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Once a mousemaid found a small, innocent baby on the side of the road.

The baby was not like the others, for he was a ferret – and everybeast knew that ferrets were vermin.  Despite the advice of the other creatures at Redwall, the ferret babe was allowed to stay. And though he stole things, bit innocent creatures, even attempted murder, the mousemaid insisted that the ferret was not evil or vile.

When at last he was banished from the Abbey, the mousemaid followed her Veil, loyal till the end. You all know the story- how Veil found his father and joined with him, only to defy him in the end and die when the mousemaid Bryony’s life was in danger.

“You’re rushing through the story, Saxtus. It’s pretty much over by now.”

“Hush up, Mariel!” Dandin hissed.

Saxtus continued as if he had not heard the boisterous mousemaid. “But what many do not understand is why when Bryony returned to Redwall, she would only say Veil was always evil and vile, ne’er worth saving in the first place-”

“Which he wasn’t-”

Mariel, Joseph warned with a hard look at his daughter.

“-when there is no doubt that Bryony loved Veil like her own.” Saxtus paused, adjusted his glasses, and swept his gaze over those present. “What they fail to take into account is exactly how much she loved Veil. Bryony was willing to leave Redwall and risk her life in the wild at the mercy of vermin to save him. It was her goal in life, everything she lived for, everything she did was for Veil.

“But it was all for nothing. He died saving her, as a hero, but had he lived, Veil would have continued to choose to harm others- stealing and thieving, plundering and murdering. Bryony knew that. His good deed was for her alone, and the only evidence she’d ever gotten that he loved her back. With Veil dead, there was nothing for her to hide behind. She had to accept that Veil could never redeem himself. That she would never see all the years she’d put into raising him come into fruit.”

“I’m sure you’ve all heard the tale of the Robin with the Sour Grapes. The same applies to Abbess Bryony. She was deprived of Veil’s redemption, so she pretended it was never worth having in the first place.”

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