“I’m still not – not following you,” said Laila, who had become rather fond of double negation. “But I have to tell you I don’t know why, because I’m rather afraid.”
“But what can you possibly be afraid of?” said a voice behind her, making her jump, not out of her skin but almost.
Her hood fell back and she skipped aside.
“That’s exactly what I mean,” she said. “You sneaking up on me is what makes me afraid.”
“I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“Well, it’s not good enough. Do something about it.”
The little green man thought for a moment.
“If you’re afraid of me,” he said eventually, “tell me what you’re not afraid of.”
“That’s easy,” said Laila. “Unicorns.”
The little green man chuckled.
“Why did you say! – Follow me.”
He bundled off into the wood.
Laila took a skipping kind of step.
“What for?” she said.
“Why to meet a unicorn, of course!”
“Unicorns don’t exist.”
“I shouldn’t say that,” said the little green man. “They’ll be upset if they hear you.”
“You’re so very silly,” began Laila.
Then she stopped.
Right, in front of her, drinking from the pool that had appeared from nowhere, was a unicorn.
Laila went up to the edge of the pool and stared into it.
“It’s real,” she declared. “You can’t see its reflection.”
She looked to see her own reflection.
Then she cried out.
“I can’t see mine! Does that mean I’m a unicorn, too?”