After Dani attached the leather leg band containing the message to her brother Aidan, Zooey whispered into the crow’s ear and released him into the air. The ebony bird took wing and flew up and northward, disappearing into the midnight blue sky.
Sapplehenning finally poked his head above Zooey’s shirt collar. He had refused to come out while the crow was around, knowing of the bird’s taste for mice.
“Yeah, but why a crow and not a homing pigeon?” Even with the grim task facing them, Taylor still could tease his youngest sister a little.
“Because crows are really smart, unlike you smartypants.” Zooey stuck her tongue out at the nine-year-old just like in the old days before they came to this Exile, and before the demons had tried to kill her. “Besides, homing pigeons don’t work the way you think they do.”
“You’re sure the bird knows where Vovin is?” It had never occurred to Dani to send a message home before, but that’s because she thought Shay was watching over them. Now they were alone, and if there was any hope of saving the dragon, it was with them.
“Jack says all of the northern birds and animals know about Vovin because a lot of them are afraid of the dragons. They don’t want to go anywhere near it, but crows are smarter. He knows Vovin isn’t dangerous to him.”
“The crow’s name is Jack?” Taylor started laughing.
“I named him Jack. It’s a perfectly fine name. Besides, his name in crow is too hard for me to say.” The five-year-old girl spun around turning her back on her brother and pretended to pout.
“Do you think they’ll come? You said even the dragons are afraid of the Quag Lands and that they never go there.” Mandy had been staring to the east and the brilliant golden light gracing the horizon.
“Aidan will convince them, and how can they abandon Shay?”
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