It was well known that no one was allowed to enter the swamp. Despite the inconvenience of going around it no one ever dared to go through it. For many generations children of the nearby villages and towns had been told that monsters and ghosts lived in the swamp. That ghost cut open the bellies of curious children anf slurp up their insides.
No one had ever gone through the swamp unharmed. Many entered and left mad and scared or never left the swamp at all.
Castor being from another land had never heard these stories and never knew to be afraid.
Deeper into the forest they went the mud got deeper, thicker and stickier. They walked until they came to the flooded part of the swamp.
The trees were now mostly mangroves with thick vines, roots and hanging branches. The roots of the trees spread out and tangled with those nearby forming a bridge between them.
“We can cross there,” said Anneli pointing to the river where the tangled roots formed a bridge that was just above the level of the water. It was covered in slim and moss.
Unlike the rest of the country where it was still barely spring the swamp was wet, hot, and humid. It almost existed in its own world.
“Is that safe?” asked Castor.
“You might slip buts it is not dangerous.”
When they stepped on the roots the trees began to whisper louder and louder. Unlike the forest where the trees only spoke to one another in words in the wind here the trees would speak through their roots.
Their words got louder and louder but there were so many voiced Anneli could not understand what they were saying.