“You are the oaken staff I lean on,” Taran said. “More than that.” He laughed. “You are the whole sturdy tree, and a true warrior.” Coll, instead of beaming, looked wryly at him. “Do you mean to honor me?” he asked. “Then say, rather, I am a true grower of turnips, and a gatherer of apples. No warrior whatever, save that I am needed thus for a while. My garden longs for me as much as I long for it.”
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