When one of the kittens died, Estel and his mother, as the two mortal residents within the valley, went out together to a pond where Imogen and her brood loved to play to bury it. “She loved to lie in the sunlight. This is a good place to bury her,” Gilraen suggested.
Afterwards, as they sat in the May warmth, they heard a low muttering as a mother duck led her brood of hatchlings to the pond for their first swim.
“Look, Nana,” Estel said, his grief set aside with the delight of the new experience. “She has ten ducklings!”