By Peter S. Beagle.
Read by Stephen Eley (of Escape Pod).
Introduction by Summer Brooks.
First appeared in Wizards Magical Tales from the Masters of Modern Fantasy, 2007.
Carcharos. One tends to think of wizards either as bearded and severe, bearded and bumblingly kindly, or bearded and dark and vaguely sinister. Carcharos was none of these things. There were broad blond planes to his friendly face, and if his blue eyes were a bit small, they were yet as candid as they could have been. His hair was red-gold in any light, as though the sun were always behind him. When he spoke, there was a deep thrum to his voice, like the singing of a giant cicada. There was no one living in the Barrens who was not afraid of Carcharos.
Yes, there was. One person. But that comes later in the story.
Rated G. Contains strange animals and high magic.