The great doors of Redwall Abbey, impervious for centuries, stood asunder for the first time. Abbot Martine watched from the belltower, aghast, as the great hall was stripped bare. No vermin horde had spelt the doom of the abbey, no pirate, no warlord, but rather the collective action of a thousand, nay, a million humble goodfolk.
The feast table was twoscore meters of polished oak and yet still bowed under the weight of summer flans, blueberry buttermilk scones drenched in fresh butter, spit-roasted carp, immense flagons of ale and cordial, and the good polished silver that had served the abbeyfolk for centuries. It was the eve of the midsummer feast and yet the solid maple chairs stood empty. The food was conveyed hand-to-hand into the courtyard where the beasts of the world, mouse and vermin alike, stared aghast at the luxury that had been cloistered within the redstone walls. Ship rats, their ribs straining against parchment skin, lifted morsels with trembling hands.
To the abbot the surging crowd resembled the bitter waves of the great sea itself, come to reclaim the very walls of his fortress as if they were nothing but sand and driftwood. The current swept bags of grain, honest iron tools, barrels of ale out into the dark forest, no doubt to be “redistributed” by the arrogant vermin-lovers. Martine called upon the ghost of Martin the Warrior to sweep the filth from his gates with his mighty sword, but was answered only by the clamor of marching boots and rousing song. The disarmed abbey guards milled about, purposeless. Some of them stepped forward to help shoulder the great table itself and carry it out to be thrown on the bonfire. Traitors, Martine thought.
A mole stepped forward from the crowd and pointed up at the belltower with one formidable claw. “Burr oi fer abbot see iffin I don’ burr hoi.” The masses cheered, raised their skinny paws in fists, and surged as one.