The Lurking Horror is known for its extraordinary ability to find water, either above or below ground. It smells water like sharks smell blood. This sense serves the lurker in two ways; when it finds water below ground, it sticks its long tentacles into the ground where they can absorb almost every molecule of water within 10 feet.
This water sense also aids in the lurkers’ hunting. The lurker uses its sense to find watering holes. The lurker will crawl up to one of these ponds and lay motionless, disguising itself as a pile of dead wood along the banks. When an unsuspecting thirsty animal gets close enough, the tentacles lash out, providing the lurker with its next meal.
As the Waiteri-Smith usually did every month, scouts were sent out to find water to replenish the supply. Tara was taught that if you want to find water, follow a lurker.
She had stalked a lurker for two days, knowing it was getting closer to a source of water by the way all the tentacles quickly rippled in one direction. Instead of water, Tara brought back to her clan an account of the battle between the lurking horror and the frog that had attacked it within the trees of The Last Woods.
The frog was almost able to attain total surprise with the ambush, but the lurker had almost a second sense about the nature of the woods and was easily able to avoid the attack. The lurker stepped back to better ready itself for battle.
Tara watched from nearby as the frog tried to tackle the lurker to knock it down, but the lurker had a low center of gravity. Despite being unable to knock the lurker down, the frog was still able to tear off a large chunk of one of the tentacles. Blood erupted from the shredded wound. The frog attacked again, but the lurker swung its body around avoiding the attack while being able to counterstrike at the same time – an advantage held by a being with so many limbs. The opponents exchanged heavy blows, but neither was able to gain an advantage.
Again, the lurker backed off, trying to nurse its bleeding wound, and again the frog came in to try to bash its prey to the ground, but to no avail. The frog was relentless, but the lurker unrelenting.
Tara saw the lurker’s wounded tentacle fall limp and drag across the ground, spreading rivers of blood on the forest floor. The frog also saw this and went in for an all-out attack. The attack paid off; avoiding the mass of tentacles trying to impede its attack, the frog was able to grasp at the lurker’s flesh and rip out its innards, killing the lurker instantly.
The lurker would find no water today. But Tara was not dejected. She knew that the frog was a brash eater; it would tear out three or four chunks of meat from its kill and retreat to eat in seclusion. Tara knew there’d be a good chance some of the lurker’s tough water sacs would be intact. She would harvest them quickly, before other dangerous scavengers came along.
Within a few days, Tara made it back to her village with water to drink and a story to tell over the evening fire.