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St. Kalwain and the Lady Uta
Snow bent the boughs of the karillow trees, and ice silvered the soft buds at their tips. Spring had come too early this year, and all the eager young plants would pay a price for their enthusiasm. Flowers killed by frost.
St. Kalwain didn't mind the snow. His black fur was thick and warm. He found it insufferably so whenever he kept the company of humans. Their houses were always warmed by raging hearth fires. Their walls held in the heat. And they insulated themselves with layers of cloaks and clothes. They expected him to layer himself with clothes too. He remembered a time when he chose to wear clothes out of modesty. Now, he preferred to sleep in the wild. In the snow. Alone and far from humans.
Deep in the forest, St. Kalwain didn't hear hoof beats often. When he did, they were far off and the sound began to recede long before the smell of the steed reached his nose. There were no roads near his dell, so there was no reason for travelers to come by. Unless they were lost. Or looking for him. The only paths were those made by his own misshapen feet, too like a wolf's to comfortably wear shoes. Yet, the skin of his footpads was still too human and too tender to entirely go without. St. Kalwain made do with scraps of cloth, tied tight around the bare-skinned parts of his otherwise furry feet.