One foggy morning, on a farm, there was born to a sandy-haired cow, a calf with small ears, a black pelt, and red eyes. He was delivered by the wife of the farmer, who was not herself a farmer, but still wanting of a trade of her own.
The farmer was troubled by the calf’s strange appearance and declared that he would sell it, but his wife entreated him to keep it. She told him that this calf may have come to her to teach her what trade she might take up. The couple were beloved of each other, so despite his nervousness, the farmer yielded.
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“Strange,” the many-colored creature said.
It was not the reaction that Halceyx expected. With her beak full—full of the creature—she could not speak. But the creature, who was some kind of water slug, seemed to understand the inquisitive squeak that Halceyx uttered. The creature answered her as if she had spoken.
“Yes, it’s strange that you’re still alive. You have lucked into grasping me in just the right way.”
Halceyx uttered another query in the form of another squeak.
“I possess many different pockets,” the water slug said, “and I keep poisons in them.”
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