“Of course I’ll be there!” Mr. Kendrick the fox twirled his whiskers. “My dear boy, I’m making a very important announcement tonight.”
Timothy thanked Mr. Kendrick, then hurried home through the buzzing crowds on market street.
Mr. Kendrick watched the young hedgehog for a moment. Then he went the opposite way, out of the village. There were still a few hours until the summer fair, and he had to practice his speech. He padded across the smooth white stones to his doorstep and paused, sniffing. Some animal had been there.
In the deepening blush of a summer’s evening sky, fireworks showered the lawn as village folk watched in delight. Timothy noted that his friend was not there. How could he know that the same fireworks that brought him joy also illuminated sightless eyes in a dark den? The next day, a letter was found next to the stiff figure of the fox, revealing these words to Timothy’s swimming eyes: My dear boy, in case I don’t see you-
The words skidded to a halt.