A fine summer afternoon it was in Mossflower Country as an ancient mouse made his way slowly along the path towards Redwall Abbey. Being weighed by many seasons, the old creature was very slow, but he hummed a happy tune as he went, enjoying the warm day. He carried with him a long staff, and a haversack on his thin back. He was garbed in the simple tunic of a traveler. Finally, he made it to the big gates of the Abbey. Music and voices could be heard from within, and the tempting aromas of freshly cooked food wafted outward to greet the mouse's nostrils. He raised a shaky arm and knocked upon the aged wood with his staff.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
Almost instantly, a friendly voice called from within, "Who goes there? Friend or foe?"
The mouse smiled to himself, and replied, "Tis only I, Barun Longroam the Wanderer, lifetime friend of this wonderful place, and brother to Old Abbot Strom! And I'd recognize that voice anywhere, ye must be young Rimmin Goodbrush! Gatekeeper now, are ye?"
The heavy gates swung open to reveal a middle aged squirrel, who clasped paws with Barun. " Aye, 'tis meself, old 'un, going on seven seasons now as Gatekeeper, ever since Old Burny passed. Not so young anymore, I think. My, 'tis a wonder to think that the last time you showed your face 'round this Abbey, Burny was Gatekeeper and Strom was still Abbot! Surely it is a pleasure to see ye so fit, friend. What brings ye back here, Wanderer?"
The old mouse let Rimmin relieve him of the heavy haversack.