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Old 01-14-2007, 01:14 PM   #41
Firefoot
Illusionary Holbytla
 
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 7,646
Firefoot has been trapped in the Barrow!
Rugh did not immediately proffer his hand for the same reason that he had not attempted to call the dog to him. He knew that animals would come on their own, if he showed no sign of threat, whether butterflies or birds or deer – or dogs. But a certain trust had to be established: he did not believe in luring in or taming the wild animals as the Tall Men did. No animal could be tamed, not in the sense the Tall Men used the word: there was always some part that remained wild and animal, though buried deeply in some.

Instead, moving so slowly that he almost did not seem to move at all, Rugh ceased his carving, set the piece of wood gently down on the ground, and tucked his flint away in his pouch. By then, the tenseness of the dog had alleviated some; he did not look so much like a bird ready to fly away. Only then did Rugh offer his hand to the dog to sniff, then placed his hand gently on the dog’s head. The dog yielded to this movement willingly, and only then did a slight smile cross Rugh’s face. These were familiar actions, and much more comforting to his mood than his failed carvings had been.

After a time, Rugh gave the dog a last pat and stood. It was time to move on and resume his search. To his surprise, however, the dog seemed inclined to follow him. Normally the quiet spell of connecting with an animal was broken when Rugh prepared to disappear into the trees again. “Dog is special,” Rugh realized. Did the dog perhaps feel the bad rumors of the earth as well? “Can come.”
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