The cat opened one eye indignantly as her sleep, in a patch of bright
sunlight on the sun-warmed flagstones, was disturbed. She heard
the heavy clump of booted feet, very different to the familiar soft
steps of the elves. There were deep, gruff voices, harsh to her
ears after the light, musical voices she was used to.
There was peace for a while as the one she thought of as her elf spoke, and she dozed again,
ignoring the discussion that followed. All was well if he was here. Suddenly she
awoke with a start and hissed, her fur standing on end in fear. A
harsh, menacing voice was speaking in some foul tongue. The
sunlight faded, and a sense of evil hung in the air. Then her elf
spoke again, gently reprimanding, and she felt the dark shadows
lift. There was more talk, then a heavy, ringing silence.
Finally another voice spoke, soft and resigned, rather sad.
Her elf spoke again in reply, and then – finally! – the intruders were
gone, and silence descended once more. The pointless,
irritating discussions were over. Contented, the cat curled
into another patch of sun, and got back to the important business of