Clever crept to the door and looked to its crack.
What did she see, but the true forms of her hosts unveiled.
What did she see but the Hound, shed of his hound disguise, revealed to be the perfect hunter, a giant Dog-Headed Man, sleek and superb, well muscled, bristling with energy, this patchwork beast so splendid he filled the room up to its high timbers.
What did she see, but the Miller, shed of her miller disguise, revealed to be the perfectly hunted, a shining Vixen, red as fire, with not one, but nine magnificent plumed tails, this fox-ghost so radiant she filled the room up to its high timbers.
“How long,” growled Dog-Head to his companion, “do you suppose our beggars may stay?”
Vixen shook her wise and marvelous head. “The simple one is welcome here as long as he wishes. But the maids…”
Dog-Head agreed. “They are enthralled to the wide world. Still, mundane daughters may be of use to us, regarding our trouble.”
“The lively child,” mused Vixen, “seeks pleasure. She will not find liveliness here to suit her.”
“And the clever one,” said Dog-Head, “she wants —”