• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 06
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King Elder

"Ah, my dear, I must tell you we were walking across the plain when something very exciting happened.
“As we crossed the waste bed and headed back to the camp, we approached the far grove of Stegmant trees. In one we could see a nearly hatched Ruetuth Fossil, which had already broken through the skin of one of the trees. So we approached to view it. That in itself would have been exciting, we could have stayed and watched it leave its cocoon and fly. Oh the colours of a newly hatched wing set! As you can tell it was all very exciting.
“But as we neared the trees we could see that what we thought was an old dead shrub was a fully grown King Elder, sitting on a parchment rock. And, it held a newly germinated baby Elder in one hand. The Elder was unaware of our approach, at least we think it was as it continued to talk to the shrubling. It is unusual to get that close to a King Elder as they are still nervous of us, you know we used to hunt them for their ribs to make the frame springs for Off Wind Flyers.
“Anyway we all stood there quietly and watched as it continued to talk to the Shrubling, it was quite something. You could see the baby Elder move gently with the words.
“Then the King Elder looked up at us and stopped. It used its other hand to shield the baby Elder and looked at us one and all. It dipped its head and snorted.
“We all stamped a hoof in response and I dug the ground with one shoe to indicate our well-meaning.
“Well the King Elder ducked its great horns and stood up from the parchment rock. Everyone was still, nothing even moved the frayed ends of the tree arms.
“The King Elder looked down at the Shrubling and blew on it. It blew on it! And we could see its arms tremble! As we watched they grew nearly a full toe in length!


King Elder

“We have heard of this before but never seen. King Elders feeding with only their breath.
“Anyway, we stood in awe and watched. No one dared to flick a tail.
“Suddenly the air moved and we could feel the high sun breeze starting. The King Elder moved to one side and looked around again, gently putting the Shrubling down on the sands. Almost immediately the air picked up the Shrubling and it started to spin off into the depths of the grove. No doubt to find itself a spot to latch and grow into the roots of a tree.
“The King Elder turned and looked at us. We all dipped our heads to acknowledge it and what we had seen. It nodded back to us and moved off away from the grove.
“I’ve never seen that before and probably never will. The birth of a King Elder. What do you think?"