Oh, my dears. It’s been a long week. And it is Friday night. The sky is dark, the moon is traveling past the stars, and much of the world is readying for bed. Curl up and listen to the tales I weave, until your eyes grow heavy and you slip into slumber, ready for the Dream Maker.

Deep, deep, deep in the Bohemian Forest lives a hunter of specific tastes. Shrouded in a burlap cape and covered in a fur that melds with the botanicals, Shamus quietly picks his way through the forest. His nose twitches, constantly searching for his prey, and his nimble feet barely leave prints in the dirt. Shamus, you see, is a mushroom hunter. He follows the paths of the ancient Boii, a Gaelic people whose name means “outsider”. Shamus could be called an outsider, though he knows the forest better than any other creature. He is a solitary hunter, hoarding mushrooms in his cape until he can secret them away to his lair. His eyes, accustomed to the dark of the thick forest, allow him to see at night, and he can spot the tiniest mushroom by the light of just one star.

The children of Bavaria grow up mushroom hunting, but they make sure that they are home by dark, just to avoid Shamus. He is stealthy, able to pluck a mushroom without disturbing the dirt around it, and mushroom hunters young and old are haunted by visions of his tiny hands curling around one’s mushroom basket, silently stealing their cache.

It is said that on a silent winter’s night, if you find yourself in the peat bogs, you can smell wild mushrooms inexplicably on the wind. Perhaps it’s Shamus, cooking his supper from his den. Shamus can’t be the only creature of his kinda, can he? Perhaps you should leave a mushroom out on your sill tonight. Stay vigilant, for the those tiny hands will pull that mushroom out of sight silently.

Sleep tight, my pets. Dream deep.


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