Mossflower in summer was a sight to behold. There were all manner of trees of all specie: Maple, ash, elm, oak, alder, blackthorn, pine, etc, etc, etc! The path which ran down from the chaotic north and up from the lazy south was almost always in shade, especially at this time of day. Slanting shadows lay across the dusty flattened soil in some places, in others was golden sunshine. It was not too hot, but muggy.
The shadow play was perfect for roadside thieves, as creatures trundling by in the sunlit areas found it very hard to see beasts lurking in the shadows, but the bandits could always see their targets. Kidje Floatpaw was one such wandering thief. The plain-featured rat sat waiting just to the east of the broad walkway, picking his claws with his dagger and hoping to see some bumpkin mice or funny-voiced moles come passing by. Preferably with lots of supplies on them. He felt a hankering for strawberry cordial and he knew that goodbeast travelers almost always carried it. Growing impatient, the rat stood and paced about in some moss. He spotted a dry-rotted log close by and took an experimental knife throw at it, but missed terribly. Cursing, Kidje was made to root about in the surrounding foliage for the blade until he finally found it embedded in a fallen sycamore branch.
The rat, embarrassed but glad nobeast was around to see his mistake, returned to his watch. Squinting, he noted a distant figure coming along, striding almost down the center of the path. He couldn't tell at this distance what sort of creature it was, but it was assuredly not a mirage. Kidje assumed the position, crouching behind the very same log he had thrown the dagger at.