“We have all matter of goods that the outside world cannot produce,” Nashtra explained. He thought for moment of what to list for her. “While we do not have many fruits that are readily edible, we do have a lot that could be made into medicine. We have made good use of those plants to create healing medicine, medicine to use childbirth, medicine for illnesses, poultices for large injuries, and even potions that bring relief to the elderly. We also have a great many crafts. There are many villages, some nearby, some far, far away, that appreciate our style of art.”
“Those are only a few examples,” the elder said when the younger elf had finished.
After that, a voice came in through the doorway from just outside. “Elder, are you ready for the meal that we have prepared for your guests?”
The elder smiled. “Yes, yes, my dears.” Then he turned to the others. “I believe that you are probably very hungry by now.”
“Even if they aren’t,” Nashtra said, “I have been longing for food from my home village for a long time.”
Cerys smiled and gave him a knowing look. “It’s always good to be home, isn’t it?”
“I suppose you could say that,” Nashtra replied.
The doorway opened, and the young elf got to his feet. He offered the elder his arms, and he took them, raising himself up as well. They led the party out of the hut, into the open air of the village. Sunlight streamed in through the branches, but still it was a very shady area.
In the most open part of the village, long, wide mats had been laid out on the ground. There were platters of the smoothest, darkest wood that could be carved in the forest. The foods on those platters were nothing that Cerys recognized, except that they looked like they would be enjoyable to eat. Some of them reminded her of the time she had tried Hawaiian food for the first time, at a place that served it in the traditional way. It was different, but by no means unsavory.
Whoever had been at the doorway had also brought over the elder’s chair, and he sat down at one end of the laid-out feast. Cerys realized after a moment that there was for more food than for just the six of them. Even if they all ate beyond there fill, there was far too much food. Nashtra invited his friends to sit down on the mat, and very soon several other elves came along as well.