When he was born Little Kurt was like most other children. He giggled and fussed and cooed like all babes do, cried when he was hungry and slept often as most babes do. But he grew very quickly and within a year he was already three feet tall and talking. By his second year he was almost four feet tall and as strong as a man. And by his third year he was over five feet tall and had an appetite so large that his parents could no longer afford to feed him. The town was sympathetic and offered to help but they quickly realized that they had a Bingeling on their hands.
Some say that Bingelings were demons sent to earth to destroy everything they could touch, others claimed Bingelings were the products of indulgent parents who would deny their children nothing, but whatever the cause a Bingeling was a force to be reckoned with before it could get out of hand.
First the townspeople decided to not feed Little Kurt. Surely the Bingeling’s size was the result of its voracious appetite. But after one day of not feeding Little Kurt he had grown an additional eight inches, and many feared the worst if they continued down that path. So they set up a dining table in the town center and had people constantly feeding the Bingeling in shifts while they sent away for help.
A man from another village was found and he relayed what had happened when they found themselves with a Bingeling.
“Our Bingeling grew to nearly ten feet before we decided that the best thing to do was to kill it. We circled around and came at it with shovels and axes for all directions but many of our blades barely scratched the surface of the Bingeling. In anger, our Bingeling swatted down many good, strong men until we finally decided to build a trebuchet that sent sacks of salt and lye into his eyes to blind him. Once blinded, we were able to surround the Bingeling and set fire to it. The fire burned for nearly three moons and left a stench so horrible in the earth that we had to relocate our entire town several miles up river. Trust me, in another year it may be too late for you to do anything to get rid of your Bingeling, because at some point the Bingeling won’t be satisfied until he starts eating humans.”
The townspeople looked at Little Kurt in horror. Despite his size, they couldn’t imagine killing him, or setting fire to him, or having to move their town. They also didn’t relish the idea of becoming a part of his diet.
The next day a woman was found from a village even further away. He told the people his tale of the Bingeling.
“Our Bingeling was kept secret from us by its parents. They lived further out on the edge of the village and were better able to keep it a secret. They didn’t see anything wrong with their child – they said God had blessed them with an “abundance of love” – but they were forced to steal entire flocks of sheep and goats to keep up with its appetites. When the village finally found out the Bingeling was easily fifteen feet tall and just as wide, wallowing in its own filth like a hog. It was the smell that caused us to search for its source. Since its parents were uncooperative and refused to let us near the Bingeling we were forced to take unusual measures. We noted the Bingeling was in a ravine so we built a culvert and diverted a river into the ravine during a storm. The water built up like a dam behind the Bingeling then eventually washed it further down into the valley where it tumbled into a lake and drowned. The lake became putrid within a week and turned the entire area into a foul-smelling marshland with noxious gasses. Our village moved to avoid the smell, though the Bingeling’s parents refused to leave their home and continued to mourn the loss of their child.”
The townspeople looked again at Little Kurt, happily eating his second side of beef for the day and rethought their opinions about killing a child. After some serious discussions they set a proposal before Little Kurt’s parents and were given permission to proceed.
Though he would constantly eat, Little Kurt was still quite healthy and active, and so the people of his town decided to teach him a game. Every few hours they would stop feeding Little Kurt and wait for him to cry for food. Then they would say “Little Kurt, we have prepare another meal for you! Can you smell it? Can you find where it is?” And Little Kurt would jump up from his empty table and go search out the next. In this way the people of the town kept setting up tables further and further away, out beyond their forest and up the side of a mountain, until finally they set a massive table of food suspended by ropes over the caldera of a dormant volcano. At first Little Kurt didn’t know what to do, but soon figured out how to hang from the ropes and hand-over-hand toward the food. As he neared the table a gun was fired, signaling the townspeople on either end to cut to ropes and send Little Kurt hurling nearly a mile down to his death on the rocky floor of the caldera.
And that would have been the end of it, but as the townspeople made their way home the earth shook from a mighty quake, and suddenly the volcano burst with poisonous gasses and hot magma. Within minutes Little Kurt’s town and all the people in it were obliterated from the earth, all except Little Kurt’s parents who left the town after being told the plans for their Bingeling child. They were the ones who told me this tale, and who wander the world and offer this warning to others, that if your aren’t careful, it only takes one child to raze a village.