The mage paused on the path home. She could hear … mewling? The high-pitched but muffled cry of something very small and at least a little scared.
She followed the sound to an odd, spiky sedge that trembled and twitched in the dirt, its long fronds marked with rusty red splotches almost like runes.
Not a plantling like any she had seen before. It didn’t creak at her, or reach out with its roots.
She spread the leaves, searching for the heart.
There curled a small cat-like thing with fur like over-lapping leaves and a long tufted tail that brought to mind foxtail grass.
Its eyes were still closed, so new was it. And though she was unfamiliar with its kind, she could see it was malnourished in the dullness of its leaves and the the thin-ness of its shape.
Carefully, she extracted it from the sedge.
Its little eyes opened. Leafy ears laid flat. It hissed and latched onto her wrist with little thorn claws and sharp woody teeth.
She sighed. ‘That’s fine,’ she said, as it continued to growl and gnaw at her. She winced a little each time it found a new grip.
‘I’ll take you home with me. Some time in the greenhouse with some tasty, nutritious soil will do you good.’
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