‘Guinevere!’ exclaimed Vita. ‘What are you waiting for? Go and tell Ànemos!’
Yes, of course.
Guinevere raced out of the house so fast that she ran down the fungus-folk and their straw handcart. She looked around, but the Pegasus was nowhere to be seen. Guinevere hoped he wasn’t flying on patrol with the mist-ravens just now. She ran down to the fjord. Nothing! Until one of the winged pigs finally told her that he had seen Ànemos outside Slatebeard’s abandoned cave.
The Pegasus was standing where the old dragon often used to lie. The ground there was still as warm as if the sun had been heating up the stone. Ànemos raised his head as Guinevere appeared at the mouth of the cave. She had run so fast that she was fighting for breath and couldn’t get out a word. But she didn’t have to say anything. Ànemos read her good news in her face.
For a moment he just stood there, looking at her.
Then he walked over and leaned his forehead against Guinevere’s shoulder.
‘Climb on, human girl!’ he said, spreading his wings as he carried her out of the cave.
Guinevere felt how fast her heart was beating as he flew above the forest and the meadows with her. The good news had already spread. Dozens of fabulous beings were waiting outside the stable, but the mist-ravens made sure that none of them went into it.
Of course, the geese who were looking after the nest knew what had happened. They were cackling in such excitement when Ànemos and Guinevere entered the stable that they forgot to protest as usual when she put her hand under their feathers. She reached carefully for the first egg that her fingers found. Ouranos was a tangle of legs and wings.
‘It’s going to be all right!’ whispered Guinevere, dropping a kiss on the egg where the foal was unhappily pressing his nose to the shell that was now too small for him. ‘Everything will be all right. And soon I’ll be riding you all, one after the other, and we’ll fly races with your father!’
Ànemos came to stand beside her as she carefully tucked the egg under the goose feathers again. Guinevere hugged the geese, although they didn’t think much of such human expressions of emotion, and she smiled at Ànemos.
‘You see?’ she said. ‘My father is very good at keeping his promises.’
A New Dragon in MÍMAMEIÐR
Is there not glory enough in living the days given to us?
You should know there is adventure in simply being among
those we love and the things we love, and beauty too.
Lloyd Alexander, The Black Cauldron
Ànemos could already see Tattoo when Guinevere and Vita could make out only a dark spot in the pale blue sky. Gilbert Greytail had expected the feather to arrive in the afternoon, but Tattoo had made considerably better speed than that. The Pegasus flew to meet the dragon at once, along with the mist-ravens.
‘That’s not Firedrake, Mum!’ said Guinevere when she saw Tattoo more clearly through the binoculars. ‘It’s another dragon!’
Raskervint didn’t need binoculars to see Tattoo, but she looked as baffled as Guinevere. ‘Do dragons come patterned these days?’ she asked.
‘Yes, that’s new to me too,’ replied Vita.
None of them would ever forget the sight they saw that morning: the Pegasus and the dragon side by side, and Ben, waving to them in excitement over the shoulder of another boy who had a small furry something in his arms. The fear that had been dammed up in Guinevere’s heart over the last ten days turned to amazement and delight. Although her mother’s grave face reminded her that that the hope of the griffin’s feather saving the foals was still just that: a hope.
Most of the inhabitants of MÍMAMEIÐR had gathered around the Pegasus stable when Tattoo and Ànemos landed behind it.
‘Guinevere!’ called Ben from the strange dragon’s back. ‘Let me introduce you! This is Tattoo! He brought us here faster than the wind. And this,’ he added, pointing to the other boy, ‘is…’
‘Winston Setiawan,’ said Winston, introducing himself. He pointed to his small, furry companion. ‘And this is Berulu.’
‘A maki – he looks a bit like a brownie,’ whispered Guinevere.
Berulu twittered something in Winston’s ear.
‘He’s pointing out that he is not my pet. Okay, I’ll tell them,’ said Winston, climbing down from the dragon’s back. ‘Because brownie-makis don’t like that kind of thing at all.’
‘No wild animal does,’ said Guinevere, smiling at Berulu. ‘We know that here in MÍMAMEIÐR. Don’t worry!’