He shrugged. It was late and he was jumpy. That was all. No shadows materialized into wolves; no tree branch disguised a giant’s club. Any wolf, giant – even elvish archers – would attack as he passed by. Nothing jumped out at him. Nothing was there.
All the same, he felt easier when they left the woods behind, with fewer shadows waving at him.
He loosed Ranger from the traces, keeping a hand on the harness. It wouldn’t restrain the dog if it went on the attack, but the touch seemed to calm the dog. Over the next several minutes, its ears perked up and its growling slowed and ceased. It swiveled its head, scanning, then seemed to relax. Stan hooked the dog back to the cart. If the threat was past, they could move on.
With any other dogs, he would have tread more slowly, scanned the forest more carefully. With this pack, he hurried through the forest without fear. They would alert him to danger long before he could sense it, so his only concern was to get home as quickly as possible. Home to Lorri.