The Forest Beings sat on logs and on the ground in a large sunny clearing. They opened the bag of food that Nonna had given them and began to sample its contents.
Hoopy snuffled through his mustache as he talked with his mouth full of wonderful flavors, “I like this. What wonderful food this is.”
Flur-Ella smiled and nibbled on a little bit of Scruffling stick that was in her bag. She loved Scruffling sticks, especially dipped in a little honey. She didn’t have any honey but she continued to chew happily.
Bar-Thur was digging under a nearby tree. He smelled beetles somewhere and it was a very enticing smell.
“Pata-Pikki,” said a voice, “You might come here when your friends are through eating. It would be good to talk.” The image of the Oldling was talking to him. Pata-Pikki sat up with a start.
“What is it Pata-Pikki?” woofed Flur-Ella.
“Is everyone ready to move on?” Pata-Pikki asked.
“I can eat as I walk,” answered Hoopy in surprise.
Bar-Thur looked up from the hole he had dug under the tree, a root was sticking out of his mouth. “Not much here, I am ready,” gruffed Bar-Thur.
Flur-Ella started putting things into her pack. “Where are we going?”
“Into those trees,” woofed Pata-Pikki, pointing with his paw. “There is a thick place in the forest. Someone wants to talk to us.”
The Forest Beings put their packs on their backs again and walked toward the trees. They entered a groove of dark green trees with needles and cones growing thickly on them. They walked upwards along a faint path. As they reached the top of the hill, they could see a grove of leafless trees below them. Climbing down the rocky side of the hill they entered this forest of white trunks that reached skywards. The blue sky was above them and as they walked under its canopy, Pata-Pikki stopped and listened. “Where is the breeze now?” He thought?
In answer to his thought, a small breeze whispered by his ear. He turned to the left and followed the breeze. “This way,” he woofed to the others. The little breeze that spoke to him was full of joy. He chucked to himself as he walked because it had some funny things to say. He saw in his mind Scruffle-Pups playing and rolling down a hill of grass. The sight of them made him giggle.
“What are you laughing at Pata-Pikki?” Flur-Ella said. “What is so funny?”
“The breeze, it was showing me something.” Pata-Pikki snuffed. Hoopy looked at him curiously.
Suddenly they could smell smoke. Ahead of them was a small fire with someone sitting close to it. The someone who sat at the edge of the fire stood up and turned towards them.
“Who is it?” growled Bar-Thur.
“It’s an Oldling,” Pata-Pikki responded. “One of the Wildings. Go slowly. Don’t be upset. He wants to talk to us.”