You ever see those knotty patches on a tree, like a boil in the bark? If you look really closely, you might find it’s not a canker at all, but a grunk. Their tough, woody skin helps hide them in the nooks of branches or the twist of roots, where they spend their days quietly enjoying the sunshine or storms, they aren’t fussy things.

At night, they creak from their tight seat and wander the forest, usually in little groups of three or four. They gather nuts and berries for meals, which they eat at dawn, or they collect litter from walking paths and dump it unsubtly by the edge of the nearest village.

Sometimes, elderly grunks might live alone in parks or gardens, away from the wild. Do not fear them; just let them sleep and they’ll cause you no bother.

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