• nicolasakmakjian

5: Elaria - Part Seventeen

“It is not just a matter of knowing. The secret to speaking with animals is feeling. Once you feel as does the fox, and your emotions focus in that way, he will pick up your meaning well enough. It is best to speak their language, ‘tis true, as you have seen me do with Tassair and this fox. It is not necessary, however, and your tongue will do well enough if you just put yourself in the right frame of mind. Animals are smarter than men give them credit. Go ahead, tell him what kind of man you are. Just think as would a fox, picture it in your mind.”

Not quite knowing what he was doing, Felanar closed his eyes and thought about what it would be like to be a fox. He pictured himself at that height, viewing the world from that perspective. He pictured himself, Alessa and Dalonír towering overhead, their heads in the trees. He felt the hunger that would drive him to seek out a bird to catch and kill. He felt the fear of capture when a group of men crashed through the forest. Finally he spoke and said,

“I am not cruel to animals. I am a friend.”

He opened his eyes and looked at the fox. The small animal looked first confused, then gradually melted into mirth. The fox turned toward Alessa and chattered away for a moment. Alessa laughed and faced Felanar and said, “At first he found your message confusing, Felanar, for he wondered why you were calling yourself a horrid klaubyn, let me see, I think “monster” would be the word in your tongue. Then he gradually realized that you were saying you weren’t horrid toward monsters, deduced that you must have meant him by saying ‘monster’, and told me that if anyone was a monster it was you towering above him! However, he understood ‘friend’ well enough and said to tell you that he believes you to be friendly, though you are a bit clumsy in the forest. I apologize on his behalf for that last bit, but it is truly what he told me.”

Felanar laughed at this translation and said, “So it is true, he could understand me, or at least a little. But why can I not understand him?”

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