My name is Clare. I'm lying at the entrance to a cave where I slept last night. I have only one slab of jerky and no water, but I can't go down to the river for a drink because women from Twist, including my friends, are all doing their laundry.
What happened is that my mother got caught by the soldiers and ministers.It was all my fault. She'd asked me to keep watch on a stone wall while she gathered herbs down in the forest. If I saw anyone coming, I was supposed to whistle. But there was this wonderful stone in the dirt just below the wall. It was perfect for a hopscotch potsy because it was flat on the bottom, and I'd lost by just one toss yesterday. I stared at it for a few seconds, then jumped down to get it. By the time I was back up they were half way across the field, and they'd seen Mother coming up from the dell. They grabbed her, and one of them was coming for me, when she said
"That's not my daughter. You can see she's a changling from the way she runs, faster than any human being could ever run."
I realized what she was telling me to do so I ran and ran until they got too close and then I dove into the forest and covered myself with leaves. I was frightened to death, but they didn't find me. I took the long way around Twist and got home after dark. My brother, Roger, was making toast, but when I asked for some he aimed the fork at my throat and said he was going to deliver me over to the soldiers, so I ran out into the square and smack into our neighbor, Lizbet. She brought me to this cave and told me to wait for her here but I'm thirsty and, as soon as the laundry is done, I'm going down to the Danner to get a drink, no matter what!