5. Prin, The Dog of Treem


"Oh, I'm so sorry," a girl's voice cried, and the fluff ball began to lick Mika's face.

Mika started to laugh. "That's all right!"

That is how Mika met Prin, the Dog of the Princess of Treem. When she told Mika her story she cried so hard and so long that they were all soaked, and puddles started to form beneath them.

"You see, in Treem" she explained, "every boy and girl has a Dog born at exactly the same time as they are. And they never leave each other's sides. Well, I am the Princess' Dog, and her Protector, and the Walborks have separated us, and I gave her my Collar to protect her from them, for her Bracelet had fallen off, and they captured me, but I got away, and now, and now I'll never be able to find her again..."

Mika and Clarisse comforted her and told her that they too were lost, and if they all traveled together, surely they would all find their ways home. And so, with one last sniffle, and after they had dried themselves off in the afternoon sun, they were ready to begin their travels together.

"Well, climb on," Prin said to her two new friends.

"You mean ride you, Prin? I couldn't do that!"

"Of course you can silly. Everyone in Treem does. Why I'd be offended if you didn't."

And so, reluctantly, Mika climbed atop Prin's fluffy back, and Clarisse flew up to rest on the soft fur of her head, and laughing, they set off.

Along the way Prin told them stories Treem, and no, she had never heard of Gumba, but she was sure her Majesty the King of Treem would tell Mika should they, or rather, when they found Treem. And then in a quiet voice she told them of the wild Walborks that lived in these woods. "The Collars and Bracelets of Treem are the only things that will keep them away. And we are without any protection at all." Prin shivered and looked carefully around them. After that they were all a little afraid as they walked along, telling stories and singing songs to overcome their fears.

One morning when Mika awoke, Clarisse, chirping, gave him a flute made of a wild reed she had whittled with her beak. "You have given me back my happy song," she said. "It's the least I can give you." Mika thanked her with tears in his eyes, and the three travelers' spirits had never been more lifted.

That very day, flying high up above, the Travelers saw tiny blue specks painted on the sky. Clarisse was the first to notice them, and though she felt happy at first, she started to feel sad, and tried her best to pretend they weren't there. But they grew closer and closer, and soon the other two noticed a distant melody drifting on the breeze. Dozens of blue birds fluttered just above the trees around them. The three travelers knew they were Clarisse's Flock, come to find her.

Mika and Prin looked at Clarisse with teary eyes. It was time to part. The three travelers hugged each other, then Clarisse turned and chirped an answer to the calling birds. She looked to her friends one last time, then flew up with the Flock. Mika and Prin watched the birds disappearing into the distance and they felt a little happy and a little sad as they continued on their own journeys.

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by Robert Alan Silverstein
Avstar Publishing (2013)
ISBN-13: 978-1492114291
$3.99 paperback

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