Sabrina and the Dragons, Part 5

Missed the beginning? Start here.

Sabrina and Juniper moved further along the ledge and they noticed that the farther away from the waterfall they got, the wider the ledge was. They still move cautiously and slowly because the ledge hung over a very deep canyon.

After they had walked about a half-mile, Sabrina said, “Can you see an end to this ledge?”

Juniper looked as hard as she could and finally said, “I think there are some trees up ahead. The ledge must end there.”

Sure enough, after another five minutes they reached the trees as well as the end of the ledge. But unfortunately the trees were on a really steep mountain slope.

“I don’t see any path, do you?” asked Juniper.

“No, I don’t either,” answered Sabrina. “But we can’t stay here. The ledge just ends, but I think I could grab onto a branch of that tree. Then I could climb down. Can you follow me?”

“I can try,” said Juniper with noticeable hesitation in her voice.

“Look, maybe if I can get onto that branch,” she said as she pointed to a good thick branch on the nearest fir tree, “then you could climb onto my back. Would that be easier for you?”

“Oh, yes,” said Juniper with a sigh of relief.

“OK, then,” decided Sabrina. “Here, you take my backpack.”

Juniper grabbed the backpack and watched as Sabrina inched her way to the edge of the ledge. The branch was now within reach, and Sabrina was able to climb onto it.

“OK, I’m ready,” said Sabrina. “I have a good grip on this branch. Can you climb onto my back?”

Juniper moved closer to the edge and reached her front legs toward Sabrina. “I’m not sure I can do this,” said Juniper with a tremor in her voice.

“Sure you can!” said Sabrina encouragingly. “Just move slowly and stretch out toward me.”

“Are you sure the branch will hold us both,” said Juniper.

“Yes,” said Sabrina. “It is a strong branch and as soon as you are on my back, we’ll inch along to the main trunk and then climb down.”

Juniper took a deep breath and stretched as far as she could. She managed to reach Sabrina’s waist and then she scooted and climbed until she was on top of Sabrina. Once they were as comfortable as they could be, lying on top of each other on a tree branch, Sabrina began pulling them across the branch toward the trunk. Thankfully they didn’t have far to go.

“OK, now what?” asked Juniper.

“Have you ever climbed a tree?” asked Sabrina.

“No, I haven’t. I really don’t care for heights. That’s how I got into this mess in the first place.”

“Well, I haven’t done a lot myself,” admitted Sabrina. “But we have to get to the ground. Can you hang onto this branch while I lower myself to that one right below us?” Sabrina asked as she pointed to the next branch.

“I guess so,” said Juniper.

“Good, and when I’m on that branch I’ll help you down. You’ll see. This will work and we will be on the ground in no time.”

Sabrina put her plan into action and the two friends soon discovered a rhythm to the tree-climbing process. They had managed to climb down several more branches when all of a sudden a very large bird swooped down onto the branch right next to the one they were clinging to.

“What are you doing in my tree?” demanded the bird.

“We got caught on that ledge up there and we are trying to get down,” stammered Sabrina. This really is a very strange world. I’ve never heard a bird talk before.

“A likely story,” scoffed the bird. “How did you get up there in the first place?”

Juniper and Sabrina each told their story and Sabrina noticed that the bird settled comfortably on the branch and listened with growing interest as they related their adventures. When they finished, the bird said, “That is quite a tale. I believe you,” she said looking at Juniper, “because I know about dragons but you,” she said looking at Sabrina, “I’ve never heard of any other worlds.”

Sabrina said, “Well, I hadn’t either and I wish now I’d never gone through the cave wall, but I can show you some of my things to prove I come from another world.”

The bird nodded her head and Sabrina took the backpack from Juniper and opened it. She took out a protein bar and her flashlight, showing both to the bird. “Have you ever seen things like these in your world?”

“No, I haven’t. Well, this is a puzzle.”

“Can you help us,” said Juniper rather timidly.

“Maybe yes, maybe no. First, let me introduce myself and tell you a bit of my story since you have shared yours. I am Henrietta, and as you can see, I am a magnificent great horned owl. I have lived in these parts for my entire life, and I stay away from that human village down by the river.”

“I don’t think they like dragons,” said Juniper.

“They don’t seem to like most creatures, as far as I can see,” said Henrietta. “They hunt and kill even when they don’t need food. They have contests to see who can kill the most. I don’t understand them at all.”

“I want to go home,” cried Juniper. “I live on the other side of the river, and I don’t know how to get there.”

“And I can’t go home, but Juniper says there are humans in her village and that they are nice and work in harmony with the dragons, so I too want to go there,” agreed Sabrina.

“Well, you do have a puzzle to solve,” agreed Henrietta. “I can help you for a bit. If you get down out of this tree, I’ll guide you down from the mountain, but I won’t go anywhere near those humans. However, I might be able to find you some help once we get into the meadowlands. You are going to need someone who can get you across the river.”

“Thank you,” said Juniper and Sabrina.

Juniper and Sabrina climbed the rest of the way down the tree and found that the ground was very steep. Henrietta flew ahead to show them the easiest path, but it was still hard work and they slipped a lot. Finally, after hiking downwards for several hours, they reached more gently sloping lands.

“You’ll need to rest now, and I need to hunt. There is a small cave up ahead. Stay in there for the night. You’ll be safe, and I’ll be back in the morning to let you know where you should go from here,” said Henrietta.

“Thank you so much,” said Sabrina.

“You’ve really helped us a lot,” said Juniper. “See you in the morning.”

And with that, Henrietta flew off and Juniper and Sabrina walked ahead until they found the small cave that Henrietta had mentioned. As they made themselves as comfortable as they could, Sabrina shared the last of her protein bars with Juniper. I sure hope we find some food soon, she thought as she fell asleep next to Juniper.

Next Part

Advertisements

Sabrina and the Dragons, Part 4

The first part of this story may be found at: Sabrina and the Dragons, Part One, the second part may be found at: Sabrina and the Dragons, Part Two, and the third part is posted at: Sabrina and the Dragons, Part 3.

As Sabrina waited for Juniper to wake, she started to think about everything that had happened to her since she’d walked out of her home. She really hadn’t had a chance to process everything and now, sitting on this ledge with a dragon’s head on her shoulder, she began to cry softly. Maybe things weren’t good at home and yes, I really was upset, but what if I never see Brittany or Dad again? Why did I just walk through that wall? What was I thinking? I’ve just messed up again and this time I’ve messed up big time.

Sabrina’s crying grew stronger, waking Juniper. “What’s wrong,” asked Juniper.

“I don’t know how to get home,” wailed Sabrina.

“Neither do I,” whimpered Juniper.

“But at least this is your world. I don’t even know where I am or how I got here.”

“That would be scary,” agreed Juniper. “You’ve been so kind to me, so tell me how I can help you.”

Sabrina dried her tears on her shirttails and said, “Well, if I’m stuck here, I’d better learn something about this world. You said there were other humans, didn’t you?”

“Yes, there are, but not many. We have several families in my village and they do seem happy. But I need to tell you that there is a much larger human population on the other side of the river and they really don’t like us dragons at all.”

“What river? The one this waterfall dumps into?”

“Yes, unfortunately. I tried to find a way off the ledge on the dragon side of the river, but there wasn’t any. I just don’t know what to do.”

Sabrina thought for a moment and then said, “Well, we can’t get into my cave and honestly, since there are no dragons in my world, I don’t really think that would have been a good option for you anyway.”

Sabrina ran her hands through her hair, thinking, and then said, “I guess if there is no way down on your side of the river, we’ll have to find out what the possibilities are on the other side of the waterfall.”

Juniper shook a bit before pulling herself together and saying, “You are right. After all, we can’t spend the rest of our lives up here.

With that, Sabrina stood up carefully, grabbing her backpack and slipping it on. Juniper stayed behind her as they inched along the ledge under the waterfall. Sabrina checked the wall again, just to see if the passageway she’d come through had somehow re-opened, but the wall was absolutely solid. So carefully the two girls moved along to the other side of the waterfall. Once they were beyond the spray and noise, they stopped and looked around.

“The ledge is at least a bit wider on this side,” said Sabrina.

“Yes, that helps, I guess” said Juniper with a bit of hesitation in her voice.

They looked out from the ledge and saw that the mountainside was covered with a luscious green forest which seemed to go on forever. They could barely see the river far below, but it looked as if there were a clearing not far from the banks of the river.

“What is that clearing?” asked Sabrina.

“I think that is the human village. I can’t remember its name, but we really have to stay away from it as the humans would try to kill me on sight,” said Juniper who was definitely trembling at the thought. “Oh why couldn’t I fly,” she wailed. “Then I wouldn’t be stuck up here.”

Sabrina put an arm around Juniper and said, “I know it is scary, and I’m scared too, but honestly, I am really glad we met and I bet that together we can figure this out.”

Juniper looked at Sabrina for a few minutes and then nodded, “Yes, we can! And I am so glad to have met you also. I’ve never had a friend before, and I think that is worth more than any dangers.”

Sabrina smiled and said, “Me, too, and I agree. Now, shall we move farther along this ledge and see if we can find a path down?”

With that, the two girls moved further away from the waterfall.

Next Part

Sabrina and the Dragons, Part 3

The first part of this story may be found at: Sabrina and the Dragons, Part One, and the second part may be found at: Sabrina and the Dragons, Part Two.

Sabrina headed through her backyard and into the forest behind her house. She had no idea where she was going but she wanted to get as far away from home as she could before it got dark. She started on a path that seemed to climb upwards towards the mountains. She trudged onward as the path narrowed and grew much steeper. It was a hard climb, but she was determined and didn’t really notice that it was getting dark until she stumbled over a rock.

I’ve got to find a place to stop for the night, she thought when suddenly, she noticed a cave up ahead. She walked to the entrance and tried to look inside, but it was very dark. She dug her flashlight out of her backpack and shined it inside the cave. It was a small cave, little more than a large recess in the side of the hill. The walls were rock and the floor was hard-packed dirt. Sabrina walked cautiously into the cave and noticed a ledge on the left about two feet off the ground which looked as if it could be her bed for the night. Placing her backpack on the ledge she walked all the way around the cave, rubbing her hands along the rough walls, smelling the slightly musty air, looking for any sign that this cave was a home for someone else. Everything was still and quiet. She couldn’t hear a sound. Finding nothing to alarm her, she climbed up on the ledge, pulled out the small blanket she had packed and made herself as comfortable as she could before she ate one of her protein bars and then laid down to sleep, using her backpack as a pillow.

Sunlight hit Sabrina in the face, waking her a lot earlier than she was used to. The cave faced east and the dawn brightened the entire cave. Sabrina stretched and looked around. The cave was still a small, relatively clean space, but she noticed that the back wall sort of shimmered in the sunlight. She went over to touch it. Her hand went right through the wall. That’s funny she thought. She was sure the wall had been solid last night when she’d made her circuit of the cave. She went back to her ledge, packed up all her belongings, grabbed her backpack, and then returned to the wall. It still shimmered in the morning sunlight and she thought she could hear the sound of rushing water. She walked up to the wall tentatively, but then decided to keep right on walking. She traveled completely through what had been a solid wall last night. And as soon as she came out on the other side she was amazed to see that she was underneath a waterfall.

Sabrina looked around and discovered that she was standing on a ledge which was only about two feet wide on the edge of a cliff. Peering over it, she saw that the waterfall didn’t end for at least fifty feet. She could barely make out the river below. Now what, she thought and then she heard a whimpering sound off to her right. Turning carefully so that she didn’t slip off the very wet ledge, she moved to her right. After moving a few feet she saw a small blue dragon, no bigger than a Labrador dog, on the ledge just past the waterfall. The dragon was shaking with its wings tucked tightly against its body, obviously trying to stay as close to the cliff wall as it could. The ledge was even narrower where the dragon was, so Sabrina understood its plight. She wondered what kind of world this was. She’d never seen a dragon before except in fantasy books, but this one looked so scared that Sabrina only wanted to help.

“How did you get here?” asked Sabrina, before she realized that a dragon might not speak English.

“What?” said the little dragon, looking toward her.

“I asked how you came to be here,” said Sabrina. “Can I help you?”

“No one can help me,” said the dragon. “I can’t fly.”

“Then how did you get here?” said Sabrina and then thinking that she should have started with an introduction she added, “I’m Sabrina, by the way.”

“I’m Juniper,” said the little dragon, “and my classmates decided that they would bring me here and I’d have to fly to get down.”

“That’s mean,” said Sabrina.

“Well, I do get teased a lot. One of my wings is bent. I was born that way, and they think it is funny.”

“I think they are horrible,” said Sabrina. “Now let’s see if I can help you. Can you move closer to me?”

“Maybe,” said Juniper, and slowly, inch by inch, Juniper came to the wider part of the ledge where Sabrina was.

“Nice job,” said Sabrina. “Now what would you like to do?”

“I’m so hungry and tired that I just don’t know what to do,” moaned Juniper.

“I know. Why don’t we go into the cave where I slept last night and I can get you some food and you can rest and then we can figure out what to do.”

“There is a cave nearby? Where?”

“Right through here,” said Sabrina as she moved back under the waterfall and pushed on the wall, only this time the wall didn’t give.

“It was right here,” said Sabrina with a bit of panic in her voice. “I just walked through it a few minutes ago.”

“Oh, dear,” said Juniper. “I’m just jinxed and now I’ve jinxed you too. You aren’t from this world are you?”

“Don’t be silly,” said Sabrina as she moved back to Juniper. “There is no such thing as a jinx. There has to be an answer, and no, I’m not from here. There are no dragons in my world.”

“That must be sad,” said Juniper. “There are lots of us in my world, but there are only a few people like you.”

“Well, I guess we’d better sit here then and try to think of something,” said Sabrina as she cautiously lowered herself to the ground, thankful that the ledge here was drier than it was under the waterfall.

Juniper scooted right up next to her and Sabrina put an arm around the little dragon as Juniper began to cry. “Don’t worry,” said Sabrina. “We’ll think of something. Hey, you said you were hungry. Would you like a protein bar?”

Juniper looked puzzled but when Sabrina pulled a bar out of her backpack and unwrapped it, Juniper ate it quickly. “Hmm, that’s pretty good! Thanks!”

Now what, thought Sabrina. I’m trapped in a strange world and I can’t go back and now I also have this poor little dragon to help. There has to be a way out of here, but where? Juniper had put her head on Sabrina’s shoulder and now she was snoring. Well, the poor thing is so tired. I’ll let her sleep for a bit and then we’ll have to try getting out of here.

Next Part

Sabrina and the Dragons, Part 2

The first part of this story may be found at: Sabrina and the Dragons, Part One

Sabrina sat in the back of the classroom hoping that the French teacher wouldn’t call on her. She kept her head down, staring at the book through her big thick glasses as she ran her hands through her short brown hair.
Please let the bell ring before she gets to me!

But this wasn’t her lucky day. Mademoiselle Bridgette called on her to read and translate the next question and answer pair. Sabrina heard the giggles and snickers as she read aloud. Her face turned bright red, and then, in her confusion, she couldn’t remember the meanings of most of the words.

Mademoiselle Bridgette said in a voice heavily laden with sarcasm, “Do you ever study? Do you ever do your homework?”

Sabrina just held her head down in shame and said nothing. She wouldn’t listen if I told her that I spend more hours on French homework than the rest of the class combined. What’s the use of trying to explain that I just can’t memorize? How does she think anyone can learn a language by just memorizing questions and answers when she never tells us what any of the words mean?

Mademoiselle Bridgette seemed upset that Sabrina no longer tried to explain, so she turned to Mary and said, “Will you please help Sabrina? Read and translate the question and answer for her and maybe she’ll be able to get it tomorrow, although I doubt it.”

The bell finally rang and the school day was over. Sabrina waited in the building until all the other students had gotten on the busses. I’ll walk home, she thought. That way it will be longer before I have to show father my report card.

Sabrina arrived home feeling somewhat better until she remembered about her report card. She never got A’s like Brittney. She struggled for B’s in everything except French, which she was failing miserably. Her school gave effort grades as well as achievement grades and her effort grades were always straight A’s. But not in French where Mademoiselle Bridgette had given her an “F” for effort also. Her father would be upset, but nothing was going to help that, so she’d better just get it over with.

Sabrina walked into her father’s office and handed him her report card. She turned and started to walk away when he called her back.

“Let’s see here. ‘B+’ in algebra, ‘B’ in social studies, ‘B+ in science, ‘B-‘ in English, ‘C’ in gym, but that’s to be expected.” He paused before continuing. ‘What is this “F” in French?”, he snapped. “I get the “F” in achievement, because I don’t think you could ever learn French, but how did you get an “F” in effort?”

“I don’t know,” mumbled Sabrina, staring at the floor. “I do try hard to do my best.”

“Well your best isn’t good enough is it!” he shouted. “Why can’t you be like your sister. She is so bright, all A’s, and pretty as well and she is two years younger than you. Heaven knows what your mother would have made of you if she’d lived. That blasted fire!” He stopped for a moment before going on in a calmer voice.

“I’ll have to talk to the principal. You sure don’t have many brains, but you do work hard. The school has to recognize that—it is your only strength. Too bad it won’t ever get you anywhere in the real world,” he growled and then went back to reading the afternoon paper, as Sabrina slipped quietly out of the room.

She headed upstairs to her bedroom and flopped onto her bed. She was sick of everything and she knew her father was right. She’d never succeed at anything. She wasn’t like her younger sister, who thankfully was still at basketball practice.

Okay, she thought, if I’m not good at anything then why stick around? I just get bullied and teased. Why bother? I’ve had it. I know I should look after Brittney and protect her from father’s belt, but Brittney doesn’t seem to care and certainly doesn’t want my protection. No one would notice if I just fell off the planet. They’ll be better off without me.

With that thought, she grabbed her backpack and dumped all her books out onto her desk. Then she changed into her favorite jeans and a ratty sweatshirt she’d had for ages. She put on her sneakers and stuffed a jacket into the backpack, along with her favorite stuffed bear. She went quietly downstairs and snuck into the kitchen where she grabbed as many snacks and protein bars as she could, filling the rest of her backpack with them and a water bottle. She grabbed a flashlight and headed out the back door, letting the door close as quietly as possible.

Next Part