|Habitat||High steppes and meadows.|
|Description||Roseate male cattle frequently in the company of butterflies.|
The Red Bull (Bovus rufus) was once raised as domesticated cattle by the rural citizens of Godville, and was lauded as a gentle creature, good with children, heroes, and heroines alike. Until one fateful day a hero stepped on one bull’s butterfly.
The troubles began with a bull named Ferdinand who, like all bulls named Ferdinand, was very fond of butterflies. This Ferdinand had red fur, and was part of a species of cattle (Bovus rufus) that the farmers of Godville kept for draft work, mostly pulling ploughs and transporting the farmers’ kids to school. As such, Ferdinand was adept at both humoring and minding children, and was familiar and friendly with the heroes and heroines he met along the road to school.
One day, there was a new hero just starting out on the spiral road, and who was deathly afraid of that scourge of the skies: the stinging insect. Being a city-bred lad, he wasn’t certain what a stinging insect looked like, or if all insects had sabers strapped to their tails, but he was certain that they were abundant and apt to attack anything that moved.
Ferdinand was on his way back from dropping the kids off at school and was frolicking a little with the morning’s butterflies when he spotted the new hero on the path ahead. He ambled up behind him and snuffled into his hand, because that was the polite way to ask for a good facial scratching session.
The hero jumped, a little startled, and followed the nose in his hand up to soulful, glistening eyes, then up to strong, powerful shoulders, and beyond to the cloud of marauding bugs circling the poor, red creature. This was obviously a plea for help.
“I’ll save you,” he declared, drawing his stale loaf of French bread. A swipe, and another swipe dispersed the menacingly colorful sky pirates! A third swipe knocked one of the fleeing rogues to the ground, and the brave hero stomped it to death with a satisfying crunch! It would never sting another innocent soul!
The Red Bull, Ferdinand, looked on in bewilderment and growing horror as this hero who should have been solving the itch on his nose instead attacked his butterflies. His butterflies. His butterflies. And then killed one of them! His distressed lowing gave way to an outraged bellow, and he hooked the hero on his horns, galloping to toss him off the Cliff of Unrequited Love. That done, he bellowed again, putting all of the latent magic in his body to work to lay an oath upon himself and all of his kind to avenge all butterflies against all heroes and heroines for all of time.
Shortly thereafter, all of the other Red Bulls broke out of their pastures and became wild things, learning their new vendetta’s craft at the knees of the Terror Bulls.
Clouds of butterflies generally precede these monsters, so heroes can usually avoid them by maintaining vigilance. However, wild pixies will sometimes join the Red Bull’s butterfly flock, taking advantage of the monster’s poor eyesight for a little bit of protection from hawks and other predators. Heroes and heroines should be careful when swatting away a pesky pixie, because its distressed pheromones will reach any nearby pixies in butterfly clouds and cause them to drive a Red Bull at the hero in defense of their kin.
An invisible narrator often accompanies a Red Bull, so a hero can expect to hear the announcement, “Red Bull gives you wings.” Keeper K’targ of the Amateur Naturalist’s Khlub (ANKh) hypothesizes that this is a warning that the Red Bull is attempting a critical hit or a fatality move, somehow designed to send the hero flying or turn him into an angel. ANKh advises anyone who hears the announcement to take to their heels.
- Goes faster because it’s red.
- Great strength of feet.
- Terrifyingly unreasoning hatred of heroes and heroines.
- Poor reasoning skills.
- Pixie-led more often than not.
- Not that Ferdinand.
- When asked why only to school and not from, the stock farmer's response is, “When I was a kid attending school, I had to walk uphill both ways. They can manage walking uphill one way.”
- To which the next farmer's standard response is, “Walk uphill both ways? Luxury!”