Before the Cave, part 3

“You’re the one whose mouth isn’t moving,” Ilara pointed out, trying to sound polite, and knowing she was not doing a very good job of it.

“My mouth isn’t moving,” the mammoth replied, “because I am not eating. I do not eat when I talk, and I do not talk when I eat. Besides, your nose isn’t moving. Of course with such a tiny nose, like whatever that little thing is on your face, I am not surprised.”

Ilara was starting to get very annoyed. She was about to respond with a really great insult when she had a thought. “Do you talk by moving your nose?”

“Doesn’t everybody?” The mammoth sniffed, eyeing her suspiciously, and paying especial attention to her tiny nose, which had not moved even once during this entire conversation.

“I don’t think,” Ilara said, “that this has anything to do with my nose or with your mouth.”

“You mean,” the mammoth replied, “with my nose or with your mouth.”

“Yes, that too.”

“You mean that either.”

“Yes, that either, um, too.” She didn’t see any point in quibbling. “I think we just sort of can tell what each other is thinking.”

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