“Hey there, buddy, you ready for school?” I asked Frankle, one of my hummers. Studbum, my other one, zipped around my head and hovered in front of me to say, “Well, yeah, only since yesterday!” Ashlee pulled out our coats and sacks and locked the front door as I harnessed my hummingbirds. I helped Ash get her coat on as she harnessed Doolee and Buzzle, her hummers. We mounted and harnessed onto our leaf-sleds as we swung our packs on and gave a whistle.
Off we went!
Despite the fun I had being flown to and fro by hummers, I still couldn’t wait for the final flying test. It was just two days from now, and I was nervous and excited all at once. Until you were fifteen, you had to travel by carriage or hummer, until your wings were large and strong enough to carry your weight. To finally fly anywhere, that was every teen faery’s goal. Freedom can’t always be bought or sold, nor should it. Bondage is one thing that the faery kingdom cannot stand. It is better to die trying to be free than to remain in captivity for all time.
Racing along the inside of the tree, we barreled toward the large knot-hole entrance. Sliding and bumping down the branch, I prepared for the Plunge. No more branch. Down we went. Very fast. But I feared not. The air supported me as it always did, and the hummers guided my course. Upward. We soared up and up and up through the fresh air, as we saw life stirring in the small stores and faeries emerging from their sleepy, blanketed world. Then we surged up through the branches of the massive habit-trees towards the wide, clouded sleepiness of the sky …and then all turned as smooth as ice on a winter-land pond.
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