“First, you all have to close your eyes while we go hide,” Arnol said, explaining the rules of hide’n’seek to the excited tree-elves. “If you see where we go it won’t be any fun, because you will find us too quickly. Count to 100, then you can open your eyes and come try to find us.”

Some of the elves closed their eyes, but some seemed to be looking around to see if the others had closed theirs. They started to count as quickly as they could, but didn’t get much past 10 before they got confused or distracted and consequently opened their eyes, thinking enough time had passed. Arnol was afraid that this game would be too much for the simplistic, impatient creatures.

Then he had another idea. “I just thought of an even more fun way to play. I’ll tell you a riddle, and you have to solve it before you can come find us. Do you like riddles?”

They all seemed to be listening eagerly, so Arnol told them his riddle:

“I lay beneath the feet of elves, yet far above the ground;
except when someone steps on me, I never make a sound.
I cannot move, because you see, I’m tied to branch and trunk;
and if you run away from me, you’ll fall down with a thunk!
What am I?”

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