“Oh my gosh. Zane, Lila, have you not heard of stranger danger? Stop talking to the fox guy,” Ginger said. She lunged and caught the two younger children by the arms, dragging back and behind Alastair.
“Excuse me. I am not a stranger!” Proclaimed Tipper. He flourished his hand, bowing deeply. The man’s fluffy tail swished as he dipped his head. “I am Tippehl Radhaksian. Fifth son of the Radaksian line. Wielder of deadly daggers. Slayer of threats to the Kitsune Clan. And nanny to five children.” The last in his list of accomplishments was said in such a dejected tone, that even Ginger felt a little pity for the man. Tipper straightened and focused on the children. “You’re Lived Beings, are you not?”
“Gah! Tipper! You can’t just go and ask things like that,” gasped Perceval. “Besides, look at their ears. No points! Completely rounded.” The fox creature scrubbed a paw across his narrow face in what was meant to be embarrassment. “I’m so sorry, kids. My partner is terrible with tactfulness.” Perceval cautiously padded right up to Alastair and again attempted to grin. He was doing everything he cold to put the children at ease. “Please, prophecy or not, we would very much like to help you. Isn’t that right, Tipper?”
“I suppose so,” Tipper sighed.
“We’re lost and trying to find our way back home!” Gabbie blurted. Perceval and Tipper looked around Alastair’s shoulder. Gabbie smiled widely and stepped away from the protective circle. “We were walking in the forest after trying to find a mermaid in the mermaid waterfall. When we tried going back home, the forest seemed to grow bigger and bigger. Then I tripped into a bush that brought us all here.”
When one says all of that out loud, the only thing another can do is not believe it. These two odd beings, however, nodded as if they completely understood Gabbie’s tirade.
“We can work with that.” Tipper turned and waved. “Come on, kids. I’ll take you to where we can help you properly.”
“You won’t hurt us, will you?” Alastair asked. He would not let everyone follow Tipper and Perceval if they would all ultimately be in danger.
“There’s no reason hurt children like yourselves,” Tipper said. “Besides, you’re part of my prophecy. If anything, I’d have to die to protect you all or something like that.” He scratched his head and then added, “Not like we have far to go for me to protect you. My village is just a mile or so away.”
“Ginger, Alastair. They know what they’re doing. They know where we’re at. We don’t. Right now, we have no choice but to let them help,” Gabbie said.
“I also swear on my tail that we will not lay a paw on you,” Perceval asserted.
“You’re tail? Jeesh, you’re serious,” Tipper commented.
“Fine. We’ll follow them for now. That doesn’t mean we’ll trust them, though.” Alastair let his hands drop. They were sore from holding up for so long.