Toa wondered about the creature she'd left in the tide pool of tears --was it grown? Had it left? She remembered being curious, but there was no direction, suddenly, no pull on her, so she decided to head back to her camp.
Toa remembered being curious about something else, too, though she couldn't remember what. She --there was something, a nit on the back of her head, the base of her skull, and its teeth were a dream of a duty.
Toa shrugged. The sun was bright and the forest verdant. The air was crisp, and clear, and warm.
Toa had been gone a long, long time. She should return to the tide pool and check on the creature; she should return to her village, summon her grandparents and ask them how things were, how things had been, how things might soon become.
The trip back took her more days than the trip to the tree, but Toa did not wonder why.
When she reached the tide pool of tears there was a note delicately drawn in the sand:
Gone fishing. Back at sundown.
There was a corner of the pool where leaves floated, woven together, in a mat, and there was a trail of sand leading into the forest.
The river was cooler here, deeper by the edge of the water fall as it was, and so Toa sat and waited for her friend to return.
At sunset, as the orb dipped below the tree line, she heard a rustling in the foliage. Toa turned and broke into a grin: three bright red tentacles rolled up and out from under leaves, striking in their color, but smaller than she remembered.
The Octopus smiled at her: three wavy limbs in U shapes with mustaches. It pounced on her and hugged her tightly, before sliding off and quickly signing a welcome back message.
They grinned in the twilight and The Octopus, killed, skinned, and de-boned a fish so pink and succulent Toa cried with joy as she ate. The Octopus wiped away her tears with an arm and smiled.
The Octopus asked her if, when she went back to her village, he could go with her and Toa laughed and agreed and laughed some more. "You can live with me!" She said.
Okay. Good! Came The Octopus's reply.
At dawn they set out, The Octopus gently nudging Toa here and there among the thickets.
It lead her around a particularly fragrant patch of flowers and