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Solarius looked ridiculous. Thoth stared at him, tail still and ears pricked, trying to work out what could have happened to turn the tiger into a… well, Thoth wasn’t sure exactly. His stripes had turned green and red, his nose was red and glowing and he had antlers wrapped in an odd shiny plastic substance which looked vaguely familiar.

He was distracted from his staring when Cypress patted him on the head, which was a weird feeling. Thoth glanced sideways at her, watching as she slid her arms into the coat’s sleeves and shook it on over her back. She had a really funny smile on her face which was different to how she usually smiled, but he couldn’t quite work out how or why. While she buttoned the coat up the front, Danny crouched down and held his hand out to Thoth (also weird) but almost immediately straightened up again, spluttering. He leaned into Cypress and stage-whispered Thoth’s name. At least there was no one around to hear it.

It was like Danny was on a mission to get him caught. He started doing a weird kind of dance while arguing with Cypress, moving his hands and body in a jerky fashion. The heck was that? This was hardly the time for a dance. Besides which, it was a pretty rubbish dance anyway. Admittedly, Thoth had only read a couple of books on dancing and those had been for beginners, but both of them had identified fluidity of motion as significant in aesthetic appeal. Not only was Danny’s dance not fluid, it was also a sure-fire way to draw attention to them. Just because there was no one around, didn’t mean no one was glancing out of the windows or going to come strolling by. Thoth might be able to pass as a husky from a distance, but anyone with an ounce of sense was going to notice he was actually a wolf. Someone intelligent enough might even add two and two together if they spotted a wolf hanging out with Danny and Cypress.

Cut it out! He tried to say. All that came out was a bark.
Oh, right. Wolf tongue.

Rolling his eyes, Thoth reached up and placed a paw on Danny’s hip. He gave a brief, low growl in warning.

Fortunately, some of the faster dogs came tearing back across the grass to provide a distraction. A couple of ones Thoth definitely recognised from around the castle came right up to him, sniffing him confidently on the neck. Thoth returned the gesture, trying to act like a normal dog in case anyone was watching, but stopped short of sticking his nose under any of their tails.


MASTER OF THE ORBIS . MASTER OF THE WATER ELEMENT . SON OF AURA
photo by Patrick Lewis at flickr.com


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