TITLE: The Mountain and the Fountain
GENRE: MG Fantasy
The Shanofen’s wings rose and fell in rhythm with a song playing in his head. Higher and higher he flew. Turning, he plunged back toward the Great Pond, far below. The warm summer air rushed by the bird’s body, pressing his colorful feathers toward the sky while he clutched his wings to his sides. Just as his beak was about to plunge into the waters of the Great Pond, the Shanofen spread his wings to soar up and out over the land. Below him, in the hamlet of Halliwell, villagers and visitors opened shop doors, arranged garlands of flowers and ribbons, and raised tents which would be filled with delightful things. The festive celebration was about to begin. Halliwell’s Fountain gushed with great enthusiasm at one end of the town Square. The Shanofen’s heart smiled, for he loved the village. He turned his gaze to the mountains, the fertile valleys and the thick, lush forests of Wiland as they caught the golden morning sun. The bird joined other Shanofens and birds of many sorts who flew in circles around the Mountain, being careful not to fly through the Light rising from the Mountain’s peak. Riding the breeze back toward the village, he drifted down to the cottages there, landing in one of his favorite windows.
“Wake up! Wake up! It’s Float Day!” sang the Shanofen, bobbing his bright green head. Josephine opened her sleepy eyes, pick up a small book and from her nightstand and threw it at the bird, barely missing it. The Shanofen laughed and flew away.
“Dumb bird,” Josephine grumbled as she rolled to press her face into the soft center of her pillow. Her eyes fluttered open. It was Float Day. There were only two Float Days each year, one at the first of summer and another at the end.