"Well, Mr. Humblemine, how about we just drop you off right here and let you walk back!" snorted Dandar.
"Look," said Bovodar, "it has been a little rough. It's a sour day."
"We'll rest then," Urgor said abruptly.
"Fine," said Tedthun. "We've been running since dawn."
The bears had been on the run since their escape. All five bears had been speeding on all fours out of the forests until they finally made it to the open plains of the wild. Bovodar and Grep rode on Bard's back all of the way, and they were exhausted from straining to hold onto Bard's fur so they would not fall and tumble to the ground. But finally, they allowed themselves a rest. They ate three cans of mashed beans between the seven of them. It wasn't enough, but they had to save their rations.
All in the party sat on their rear ends, panting and heaving. The grass was not very high because it was still early springtime. Later that year, if animals did not come and munch in those fields, the grass would grow over Grep's head. And who knows what lurks in the tall grasses of those plains outside Irv Forest? Any kind of slimy creature could slither its way merrily along through the thick grass, undetected all the while and just waiting to pounce on an unwary traveler. But that was nothing for our party to worry about for now. There in the early spring, the grass was still soft and green, and a wind was always blowing it this way and that. Sometimes the wind was a cool current from the north, and other times there was a warm breezy southern wind.
"We shouldn't rest for too long," said Tedthun. "There's always a chance that the queen might rally a small army to come after us. I'm not afraid of an army of deer of course! Heh! But it would tire us out for what's ahead."
"Just what is ahead?" asked Bovodar.
"Only the most hopeless and most monotonous part of our journey," said Dandar. "A great big desert full of nothing. But, of course, that's after we pass through this big grassy plain full of nothing."