Our travel companion General Gnome had traveled to what we called The End Of The World with us: To the end of a small dead-end road winding itself up the west coast of the south island to a small town called Karamea, shaken up thoroughly in the van going into the mountains on a gravel road, hiking up on rough paths through the bushes, crawling and sliding through a set of caves with stalactites and glow worm larvae luring prey into their sticky nets. He was exhausted, but proud to have come so far, and he was relaxing on a tree in the shade.
This was when the attack started. From behind the tree trunk a dark shadow was moving. Slow and almost unnoticeable at first. But as the Robin became visible in a ray of sun shining through the tree cover, it was already attacking the unsuspecting Gnome.
The powerful beak came slashing from behind and was aiming for the throat. It would have killed General Gnome before he even had the chance to move. What saved the live of our companion was the strong red beard he had grown over the years. It caught most of the impact and gave the gnome the chance to roll to the side, jump on his feet and prepare for the next move of the Robin. And it came quickly! Having eaten nothing but worms for days it was hungry and prepared to fight. General Gnome on the other hand was tired from the travels, but of course he had lived through years of martial arts training. The opponent was strong but desperate. He would risk too much and not expect his victim to be trained. When the beak came rushing in again, Gnome moved to the side in an instant and went for Robins throat in return. Startled the attacker moved back, started sliding off the tree and spread his wings to catch his fall.
Robin tried the same attack a few more times, but Gnome knew the biggest threat was over. In true martial spirit the Gnome is peace-loving and would only defend himself or others to the degree required. He did not want to injure the Robin. He was however mighty relieved when the attacker finally understood the situation he had gotten himself into and started to withdraw. A few minutes later the General Gnome was back on the path and on the way home. Or whatever home was in these days of traveling…