But work is the great distractor. With winter easing to a finish, Spanakopitus pulled maintenance on the Big Engine, which had performed heroically for all those long, cold months. It was routine maintenance and therefore boring--changing the oil and installing new filters and tasks like that--so Spanakopitus decided to hire the Zom. Three days should just about do it, he figured.

In his most businesslike manner he went to the Zom and asked if they would like a little light work--nothing too taxing. And the Zom said that would be fine, but in exchange they wanted to hunt wild boar on Spanakopitus's land. Spanakopitus agreed, but only on the condition that the Zom first put in their three days' work on the Big Engine. The Zom protested that they wanted to hunt first and work later, but Spanakopitus held firm: work first, then pursue boar. But if at the end of each day's work the Zom wanted to go out and scout for boar, that would be allowed.

So diligently the Zom set to work, reminding themselves that for only three days one can put up with almost anything. To pass the time as they worked they sang Zom songs and traded Zom recipes for roast boar. Occasionally they sneaked a swig of Zom beer. And as soon as they got off work, half of them went out to scout for boar, while the other half dug a pit and gathered rocks, preparing for the coming barbecue.

Three days came and went, as three days quickly will, and the Big Engine was all slickly oiled and finely fitted out with new filters. And with great glee the Zom set off--all of them this time--on their great boar hunt.

Carving up a fine feast.

19: Aftereffects and Reprisals