Tallulah returned on the first day of Spring - the day of blossoms. She announced her presence by knocking on Diango’s front door.
“Come in,” called his voice, speaking in a world-weary tone, from within.
Tallulah appeared on the other side of the door, inside the cabin, confused by the lack of enthusiasm that Diango had expressed.
“Diango?” she questioned.
The Tick looked as lethargic as he had sounded - which was strange, because Ticks didn’t need sleep. His brow was lined and his face was grew and drawn.
“Hello, Tallulah. Would you like something to drink?”
“No, I’m fine, thank you. What’s wrong, my friend?”
“I never found a companion. I even got attacked by a wolf whose mate I tried to befriend.” Tallulah noticed the pale line of a scar running down Diango’s right cheek.
“Oh, Diango,” Tallulah murmured, feeling guilty for leaving him, unable to imagine the pain he must have suffered from rejection after rejection. And he surely would have begun to want for a lover as well. “I am so sorry. But I will find someone who will be your friend. I promise.”
Diango looked tortured.
“But Tallulah... what if there is no one?”
“Diango,” the fairy said firmly. “There is always someone.”
To seek out the someone who would lift Diango’s mood, Tallulah left the Enchanted Forest. She felt cross at her fellow magical beings for their reaction to his appearance when he had such a good heart. She only hoped she could find a member of the human race who was different, since she had left the Forest before and found many who were vain and did seem to care about appearance. Surely there must be at least one person who could open their heart until it mattered more what was within than what was without. She would prove what she had said to Diango right - she was determined to.
She travelled to the village of Lollendale, on the outskirts of which Diango himself had lived until he had become a Tick. She went to a house for orphans and abandoned children, figuring that among these young ones there would be lonely souls, perhaps shunned by the others, who might be able to empathise with Diango.
Tallulah transformed herself into a human - a lady of twenty years with long fair hair and vibrant green eyes, much as she had in her fairy form. She took a deep breath to steady herself and strengthen her resolve, and knocked on the door...