5: Elaria - Part Eighteen
“The answer is simple enough. As a fox, he has spent his life listening to others in the forest. With large creatures such as us, it is good to pay attention to their words for one can learn much of their intentions, evil or no. Although he cannot understand much of what we say, he has practiced enough that when a sympathetic person comes along he is ready to translate. Men, on the other hand, do not think to listen to foxes or other animals, for they think there is nothing of value in their conversation. In other words, Felanar, he has practiced more than you have. Fear not, understanding his speech will come in time as you practice thinking as a fox.”
Felanar beamed with pride at his newfound skill, rudimentary though it was. What news he would have to bring back to Kara! He bowed toward the fox and said goodbye, which merely caused the fox to make a sound that appeared to be the fox equivalent of a chuckle and nod his head as he went back to sniffing around the tree trunk. They continued their walk as they slowly arced back toward Llarand’s tree and by the time they arrived, Felanar was hungry for breakfast.
They enjoyed it together and afterward Felanar met with Llarand and Ravesfel. Ravesfel told Llarand all about Felanar’s training and the elf ruler listened carefully and gazed at the boy and nodded his head whenever praise was given. He especially asked Felanar about the skills he was learning and was pleased to hear that he used an elven bow.
“You do well to have such a weapon, Felanar, for it will never fail you in a moment of need. An elven bow will actually help you in time of trouble, as your hand wavers from fear, and will compensate for such movement. Has Bren warned you not to let others use your bow?”
“Yes, sir, he has.”
Llarand raised one of his white bushy eyebrows at Ravesfel and the old man sighed and said, “Yes, yes, I know, I’ve told him about that but men are so regimented and put in their place that it’s a wonder they know when to sneeze without offending. Felanar, there is no need to ‘sir’ Llarand, for he does not demand the respect craved by men.”