DD – No question it was an honor that three changeling animals wanted to connect with me. But they made the decision without me. What am I, their pet?
I spent hours in the roof library, reading Galalena’s journals from a new angle, trying to understand the roles of a changeling with her animal. Teacher, yes, guide definitely, and that could go back and forth, who was teaching and who was learning. But neither was the boss of the other.
I sat on the roof squirming in a lounge chair. I couldn’t get comfortable. My head was full of images of Grayfast outside staring at the front door. He wanted in. Any other time I would have dashed downstairs to open the door asap.
I didn’t move. I had whispery fears that I would drive him away but I had to keep going with this. It was the only way I could think of. To communicate to him. To all three of them. That I had to be involved making important decisions.
A shadow blocked my sun. Sariah with Fastidious in her talons. She lowered the tortoise ever so gently to the roof then took off again. The tortoise was facing away from me and his feet scrabbled as he spun to face me. Well. ‘Spun’ sounds fast. Eventually he finished the turn and started scraping his way toward me.
A shadow blocked my sun again. Now Sariah carried Grayfast in her talons. He wiggled and dropped to the roof beside me. Sariah perched on the railing, her back to us. She stared off the roof like a sentry.
How to explain to three other species what was bothering me when I barely understood it myself. I loved being Grayfast’s baby bird, I never wanted that to change. And he would always know more than me. All of them would. In fact, Fastidious was so ancient he might know more than Grayfast.
But if we were going to stop the bad guys we had to work as equals. (DBA how I knew that.)
Turns out I didn’t need to explain anything.
In my head I saw Grayfast’s baby bird flying away from its nest in a long straight line like I was never coming back.
I thought he was telling me it was time for me to leave, which gave me instant flooding tears. I could barely see that he was squinting at me in a friendly loving way. My tears stopped.
He wasn’t saying goodbye. He was happy and proud about me leaving the nest. He wanted me to be an equal, too!
The scrapes from Fastidious had turned screechy. The tortoise was stuck on the stairs to the secret library, one foot pawing the air. He rocked sideways and nearly toppled down the stairs but swung the other way and got all four feet back to the roof.
He had something in his mouth. He opened his jaw and it fell on my shoe. A wildflower from the dune. Awwww. Sweet! A graduation present for baby bird.
Tangled, how that worked. Deciding I needed to be their equal made me their equal. – sE