"Mornin', Bob", said Frank.
"Mornin', Frank." said Bob.
With the complex matter of pleasantries out of the way, the two men leaned on their respective farming equipment and examined the surrounding countryside with the practiced eyes of two men who did very little farming and an awful lot of standing around.
"Don't mean to pry into another man's business, but there seems to be a dead giant where some potatos ought to be." said Frank, nodding in the direction of the unmissably large corpse rotting nearby.
"Aye, you'd be right about that, Frank," said Bob, squinting into the distance with some interest, "Found him there this morning. Got no toes on."
"No toes on, you say?" said Frank, raising his eyebrows. "Well, there's a thing."
"Reckon it's one o' them ale creamists."
"That'd be an alchemist, Bob, and you'd be right, sure enough."
"Use 'em in potions and such."
"They surely do."
Bob's squint had become a pained scowl and he leaned a few inches further on his hoe, which made all the difference in the world.
"Forgive an old man his eyes, Frank, but would you reckon that that figure over yonder is that there Dragonborn feller who went and killed that dragon in the watchtower?"
Frank looked across the field until his eyes found their quarry.
"Aye, that's the one. Friend of mine in the pub told me that he saw him stab a bear through the head with a big black sword, that was also on fire if you believe such things."
"I'd believe that, Frank."
"Then he took one of the bear's claws."
"Why only one o' them?"
"I asked the same question, Bob, sure enough. Plenty of claws on a bear, I said, if you want bear claws your best bet is to take all o' them off one bear, not one o' them off lots, I said."
"You'd be right about that, too, Frank."
The two men watched the rapidly approaching figure for a while.
"Likes doing fetch quests, so I'm told," said Frank, scratching himself on the chin. The stubble sounded like a hedgehog being dragged behind a horse.
"Is that right?" asked Bob thoughtfully, "The wife's been nagging me for some Tundra Cotton for a few days. Wants to spin a tunic, she said. Think I could ask him to get it for me?"
"Oh, aye, he'd do that for you, to be sure, but I was talking to this Redguard feller up in the city and he told me that he'd asked the Dragonborn to find his lost sword for him and it took him eight weeks. Said that sometimes he'd see him just standing outside Warmaidens for two days straight."
"Just standing there?"
"Just standing there, as I live and breathe. Can't say as I'm all that surprised though, Bob. I was walking over to Riverwood t'other day and I saw him jumping backwards up a mountain."
"I'd say you'd be pullin' my leg right about now, Frank."
"I wish I was pullin' on that leg o' yours, Bob, I truly do. I wanted to tell him that the path up was just around yon corner, but he don't talk much at the best o' times, I'm told, and I heard that he went and killed everyone in a town in the North, because this lady he was travellin' with got killed by one o' them Ice Wraiths, and I didn't want to talk to 'im if he was still in a bit o' a mood, you see."
"Nasty things those Ice Wraiths."
"Truer words were never spoken, Bob."
"Bad for the potatoes."
"Quite so. How's your boy these days? The adventurer."
"Ah, bad news on that score. Took an arrow in the knee."
Frank winced and shook his head. "Bad business, is that. He'd be a guard now, then?"
"O' course. Stands to reason."
"Lot o' guards becomin' guards because of arrows in the knee these days, I'm noticin'."
"Lot o' arrows flying around these days, is why. Civil war."
"Lot o' arrows in a civil war, right enough. Still seems like a lot o' arrows hitting a lot o' knees though, Bob."
"Best not to ask questions about stuff like that, Frank. Not our place to be askin' questions like that."
At that point, the Dragonborn went hurtling past the farm, breathing heavily. The two men turned slowly to watch him go.
"In a bit of a hurry, I'd say." said Frank
"I'd say so, too."
"These questions that it ain't our place to be asking. Would they include me seeing a backwards flying dragon up in the mountains just now?"
"That'd be what's called a perfect example, Frank. A perfect example."
THE END read