"For a wolf, he has the strangest accent. Move me closer, please."
The old Ranger (some called him the Old Relic) lifted Tengweerfanda higher so she could hear the white wolf's low, rumbling speech.
"He says the forest smells wrong. And, there is a new silence in the hunting lands far to the north." Teng ruffled her feathers slightly. "He has traveled many nights to bring this knowledge to the Rangers."
"Good hunting," the old Ranger growled, dredging up one of the few Wolfkind phrases he could recall. The wolf did not reply. He turned and disappeared over the Ranger's wall.
Teng looked at the old Ranger. He looked back.
The wind ruffled his hood, and he breathed deep, imagining what the white wolf perceived about this new trouble. Trolls again? No, troll stink was easy to identify. This was something new.
"Sir Andrew, you cannot be thinking about taking up this quest," Teng said, unnecessarily using his formal title. Why? To get his attention?
"Lady Tengweerfanda," he replied with mock courtesy, "I can be thinking about a number of things, including..."
"Including your sore knees and bad back? You have earned your pension. This is a young man's game."
Sir Andrew sniffed the air again. It was cool from the north. He closed his eyes and remembered the north lands and a blooded, younger version of himself that answered to the title 'Sergeant', not 'Sir.' And a young princess, probably queen by now.
His old heart fluttered, and his knees seemed to feel a little better.
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(c)2019 Mickey Kulp
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