Loud shouts disturbed me, diminishing sunlight streamed in through my window.
"Hey! Link! You there?" Fado was yelling, so loudly, the whole village could probably hear him. I gave a light groan and dragged myself to the window to stick my head out of the window to let him know I was alert.
"What?" I shouted down, seeing him stood there with his hands cupped around his mouth.
"Hey, you mind helpin' me herd the goats? They ain't listenin' to me lately!" Fado asked.
"Will do." I yelled back, then pulled my head back inside. I went downstairs, and opened my front door. Fado was still there, looking around.
"Hey, where's Epona?" He asked, confused.
"Isn't sh-" I began, then realised she wasn't in her usual spot. "I don't know." I replied.
He headed back to the Ranch, in no mood for waiting too long. "C'mon, now, hurry on up an' bring Epona with you." he called behind him before he left.
I sighed, thinking. Where could she be? Then I remembered the clip-clop of hooves earlier going past my house, when I was faintly listening.
I ran towards the spring, along the stone path until I reached the sand. Illia was stood in the shallow water, bathing the mare. She heard me approach, and turned to face me.
"Oh, hi, Link. I washed Epona for you!" Illia said eagerly, with a bright smile on her face.
I thanked her and walked towards them, reaching out to stroke Epona's neck. While I stroked her, Illia continued.
"Epona is a girl too, so you have to treat her nice like one!" I nodded. "I will." I assured her, then reached for Epona's reins to lead her back to the Ranch.
"Oh, but listen, Link...Could you do something for me?" she asked, and I turned to face her.
"Can you use a piece of grass to play that song for me? You know, the one that Epona likes?
I tried to play it for Epona, but I just can't seem to play it the way you can, Link." Illia sighed, with a small smile. I nodded and bent down the pick the reddish-brown reed by the spring gates. Then I raised it to my lips and blew softly, keeping up the right tune.
Epona raised her head, intrigued, and slowly trotted towards me, stopping a few feet away.
"It's such a nice melody...Epona looks happy." Illia added when I'd finished, and I reached for the reins again.
"Well, she's all prettied up now, so I suppose you can ride her back. But don't you make her do too much, OK?" she told me, a little stern.
"Okay, I won't." I assured her.
With that, I hooked my foot into the stirrup, swung my leg over, and sat in the saddle. I clicked my tongue and gave a gentle nudge with my toe to get Epona moving forwards - and we trotted back through the village.