Freda’s Familiars

Episode 22

It didn’t take Sonja long to realize that this was like no other pet store she had ever visited. Oh yes, there were dogs and a few cats but they were far outnumbered by the monkeys, the frogs, snakes and there was a whole room filled with unusual birds.

It was interesting that the cage doors were not shut and locked. She guessed that the witch who owned the shoppe kept control by spell. Freda was a vivacious red head. She had a strange little barefooted man whose feet had only three toes working for her to keep the animals fed, fat and sassy.

“Oh, of course, I have dragon eggs” Freda called out her answer to Sonja”s question. They are outside past the dogs. “Wait a minute. Let me grab my hat and I will join you out there to choose yours.”

Freda and Sonja ventured outside together passing the most beautiful dogs she had seen in years. Now mail carriers tend to fear dogs but not Sonja. She had a personality that caused each of them to want some time with her even Fang, the large dog on the end next to Serratia, an Irish setter wearing sunglasses. Emma, the golden retriever was beautiful but not the smartest of dogs. Cocci was a small white fluffy dog and those were definitely not her favorites. It was Coli the German Shepherd that immediately captured Sonja’s heart. Oh, how Sonja wished she could take Coli along on the rest of her journey. She would think about it for a few minutes.

Well, finally they came to the Dragon section. There was a wizard with a new baby green dragon in his arms. It was still exiting the shell. The wizard had made his choice he told Freda. He gave her some pendracles and took his precious baby dragon on down the road.

Freda bent down and pulled out a crate of dragon eggs. This excited Sonja for now she would only have to find one more item. She picked up a dragon egg and as she did she heard peck, peck, peck from the inside as the shell opened to reveal the baby dragon inside. This happened each of the five times she picked up a dragon’s egg. “No, No, No” she cried out to Freda. “I need the egg intact, not the baby. Igor is so mean he would never accept that. I’m so tired and I want to go home so badly, can’t you help me?” “Let me check in the back.” offered Freda. “I think I have some there that are not as old as these and still need incubation before the baby dragon pecks his way out”.

Just as Freda turned to go look for the eggs, Sonja ducked for a large flying horse landed on the roof above her. “What is that” she cried out! “I’ve never seen anything like that in my life.”

Freda explained that it was a hippogriff which was half horse and half bird. They were wonderful flying pets. “Why don’t you take a ride while I look for the dragon egg?” she offered.

Getting a grip on her fear, Sonja said she would like to try it. The hippogriff dropped down so she could get on its back and they took off soaring high above the Spirit Hill Square Mall. What a thrill it was to soar on the back of this magnificent animal. It gave Sonja another view of Spirit Hill. What she saw was kind of shocking for as they flew overhead and she looked down toward the ground she saw only Spirit Hill in the middle of undeveloped countryside. There were no roads and no houses. It caused those thoughts from before to creep back into her mind. Just where was she? Just what was Spirit Hill? Just how was she going to get home? Questions she had lots of, answers she still had none.

After a fabulous flight, the hippogriff returned Sonja to the pet shoppe. Freda was still searching for the dragon egg. While Freda searched, Sonja went inside to visit the Bird Room. It was amazing here. These birds were not the usual ones found in pet shoppes. There were buzzards, owls, ravens, a beautiful phoenix on a stand preening its feathers and even an ostrich. Bats hung from the ceiling while snakes wound themselves around the tree branches in their cage and a cobra slept in its basket. Most beautiful of all the birds in the room were the two peacocks. The shades of blues and greens were electric in her eyes. Sonja just loved them all. Crowded into the bird room were also a few iguanas and even a fish tank.

Still waiting for Freda to return with the dragon egg, Sonja went back outside to admire the Irish setter named Serratia and to decide if she could take Coli the German Shepherd with her. After much self debate, Sonja realized that she couldn’t take Coli with her so she patted her and nuzzled her neck and whispered in her ear, “I promise to come back for you, girl. You and I were meant to be together.”

Freda came through the door with a dragon egg in her arms. Sonja listened to the egg and heard no pecking so the asked Freda to put it into a padded bag and she would be on her way.

It almost killed Sonja to leave that beautiful shepherd. Silently, she vowed to herself to return for the dog as soon as it was possible.