Circling the timber wolves’ camp at a slow trot, Major Diggs countered their hisses and low growls with unflinching narrowed eyes and bared teeth. Time for Omar to put an end to this. He’s being too soft on ‘em. They’ll be getting’ restless soon… causin’ trouble.
“Here comes Diggs. Wonder what he’s been up to.”
Thor and Bennie followed Omar’s gaze, then watched their friend pop out of some low shrubs.
Diggs trotted towards them, his narrowed eyes alerting them of his annoyance. “Been over by the wolves. It’s time we get rid of ‘em.”
Thor growled. “Me and Bennie been thinkin’ the same way.”
Omar nudged Thor. “Not now! Tell Diggs about the Seers’ visions.”
Thor woofed what they knew about Great Dane Granny and Rasta Mama’s baffling dreams… “Me and Bennie are running to tell the pack to keep a close watch on ‘em.”
Omar watched Diggs’ reaction to the news.
Diggs, brows raised, growled. “We need to be ready, Omar. I’m thinkin’…”
A familiar loud screech interrupted them. Heads tilted upward to observe the enormous wingspan and vibrant colors, of the warrior eagle, McZen.
He circled slowly, peering down on the young princes, and their friends. No need going down. They know why I’m here. Queen Saifon of Iron Dog Land has commanded me to protect the siblings against all threats, as I’ve always done. But has my Queen’s rare gifts made her aware that the threat we await, is far greater than the intrusive timber wolves?
A flood of energy overtook Thor when he sighted the eagle. He leaped upward, then dashed forward.
McZen flew lower. He slowed down. Thor ran directly below him. They circled their companions several times, moving in practiced unison, until Thor, still high-spirited, rushed over to Bennie, and McZen flew away to scout out whatever lurked within the dogs’ paths.
Omar and Diggs gazed at the duo, enjoying their light-hearted display of friendship.
Bennie howled, not once, but twice, relishing McZen and Thor’s brief show of fondness. When Thor stopped, Bennie uttered jokingly, “We’d better git goin’… if you ain’t too tired.”
Omar and Diggs stared, in awe once again, at the courageous wolf’s iridescent glow in the midday sun, as he and Thor sprinted towards the pack.
The Seers sat apart from the females—eyeing them—chanting softly.
Bang! A flash of light ignited the ground near the females.
Frantic dogs and wolves watched, horrified, as a burning flame rapidly encircled them. They barked, howled, and bayed. They pushed, and leaped, unable to escape the rising blaze.
Rasta Mama raised a paw, as her and Granny continued chanting strange lyrics.
The fire transformed into tiny flickering lights.
All movement ceased.
The lights closed in, as the Seers’ soft chants became spirited. As their chants again softened, the sparks slowly dimmed, then a gust of wind swept the glimmers away.
Hanna yelped. “What happened?”
The dogs squinted towards the Seers with raised eyebrows, but all thoughts of reprimand were quickly erased when they witnessed the Elders’ collapse. They ran to the fallen mystics.
Rising on wobbly legs, Rasta Mama yelped, “We’re fine. Don’t start makin’ a fuss. Just listen.” She eyed her partner. “You tell ‘em, Granny.”
Great Dane Granny stood and shook her tall, lean body. She ignored the after-effects of their conjuring. Her bark became loud and clear, as she regained her strength. “A dark cloud is comin’ our way. We ain’t sure why yet, but it’s comin’. We had to protect you against it. Couldn’t do it no other way!” She peered around, then focused on the wolves. “You’d better git to your camp. One thing we know fer sure, the trouble is gonna start over there.”
They stared in silence, until one of them bayed. “Tell us more!”
“That’s all there is. Go now! Be with the ones you care about when the darkness falls.” Granny turned back to Rasta Mama.
The Seers strode a short distance and settled in the shade of a nearby tree, reluctantly honoring their promise to Thor and Bennie not to wander away.
The wolves looked to their friends for answers but received blank sympathetic expressions instead. They turned and ran.
Hanna peered at the others as their swift strides brought them closer to their camp. “Don’t worry. Shocka will know what to do.” But what can he do when we don’t know what’s coming? Could this be a farce? Are the ‘dogs’ about to attack us? No. The Seers were sincere, and their protection spell encircled us too. We all felt it. Does that mean ‘we’ are also shielded by their forceful magic?