The Princess, and the Pegasus
By Kantuck Nadie Nata-akon
for Jessica with many thanks.
A deep, forlorn sigh slowly rose into the air, as a young girl peered out her window at the gray landscape. It had stormed all day, dishes rattling thunder, and waterfall rain lashed at the sides of the small home. Now with the fury reduced to a gentle pattering on the metal roof, the fog faded the mountains a mile away to a ghostly outline. Even at noon, the buildings around her home was barely showing.
There was one building, a red barn of little remark. She looked over at it, and happy memories playing in it brought a smile to her lips. The /work/ however, she had to do at times furrowed her brow.
Jules Huffman, the WSAZ weatherman from Huntington, West Virginia, said in his uplifting, smiling voice. "The rain's coming to an end, folks." But even Mr. Cartoon could barely lift the haze of her boredom. Even wishing it was three, so at least he could help her with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
Then on that non-descript barn, a door swung wild, and crashed against the side.
"Pa!" she yelled at her father in the other room, but no answer. He was too busy working on the books of their business to hear their only child. "Ma?" Again no answer since she was with Prince Valium now; snoring peacefully after a horrible night of sinusitis that kept her awake. Jessica was glad at least she didn't get that from her. But the door would be ripped off the hinges if someone didn't go and latch it.
Heading to the barn, the water-soaked ground squished like a damp sponge under her bare feet. But the barn's bone-dry floor coated the feet with a layer of dust, which also shimmered in the sun-beams shining through the cracks in the wall-boards. Craters made from ant-lions dotted the floorspace, while hand-hewn wood beams was thrusting up toward the metal roof. Holding cross beams, that was lined with the remaining dry and brown leaves of tobacco. Giving the air an intensely sweet smell.
Peeking through a cut window in a tan colored stall-door, was the roman nose of the family work horse, "Old Rosie." She made a soft basely nicker at her as if she was saying "Hi." Jessica opened the brabant's stall, making sure to fluff her straw, and top off her water bucket.
"Lousy day, hmm Rosie?" She asked her old friend as she stroked her nose and smiled at her. Rosie nickered, and nuzzled at the young girl as if she was answering her.
Rosie decided she needed some time out, so she exited, stage left. Jessica was shoe-less so she couldn't go out in the field and wasn't keen to go back to the house.
The stripping room had a feed bag, the tack room, a tobacco stick. Walking like an old woman, she giggled, "Just try and stay out of my way. Just try! I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!" But then she changed her attitude and raised the stick, as she put her sack at her neck, and over her shoulder. Now Princess Jessica said, "I think I'll go out this evening, to meet up with the son of the prince visiting Ma."
Suddenly there was a rapping, a rapping at the barn door. Who could it be now? As she opened it slowly, It was as if Christ Within was at the door! A black head framed by the door campaigned against the narrow entrance until he stood before the princess. A muscular stallion coated in blue-black, with equally ebony wings tucked against his sides, adorned with feathers of the softest silk.
"Shadowfax, my old friend." she said as she hugged him around his broad neck. He nickered, then wrapped his head and neck around her before he spoke, "Princess, the kingdom is being invaded, and we need you. I was asked to fetch you." he tossed his head to the side, continuing. "They knew you are the only one I will allow to carry in lew of our friendship."
The princess quickly put on her chain mail of mithril, sword in her scabbard, and promptly she swung herself up onto the Pegasus' back. "Then off, old friend!"
The land was gold and jewels with people waving and cheering as they saw Princess Jessica flying over them on her friend, Shadowfax, the Good. But parading into town was a huge green ogre. How he could run with blubber, flapping like jello with each heavy footstep, she couldn't tell. Clothed only in a set of denim bib-overalls that strained to hold him in. As he looked up, seeing the pretty princess astride her broad winged pony he laughed. "A mosquito comes to bite me?" he yelled in a guttural voice. "Do your worse!"
Suddenly she guided Shadowfax down into a dive right at the ogre, As the green giant picked up a side of a building as a club, Shadowfax suddenly flicked to the left. The princess leaned to the right with her sword glowing blue, "I shall!"
She swung Sting, her sword, at the green beast. It sliced though the straps on his shoulders, and the mighty monster was shown as the emperor he was!
"NO!!!" he roared, dropping down to cover his...jewels. Then the Pegasus turned, dove in for another and she swatted the ogre on his ample backside!
The ogre, now red, screamed out curses and obscenities that would make a sailor blush with shame. In an explosion of dandelion seeds, he was scattered across the nine winds.
Shadowfax looked over his shoulder at the princess, "That was too easy."
She patted his side and gave him a hand-full of sugar, "How so, faithful steed?"
"An ogre is merely muscle." he said between munches. "They don't have the brains to chew their cud, and scratch their behinds at the same time. No, there is someone else. Someone far more cunning at work here." He then flapped his broad wings and flew higher, and higher to see the kingdom.
The princess looked around at the layout of her lands. It was peaceful now in the main section since she dispatched the ogre. But her excellent eyesight caught sight of movement on the east side, "There!" she pointed.
"I see it" replied Shadowfax, and with a powerful sweep of his wings, he flew so forcefully the princess was hard-pressed to hold on!
"Oh no!" the princess exclaimed, "The lion hoard!" Sure enough in a blitzkrieg of huge white bodies that was segmented into many sections. Their jaws like sickles and two huge onyx eyes laid on a black head, the lion hoard was a force to be reckoned with. Six huge steel legs clanked and squeaked along as they ran as fast as they could for one thing. The peaceful Ant Village! A people her father had sworn to protect long ago, and she wasn't about to fail them!
The ant people's screams were growing louder in Shadowfax and the Princess' ears as they swooped further down. The people was carrying squirming bundles of white babies in their own jaws. Their guardian standing at ready with their own antennae waving, and jaws open salivating.
At nearly ground level, the Princess swung Sting, but it bounced off the leathery hide of the lion's body. Shadowfax reared and kicked, but he too wasn't able to make much progress. Finally she told him "Take to the clouds, my fine steed!" and without question he did, with hard flaps of his wings.
Higher, and higher he flew, while the ant people thought their defender had forsaken them. Their warriors clashed, while others continued their exodus out of the town.
But instead of forsaking them, Shadowfax climbed higher until the very clouds was a ceiling to them. He hovered, and the princess raised her sword and yelled a spell out in Quenya. In a moment Sting once again glowed blue, but this time St. Elmo's fire gathered around her, then the Pegasus. He laughed as it tickled him. "Dive, Shadowfax! Dive down into the town once again!"
Again without question he did. He even folded his wings to gain more speed and the princess held on tight, "How close?" he yelled as the wind whipped through mane and hair. Her response; "Point blank range!"
As soon as they came within roof top level, she pointed Sting down at the town, and spoke yet another Quenya' spell. The blue fire surrounding them flowed from the sword, and enveloping the lion hoard. Each ant-lion twitched and convulsed as millions of volts flooded the huge bodies. In a moment a nice brown crust formed, and a bulge formed, jutting up once each was done. Soon the air was filled with the scent of baking ant-lions, and the princess quipped, "We just need some Garlic and Basil right Shadowfax?" she asked, with a giggle.
"I'd add a bit of alfalfa as well," came a throaty laugh. When they circled the Ant town, they cheered, as their antennae and front legs waved to them in thanks.
All through this however, neither was happy. The ogre could have been dispatched by a child, the ant hoard a little harder, "When do you think we'll see the mind behind this?" she asked.
He flapped his wings, as he circled around the town. "No idea. There is someone very powerful behind all this."
Suddenly out of the blue sky came a great hand, reaching for both. Shadowfax pulled up, with his wings flapping hard, squealing and snorting. The princess unsheathed her sword, "Oh no! It's the Witch-queen of Angmar!"
Fifty feet of Queen, with her auburn hair dancing in the wind like a dark fire. Dressed in black robes that reached to the ground. Tightly outlining a figure that drove men mad. With an air of arrogance, she wrapped her enormous hand around the pegasus who was powerless in the grip. What's worse the queen brought her broad face down to the princess. She quickly covered her ears so the Queen's speech wouldn't hypothesize her!
"I've called you three times for dinner. Put up Rosie, and come on in."
Jessica blinked, and she was back in the barn again, "Oh, OK Ma, feelin' better?"
"Yeah, now com'on"
As they were walking to the house, the clouds had broken and some blue was starting to peek through the gray. Her mother looked down at her. "Witch-queen of Angmar hm?"
Jessica just nodded, "Uh huh..." She got her head fuzzed, making her giggle.
"Guess we'll have to get you some better reading material. What say tomorrow we go to the drug store, and you can blow your allowance on comics?"
"Yeah!" she exclaimed happily, as the house door closed for dinner.
The end, of the Princesses' adventures?
The Princess and the Pegasus
Part of the 'Mountain Tales' series.
By Kantuck Nadie Nata-akon
Gifted to Jessica, enjoy honey!