It looked like a scarecrow. It had a raggedy canvas head, with great black circles where the eyes would be, and jagged scribbled stitches making the lines of the mouth. It wore a ratty fedora and jacket, patched and fraying and smelling slightly of mold, and the trousers were torn off just below the knees. For hands, it had heavy sticks, but the legs were clearly human legs, decaying and scrawny. Hanks of straw stuck out from every possible place.
“It’s very rude to stare,” the thing scolded.
She blinked stupidly. “Did you say something?”
“You have clover juice right there.” It brought up one twiggy hand and pointed to the corner of its mouth.
Dawthy dabbed at her own face, and exclaimed, “Why, you did say something, didn’t you?”
“Kind of slow for a little girl of your age, aren’t you?”
“Where I come from, scarecrows can’t talk,” she said defensively. “So I think my surprise is understandable. Besides, you don’t really have a mouth. Its only just lines drawn onto your face, so how could you be expected to talk?”
“First off, I’m not a scarecrow. Do you see me hiked up in a field of corn? I’m a straw golem, and that’s something completely different and a thousand times better.”
“I never heard of a straw golem. I don’t even know what a golem is.”
“I stand by what I said. You’re dreadfully slow for your age, or perhaps you need more exposure. I don’t know. I don’t care. A golem, young lady, is a construct of magic. It can be made of any inanimate substance, and the magic animates it. The maker then gives the golem directions. Golems are often made to guard precious things, or to serve as bodyguards. Some golems are meant to fulfill quests such as finding missing things.”
Dawthy felt a surge of excitement, despite everyone being so teachy-preachy towards her. “I’m looking for my dog, Utoh. Is that something you could help me with?”
“You are not my maker, so I’m not at all obligated to do anything for you.” At her crestfallen expression, he added, “Although seeing as my maker has abandoned me, I suppose I might help you.”
“Oh, thank you!” squealed Dawthy. “The aborizombies told me to head to the City of Shattered Opals and speak with the Wizard. They said that he could point me in the direction to find Utoh.”
“That must have been pleasant. Did they spit flesh and teeth every time they opened their mouths? Aborizombies are utterly without self-control. Yes, the Wizard could point you in the general direction, and my skills could narrow it down further. Yes, I think I will help you.”