Suddenly a voice frightened the tiny leaf creatures and they scattered among the four winds just as if they had no business to attend to concerning Sam.
“Hey there! Leave him alone,” the voice appeared to be coming from a man dressed in a linen shirt and dark pants emerging from behind some evergreen trees. He was also mysteriously carrying a fishing pole, but Sam could not remember having seen a river or a lake anywhere.
“Where did you c…come…f..from?” Sam queried still very frightened but relieved. The man looked rather nice and harmless, for he was busy about his business, and continued walking without stopping, at all, near Sam.
“Wh…who are y…you?” Sam ventured to ask more questions, though this strange man seemed to have no intention of answering them, as he continued trampling through the forest at a quick and steady clip.
“Hmph….” Suddenly the tall man stopped, “now where has it gone to….?” He mumbled to himself, unaware that there was a smallish 12 year old boy, fully intent upon having his questions answered, coming right up behind him.
“S…sir!” Sam heaved with the exertion that this fast hiking required of him. Trailing after this complete stranger carrying a fishing pole, wearing odd clothing, and without shoes, was tasking.
“Huh?” The strange fellow looked around him toward the ground, as if something was calling to him from a rabbit hole or a bush.
“Here! S…Sir!” Sam grabbed his linen shirt in a final effort to capture his attention.
“Oh!” The startled man jolted at the sight of Sam. This confused both of them, as Sam was sure this very man who had subdued the strange leaf creatures on his very behalf. But to all of the sudden not recognise him at all, was very odd.
“Oh,” the man calmed, “you.”
Sam stood there still confused for a moment, “Sir, th…th. those st….st strange l…l..leaf cr..creatures….what are they?”
The man starred at Sam as if looking right through him, crinkled his brow, raised his large lips in thoughtful pucker and replied soundly “Leaf Fairies, of course.” He finished his assessment of Sam and looked around again for what he had been mumbling about earlier. “Where could it be….?”
“Wh… What?” Sam was beside himself now, “Wh what a…are you loo….looking for?”
“You always talk like that?” Replied the man resuming his steady walking pace, with pole in tow.
“Y…y…yes.” Sam sighed but picked up his feet to follow, “pl….please….are the Leaf Fairies…dangerous?”
“Ha! Dangerous? No.” The man laughed to accompany his fast pace, “Annoying? Yes.” He stopped now abruptly at a marking that only he could see and bent down to examine it more closely, “And sometimes they are brutally honest….those little buggers,” the man slapped his knee in disgust and asked his own question, “Have you seen my river?”