"What do people eat?"

His placid eyes gawked up at me with the utmost of innocence. I could tell that he stood on the tips of his toes to see me over the tabletop – the chubby ends of his fingers peeked over the edge, helping to keep his balance.

"What do people eat?"

It was such a silly question to me, it sounded even sillier as I repeated it aloud. I, one of the people he questioned about, having to hear such a silly question from any other child – any normal child – would have just smiled and laughed. But he was no ordinary child. Indeed not.

I closed the heavy leather book I had been studying and pushed it aside. I leaned back in the wooden chair I sat in and it moaned its stressing as I moved. Here I was, a crusty, decrepit, old man. A sage some I've heard refer to me as. But in my eyes, nothing more than an old hermit with no company but his many books. I was part alchemist and a little bit of wizard. I'd done my share of spell casting when my moons were quite young. But now the bark of this old tree groans as much as the chair he rests upon.

As I adjusted my position, the chair scooted back slightly, away from the table. I hummed thoughtfully as I lit my old cedar pipe. I could feel the heat of the fireplace licking at my cheek as I sat, puffing pensively. What was I to tell the lad?

As I rummaged for an answer or explanation, the young one scaled onto my lap. It was warming to me as he did so – the image of a grandchild that I never had. I looked down at him and smiled, ruffling his dark rumpled hair. He gave me an impervious grin. Such a boy he was. Such a boy indeed.

The answer would have been so simple, were he not what he was. Such a sweet boy. He was the epitome of innocence, this one. No one would have any inkling he was something they feared and hated. At least, they wouldn't, had he not have the stub of a tail he did. I chuckled lowly as the thought crossed my mind along side of him swishing it about gaily.

He was a demon child. He was an offspring of the night, the darkness, and all else that humans do so fear. His horns were thin and short, buried beneath his hair, virtually unnoticeable. His wings were still quite small, useless for anything until he come of age, and they were tuck safely beneath the tunic he donned. Neither man nor woman could guess that this boy was devil born, were it not for that tail of his. His innocence alone would have been blinding enough, and then there was he cheery demeanor. That was another story all together.

"What do people eat, you ask…" I said with a low tone, "People eat… whatever they get their hands on."

He cocked his head to one side, listening to my explanation.

"People farm. They plant their food, grow it, and gather it all when it's ready to be eaten. People hunt. They go out and find animals to bring back. And eat them." I continued, somewhat unsatisfied with the words I had chosen.

"Then they eat stuff like us!" the boy chirped happily, "Momma used to take me with her to go and find fruits that had ripened in the trees by the lake. And then she would bring home meat when the sun would set. Sometimes it was a wild boar, or a cow from one of the human farms near the edge of the village."

His lightheartedness had faded then, his eyes drifted towards the dancing flames in the fireplace. His voice was suddenly vacant of delight and blithe emotion.

"Momma told me always to say in the brush when she would go to the village. She said that the humans weren't nice. I didn't believe her though. I would always watch all the human children play in the fields… They were just like me. They seemed very nice and always had so much fun. But she told me never to talk to any humans – or never to go near any village."

Silence fell about the room for a moment. I sucked at my pipe, hoping that there was nothing more to discuss on the matter.

"They killed Momma because we ate a human… didn't they?" he questioned, looking up at me with begging eyes.

He was smarter that I had hoped he would be.

"Yes. That is the very reason they did so." I answered.

If he was old enough to understand the cause of his mother's death, he was wise enough to at least be given the chance to understand the reason.

"Why? What is the difference between eating a boar and eating a human? Humans should be killed by boars for eating them then." He said with a huff, "It's not fair!"

"You are quite right, my young one." I replied.

The youngling was now under my care because his mother was, indeed, killed for the very reason of stealing killing a villager for the survival of her and her child. Her initial attempt was at the livestock, but the farmer did not plan on letting her get away with his cattle. The skirmish was not on his winning side. Hidden away, the lad was not harmed. I had only found him not long after the sun rose the night of his mother's demise. I had since grown quite fond of him.

"Humans are dangerous creatures. They fear much and are capable of just as much as they fear. People know little of the world and it's workings, my boy. And what people fear and do not understand, they seek to destroy. But they are also are unpredictable things, people.

They turn on their brothers and family for desirable things, such as land or riches. People are quite young. They have yet to learn how to live. But I fear, with the current way they go about things – they shall never learn."

His tail no longer swished from side to side and he was no longer the jocular source of energy he was but moments ago. He leaned against me, clinging as frightened young would their mother. He sought comfort and I willingly obliged. Resting an arm on his shoulder I continued.

"You are quite right. The world is not fair. Nor shall it be so when the world is filled with fear."