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When Tenaro's snow-unicorn slippedAuthor's Notes
on a loose stone and sent him tumbling
from the saddle to smash his body against
the unforgiving mountain, Fala and
Alvardu reached him first.
The other young rangers came
sliding and skittering down the trail,
but Alvardu held up his hand. "Be careful
not to knock down any more rocks."
"What can we do?" Afren asked
as she whistled in her snowy.
"Circle around below us," Alvardu said.
"We will need to make camp here.
Tenaro's legs are broken, and his back
could be injured as well -- it's not safe
to move him. Someone will have to
ride back to Itrelir for a healer."
They were two days' easy travel
from the village, which meant
a hard ride could cut it to half that,
or even less, but there and back again
still meant a couple days until
help could reach Tenaro.
"I will go," Fala volunteered. "You
know far more about ranger medicine
than I do, and I'm a fast rider."
"Dump all your gear except for
the bare essentials," said Alvardu.
"The less weight your mount carries,
the faster you can travel."
It was hard to goad a snow-unicorn
into more than a jarring trot, but
they were so big that they
just ate up the distance.
Fala shed all that she could and left.
Birchtail walked and trotted and walked
and trotted, once even breaking into
a short canter when spooked by
a snowshoe boar.
The long summer sunlight made it possible
for Fala to ride for hours on end, resting only
for Birchtail's sake. She dozed in the saddle,
ate and drank in the saddle, got off grudgingly
to relieve herself behind a bush.
Fala was already tired by riding from the rescue
when she pulled into the village, calling for a healer.
It would have to be Korolrei, although he was young --
Krethel had more experience, but little of hers with
traumatic injuries. Korolrei came quickly, and they
headed right back up the trail on a fresh snowy.
Fala set a grueling pace. Korolrei clung grimly to her
and did not protest the hardships of the wilderness.
When they arrived, Tenaro was still alive, and
the other rangers cheered in relief.
Korolrei went right to him, already lost in
a healer's deep concentration on his charge.
Fala took six steps, flopped onto
someone else's bedroll,
and fell asleep.
This poem came out of the May 5, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from ellenmillionand LJ user Wyld_dandelyon. It also fills the "volunteering" square in my 5-2-15 card for the Wellness Toolbox Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.