The baðherbergi were a rare and beautiful animal species found mostly in the Scandinavian and Arctic regions, even on remote islands, but were gradually decimated by over-hunting. Cuthbertsen was a sensitive soul, given to emotional excesses especially during the hunting season. He felt tremendous guilt at what he and the others were doing, especially because the baðherbergi were so docile and trusting.
Indeed, none of the hunters ever had to actually shoot the animals. They would simply beckon the animals to them with outstretched handfuls of M&Ms, Good & Plentys, and even Candy Corn. The hunters would always conceal a few sleeping pills in with the treats, and then chloroform the unconscious baðherbergi painlessly.... It didn't make any difference though to Kelmer. He was a vegetarian, and he had only gotten into hunting the gentle animals because his family had done so. In fact, he had been fascinated by them as a child as great herds of them would pass his village in the Spring.... over 7' tall and weighing hundreds of pounds.
And now here he was, helping to wipe out the gentle giants who had always been his childhood friends playing in the snowdrifts around his little village of Ísafjörður.... No! It was too much. He had to stop...and encourage others to stop too, before it was too late.
You see, it was the 1950s, and the shag rug and bathmat craze had struck the American public's fancy. Even toilet seats were upholstered in the luxurious fur of the baðherbergi. And then, when they were dyed pink or even aqua, well, you can imagine the demand...and the hysteria in shopping centers and Sears catalogues!....
Sadly, although Kelmer became a world-renowned naturalist and wildlife advocate, it was too little too late. The baðherbergi disappeared from all of Northern Europe, Scandinavia, and the Arctic region. Eventually, like many extinct animals only seen stuffed in strange museum displays, they were often claimed to be fictional...to not have existed at all... like the dodo, the querestral, the chevroned bandyjrrrl, and the grey huft.
Kelmer finally withdrew from the greater world and lived out the rest of his life on the tiny island of Viðey.... a happy place with stunning views, joyous citizens, and the last of the baðherbergi, forgiving, loving, and with great sparkling eyes filled with kindness. Kelmer still carried his great grandfather's walrus gun when he was out and about.... but only to ward off any big game hunters who had somehow found his little sanctuary. ....and over the years, he only had to kill three or four....
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(for George Sweet)