Glenin had just returned from his half-season visit at Redwall, and already he was exhausted with all the questions that the little ones were poking him with.
"Oh, what did you see, Sir Glenin," one little hare asked.
"Too many things to say about in one day, but I do have something to tell you," Glenin replied quietly.
Despite his soft words, it was clearly heard, immediately all the little hares stopped what they were doing and gathered around Glenin.
"What, what do you need to tell us?" a young hare named Jenb questioned.
The elder hare's voice was quick and quiet, "A story,"
Just then all other activity ceased in Salamandastron and in a twinkling every creature had taken a sit by Glenin. Everybeasts from the youngest harebabes to the oldest elders, even the Badger Lord, Urthaxe the Brave, was seated across form him like a little one waiting to hear the story.
Now without any further delay, Glenin continued...
Mael Strom was walking lonely through Mossflower Woods, the greenery giving the early-morning light a welcoming glow to it. Mael, the tall, woodland-roaming vole, was, as usual, up and about already, talking to nature and appreciating all it had to offer.
"G'morn to you Mossflower. Hope y'had a good restful sleep under the midsummer moon? I know I had." he said cheerfully.
Mael looked like many different creatures, all at once. At first glance, you might think that he looked like a slightly small badger, but as you got closer you might say he looked like a full-grown otter. Then, a closer look, might cause you to say that Mael was a towering squirrel with a unusual tail. You might even think that the vole looked like a good-sized hedgehog with down spikes. If you looked close enough you might see that he resembled a tall mole with smooth fur and a small snout. Finally, if you saw him at the right angle, you'd say that he was a vole.
Despite Mael's many good qualities (which, indeed, were numerous), he had one major flaw which could not be overlooked. If hit too hard on the head, Mael would suffer from memory-lost (eventually in would return), he would forget things about him, not necessarily his past, but things about him, most importantly; his name. As a result of this unusual trait, Mael has had many names and titles over the years. From Bejj to Ghilljack to King Fyhall of the Knuwls.
"Well," Mael said to himself, "can't be to far the River Moss now, I've gotta restock on my water. I'll be heading over to the Eastern Desert, which borders Mossflower. Hmmmm... I should reach it by the end of this season," and so he pressed on, in search of something only he knew.