It was green and bright and the sun was shining down on the Abbey of Redwall. It was the day of a feast, the Abbot's feast. Matthias sat in the orchard, soaking up the sun. Mattimeo didn't come around much these days and it got lonely living here by himself. He liked this spot on this old log where the sun came down just right. Right now his thoughts were on something good to eat and he couldn't wait for the feast tonight. There would be apple crumble and tarts and scones with meadowcream, he just knew it! He wished Matti and the grandkids would come and visit their old grandfather but kids are too busy these days.
But out in Mossflower Woods, there was also a old creature sitting on a rock and thinking to himself. He was a fox and he was scraggy and old and looked like a tramp. His name was Morkran. He lived alone now because the horde he was with left him behind several years ago. His wife died a long time ago and his kids were lost. He was a lonely old fox. He spent each day sitting on this rock under his favorite tree whitling. He was good at whitling. Today he was working on a falcon in flight. It was beatiful and very wellmade. He was hoping to sell it when he went to Redwall Abbey, if he could get there. A band of strolling players came by once a season and he wanted to see if they would take him with them. The falcon took shape before him as the skilful paws of the old fox whitled away. The soft sun warmed him and slowly his eyelids drifted closed.
Meanwhile, far away, too young foxes played outside their mother's house. They played in the pond a little ways off the path.
"Hahaha!" yelled Lief as he splashed water in his sister's face.
"Lief! You silly beast!" Milorn took her pail and filled it with water and splashed it in her brother's face. It splashed down his fur and over his nice new coat their mother had made him. Rosanne watched them from the porch anxously. "Don't get your new clothes all dirty now children! I don't want to wash them again!"
"We won't Mother!" they said sweetly together then got back to playing. Lief picked up a stick. "Hoho! I'm a warlord and you'll die by my big sword you ugly mouse!"
Milorn cought on and took the nearest stick, a big club. "I'm not a mouse, I'm a ugly badgerdog and I'll kil you if you try to!"
Lief put his paws on his hips "Oh you will? Let's see that happen when I've got my horde and we can all crush you like a maggot, you stripey faced dog!"
With a yell they ran at each other and fought like bears. Their mother watched them and smiled "If only your father could see you growing up so pretty" she said to her self.
It was nine seasons later and two handsome young foxes sat on a log beside a beaten path. Their mother had died six seasons ago and the two had had to live on their own. Milorn was now fifteen and as beautiful as her mother ever was. She had long, jet-black hair, bright red fur and sparkling green eyes and a laugh that was like a bird's. Her brother was almost seventeen, roguishly handsome with dark brows and darker red fur. His eyes were bright blue.