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I woke in a fright, sweat beading my forehead. It was that dream again. That recurring dream of death and destruction. I looked at the clock, midnight. Time I was up. I raked the fire till the embers glowed, laying kindling and a slice of peat on top.
I lived deep down under Farmer O'Connell's chicken coop in a burrow. At first it was just going to be somewhere to sleep; somewhere convenient for the potato fields. Then I decided to stay. I added a fireplace, made space for an armchair and then a small table.
The kindling was taking its time. I puffed at it till it caught. Then pulling on my coat and boots, picked up the bucket and crawled along the passage to my front door. It came up under a row of nesting boxes in the chicken coop.
The hens gently murmured as I lifted myself onto the straw and crept out.
A fox was skulking nearby. I saw it off then keeping to the moon shadows made my way over the icy flagstones to the well. I kept a careful look out; it wasn't the fox I was afraid of, it was Farmer O'Connell. I didn't want to be discovered by O'Connell or any other human for that matter.
When I got back the peat had caught. I washed in the waters from the well and over a hearty bowl of hot porridge and the egg I had lifted from my favourite hen, I considered what to do about the dream.
The problem was my dreams had a habit of coming true.
I decided not to go to the potato fields. I needed to speak with Salinoor. I needed to know if Salinoor had had the same dream.I went to the Snake Pit instead.