Laughter filled Celeste's head, but the annoyance she felt at the moment was her own and failed to reflect the merriment of her familiar. 'Yipp! Where are you? You're supposed to be gathering that Fairy Wart for me!'
In hindsight, she supposed she had this coming to her. She should never have expected Yipp to do anything he was asked to do. Damn. It would have made everything so much easier, too. Fairy Wart wasn't as difficult to find as the Dragon's Bane and Red Caps, but finding anything in a forest this size was time consuming and there were so many other things she had planned to do with her day. Now, I'll be lucky if I make it out of here before supper time!
She sighed inwardly, looking from the bed of flowers where Yipp should have been gathering herbs, to the trees and bushes around her. Tanukis were mischievous and irresponsible at the best of times. At the worse ....
'I'm right behind you.' Yipp replied telepathically. Celeste turned around to find Yipp sitting on a tree limb with his hands clamped behind his back, looking a little too innocent for her Tanuki. Definitely wasn't there the last time I looked! Which of course meant he had probably been hiding behind it at the time. Sometimes, she just wanted to wring his furry little neck.
"Damn it Yipp."
She walked toward the large white birch he was sitting in with every intention of scolding him for not answering her call earlier, when she noticed a cloud of soft golden dust rise up from and around his back. She looked from the dust cloud to Yipp and back again. Her green eyes met large, round golden ones. Yipp's snout twitched a moment before breaking out in a big toothy grin.
"Okay Yipp, hand over whatever you have behind your back." Celeste gave him the most rebuking look she could muster and held out her hand. Yipp looked from her face to her hand several times before finally holding her narrowed eyes again. He tilted his head to the side, studying her intently.
'Aww, Celly, why do you always think I'm up to no good?'
"Because I know you too well to think otherwise! Now, hand it over."
He relented with a sigh and removed his hand from behind his back, shoving it close under her nose and opening it slowly.