Nostradormouse, стр. 12

His father wiped a tear from his eye, and then looked at his wife.

‘What did he whisper to you?’ she asked.

‘He told me our names,’ he replied.

‘But what have we done to earn them?’ she said. ‘You have to earn your name, don’t you?’

Her husband looked at her lovingly. She was so modest.

‘Who did we bring into the world?’ he asked her.

‘Our son, of course,’ she said, and then she realised just how important he had become. ‘Oh!’ she exclaimed, and blushed. ‘So what is my name?’

‘Raini,’ he said, ‘and my name is James.’

‘It suits you!’ she said, and laughed.

Just over the brow of the hill, Nostradormouse had stopped to listen to his parents. He smiled to himself when he heard their reaction to their names. Soon, there would be enough names in the world for its inhabitants to name themselves. As he continued walking, the sound of other voices drifted through the darkness, and he recognised them. He walked into a familiar glade, and before him stood Pitamus, Lina, Arvic and Clethrion. When they saw him, they greeted each other as old friends.

‘I hope you’re all well,’ said Nostradormouse.

‘Very well, thank-you,’ replied Lina. ‘Piney would love to see you!’

‘And I him,’ he said, ‘but I am merely passing through.’

‘You were right,’ said Arvic, ‘Clethrion did know her name.’

‘Of course,’ he said, ‘and the two of you look very happy.’

Clethrion and Arvic held hands tightly.

‘Will we see you again?’ asked Pitamus.

‘Oh, yes,’ said Nostradormouse thoughtfully, ‘our destinies are intertwined like the stems of ivy on an oak tree.’

‘Go well,’ said Pitamus, and shook the dormouse’s hand warmly.

Together, the four voles watched their friend walk away. Then, they saw him stop and point his staff up to the sky. Their eyes followed its direction, and they all saw the new stars once again, but this time they could see the bear quite clearly.

When they looked back, however, Nostradormouse had gone…

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Food for the mind