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The Brothers Lionheart

I thought, but I didn’t say it. Instead Hubert said something terrible:

“Shouldn’t we give Fyalar a few oats? He should have something nice, too.”

I couldn’t stop him. He straight into the harness room and I ran after him. I wanted to shout “Stop it,” but couldn’t get a word out.

Hubert opened the lid of the oat bin and picked up the scoop that was lying on top. I closed my eyes because I didn’t want to see him scoop up the snuff box. But then I heard him swear, and when I opened my eyes I saw a little rat come diving over the edge of the bin. Hubert tried to kick her, but she ran away across the stable floor and disappeared into some secret hole.

“She bit my thumb, the wretch,” said Hubert. He standing there, inspecting his thumb, and then I took my chance. Quickly, quickly, I filled the scoop with oats and then I slammed down the bin lid right in front of Hubert’s nose.

“Fyalar will be pleased,” I said. “He’s not used to getting oats at this time of day.”

But you’re not quite so pleased, I thought, as Hubert curtly said good-by and slouched off through the stable door.

He didn’t get his paws on any secret messages that time, but now it was necessary to find a new hiding place. I thought for a long time and in the end buried the snuff box in the potato cellar, inside the door on the left.

And then I wrote on the kitchen wall a new puzzle for Sofia. “Red beard wants white horses and knows too much. Watch out!”

I couldn’t do more for Sofia.

At sunrise the next morning, before anyone in Cherry Valley was awake, I left Knights Farm and rode up toward the mountains.

chapter 7

I told Fyalar what it felt like to be me, just me, out on a long ride in the mountains.

“Do you realize what an adventure this is for me? Remember that I’ve done nothing but lie on a sofa-bed nearly all my life! You mustn’t think that I forgot Jonathan for one single minute. But otherwise I’d shout so that it rang around the mountains, just because this is so wonderful.”

It was wonderful. Jonathan would understand that.

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Category: Chinese folktales
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