• nicolasakmakjian

5: Elaria - Part Sixteen

Ignoring the compliment, Felanar asked the one thing that interested him. “You can speak with birds? Ravesfel said elves could.”

“Of course we can,” answered Dalonír. “Hasn’t Bren taught you this yet?”

“No, he has said nothing about it until our journey here. I want to learn how.”

“Then we shall have to teach you,” laughed Alessa, “for never let it be said the Findára are stingy with their gifts. Come, here is a fox in our path. Let us meet him.”

She gestured toward a nearby tree where a reddish-brown fox was sniffing around the base of the trunk. He raised his head as Alessa appeared and his tail straightened. As she began speaking to him he cocked his ears and peered intently. After a moment Alessa turned toward Felanar and said, “I’ve told him that you are a friend of elves, or else he would not deal with you. Men have not dealt kindly with foxes, I’m afraid. I’ve assured him that you are different for I’ve seen in your eyes that you are kindly towards all, even the smallest of creatures.”

“Does catching fish count as being bad toward animals?” asked Felanar with a worried look on his face.

Alessa smiled and answered, “No, although an elf would not do such a thing, an animal understands the need for food and does not hold that against another. If you were to ask, you would find this fox has caught his share of birds in his time and would think you sensible to catch fish for your supper. No, it is cruelty to animals that turns them against a man. Your kind likes to torment the smaller creatures and this is what this fox finds objectionable.”

“Oh, well tell him that I’m not cruel to any animal.”

“Why not tell him yourself, Felanar?”

“Me? I don’t know how.”

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