Sam wondered what in the world this man was talking about as he pondered at the utter lack of water anywhere within the vacinity, except underground.
"Uhh...uh..ma...maybe y..you're...mistaken," he concluded out loud to the negligent hearer who was so predisposed with "the sudden loss" that Sam wasn't sure if he had heard him speak, at all.
"Nope," the man was still mumbling to himself, but had not altogether forgotten that Sam was nearby, for just as he was about to march off in another direction, he motioned for Sam to come along.
"Uh...uh...I can't," Sam did the muttering this time, for entirely different reasons, "m...m...my mom w..will...b...be...worr....worried...." he half heartedly explained.
The man stopped and starred at Sam in an ill amused fashion, "You ain't going back like that."
"L...like....like what?" Sam couldn't have been more confused.
"Like half a boy," the man scoffed, picked up his heels and pursued his river with all the necessary gusto, "suit yerself."
Sam sighed. He had no intention of following the mysterious man on some crazy escapade, but as he watched him walk away with his fishing pole slung over his shoulder, he noticed how even more strange to his mind the man had become. His sheer white linen shirt was see through almost like glass, and through it Sam saw stripes like scars on his back. The sight left him disturbed, and suddenly possessing even more questions about his peculiarities. Sam was half inclined to, again, pursue the man but he had refused to go, so he stayed still, with his pride, and still no way out.
Night was looming its way through the forest and the hedge was just as foreboding as ever. He thought that there must have been an end to it, somehow, somewhere, and decided that in the morning he would pick a direction and follow it to its conclusion. For now, near some thicket or tree would have to suffice for shelter while he slept.
"Over here!" a mysterious little voice beckoned to him.
"Oh...no!" he stated out loud in alarm, "n...not...y..you a..again!" Sam stood still waiting, but there was no singing, there were no rhythms sounding, just a voice that repeat itself again.
Sam looked around on the ground, cautiously rechecking the leaves that lay still, undisturbed, and not possessing any sign that they would break out in song. He walked nearer to the sound at the base of a large tree from where he had first seen the strange man emerge, and looked up.
Sam starred up just in time to lock eyes with two large yellow bulbs. They belonged to the blackest owl he had ever seen. Not a speck of grey or brown, or even white. The huge yellow eyes shined like flashlights down on him, "sleep here!"
"Wh...what....h...how?" Sam was sure that his capacity for experiencing the unusual today was used up.
"Sleep under the tree," The unusual voice was not calm, or of a low timbre. It did not sound intellectual like children's books made them out to be, it was alarming, "I'll watch."
"U...Uh...I I'm n...not..sh...sure," Sam had huge reservations regarding this owl's proposal.
"Sleep," the owl blinked unwaveringly "Someone must watch over you! Blinder will be looking for you."