We seemed to be travelling for ages and I knew that we were well clear of the lake. Then we entered a tunnel which led out of the water and into a darkish area that looked like sleeping quarters. I was in the otter’s holt!
Owen put me down roughly on some leaves and told me not to move. He knew I would obey.
It was the loneliest place I had ever been. I stared at the dark tunnel, waiting for the slightest movement that would tell me someone had entered the other end. What had I done wrong? If I knew this, I might at least have been able to work out an excuse. I certainly could not be accused of not learning what I was supposed to be learning, for I had no idea what that learning was supposed to be!
The sticks at the entrance to the tunnel began to vibrate and I knew the time for guessing was over. The entrance now jerked back and forth more vigorously and then a huge hairy head squeezed its way through, quickly followed by an enormous body. The great otter stood there staring down at me while the other two wriggled into positions either side of her.
“I’m ready to hear your explanation now!” she said.