As he walked along the path, Sydney began to whistle as it seemed like that sort of path. It wound gently among the hills and through the darkest centers of several woodlots. But it never vanished, and Syd was content enough with that.
As he came around a hill, he found a stream draining from a boggy patch, and a familiar looking frog sitting on a log.
“See, I told you not to trust anything I said,” it croaked.
“Now what? Didn’t I just watch you get eaten?”
“Perhaps. Or perhaps not. Not everything you see is as it appears. Call that your third lesson.”
“I thought you said the third was going to be about my goal.”
“It is. Expect me to lie. But plan for the possibility that I’m being truthful. I tell you truly that I will tell you eight lies. You’ve already heard at least one.”
With that, the frog leapt into the stream and swam away. Oddly, the frog’s return calmed Sydney down a little. Perhaps it was because something he encountered had returned. Aside from the worrying repetition of the loop, he hadn’t seen anything else more than once. The frog had also offered advice. Bad advice, of course, but still. Advice.
He drew the calm around him like a cloak, and attempted to wear it like armor. He had a hunch that he was going to need armor to survive this place.
If he wasn’t careful, he was going to wish for something useless like an impulsive hobo.
Still, even a hobo would be some company.