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To Emander Tyris

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By: beardedlady0914 (August 2014 Monthly Contest Winner)

Dear Emander Tyris,
      As a magi, my days around the keep in the summer are similar to those around me. I nurture and care for my eggs until they hatch a new and wondrous creature for me to train and keep.
      But, you asked for a story, and a story I shall give. This summer I came across a creature that proved to be more difficult then any other.
      I'll never forget when I set my eyes upon his egg; pale and delicate with snow that stuck firmly to it like a hematite rock to another. I bought the egg from the Dark Brotherhood after long indecision between purchasing a Cehual boar or a Delroch. The shopkeeper showed me his egg last and I laid down coin faster then my lips could form the words 'that one.'
      I nurtured the Tylluan egg, kept it safe and close, and hovered over it eagerly and painfully for many long days. When the first crack appeared, I thought my heart might simply give out from excitement.
      And all for the most stubborn, temperamental, and obnoxious hatchling I have ever touched. Every time I fed him his sharp beak sliced my fingers. When I tried to sleep, he rocked back and forth and hissed loudly through the night, so much so that I took to sleeping when he slept- during the day.
      It took help from both friends, older magi, and of course, patience, to get on the what I thought was the right track with my owl chick. As the fluffy monster grew from black down to silk black feathers, we slowly grew closer... Oh so I thought. He still bit and dug his claws into my shoulder, leaving scars on my ears and giving me the reflexes needed to block an owl's beak before it hit my face.
      When I was just about to give up on the creature, I contemplated him. His stubbornness mirrored my own, and even though he drew blood, sweat, and tears, he was a lot like me. He wanted something and wasn't going to give up. I, on the other hand, had used my last ounce of that stubborn drive. I couldn't seem to break through that vicious shell. What had I done wrong? I had never once been cruel to him. So what if I had let curse words cascade from my mouth as I hopped around holding a bleeding finger? That didn't cause for bad behavior... Did it?
      Completely done, I walked over to my window and opened it up. I turned to the dark bird sitting on my bed and waved my hands in a shooing motion. "Go on. Go. You're free," I said. When he didn't move I sighed and sat down on the bed. "I've tried," I told him. He stared back with golden eyes. "I've asked for help, I've been patient. I've fed you, cared for you. I don't know what I did wrong."
      He had his head tilted to the side now.
      "Maybe I'm just not ready for such a creature," I murmured, standing up and closing the window. He didn't seem like he was going to go, anyway. I would keep going until his decision was made.
      And then, a breakthrough! Over the next days we made more progress. The cuts on my ear and palm healed, I found that he could sit comfortably if I padded my shoulder, and he became a bit more calmer. On night flights with my pegasus, Brimstone, he flew alongside us. Of course, his vicious attitude was taken by a whole brunt of other creatures- I've never seen a gryphon so terrified of a simple owl! I named him Inferno, a salute to the raging fire of his personality.
      So that, dear inquirer, is how I, and several others, spend our summer at the keep. Caring and raising our creatures in a main priority here, no matter how ill-tempered and stubborn they might be. A lot of patience and hard work happens during the hot months, and from it we get our loyal companions. For without them, we'd be nothing.
      The Bearded Lady
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