Throughout the Tallenmere series, you'll find a host of unique creatures, some of which share similarities to those we know and love on Earth. One such creature is the snippet. It's mentioned early in the series, but really shines in the third installment, Hearts in Exile. The snippet is a lemur-like creature and in this story, becomes a pet for healer Loralee's youngest sister, Prysilla. Poor Prysilla had been very sad, having lost her pet turtle and as an elf who could easily live a thousand years, she knew that every pet she had would only live a very short time comparatively. Loralee's love, Sir Robert sent this snippet to Prysilla as a gift to cheer her up. Here is an excerpt from Loralee's POV when they first meet "Puddle":
...when I reached Prysilla’s side, she giggled and spun around. A gray, furry thing hugged her neck and licked her cheek with a narrow red tongue. I breathed a sigh of relief and knelt to see the creature more clearly. Small, round ears topped its rather triangular head. Large, yellow eyes, situated squarely in its face, blinked at me. Its wet, black nose wiggled, sniffing the air. It had a long, bushy tail, with rings of black and gray. Long, articulate fingers held to Prysilla, but thankfully didn’t dig into her shoulders with their sharp-looking black claws.
“Can we keep him?” Prysilla asked.
Well, at least she was over Tam. “I suppose we can, if Mother and Father approve. But, what is it?”
Brynn answered. “I think it’s a snippet.”
“A snippet. They live on a few islands in the Southern Sea. I saw them once when I sailed to Tilliya Island with my parents. Our Tilliyan hostess said they’re arboreal and usually live in large family groups. She said some of the captive ones even learn to talk, though I never saw any of those. They can supposedly live for a century or more.”
Prysilla’s eyes went wide with wonder, and she smiled lovingly down at the snippet in her arms. “Loralee, he’s amazing! Thank you!”
She thought I’d gotten it for her. I marveled over Igrorio’s thoughtfulness, but thought it best to not mention who had really gotten it. I crumpled up the note and tucked it into my pocket.
“So,” I said, smiling to cover my hesitation, “what will you name him…or her?”
“Puddle,” Prysilla said matter-of-factly and strolled toward the stairs, singing to her new pet.
“Puddle? But why…oh.”
Brynn giggled. “I’ll get a mop.”
Puddle happens to stowaway with Loralee many years later when she is exiled on Draekoria. By this time, he can talk quite well. And when Sir Robert (Igrorio) happens to wash up on the island ten years later, Puddle is not happy about it at all. He corners the poor paladin and truly lives up to his name:
This time of year, torrential rain came and went as it pleased, and even on the short trek back to the cottage, a sudden shower managed to drench me thoroughly. I opened the door, already rehearsing what I would say to Igrorio.
I froze in the threshold. He stood there in the middle of the cottage, with his shielding rippling around him. Puddle jumped from rafter to rafter, hissing and shrieking.
Igrorio noticed me and pointed upward. “Would you call him off, please?”
I shut the door and ran over. “Puddle, stop! What’s wrong?”
The snippet went silent, blinking at me with his round, yellow eyes. “He fight with Lo-lee. I follow and I hear. He want to take Lo-lee away.”
“No, Puddle, he’s not taking me away.” I ventured a glance at Igrorio, who narrowed his eyes.
“Come down from there.”
He raised his tail and sprayed a shower of urine down on Igrorio, who luckily still had his shield in place.
“Ugh,” he muttered. “Filthy thing.”
Hands on my hips, I stifled a laugh and yelled, “Puddle, that’s enough! Get down!”
Eyeing Igrorio as he went, the snippet climbed along the rafter and hopped to the bed. I followed and snatched him up by the thick skin on the back of his neck. Then, I carried him to the back door. “Go out to the garden and take a nap.”
He struggled, flailing his arms and legs and black-striped tail everywhere. “Rain. No like rain.”
“Well, maybe it will teach you to be nicer to our guests.”
Next in the Creatures of Tallenmere blog series, we'll talk about the elusive Tyger, a truly stealthy predator and the inspiration for one of Tallenmere's sexiest heroes...