Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

The 44 Dragons
by Margo Fallis
Part Two - Arbutel - Chapter 21

          “We need to turn inland soon,” Quirin said. “When the tide comes in, which will be shortly, the waves can get enormous in size and it’s very dangerous.”

          “Why do the waves get so big?” Gretel looked out to sea.

          “It’s just the way it is here. Not all the waves are dangerous, just the occasional rogue wave. There is no reason for many of the things that happen here. They just do. During high tide, many fish are washed ashore and feed the animals living here. Maybe that’s why. I’m not sure. We’ve only got a few more miles to go until we reach Lubo. It will be wonderful to be home again. Marti, are you ready to meet your parents?”

Marti nodded. His heart, full of anticipation, caused him to tremble near tears.

“I’m excited about meeting Gordinth and the big dragons, Jago and Rosenwyn,” Gretel said. “I’m sure Marti will be happy to see his parents. I wish mine were here too, my real parents.” Marti reached over and squeezed her hand.

“They are always with us in spirit, Gretel. You’ll sense their presence in Lubo. They lived in one of the huts. You can have that hut just for you. Would you like that?” Quirin hoped to please her.

“I’d love that.” Gretel wondered what her parents looked like. Maybe she’d know someday. “How long till we get there?”

“Another hour or two at the most. It’s not far now.”

Walking along, Gretel stumbled on something. She looked down. “I just tripped on an emerald.” She bent over and picked it up. “Oh look, there’s another over there.” She ran to get it.

“I told you that emeralds lay around the ground on Arbutel. There are so many of them that they mean nothing too much to us. I’m sure Darmantha would love to gather them and use them for his own benefit back in your village. I’m sure he will when he realizes how many of them there are lying about.”

“That explains where my parents got their wealth from,” Marti said.

Quirin winked.

“I’m going to keep this one.” Gretel held up the one she tripped on. “I’ll keep it with my seashell, for good luck.” She slipped it into her pocket. “This place is great. I never imagined there could be a place where there are emeralds everywhere and fruit like yamitas. I wonder what else we’re going to see before the sunsets tonight.”

“More than we can imagine, I’d say, Gretel.” Marti tussled her hair.

“Is Lubo in the mountains?” Gretel tried to envision the place.

“No, Luba is on flat ground at the bottom of Mount Suriban. There are other mountains nearby. Wait till you see the place. I can’t describe it. It would do it no justice.  Maybe we can have roasted taradak tonight. Would you like that?”

“I don’t know what taradak is. Do you, Marti?” Gretel hoped it wasn’t something horrible.

“No, Gretel, I have no idea what taradak is, but I’m sure it will taste good. What is  taradak?” Marti asked Quirin to describe it.

“A taradak is a small mammal. It has three horns, which we grind up and use for magic potions and things. Its flesh tastes best when it’s roasted over an open fire after being marinated in bumubi juice overnight. That makes it sweet and succulent and oh so tender. It simply melts in your mouth.”

“What’s a bumubi?” Gretel thought it sounded like a fruit.

“Bumubis are similar to grapes. They’re small and grow in clusters. The only difference is that they are not purple, red, or green, like grapes,” Quirin said.

“What color are they then?” Gretel guessed. “Are they blue?”

“No, they’re not blue. They’re bright yellow, like a dandelion, or a lemon. They even have skin on them like a grape does too, but inside they are filled with hundreds of tiny bubbles, or pockets, and each is filled with sweet juice. They are the messiest fruits you can eat, but quite tasty, especially on roasted taradak.”

“I didn’t think you wizards like to kill animals,” Marti said.

“Taradaks were placed on this island for our enjoyment. They are quite willing to give of themselves for us. Besides that, every time we use the powdered taradak horn, another living taradak is born within a week. We don’t eat them very often, mind you, but tonight is a special occasion. You will be reunited with your parents and we’ll be taking Venec and Cardew here to meet their ancestors. I’d say that was a cause for celebration, wouldn’t you?”  Venec and Cardew flew into the air, enjoying the freedom of flight. “There you are. Even the babies are happy.” The blue and brown streaks stretched across the sky as they darted back and forth. Marti and Gretel couldn’t help but be too.

Return to Book Index Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus