I felt awkward leaving Rick down at the bottom of the tree house, but when I got up, it felt nice to be alone, except for Lily. I found my collection of herbs and a bowl of water, soaking the herbs in the water and placing them on Lily's wounds. "There you are, girl." I said. "It's only a couple scratches, mostly."

Contentment. Loyalty. I put my hand on the top of her head, petting her. I started humming, a soft forgotten melody. Something I hadn't heard for a long, long time. I only dimly remembered it...

"That's beautiful." Rick said. I whirled around, but then relaxed. "Sorry." he grinned. I smiled too.

"Want some food?" I asked. "I'll catch some catfish from a stream not far in, seeing as the beach is crowded."

"Sure. I'll come."

"No, you stay here. Watch Lily, okay? And also, catching catfish is easier for just one person." I, without waiting for an answer, ran down the stairs, holding my spear. I went to the stream, finding what I was looking for: a log that hung, quite low, over it. Catfish was not quite as tasty as snake, but it would suffice.

After spearing two nice, large catfish, I started back to the tree house. I got back, where I started gutting and skinning the fish. I gave most of one of them to Lily, who ravenously started tearing at the carcass. I started a fire in my hearth, grilling the fish.

"Looks good." Rick complimented as I set some fish in front of him on a makeshift log that served as a table. We started eating, but I felt uncomfortable, as if he was scrutinising me.

When we were done, I put the dishes in my kitchen of a sort. "Let's go for a walk." I said. "I want to get out of here, and Lily should get out for a walk."

The End

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