Heliola had never really had a friend, even an acquaintance, before. She could not feel sure if the faun was friend or foe. Was he keeping her alive only to kill her later? Where was he taking her? She could not understand his words, but the leaves he gave her were edible, at least.
Staplet watched her eat, chewing his root slowly and enjoying the feeling of vigor it always produced. Perhaps this would work after all. He was still concerned that Sandretta would be wrathful, not understanding his motivation. And what were his motives, anyway? He had not thought this out. Maybe it was wrong. He would find out, certainly.
A noise startled the pair, somewhere off to the left of the clearing. Their heads rose and turned as if they had been trained to do so. Movement was happening, and it appeared to be stealthy movement.
Then Staplet’s nose twitched. He looked puzzled, then sniffed again. Then slowly he began to grin. “PRUCKUS!” he called out. “You there?”
The movements got closer. A large foot emerged. Pruckus.