In a cave in a hill there lived a hole-biter. This was, of course, not just any cave because this was not just any hole-biter. This was the cave of S__ G_____ and that meant it was luxurious.
Master G_____ had inherited the cave from the previous owner, a notable recluse and bachelor named B______ with whom Master G_____ had wandered abroad during the dying years of the Thirty Centuries War. Master G_____ had returned much in his older friend’s confidence and been given the run of the house – a shocking situation to much of the County given G_____’s previous status as a servant. As the older gentlebiter grew frailer, G_____ was made his heir and came into surpassing wealth. He promptly used this wealth to marry a buxom tavern wench and begin breeding like the rabbits humans often compare us to.
I have reason to believe that Master G_____ was my natural father. Given his advanced age during my childhood, it would normally be more natural to assume that he was my father’s father – or, I suppose, most hole-biters would more generously accept that his patronage of my family was the act of Sacrificial charity that it was advertised as in Biterburg. I might even do so myself – in my wanderings across the Midworld, I have encountered stray examples of selflessness and genuine religious feeling – but in the case of Master G_____, I recollect many a knowing glance between the fine fellow and my mother, many a sunny afternoon when I and my siblings played in the gardens of the Big Cave while my mother and Master G_____ stayed within, and – of course – the time when I snuck into the old rascal’s library and found him groaning underneath her in that comfortable overstuffed chair he loved.
(If this had been my first encounter with the carnal act, I might have been appalled… but it was not, and every day I give thanks to the Powers that I was not turned away from that quest for love and pleasure that has been the defining element of my life.)
In any case, it is a known fact that Master G_____ returned to some of his rougher ways after the passing of his buxom bar wench wife after many years of marriage and many children. He returned to frequenting the old Emerald Wyvern and drinking and singing in the company of his snub-nosed young gardener and his sub-nosed young gardener’s young friends. He was known to encourage his snub-nosed young gardener’s amorous pursuit of a laughing, wry-witted buxom tavern wench and even gifted the young couple with a bright and airy new house in the human style – the New House from which my surname is derived.
(I can imagine them now, courting by proxy, the old, sparkle-eyed gentlebiter and the young, wild-eyed barmaid, exchanging knowing looks over the head of that vapid laborer. When last I saw my mother – oh so many decades ago – she had lost none of the vivacity and little of the pleasing plumpness that must have entranced the old hole-biter. I wonder whatever happened to her? I hope that she and my siblings lived long and happy lives without me, for I have certainly lived a long and happy life without them.)
I was not born with a snub nose, but with the rather more bulbous shape we hole-biters call a “potato pusher.” It is similar enough to the snub shape that it might be seen as the result of the mixed blood of my father-in-name and my rather earthy mother, but it also bore a resemblance to Master G_____’s nose that more than one of his late bachelor friend benefactor’s poor relations pointedly remarked upon in my presence. The resemblance, in fact, made me surprisingly popular amongst bachelor B______’ relations; I am sure they courted my company despite my low standing to bite their thumbs at Master G_____’s numerous children and grandchildren who has inherited the Big Cave and the wealth that should have been theirs. I did not mind this even after I realized their motives as this allowed me entrance to gentle society that would have been denied a gardener’s son. Indeed, it allowed me early experience in the carnal act in far more luxurious surroundings than I might have expected otherwise (certainly far better than the hayloft where the eldest of my brothers met his wife) and prevented me from a terrible shock that might have driven me into the priesthood or some other terrifying, celibate lifestyle.
(One shudders at the thought!)