The next day he returned prepared. He had some dried fish and a rind of cheese. “I brought you some food.” He beckoned the creature forward with the smelly morsel of fish. It hunkered down stubbornly.
“I’ll right then, I’ll eat it.” He lowered his bulky body down onto the bank, easing it awkwardly into the long grass. The day was warm but dampness persevered in the lower layers of the foliage, making the whole experience just a bit sticky and unpleasant. The man casually took a nibble of the fish before tossing the rest of the chunk into the entranceway of the barrow.
“Ya know, I never knew my parents. I was raised on my own in a little shack on the edge of my village. People brought me food and extra clothes and when I was big enough I learned how to grow, and hunt and make my own things.” He stopped for a moment and weighed his next comment carefully. “I didn’t have parents because when I was just a little thing I walked out of the woods. They say my mother was a witch and that I was sent away for being a boy and unable to learn the old magic. I think your mother might be one too. Maybe we have that in common.”
The creature did not answer. Perhaps it did not know how to speak. After a few moments, a tiny blackened hand stretched tentatively out from under the pile of old stones. It picked up the bit of fish and secreted it away into dark.