5: PROPOSITIONS

Now the Zom, having had such success with the brewing and consumption of beer, decided to turn their hands to other fermenting projects. They had a lot of fruit, you see--apples and pears and plums and the like--which they had always just eaten as it came ripe, in their we-don't-worry-about-tomorrow Zom way. But now, having seen what can be done with beer, they looked at this fruit in a new way and saw that it was ripe for turning into brandy. And so they built themselves a still...
d-r-ip...
d-r-ip...
d-r-ip...
and sat and watched it...
d-r-ip...
d-r-ip...
d-r-ip...
which is a fine occupation if you are a Zom.

Well, after a while Spanakopitus learned of this, and being a very astute businessman, he went to the TrailMaster with a proposition.

"The Zom have built themselves a still," he told the TrailMaster, "and are now the producers of a rather acceptable brandy. I know, for I have tasted it myself, and it is--ahem--rather acceptable, yes."

"Ah, that is interesting," said the TrailMaster.

"Yes. It is...interesting...brandy. So, do you know anyone who is particularly fond of brandy--for an appropriate price?"

"I might," said the TrailMaster. "I might."

"Well, can you tell me who they might be?" asked Spanakopitus slyly.

"No, I can't do that," said the TrailMaster, "for they might not want to reveal themselves as drinkers. But I will take it to them for you, if you like. Yes, I will take it to them."

The TrailMaster knew that Spanakopitus, being slightly devious, would charge more than a tidy little profit for such an exchange, and he didn't want his friends taken advantage of. So the TrailMaster carried a case of fine Zom brandy to his friends in the southern parts, and the Zom received a fair price for their product, which helped solidify their newfound reputation as something other than wastrels.

6: Tricksters
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