Star of Wonder, page 19
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So the Princess journeyed another weary while, by day and by night, over hill and through vale. She longed often to turn her face towards home and rest, but she yearned still more to know what the Moon had meant by her cryptic words, and thus she came at last to the shining Palace of the Morning. There the Sun’s dark-haired daughter, the Peaceful One, was dancing in the courtyard in her graceful gown of green, though she broke off her dance to make the Princess welcome. Together the two girls entered the Palace, where the Lord Sun awaited them in the shape of a slender man, not over-tall, and robed in the blue of the sky. His hair shone bright, a corona about his warm brown face, and his eyes glowed like slim candlewicks, alight with the fire’s kiss.
“The Lady Moon has sent word of your quest, O Princess of Winter,” he said as his daughter led the Princess to a chair and began to unlace the worn-out traveling shoes upon her feet. “I do not myself have the answer you seek, as she did not have it, for whatever caused your dreams happened far from the light of moon or sun. But I do have the means to summon those who may perhaps know more.”
He gestured, and the windows of the Palace opened wide. Then there sounded a mighty whirring of wings, and the Princess gasped in wonder as birds of every size and color flew into the palace’s hall and circled the Lord Sun, singing with all their might. His daughter only laughed, and ran to fetch perches for her father’s latest guests.
Once the birds had settled into their places, the Sun began to ask them if they knew anything of the dreams of the Winter Princess. But one by one they answered him, “No, Lord, not I.” Raven and dove, owl and sparrow, robin and hawk and finch, each spoke up in its turn, “No, Lord, not I,” and the Princess’s fingers tightened around the mug of tea which the Sun’s daughter had brought.
“Don’t be frightened,” the Peaceful One whispered, clasping the Princess’s hand. “Wait until Papa has finished. You never know who may have seen something…”