The guest

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Ferry wrapped his coat around his body and headed for the northern hills. It was a moist weather, although it didn't rain. A cold fog had fallen over the town, becoming thicker as Ferry approached the hills. It was Saturday at noon, but the sky was already dark, turning heavier and overwhelming, with grey clouds descending over the hills and continuing with the milky fog as they touched the ground.


Ferry carried a picnic basket with a thick slice of lamb steak, some smoked sausages and beer from Ben's father's supply. The Knights' pantry was never out of meat. Besides the shelves full of sweets, pickles, and compotes jars, there was a whole collection of salami, sausages of all varieties, ham, all smoked in the smoker in the backyard. Mr. Knight took care of everything; thus, at any holiday of the Knight family, meat in various forms, boiled, baked, fried, more succulent or drier, was not missing from the table.


Ferry reached the bottom of the hills at the same time with the fog. It felt heavy, touching his skin with wet, cold stings. He took out a thick woolen blanket and laid it on the ground. He sat down and took all the goodies out of the basket. Then, he waited.


He didn't have to wait for too long. The hill ahead came to life. It was as if Ferry was looking at his surroundings through the glass bottom of a bottle, all blurry, but definitely moving. Then, the bushes at the foot of the hill, with their few leaves remaining, also moved. And soon, there was a slight whistle which was getting closer and closer. HoityToity came out of the fog, with his unfailing hat and buckled shoes. He had a pipe in his hand from which he was puffing from time to time; then, he passed by Ferry without saying a word as if he had not seen him.


Ferry bit his lip to keep himself from laughing, watching the little man as he tactically walked through the grass, much higher than him. The leprechaun then turned as if he had only noticed him.


"Oh, greetings, Master!" he said, pretending to be surprised." I didn't see you standing there. To what do I owe the honor?"


"Hello, Hoity," said Ferry. "I was in the neighborhood and I wanted to see what you were doing. How have you been?.."


"Oh, how nice of you," Hoity said with a bow. "Well, I said I should go out for a walk. It's such a beautiful day," he said, looking up at the dark sky above.


"Indeed," Ferry pretended to agree. "Would you like to sit down?" he asked, making room for him on the blanket.


Hoity sat down, eyeing the goodies near him. Ferry smiled and invited him to taste it. The little man waved his hand as if he didn't need it, though his eyes glinted at the lamb slice from which a thick juice dripped in the tray. Ferry insisted, so Hoity grabbed the slice of meat and began to chew it. At first, as delicate as a maiden who tries to impress her suitors; then, his appetite grew as the famine was coming.


"But why this feast?" he asked, his mustaches full of grease.


"We haven't talked for such a long time," Ferry said. "And last night, I dreamt about Oona."


Hoity stopped eating, but only for a moment. "How did you dream about her?" he asked in a low voice.


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