While The Under Twin tried comforting his sister, Magnus and A.X. mapped out a plan to help our friend. "Our fastest flyers need to find her A.S.A.P.," ordered A.X. Magnus figured out where Penny was from The Upper Twin's topographical description. Like a lightning bolt on a clear day, Black Jack, Baron and Pascal launched out of the forest to find Penny and Yvette. "The rest of us will rendezvous at The Eaves of the Cathedral to find a healing bird and wait for them there." It's good to have friends that are swift and clear-headed in a panic.
Meanwhile, Black Jack was leading the flyers through gymnosperms and angiosperms while Pascal relayed Magnus' direct directions: "The cave should be a 23 minutes north-east of Pretty Valley, next to the felling grounds of Old Grandfather Tree.
When the flyers were getting close to the cave, they heard crying and knew it was Yvette. The cave was eery and sad as Penny lay in cold stillness, her legs useless, broken off. Yvette didn't twitch or move when they floated in because she was focused on keeping her best friend warm. "We've been giving her water while we've been waiting," cooed a small blue bird. "This is Billie," sniffed Yvette, "She was hiking and found us in the cave; she has been helping me with Penny. I've been hiding for hours. I'm so afraid. She hasn't woken up. And... her... legs..." "We must hurry. Put her on my back and surround her; we need to get her to The Eaves of the Cathedral." Baron whispered.
Lifting the four birds onto his strong, wind-cutting back was like lifting four feathers for Baron. "Let's get moving," he rumbled, "B.J., can you pick up her legs?" Black Jack never cries. At anything. But today he did as he carried his friends legs in his. What would Penny do without her legs? He tried imagining what it would be like to have his wings cut off. He shuttered and another tear dripped into the air. Poor Penny.
The rest of The Troop was anxiously waiting at The Eaves of the Cathedral. Edward and A.X. were speaking with some of the local birds and found out more about this menacing "dred-full" bird while a healing bird, Golda E. Schoolhouse, instructed The Troop, "Please clear a space near the roof edge for me to examine Penny. I'll need every second." Suddenly the flyers zoomed into view, heading directly for the cathedral.
Golda took a close look at Penny, examining her red-cross eyes. "I've seen this before and it isn't easy to heal. The red-cross eye is a symptom of dredification. She's alive, but can't move or make a sound. Her heart is filled with an unbearable, terrible nightmare-fear. We're going to have to ask for some assistance from within the Cathedral. I know exactly who to ask but I can only take one of you with me." Black Jack moved in directly behind her.
Golda took Penny to the golden lights near the seraphim. "Dear seraphs, can your healing wings help our friend?" They nodded and began to flap their cosmic wings but nothing changed with Penny. They tried again and her eyes remained unchanged. Frowning, they pointed towards the pipe organ, floating the birds there with the wind of their wings. Suddenly Golda realized where they were being sent.
In full view of the resplendent resurrection window, Golda, Black Jack and poor Penny landed gently below the protective saint of animals: St Francis of Assisi. He smiled down at the birds as sunlight shone through him, onto them. Before Golda could ask for his help he smiled goldenly and whispered, "A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows." Golda's eyes grew wide, "I know exactly what we need to do!"
"We need to take Penny to the top of Mount Olympus and let Sunbird surround her with sunbeams. But we need to get there the way Penny would get there, if she were awake."
Have you ever walked a mile in somebody else's shoes? Have you ever hiked 9,026 feet in their boots? Have you used your legs and gone the distance others have gone with their legs, to see what they see with their eyes? Did you feel a change in the way you walk? Did you feel a change in the way you see?
What is going to happen to Penny? What will happen if we run into the "dred-full" bully bird again? We don't know for sure, but receiving a gift stitched with sunbeam has given us a bright hope.
To be continued...
To be continued...