“Ho HO!”, he exclaimed, surveying the mostly empty slabs and hooks in the smoke house, “About time for another trip!” Taking the horn from its rusty nail and giving two long hoots, he summoned the beasts who would pull the wide empty sled until it was stacked full. They had come, responding in a Pavlovian way, to the sound of the horn, and to the names he had given them. Slasher, Thrasher, Basher and Big Son; Vomit, Putrid, Gnasher, and Ralph. They not only pulled the sled, they assisted with the round up.
“This better be a good one. Will have to last until the Spring thaw !”, he laughed as he harnessed, and his ample girth shook like a bowl full of congealed blood. The smoke from the pipe clenched in his pointed teeth was having effect, and he was in a jolly mood, slinging the duffel of shiny trinkets and lures into the sled.
His mate brought the hunting coat, made her usual disparaging remarks about things lodged in his beard, and returned quickly to the kitchen. He was off to harvest the progeny of men, once again.
Submitted by Doug