Prune the Oracle was still floating along, turning over stones and looking underneath. Jake just watched her for a little while. On some sort of whim (a sneaky one that he didn’t have time to question) he started doing the same, walking along and looking under stones, but he wasn’t sure what he was supposed to be looking for. He couldn’t see anything special.
Just at the moment that he began to consciously wonder what he was doing Prune let out a sharp gasp, then a quiet wail like nothing Jake had heard before. It was a wail of loss and, surprisingly, Jake felt it, enough that tears threatened to leak out of his eyes.
Prune had picked something up, and whatever it was she was holding it very tenderly, like a mother with a baby. Except she had a very sad look on her face, mostly in those bulbous yellow eyes. She bent down and replaced what was in her hands back under a stone covering it over like she was tucking it in for bed.
Just as suddenly as she became anguished she went back to her previous calm and continued looking under stones. Jake’s curiosity got the better of him. What was it she’d found and grieved over? He walked over to the stone that Prune had replaced and found there a little dull grey oval thing with leathery and wrinkly skin. He almost replaced it except something caught his attention; he saw through the skin the features of what looked like a fish.
Jake could see that it was dead. Something welled up within him and this time he couldn’t help himself cry. As his tears streamed forth one tear followed its path to the tip of his nose and dropped from it onto the egg. And something miraculous happened.
The loose skin became taut and within, it began to glow a light blue. If Jake had been able to see he might have noticed the fish fry move a bit and even its little heart start to beat before the light shone brighter. The glow penetrated his tears, grabbing his attention. He wiped his tears to see the egg clearly, and though he couldn’t see into the egg he knew that the life inside had revived.
Very gently he stood up and walked over to Prune. She turned around and saw the live egg in Jake’s hand and with the tenderest face Jake had ever seen on a person, especially from such a strange looking one, she received the egg from Jake and gently placed it among the folds of her black robe.
Looking deep into Jake’s eyes she then said “Follow the fin to the head,” and she pointed in that direction. “When you get to where you need to go you will know.”
And with that Prune disappeared before Jakes’ eyes. One moment he was looking at her, the next not.
Shortly Orph appeared next to Jake, “She seemed quite talkative with you, not very usual. So what did she say, eh? What did she say?”
“I’m… not really sure what any of that was all about. She just said to follow the fin to the head.”
“She must have said more than that?”
Jake really couldn’t answer that. So he turned it around, “Well, what about you Orph? What did she say to you?”
Orph’s face went a bit pale, which Jake didn’t know could happen to fish, “I’d rather not say. It’s far too, well, crude, and that’s putting it politely.”
“Oh, go on Orph, I’ve said my bit, now you tell me yours.”
“Let’s just go, shall we? Come on,” and with that Orph swam ahead, along the fin to the head, with Jake behind, chortling to himself.