of Qwortar
As told by Jatydid to Skylar
In the southern swamps many Qwortarians will travel in the water with hollow logs if they decide not to shape shift into a creature less liable to squishing. They are a peaceful enough group, many creatures will ride along the floating logs, or use them to get from one section of the swamp to another.
Why hide in hollow logs? Because if they were to crawl along the muddy bottom as themselves, like their crustacean prey, they are in danger of the Stampfer. Giant slow moving creatures that strain water through their baleen plates. Their feet are large, easily the size of a flower bed. The Stampfers are so big, and so heavy, and their feet drop so quickly, it is deadly to us soft bodied Qwortarians.
Squish was tired of lugging a log around every time they were hungry. They believed they had the solution to the Stampfers that didn’t require the logs, nor shape shifting to a form with a tough exterior that was still no guarantee against the weight of a Stampfer.
Spreading their own bodies really thin gave them farther reach for the little crustaceans and Squish was sure it would help distribute the weight of the Stampfer’s foot to prevent internal pressure causing a rupture and leakage of the bodily fluids.
Yes. Yuck indeed. That is why you mustn’t play near the thorny ravine east of here. But where was I… Oh.
Squish was lucky for a while, trying out their plan while the Stampfers were on the migration to the shallow ocean for a feeding frenzy. For eating it worked great. But against the Stampfers, not as well. Squish was caught under a foot, partially, his insides being distributed to one side while the creature standing on them swished their great mouth back and forth in the water.
They tried to pull away, but the weight was too great. Squish was stuck until the Stampfer moved and then their body slurped out of the mud and they dragged themselves to shore. While they were correct and they didn’t suffer a deadly rupture, they discovered a problem once back on land.
The part of them that had been squashed under the Stampfer’s foot, was stuck like that. The skin flattened together with no fluid in between was stuck in the semi-circle shape no matter what Squish tried. Indeed, it was even an extra tag of skin when it tried to shape shift into a different creature altogether.
They earned a last name, Squash, for their misadventure. Squish Squash had an interesting life after being partially squished, the large, thin flap of skin worked well as a rudder for his log journey’s after that. They became quite the speedster in the swamps. Others copied him, and that is how the Great Log Race around Qwortar started. Humbly, as races around a swamp.
Word count: 493