My mother cried and tucked her head against my father’s chest. I blinked, bewildered and fanned my ears hopefully. My father pointed to a small parchment which lay flat on the table. My eyes focused on it and I read. The council of Elders had demanded my presence. Anxiety, apprehension, then fear. Why me? Nothing I could think of would give them reason to summon me thus, unless... The Elders filed into their places on the curved dais behind the main floor to the council chamber and made themselves comfortable, reclined and curled their tails around themselves gracefully. Wings fluttered and folded, relaxed on their backs. The council came to order. The filled galleries quieted and I could see my parents, heads drooped, eyes downcast, ears collapsed against their heads sadly. My mother rested her head against my father’s chest and he held her tenderly. Around them, the audience settled into place. Heads craned to watch the proceedings. Wings fluttered noisily and folded out of the way.
Those of us in the entrance chamber could see everything clearly on the main floor lit by torches and glow-lights. We watched with dilated colorless eyes and pounding hearts. It wasn’t often that the Elder’s Council met in the Grand Council Chamber with our kind this way. Only dire crimes committed by one of us could bring the Council together like this.
Why was I here? What had I done to deserve to be scouraged? The Elders opened the meeting. None of us spoke. We listened fearfully, I stood, self conscious and fearful, before the Elders, eyes averted, head lowered and downcast. My ears lay collapsed flat against my neck. My trembling wings folded against my back and I wished their fluttering wasn’t so noisy.
I could already hear the Elder’s pronouncement, feel the agony of my wings severed from my back and banishment to "their" world; defenseless, without power or illusions to be hunted and killed.
"Walks Far!" I raised my head and bowed respectfully.Tears ran down my muzzle. "Please, Great Elders," I said humbly. "Before you pronounce sentence on me, what have I done to warrant a scourage?" The Elders glanced at each other curiously. Ears fanned and flattened with surprise. One of the Elders lifted his head high. His lips spread back along his muzzle into a smile that revealed gleaming rows of sharp teeth.
"Thee are not here to be scouraged, Walks Far," he said kindly. "We meet for much more than to scourage those who commit crimes against the Kinds. Thee are young and spend too much time in their’ world. Tis dangerous for a young Chouka Kind to expose himself thus and we would hear thy reasons why.
"Sir, I tell stories to their young," I said in my defense and hoped they would understand. "Stories? WHAT stories?" asked another Elder, ears fanned
outward curiously. "About the Kinds," I said. "I teach them the truth. In time, they will teach their young the truth. I believe in what I do and ... They like me!"
"They do not suspect what thee really are?" another Elder asked. "When I am there, I look and dress like them. I have schooled and worked with them. They call me Teacher,’" I said. The Elders looked at each other, smiled and nodded. One of them turned to me and smiled. "We commend thy efforts to help their race mature," she said. "Through their young, thee will produce generations that will accept and live with us in peace.
Tell our stories! Write them for all who read and want to understand. Bring them to the truth!" My ears sprang up and fanned with surprise. A joyful wisp of smoke curled upward from beneath my upper lip. "Work with them! Help them!" The Elders smiled at me and nodded approvingly. "We will send others who will help thee ..."
The bell rang. I picked up my books and walked into my Language Arts class willed with Seventh Graders ...