Singalong In The Night
Evening was creeping into the Mossflower woods. It was time for dibbuns run to their homes and their open-arm waiting mothers, exhausted from their daily play and mischief. Candles would be lit, the supper would be carried on the tables and families would dig in. And after all was well and warm, beasts would gather besides the log-fire and spent the night telling stories and singing songs until sleep took them.
…That was what any sensible beast would be doing right now, Steck Vennet, a wandering bard, though a bit bitterly as he climbed over a fallen tree truck and hopped down, continuing in his way. …Tuck themselves somewhere warm and bright – not wade through the thick undergrowth, their paws wet and sore from all the walking, while hunger gnawed their stomachs.
Steck stopped for a moment, scratching behind his ear, looking around but seeing nothing that could give him any better directions than were he was already heading. This was rather discouraging… According to the directions that helpful water vole had given, he should have reached the main road by now. But here he still was, surrounded by the tall and ancient trees, no sight of the road and sun has already started its journey towards the horizon, painting the sky with illuminating shades of red and orange. The only explanation, of course, was that he had somehow strayed from his path… But in this massive underbrush one could lost even a sight of over-sized badger!
Steck let put a small sigh. Well, he couldn't help it now, could he? He should continue a bit more, try to find some nice and dry place or hole to spend his night… Have his traveler's evening meal, as meager as it would be…
Again, thinking about dry bread for a supper was a bit dispiriting. So Steck tarted whistle a tune, something that has just popped in his mind. And it didn't take long before hummed words were added to it. Singing always brightened his mind, uplifting his spirit, no matter the time or place.
_"Here's a song,
not from times far agone
I should know it – I spun it!
As I walk alone
To the place, they all call
The Abbey of Redwall"
"This jolly and smart mouse
Storyteller, second to none
But you won't see me grouse
As I travel on
Darkness doesn't scare this witty bard
I have travelled east to west
The trees can stand on their guard
And witnessing my gallant quest
To the place of legends of all
To the Abbey of Redwall"
"But in my midst of distress
The truth I find
My path has led me to digress
As there's no Red Walls in my sight…"_
The bard let out a snort and shook his head, chuckling: "Oh, that was just horrible! 'Find' and 'sight'? Oh, nonono, that won't do at all…"
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‘Eveningtime’, thought Rumble as he trundled through Mossflower Wood with his walking stick, ‘Tis the best time for moles. There’s no light to see where we dig, but we have to use all our senses. Tis the best time indeed.’
The little mole was far away from where he was supposed to be. Which was in bed, inside of Redwall Abbey’s walls. Unfortunately for the good Brothers and Sisters of the Abbey, Rumble had been planning this little adventure for a little while now, even digging a secret hole so he could slip out unnoticed. Ever since he’d heard the stories of Dandin and Mariel, Rumble fancied himself an adventurer too, and wanted to have fun escapades just like them!
Currently, he’d made his way a fair distance from the Abbey, but now it was time to stop for the night. He sat down and rummaged through the little pack that he’d brought with him, and pulled out a bright red apple.
“If et wurr noice and cookered, oi wudd have a gudd meal,” Rumble mumbled aloud, and bit into the juicy fruit. In the distance, amid the fading twitters of birds and the increase in cricket chirping, he heard the lilting voice of a singing creature. He listened, and clapped when it was finished.
“That wuz a foin songer, maister voice,” he called out into the darkness. The mole finished the apple, then pulled out a blanket from the rucksack, and draped it over himself as he lay against a nearby tree.
Here I come! Sorry for the delay – had a bit busy end of week but now I can relax with my vacation! x)
Normally there were many sounds that belonged in forest at the evening time; creaking of the old trees, the rustle of the leaves when wind passed through, a distant tweeting of some late bird and so on. A sound of clapping was the most unexpected thing Steck wasn't prepared for and immediately mouse's eyes hopped towards the bushes, from which direction the sound came from.
And not so later came a voice too, calling him 'master voice'.
Well, now he really had to find out who was the owner of the mysterious voice.
'That's mole-speech, alright,' Steck thought to himself as curiosity brought him to the obshes, the mouse walking past them to meet the his hidden admirer. 'Maybe a fellow traveler? I don't see any light, so I doubt there's actually house a nearby….'
Out of loud he said: "Greetings, a fellow wanderer, I ––," Steck's sentence was cut shirt when his eyes landed on the small mole, sitting under the tree.
Surprise after another, it seemed. Another thing Steck hadn't been expecting was a young mole in middle of darkening Mossflower woods. But this bard-mouse was nothing but quick to reclaim his speechs.
"–– Oh, hello there little one…" Steck said, hesitantly looking around. He was trying to find any sign of this cub's parents or guardians, whoever they might be. But besides himself and the kid, in the small clearing there was no other. There wasn't even any sign of proper campground, no fire or such. Just young mole, sitting on the ground.
Steck returned his attention back to this young one. At least he was geared up for travel: he had a rucksack and blanket, and appeared to be calm like summer breeze. So… maybe not lost one, then? Usually kids who got lost in the woods would be much more teary and frightened than this one.
"…..Are you here all by yourself?"
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“Ho aye!” Rumble said proudly to the strange mouse that had come out of nowhere. He was already on a good start, since he just met a singing beast. “Oi’m goin’ on an hadventurr, oi am!”
A terrible thought struck Rumble that this mouse might drag him back to the Abbey, but he banished it to the back of his mind. Such things ought not to be thought about!
He looked at the mouse curiously. ”Was that you singen afore?” he asked a bit shyly. “Oi allerways loiked a gudd songer.”
Ah, an enthusiastic youngling then, thirsty for an adventure and heroic deeds! If Steck would be a responsible adult, he would indeed instruct this young lad to return back to his home. As the wide world wasn't as thrilling and full of wonders as tales happen to tell…. Well, of course there were thrills and wonders, but also dangers that aren't as glimmering as they are presented in legends.
And unlike in legends, in real world bad beast could win. And sadly, very often so.
But alas, Steck might be an adult, but responsible he was not. So eyes glimmering he just passed the notion how young other was to be wandering around all alone.
"Why, indeed I was" Steck said as he took the wide brimmed hat and made an exaggerative bow, the red weather glimmering in vanishing daylight. "I'm Steck Vennet, a story-teller, a song singer, a spoker of tales of far-off lands, an introducer of the famous heroes, an illustrator of breathtaking adventures and a messenger of great deeds! How nice that you enjoyed my little piece, as hurriedly as it was made" – he returned the hat back atop his head. – "…and who might you be, my newest friend? And if I can be so bold – would you happen to share this nice camp with another fiery traveler? I have walked far and I would not mind to have a company for a night."