It was barely noon and Taran had already started distracting himself from his duties. In his hand was a stick, which he then absentmindedly waved around for a few moments. That is, until he saw Eilonwy step out of the cottage. Quickly, he threw the stick away before the princess questioned it, as she usually would. Little did he know that he accidentally threw the object at the goat not far behind him.
The boy noticed this and his eyes widened but before he did anything, he looked back to Eilonwy and became distracted by the basket she had been carrying. "A-And where might you be going?"
She stopped right in front of Taran and gave him a small grin. "Well, Dallben asked for one of us to pick out more berries.. and that's just what I'm going to do. Would you like to come along?"
"Oh.. well, I would but I still have to-"
Suddenly, the goat quickly trotted over to Taran and rammed his behind, sending him straight into Eilonwy. It took Taran a moment to realize what had happened and he rapidly stepped back with flushed cheeks.
"F-Forgive me, I.. umm.."
Eilonwy laughed quietly to herself, "It seems like your friend would like for you to come."
"Yes, he's quite the friend.." Taran laughed along and looked back to the goat with a minor glare before he quickly turned back to Eilonwy. "Well, I suppose I can take some time to help."
"Good! Come along then," Eilonwy swayed the basket in her hand and began to make her way off to the nearest berry patch out in the woods. Taran soon caught up with her and quietly walked by her side in the meantime. Just when he thought they were going to walk in silence, Eilonwy started to speak.
"So the animals on the farm.." she began, "Are they the only friends you have? Other than me, that is."
The pig-keeper glanced at her and chuckled softly when she asked the unexpected question. "Well.. yes, not including you. As well as Fflewddur and Gurgi.. whatever he might be... Visitors are something we don't normally get here."
Eilonwy put a finger to her chin and nodded, "I've noticed that very well from my time spent here. It's very peaceful though." The princess briefly looked around the quiet forest before she spotted a few bushes filled with berries just up ahead.
Once they approached it, Eilonwy went straight to picking out the small fruit. Taran, on the other hand, couldn't help but continue their conversation. "And what of you? Surely you must know much more people than I do."
Eilonwy shook her head, "Not quite. I do know a few people but I don't really consider many of them friends... Well, I do suppose Rhun counts."
"Rhun?" He asked curiously as he attempted to pick out a handful of berries.
"Mmhmm, he's just about your age. I do worry for him at times though. He is to become King someday but seeing as he is a clumsy one-"
"A king?" Taran wondered, not letting her finish.
Eilonwy nodded, "Indeed. Rhun is a prince, you know."
Suddenly, Taran accidentally dropped the few berries he picked out at the mention of this 'Rhun' being a prince. Eilonwy noticed his clumsy accident and giggled quietly before she continued. "Either way, I'm glad to at least have him around while the rest of the castle is scrambling about."
Taran quickly picked up the berries scattered on the ground, not realizing he remained silent for a few moments. "I.. I-I'm sure he's a great friend," he said quickly.
Eilonwy turned to look at him and noticed how he suddenly began to act peculiar. "Taran, is everything alright?"
He tossed the berries in the basket and pouted slightly, wondering how in the world Eilonwy always knew when something was wrong. Then again, he did make it seem quite obvious. "Of course everything is alright!"
"Oh.. well you're acting as if..." She trailed off when a thought occured to her. "You're not jealous, are you?"
"Hah! Jealous?" Taran repeated as he crossed his arms. "Now why would I be?"
As the girl quickly examined a few of the berries she had been picking out, she glanced back to Taran and shrugged lightly. "You do seem to be acting rather strange, is all. Rhun is only a dear friend of mine, if you must know."
Taran nearly cringed at the mention of this Rhun. Indeed, he was jealous of this prince and as much as he wished not to admit it, he couldn't help but do just that. "But.. i-it's just that.. he's a prince! A-And.. well.."
The girl's eyes widened briefly before she let out a soft laugh, soon realizing what Taran was trying to say. "Oh, I know what you're thinking, Taran. But I am much too young to marry anyway!"
"But you must-"
"Perhaps I don't," Eilonwy interrupted. She gave him a caring look and shook her head. "Taran, you needn't get that way. I do care for you, you know. You may not be a prince but that certainly doesn't make you any different from one."
The boy uncrossed his arms and slightly puffed out his chest. "Well... perhaps I am a prince. My parents could have been of royal blood.. it just might be possible that you're looking at one right now."
Eilonwy playfully rolled her eyes and gently poked his chest. "Prince or not, you are still you and that is just fine."
Taran pouted and shooed her hand away while he thought about what she said. He still had trouble believing such a thing, but either way, it did help to hear that from time to time. "Even if it means being an assistant pig-keeper for the rest of my life?"
"Well, I don't see anything wrong with that," Eilonwy smiled, shrugging lightly. "Now are you going to help me pick out more berries or are you just going to stand there?"
"O-Oh.. sorry," he laughed sheepishly and continued to help.
The girl glanced at him and laughed softly in return. "You know, I've never met any other assistant pig-keepers but I'm sure you just might be the greatest one of them all."
Taran gave her a skeptical look, yet he couldn't help but smile slightly. "You truly believe that?"
"Well, it's not every day you hear of a pig-keeper taking care of a magical pig," the princess said with a giggle, "I think that's a special thing."
Taran opened his mouth to make a remark about that, but only gave her a small grin instead as they both proceeded to pick out more berries. Perhaps it's not so bad after all, he thought.