Elle hopped from one foot to the other. Without thinking, she opened her mouth to say she was glad to meet Amara, but nothing came out.
“Elle’s having some problems talking right now. Her life’s been a bit stressful lately,”
“That’s why I’m here. Amadeus contacted me through a messenger and asked me to take Elle to spend a day in the Fiume Valley.”
“Oh Amara, that’s a splendid idea!” Nextra winked at Elle.
Elle raised her eyebrows in question, causing both Nextra and Amara to laugh.
“You will love it, Elle. It is beyond our valley, but it’s an easy flight for Pegasus. He loves it there.” Amara said.
“What’s the Fiume Valley?” Grandma asked.
“It’s a river valley that flows into the Great Water, with mountains to the far north. No Zorins live there, and all the animals exist in harmony along the banks of the rivers and lakes.”
“What kinds of animals?”
“All kinds,” Amara said.
“I don’t want to place Elle in any more danger.”
“There’s no danger in the Fiume Valley,” Nextra said. “It’s a beautiful valley of flowers where the animals are as tame as your house pets. The lions lie with the lambs and the manatees swim with the dolphins.”
“I’ve never heard of it before.”
“We typically don’t take the guides there. It’s a reserve where we protect all the animals from the Zorins. We do not wish to bring any illnesses from Earth to endanger them. For the most part, we leave them alone.” Amara winked at Elle.
“Who feeds them, then?” Grandma said.
Elle smiled at how hard her grandma was working to understand it all. If Nextra and Amara thought it was a good place, she was ready to leave right now.
“In the Fiume Valley, all the animals are vegetarians,” Amara answered. “Their food grows plentifully along the water’s edge. There truly is no danger to Elle or we wouldn’t suggest it. Amadeus thought Elle would find great comfort there.”
Elle started jumping up and down. She clasped her hands in front of her.
Grandma laughed. “You look like you’re either praying or begging. I’m not quite sure which.”
“Come on and sit down at the table, Elle. Eat your cake and give your grandmother some time to think about it. I think you would love to spend a day there. It would be good for you, after everything you’ve been through lately.” Nextra pulled out a chair at the table.
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