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The Ring of Entitlement
Rayna and Inlakesh were sipping the last drops of coffee when some brouhaha among the trees at the back of the cabin made them jump.
Rayna picked up her club instinctively. But Inlakesh bade her to listen and observe through the northwest window.
It soon became apparent that some sort of bird mischief was going on. Rayna went out, wanting to play with the birds. But Inlakesh followed as silent and light as the ray of sun now falling on the stirring waters in the nearby birdbath.
Before Rayna could interfere, Inlakesh pointed towards a tree that seemed to shake with terror. A burst of sparrows escape the trees as a cry was heard.
“Pay attention!” Inlakesh admonished.
Red-tail Hawk soared through the sky with a piercing cry and then circled above their heads.
“What is the message?” Inlakesh asked quietly.
Red-tail Hawk swiftly descended and perched on the birdbath. It drank water and then sprinkled the two women with it.
“Water source,” Inlakesh understood, “Where?”
With a piercing cry, Red-tail Hawk took to the air and flapping its gorgeous wings headed towards the northwest of the cabin.
“I know where,” Rayna said, for she had been listening deeply. “I’m meeting someone at the Womb of the World.”
“That is how town people call the lake that provides water for the town, isn’t it?” Inlakesh asked. “Isn’t it guarded?”
“By the Elders,” Rayna nodded.
“Then it is safe to go,” Inlakesh said.
“Why?” Rayna asked.
“For starters, Red-tail Hawk would not bid you there if there was danger,” Inlakesh said. “And for keepers, I was expecting that your call may be answered first by the Elders, who have been meeting in secret to discuss how to save town.”
“It’s not that much of a secret if you know it,” Rayna joked. “You don’t even go to town.”
“I am part of town, Rayna, just as I am part of you,” Inlakesh said softly. “We are all part of The Forest. Red-tail Hawk knows this. Perhaps you should follow him and see if you can learn more from him.”
Inlakesh placed a bundle in her hand.
“Something to bite, water to drink and tools to make fire,” the tiny woman said. “That’s all you need. Fly!”
Continues next week in part 6
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