Arnol came back to groggy consciousness to realize he was lying in some kind of cage. It was fashioned from wood, with trimmed branches forming bars around the sides. When he looked out he could see that there were other cages scattered around on the large wooden platform, and the rest of his companions that had come with him seemed to be asleep inside them.

He heard a sudden twitter nearby and looked up to see one of the tree-elves hanging from a leafy branch. “What have you done?” he asked indignantly. “Why are we caged here like this?”

“Heeheehee,” the elf giggled. “You are funny. You make tree-elves laugh. We don’t want you to leave! You stay here and make tree-elves laugh forever! Heeheeheehee! We’ll keep you forever and ever!”

The elf started poking at Arnol with a long stick as other elves appeared, laughing as he tried to dodge the pointed object. Finally he grew tired of the elf’s obnoxious behavior, and he grabbed the stick and tried to pull it away from his tormentor. A contest of strength ensued, both of them pulling the stick in opposite directions.

An elf that hung from a nearby branch chuckled giddily. “Tug-a-war!” One by one the other elves repeated the strange word as the chant grew in volume. “Tug-a-war! Tug-a-war! Tug-a-war!”


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