The Last Firewings
"Stop running!" Elly shouted, "we're too far from the village."
"Hurry, we're almost there," came Hijel's distant reply.
"Come on, you have to see it," shouted Olec, who seemed a little closer.
Despite being out of breath and worried about getting caught this far from the village, Elly ran as fast as she could to see what the boys had found in the woods.
"We'll be in big trouble if we get caught," Elly said, panting, even though she had no intention of stopping.
Only minutes earlier she had been back at the village, playing with the other kids when her two brothers had dragged her away, claiming they had found something in the woods. She would have never run this far but she had never seen them so excited before.
As Elly reached the top of the gentle hill they had been climbing, she did not realise the boys had stopped and almost bumped into Hijel who was standing motionless, staring ahead. At first she did not see it, but after looking back and forth between the open field in front of them, and the excited expression of the boys who just stood there, she slowly began to notice it. It was just like Grandpa had described in his stories, only much smaller.
"What should we call it?" Hijel asked in a low voice, drifting away in thought.
"Are we keeping it?" asked Olec in an excited tone.
No one replied.
There was silence as all three siblings stood in awe.
Then Elly finally spoke. "I didn't think they existed. I thought it was all just stories".
"What should we do now?" Hijel asked.
"We should tell Grandpa!" exclaimed Olec, who was the youngest of the three.
"No, they'll know we've been out here," Hijel warned.
"I want to touch it," Elly said.
"Can I ride it?" Olec asked.
"It's a baby," said Elly, slowly moving down into the field.
"If it's a baby then where is its mommy?" Olec asked.
Then Elly stopped suddenly and looked back. "You two stay here. Don't move!" she said, searching the skies for signs of movement before descending further to the centre of the field.
The sky threatened rain and the clouds were low. She could hear the sound of thunder in the distance. It was autumn and leaves were falling all around them. Elly felt a strange calm as she moved forward. There was silence everywhere. The only thing she could hear was the rustle of leaves under her feet and the sound of her own breathing. She tried to walk slowly, without making any sudden movements.
She stopped a few feet away from what looked like a nest, and stood there for a few seconds, ensuring it she meant no harm. It was looking at Elly intently, curiously. She then took another step forward and began to crouch. She noticed what looked like two halves of an egg, and something else; there had been two eggs, one still unhatched. She noticed the black and red scales on its body, and what looked like the beginning of a tiny horn above its nose.
"Is it a boy or a girl?" Olec asked suddenly, startling Elly as she realised the boys were now standing right beside her.
"I told you to stay back," Elly whispered.
"We want to see it," said Olec.
"Look, it has tiny horns on its tail." Hijel pointed out.
"They're not horns," Elly said.
"Does it breathe fire?" Olec asked.
"I don't know," Elly said, "I don't think so."
"I want to pet it," said Olec with excitement.