‘Where are the Wolf-Dragons?’
I was a little disturbed by Benjamin’s tone and impatience in the face of such majesty and was about to pass comment when from high up in the face of the cliff I heard a strangely comforting howl followed by the slow beating of heavy wings. We all turned to face the source of the sound which seemed to come from behind the huge banana plants that must have taken many cycles to grow and suggested some access to sunlight. However, we were in an almost totally enclosed cavern and the warm golden light in which we bathed appeared to be self generating. Suddenly, the tallest banana plants shivered and twisted to one side as we caught our first magnificent glimpse of a Wolf-Dragon in full flight. It swooped between the trees and creepers, gliding easily in ever decreasing circles. Drawing in its large leathery wings it dropped to the ground just a few feet from us and landed with a barely audible thump. The powerful creature shook its massive, wolf-like red head and turned to face us. Although it stood as tall as Lightning it was, including its long dragon tail more than twice his length and the wing span must have been close to twenty feet.
‘Hello my young friends, you decided to come in then.’ His voice was deep and mellow. With every word my body seemed to lighten, I felt stronger, less fatigued and more whole. His soft golden eyes had an ageless world weary quality that lifted my heart and I felt immediately able to accomplish any task, my strength and vigour fully restored. His left hind leg looked a little lumpy, not as straight as it should have been and I remembered the story Lightning had told me so recently.
‘Hello Lifegiver.’ I replied. Abruptly two additional Dragons pushed their way through the undergrowth, though not as large as Lifegiver, these younger Dragons seemed to radiate health and well-being.
‘Hello human one-soul, these are my children….’ He half turned and gestured for the younger Dragons to move forward. ‘…Dreamgiver and Hopefinder, they have yet to witness the folly of this world.’ He paused and heaved a great sigh of exasperation. ‘Nor do they understand the damage the Gods can wreak upon its inhabitants… or the great sacrifices that people can make in times of need, for the people they love…and sometimes for people they don’t even know.’ Lifegiver lifted his head to the ceiling and gave a long muted howl. ‘The best of humans can be such magnificent creatures.’ He shook his head slowly and his eyes shone, radiating warmth and love, I felt so rejuvenated by his gaze it was all I could do to stop myself from bursting into an inappropriate fit of the giggles. I was surprised by his reference to me as the one-soul, until I remembered the criteria for entry into this sanctuary.