Tabur Oakheart sat watching the golden sunset and letting nature's beauty's seep through him. He was also watching his son Milo Oakheart who was about twelve seasons old playing with his little sister Bera. Tabur glanced at his wife, cooking supper and calling to Milo to be careful, He gazed at the swiftly darkening horizon, he gasped as he saw a small line of red sails coming swiftly for land he ran to his family and said hurriedly,

.."quickly come along back to the village."

.."But why Papa?" little Bera asked.

.."Just hurry!" They ran back to the village. The village was populated by about threescore squirrels, it was situated in a pine grove not far from the sea. Tabur ran to the Council of Elders and cried,

.."I saw ships coming fast, this way!"

Elmjack one of the oldest present asked,

.."Hmm.. coast raiders do you think?"

.."No this was a full warfleet!"

Screams from outside stopped them cold. Tabur ran out to find his family, spying Milo guarding Bera and hiding in a tree, they were safe for now. He desperately tried to find his wife among the fleeing squirrels. Then an arrow struck him in the heart and he fell. Milo saw the arrow fly and he had tried to warn his father, but he had to protect his sister. Tears of rage rolled down his face as they hid in the undergrowth. Then the noise stopped, he stepped out of his hiding place,

.."come on Bera coast is clear."

.."Where is mama?"

.."I don't kn..."

A pine marten had come out of the bushes and was aiming an arrow straight at Bera.

.."Bera! run!"

The pine marten sighted along her arrow and fired.


The arrow struck true and Bera lay there bleeding. He bent to help her, her paw was cold. Tears of blazing rage were in his eyes,


A unseen slinger threw his stone and struck Milo. He lay there in a world of pain and agony, his dreams red and bloody as he lay there oblivious to the world around him.

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