Tao found a narrow spot along the stream and vaulted across. Picking his way carefully, he crept forward, step by step.
Instead he saw a demon with wings, an angry eagle-owl sitting on the forest floor, protecting her nest from the little wolf dog.
But the eagle-owl was tiring too; she was slowing down. She rocked back and forth on her short legs, her wings drooping, weary from the uneven fight.
When they were far enough away, Tao stopped. Panting, he sat down with his back against the trunk of an old birch tree. He cracked one of the eggs on a stone, opened it and dipped his tongue into the thick fluid.
The morning was almost over when he was about to give up, when a swamp hare jumped out of one of the bushes and dashed across his path.
A moment later Tao saw the wolf dog come into the glade and begin sniffing from bush to bush. The scent of rabbit was strong, and he soon found what he was looking for.