Chapter 1

Once upon a time... in a land where the only creatures where animals, there was a young male fox wondering by himself in the forest. He had a long, full tale, an attractive bright red coat and bright black eyes. He wore a white tunic and breeches, with a small sword at one side and a haversack on the other. By the looks of him, one could tell he was a rover, and had been traveling a long distance.

"Hmmm, I wonder if there are any towns near-by." he thought. "I shouldn't mind a proper meal right about now."

As if in answer he came to a place where the trees suddenly stopped to make way for a dirt road. The young fox perked his ears to here voices, not too far off.

"Well, this is handy'" He thought, and walked down the road in the direction that the voices came from. He stopped right before a bend in the road and quickly and nimbly scaled a near-by tree. From his high perch he looked down to survey the area; you could never be to safe in an unfamiliar land. What met his eye was not exactly what he was expecting.

Down below him, on the road was a tall, agile, male otter towing a fallen tree out of the road while a few little pups sat on the log shouting merrily,

"Faster! Faster old man!"

"Old man?" He said, "Old man yourself, you little cheekies! I'm as much an old man as you are helpful! Now will you ruffians get off? Your mothers are probably worried sick, where you are!"

The otter swatted one of them in the hind, and they scurried off quickly.

"Oh fine, we were gonna leave anyway, Rush!"

One shouted back. As they left the otter picked the log back up and continued to pull at it. The fox scurried down the tree, deciding it was quite safe and walked round the bend. He quickly walked up to the otter and began pushing the log on the other side as he exclaimed, "Ho there, need an extra paw, mate?"

The otter looked up at him with an odd expression, and said, "Thanks; your not from around here are you?"

"Nope, I'm a rover! Its a lonely life, but I can never stay in one place too long. Is there a village near-by?"

"Yeah, there's one just a half mile from here. Visitors are always welcome in Mossflower, so long as you are an honest, hard working beast." The otter cleared his throat before he said gruffly, "And so long as you can keep your wits about you."

They succeeded in moving the tree out of the road, soon, and they both sat down on it to catch their breath. Once they had the otter stood up, and shook the fox warmly by the hand saying,

"Thanks mate! I'm Rush Tiller, the boat maker. And you are?"

"Jeff Shift, the rover at your service, sir," he replied and bowed gracefully.

"Well met." Replied Rush.

"Come with me and I will take you to my village. There are plenty of homes that will open up to you there."

"Perfect." Replied Jeff with a wink.