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The Fox…his thoughts…Yip!

Fox, Wildlife, Animal, Face, Looking

Judy and Danny’s story is over but I want to tell you a few things.  I have a different perspective, since I never left the castle and I haven’t forgotten anything.

When a magical female is born, her guardians are there.   I was called to be one of Judy’s Guardians.  So was Danny.  Baby is another one and there is also a Raven.  Females are holders of power, and we are there to keep them safe and to make sure they use their magic in ways that enhance beauty and life.

Judy’s mother is an extremely powerful woman.  When she decided to shirk her responsibility for teaching her daughter how to use her power, she just sent her away.  She sent Danny with her, since a cat blended in better than a fox would have.  She altered their memories and went away.

I’d like to take a moment to admit that I knew he wouldn’t eat the blackberry I gave him.  He was sweet about it, having Judy take it out from under him, so he wouldn’t hurt my feelings.  It was just my way of letting him know that I was glad that he was back.  I missed him very much.

Anyway, over time, Judy and Danny’s memories started to break through.  Danny was very protective and when called upon by circumstance, he became formidable.  His power roared through him and while he didn’t understand why people backed off, or ran away, he knew he could keep Judy safe.  He still didn’t know what was happening, but he’s a cat, so I think he probably just took a nap, whenever questions arose in his mind.

Abbey raised Judy from the age of five, to when she was sent away.  Her Knight is only a year older than she is and they played together as children.  The Knight’s parents were fighters, who were both lost during a terrible battle, so Abbey raised him as well.  His heart was broken when Judy was taken away.

Her Knight is a Protector, which is different than a Guardian.  Protectors are always human.  Guardians are always animals, chosen for their special skills and abilities.  Danny is fast, clever, focused, a great hunter and fighter.  He can leap and fall.  I’m observant and know people are thinking.  I sometimes know what’s going to happen before it does.  I’m not nearly as good a fighter as Danny, and I can’t climb, but I have other skills that are useful and I know how to hide.

Joseph taught Judy about the animals in his care.  She followed him everywhere and he let her ride some pretty strange and wild beasts, believe me.  She made him laugh.  It was dark days for everyone when she was was sent away.

There has never been a time without war.  Not until now.  It’s strange and no one knows quite what to do.

Judy and Danny don’t remember everything in their pasts, but Abbey said that will change, as time goes by.

There’s just one thing I’m worried about.  Judy’s mom.   All of us would do anything to protect Judy, including the rhinos, who love her dearly, but Lilith has the power to end everything.  I mean that in the most literal way possible.  Everything.  Still, I’m not gong to think about that right now.  I’m going to find Danny and see if he wants to play.  Yip!


Judy and Danny…Finis

“Did you actually eat the berry?” asked Judy, surprised that Danny would do such a thing.

No, I’m laying on it,” he whispered.  “I don’t want to hurt his feelings.”

“No kidding,” said Judy, in surprise.  “Since when do you care about the feelings of others?”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” asked Danny, obviously offended.  “Hey.  When I roll over, grab the berry and get rid of it for me, will you?  Please.”

Judy nodded.

The three rhinos ate and then asked to be excused, since they weren’t all that comfortable being inside and they wanted to talk to the newcomers.  Judy kissed them and walked them to the door, saying they were welcome anytime.

The Knight looked at Judy and said, “Now what?  Are you staying here, or going back to New York?”

“Uh,” said Judy.  “I don’t know how to get back to New York.”

Abbey shook her head and started cleaning up after the rhinos.

“Do we have a relationship or not?” he asked

The fox looked at Danny and said, “Yip?”

“What?” asked Danny.  “You think we have a relationship?”


“Well, yes, but…”

“Yip, yip?”

Joseph came in, hat in hand.  “We have a LOT of rhinos and a lot of armor.  There are three prisoners in the courtyard and our fighters want to know what to do next.”

Judy got up and went to talk with everyone.

“So you and the fox?” asked the Knight, grinning.

Danny bit his hand.

“WHY DO YOU ALWAYS BITE ME?” he shouted.

“Because you say stupid things, that’s why,” said Danny.

“The war’s over,” said the Knight.

“And?” asked the cat.

“Now what?  All we’ve ever done is fight.”

“You need a hobby.  Or, you could always sleep.  That’s what I do when I’m not eating or chasing something.”

“Some of the fighters went back to their towns, others are staying in the barracks until they’re sure things are really over.  The prisoners are in the shed, being fed, and Runway just told me that some of the new rhinos want skirts.  I told her to talk to Martha.  Is there any cake?” asked Judy, hopefully.

“If we go home, the fox wants to come with us,” said Danny, licking his shoulder.

“He won’t like living in an apartment,” said Judy.  “Actually, I don’t think we can have a fox living in our apartment.  Besides, I like it here.”

“So do I,” said Danny.  “People are nice, there’s good food to eat and plenty of space.  Besides, you and the Knight have that whole thing going on and we don’t have a clue how to get out of here anyway.”

“Don’t forget about the bread,” said Judy, dreamily.

“AHEM!” said the Knight.

“What?” asked Judy.

“Bread?  What about me?”

“What about you?”

“Don’t you want to stay for ME?”

“I thought that was a given,” said Judy.

Abbey sighed again, and put a fresh bowl of berries on the table.

Danny rolled over and Judy grabbed the squashed berry.  “You need to tell him the truth about what you eat.  If you don’t, he’ll keep brining you berries.  He’s very polite, you know.”

“Excuse ME,” said the Knight, a little too loudly.  “Could you possibly focus long enough to talk about us?”

“Sure,” she said.  “What about us?”

Abbey just stared at them, then turned and left the room.  “I can’t stand listening to them,” she muttered.

Danny stretched, whispered something to the fox and they both got up and left.

“So?  Where do we go from here?” asked the Knight.

“Upstairs?” she said, smirking.

“No.  I mean us?”

“That’s what I meant too.  Didn’t you get that part?”

Abbey’s SIGH could be heard all the way from the kitchen.

“Come on,” said Judy, grabbing her Knight’s hand.  “Let’s go watch the rhinos fly.”







Judy and Danny…26

“I HATE THIS POUCH,” yelled Danny, as Judy and Baby flew after Rosy, Runway and Roland.

The enemy riders charged full speed ahead, directly at them.  Judy’s heart was pounding and Baby’s excitement wasn’t helping, but pouring into her, making her even more hyper.  She felt as if she was going to explode with energy.

The enemy rhinos were close enough to clash when suddenly their riders were flying over their heads.  Some were stabbed by the horns of those they had been riding.  Several riders stayed seated but most fell to the ground, as their rhinos turned against those who remained.

Judy reined in Baby and watched what was taking place. Her Knight pulled up next to her.  Danny, surprised by the lack of movement, poked his head out of his pouched and stared.

The rhinos were fighting the riders, not each other.  Rosy was in the lead.  She was the smallest but she was fierce.  One of the rhinos flew to Judy and chattered.  He said they had been sneaking into the rhino herd and telling them how life could be different.  The war rhinos could see the changes in their old comrades and eventually, they wanted to be happy as well.  They were tired of the heavy armor.  Tired of the poor rations and tired of fighting.  So they designed a plan to overthrow their riders, literally.

While Judy was listening, the last of the riders had been dispatched and the rhinos were surrounding her.

Roland moved through the crowd and then started leading everyone to the castle.  Judy and her Knight followed the rhinos.

When they got to the castle, a ground battle was taking place,   The fighters were fighting each other, the rhinos were guarding the castle.  Jimmy, the Mako shark, was tearing a rider to shreds and the fox was running with the rhinos.

“Wow,” said Danny, “look at that fox go.  I guess he was ready to join the action, but no one noticed.  We were all too busy protecting him.”

Just then a Rider grabbed the fox by the neck and was ready to throw him, when Danny jumped from the pouch, fell through the air, and landed on the man’s face.  The man dropped the fox, who hit the ground, turned, and bit him in the ankle, while Danny ripped the man’s face off.  When the man was down, they both ran to the courtyard.

Abbey was outside, holding her broom.  She was guarding the door.  Joseph, and his crew, were working with the pegasus herd and the rhinos.  Some of the men were putting out small fires.  Comet, the Knight’s main ride, was in the air, fighting.  It didn’t look as if the war was going to last long.  The rhino fighters were going down fast, their rides were turning on them and they were badly outnumbered.

Slowly, things began to die down, the rhinos started to wander away.  The few remaining rhino fighters were disappearing into the woods.  The castle fighters followed them.  Abbey started sweeping.

Judy and her Knight flew over the forest, to keep tabs on the fighters.  But not much happened.  The other side was beaten and they knew it.  They stopped fighting and gave up.

Back at the castle, Judy explained how she ended up back at the apartment and how Rosy had come to find her and take her back.  Danny yawned and stretched out across the table.  The fox lay curled up next to him with a blackberry.

Everyone wanted to know how it happened, but no one knew.  Abbey was putting food on the table and everyone could see rhinos wandering around, when they looked out of the windows.  Joseph and Bert were leading them to food and the outer field.  Rosy, Runway and Roland were telling the others what to do and where they should go.  Then they came to the castle door.

Judy was waiting for them.  “I love you so much,” she said, her words thick with emotion.  You have ended a long and bloody war.  You.  All three of you.  I’d say that I’m proud of you but it’s more than that.  I’m awed by your courage, your intelligence, and by your passion.  Thank you.”   They all moved forward and pushed her with their horns.  she rubbed them between their ears and gave each one of them an apple.  “Can you come inside?”

One by one they walked through the door, into the great room.  Everyone greeted them warmly and offered them food.  Martha, brought out new skirts for all three. They were purple, for royalty and bravery.

“You know,” said Judy, this war wasn’t won with love, it wasn’t won with violence.  This war was won by one side showing the other side that there was a better way to live and the other side deciding for themselves what they wanted to do.

“I don’t know about that,” said Danny, licking his paw.  “There was a lot of violence, if you ask me.  I mean there were dead bodies everywhere.  You even killed a guy in this very room.”

“Right,” hissed Judy.  “Spoil my big moment.”

“Oh, is that what that was?”

The fox snickered and ate his blackberry.

Abbey covered her mouth with her hand and looked away.

“The cat’s right, you know,” said her Knight.  “There was a lot of violence.”

All three rhinos nodded, while happily accepted their new clothing.

“Okay fine,” said Judy.

The fox got up and grabbed a strawberry out of the bowl at the other end of the table.  Then he turned and brought it over to Danny.  He dropped the berry in front of him and went back for one of his own.

Danny looked at Judy and whispered, “What am I supposed to do with this?”

“Say thank you and eat it, I suppose.”

Eat it?” he whispered loudly.  “I’m a cat, I’ a carnivore.”

“Up to you,” said Judy, watching the fox curl up next to the cat’s back.




Judy and Danny…25

“Do you know where we are?” shouted Judy.

Rosy just kept flying.

Danny was squashed under Judy, her arm tight around him.  “This is crazy,” he said.  “You KNOW that, don’t you?”

“You didn’t seem to have any other suggestions,” she hissed.

“We could have just stayed in the apartment and had lunch,” he said.

“Does anything look familiar?” she asked.

“I have no idea what we’re looking for and all I can see is the neck of the strange horse we’re riding.”

“Rosy is not a horse, she’s a rhinoceros.”

“Whatever,” said Danny.

Rosy suddenly veered to the right and sped up.  Her pink skirt whipping wildly around her.

“I think she knows where she is,” said Judy, hopefully.

“That’s good because I’m starving,” said Danny.

“You ate just before we left.”


“Why do you think the rhino fighters turned out the way they did?”

“Bad parenting?”

“So you do know what I’m talking about, don’t you,” said Judy.

“I was just messin’ with you.”

“You can be a brat sometimes, you knot that, don’t you?”

“I’m a CAT, did you forget that?” snarked Danny.  “As for the rhino fighters, they never had a chance to learn that things could be different.  No one ever told them that the people they were taught to hate, were actually nice.  It’s no different in New York, or anywhere else.  If people are brought up to believe that certain others are to be hated, people will just hate them and never ask themselves why.  People aren’t all that smart.  I mean, they aren’t cats, after all.”

“Ack,” said Judy.  “And how do you know about Nietzsche?”

“I snuck into a few classes at city college.”

Rosy slowed down and Judy looked up.  About fifteen rhino hunters hung in the air.

“Uh,” she said.  “This doesn’t look good.”

“Just magic us out of here,” shrieked Danny.

Baby came up on her right and Judy carefully moved to his saddle.  She dropped Danny into his pouch, and Rosy went straight toward the war party.

Runway and Roland flew to Rosy and the Knight was with them.

The war had begun.





Judy and Danny…24

“DANNY,” yelled Judy.  “Why are we here?”

“You want the philosophical answer?  Like from Nietzsche?”

“Arrrggggg!  The war was about to start, and now we’re….HERE when we sHould be THERE!”

“You mean in your story?” asked the cat, obviously confused.

“No, at the castle!  My Knight, Baby, Rusty, Abby, Joseph, Rosy, Runway, Roland, all the rhinos and the fox.  The Rhino Riders.  Why are we HERE, when we should be THERE?”

“The fox?”

Someone was pounding at the door.  “Judy, open up,” said Alice.

“What?” asked Judy, throwing open the door.

“There’s a rhinoceros wearing a skirt out in front.  There’s a note pinned to the waste band asking for you.  Is it your birthday?”

Judy pushed past Alice and ran downstairs.  Danny yawned, turned over, and started going back to sleep.

Rosy was standing on the sidewalk, drawing a lot of attention.   Even in New York, people don’t usually see a rhinoceros wearing a pink skirt just hanging around waiting for someone.

“Oh, Rosy,” said Judy, throwing her arms around her.  “Can you take me back to the castle?”

“Where are we?” snorted Rosy.

“New York.”

“How did we get here?”

“No idea, but we need to get back to where we were.”

“Where did all these people come from?”

“They live here,” said Judy, frantically.  “Look, Rosy, the war is about to begin, we need to get home.  Can you take Danny and me back?”

“I don’t know,” said Rosy.  “I don’t know where this is, so I don’t know how to get someplace else, from here.”

“You can’t stay out here,” said Judy, leading her into the building’s foyer.  Someone will call Animal Control and they’ll take you away.”



The cat sauntered down the stairs, took one look at Rosy and said, “You’ve got to be kidding?”

“We’re leaving,” said Judy, grabbing him.

“We are?” said Danny and Rosy at the same time.

“Rosy,” said Judy, “You absolutely have to find a way to get us to the castle.  And you have to do it now,” she said, climbing onto her back.  “Danny, your claws are tearing into me.”

Rosy rose a few inches off the ground and landed again.

“Oh, for rhino’s sake,” said Judy.  She closed her eyes and pictured her Knight, still in the air.  She held Danny tightly and leaned forward, against Rosy.  She started pouring her energy into being back in the air at the castle, and just as two cops were opening the doors to the foyer…Rosy, Judy and Danny…disappeared.

“Don’t say a thing,” said the first officer.

“But,” said the second one

“I mean it.  Don’t say anything to anyone, or they’ll send you for a psych exam.”

Rosy, Judy and Danny were flying.  They didn’t know exactly where they were going, but they were going.



Judy and Danny…23

“How do you feel?” asked Abby, helping the Knight sit up.

“I’m fine,” he said, taking the glass of juice she was holding in front of him.  “Thanks.”

“What happened?” said Abby.

“I found Her.  She’s a lot bigger than I thought.”

Abby nodded.  “I was afraid of that.”

“She didn’t even listen to what I had to say, she just tried to kill me on the spot.  I think she’s still mad at Judy’s father, ”

“She is.”

“Where’s Judy?  Why isn’t she by my bedside, holding my hand, or trying to feed me something?”

“Because she almost killed herself, saving your useless life,” hissed Danny, doing claws on the knights calf.


“Big baby,” said the cat, his tail high in the air.

Abby explained what had taken place and the Knight quickly threw on some clothes and ran downstairs.

Judy had more color and was breathing normally.

“Should I kiss her?” asked the Knight, looking at the cat.

“Does she look like Snow White, or Sleeping Beauty, or any of those other stupid princesses who can’t save themselves?”

“Yes.  She does.  She’s unconscious.”

“Fine, give it your best shot,” sighed Danny.

The Knight bent forward and kissed Judy on the lips.  She bit him.  “Can’t a girl take a nap around here without everyone talking or kissing her?”

“Let me look at your lip,” said Abby, grabbing his bottom lip and pulling it down. “You don’t need stitches.”

“I can help with that,” said Danny, his tail whipping back and forth.

“We have more rhinos than we can shake a stick at,” said Joseph.

“What does that mean?” asked Judy.

“Rhinos have been coming here all day and they are ready to fight the rhino riders who are have trapped the others and still want war.  They are in battle mode and ready to protect us, this place, us, and each other.”

“Okay,” said Judy.  “Did our fighters come back to the castle?”

“Yes, they are dug in and ready, Miss.”

“Get Baby for me, please.  I’m going to go up and see what’s happening.”

“That’s a terrible idea,” said her Knight.

“I’ve been having a lot of those lately.  I’m sorry I asked you to look for my awful parents.  Forgive me?”

“Always,” he said, reaching for her

“Good.  I was hoping you’d say that.  Baby and I won’t be gone long.”

“I’m coming with you,” he said.

“Okay.  Let’s do this.”

Abby looked at the cat and said, “I think they’re perfect for each other.”

“Hisssss,” said Danny.

The fox walked in with a blackberry and looked at the cat.

“Do you EVER stop eating?” asked Danny.

“Yip?” said the fox, swallowing the berry.

“I didn’t think so,” sighed Danny.  “There’s going to be a battle, so find someplace to hide.”


“No, you can’t help.  You’ll get hurt, then everyone will feel bad.”


“Because they love you, that’s why.”


Judy was on Baby and her Knight was on Rusty.  They looked at each other, then took off.  They could see the castle and the herd of rhinos circling it. They could see their fighters, in place.  And they could see the rhino fighters moving through the forest and the ones already in the air.

Suddenly, Rosy and Runway flew past them, heading toward the rhino fighters.

“Wait,” shouted Judy, who took off after them.

The Rhino fighters saw them and came rushing at them.  As soon as they were in reach, the rhino fighters rhinos lowered their heads and Rosy and Runway knocked the men out of their saddles.  Their rhinos watched them fall.

Rosy nodded as they flew past, on their way to the castle.

“Their army has been considerably diminished,” said Judy.  “The rhinos don’t want to fight.  We need to help them break free.  Let’s go back to the castle,” said Judy.”

Her Knight nodded and Judy was suddenly back in her apartment, sitting at her desk, in front of her typewriter.  Danny was asleep on the chair in the corner.  “NO!” she shouted.  “NO!”





Judy and Danny…22

“What did you think you were doing?  Were you TRYING to kill yourself?”

Judy didn’t recognize the voice.  “You’re really LOUD,” she said.  “Who are you and why are you inside my head?”

“I’m your mother and you almost drained yourself for that…for that…”


“Yes, for that Knight.  You had no idea what you were doing.”

“Mmmm I wonder whose fault THAT is,” said Judy.

“I gave you some of my energy, so you should be fine, but don’t do anything that stupid again.”

“Well, thanks for the boost but you can go now.  Go back to wherever you were hiding and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”


“Go away.”

“I told your mother this would happen,” said a deep, husky voice.  “You can’t just let a person with your potential walk around untrained.  But NOOOOOO, she said you’d be better off being normal…whatever THAT is.”



“Get lost.”

“Miss,” said Abby, replacing the wet cloth on Judy’s forehead.  “Miss.”

“What’s with all these wet cloths?” she asked, pushing it away.

“Ah,” said Abby, “There you are.”

“How’s my Knight?” she asked, quickly, starting to sit up.  Then the world went sideways and she had to hold onto the table, in order not to fall off.  “Why is everything spinning so fast?”

“Your Knight is doing better.  We put him in a bed.  You’re on the table now.  He needs rest but he’s going to live, thanks to you.  You, on the other hand, almost gave him too much of yourself and by doing that, you almost died.  Thankfully, Danny bit you and broke the connection.”

“Where is Danny?” she asked, and the cat  leapt lightly onto her chest. “Ow.”

“Oh, get a grip.  I’m not THAT heavy.”

“Are too.”

“How did it feel?” asked the cat.

“How did what feel and can I get a glass of water, please.”

“Almost being dead?  How did it feel?”

“Mmmmm like nothing, then like sleeping, at least until my mother and father showed up.  They seem like idiots I told them to go away.  And almost being dead isn’t being dead, so we didn’t learn a single thing.”

“They must have loved being told to get lost,” meowed the cat.

“Don’t care.  Don’t need them in my life. Trying to find them was a mistake for all of us.”

The cat nodded, then licked her chin.  “You seem okay, but your electrolytes are a little off.  All the energy you expended…what were you thinking?”

“I wasn’t.  I just did what I had to do,” she said. “I’m really tired.”

“You taste like something else too,” saidDanny.  “Something like you but not you.”

She nodded, as her eyes closed. “Oh, that, ” she muttered.  “That was probably just my mom,” and then she was asleep.

“Yip?” said the fox.

“You heard her,” said Danny.


“Yes, she said her mom helped her.”


“I know, right?” said Danny.  “We need to tell the others.”

‘Yip, yip?”

“The rhinos will have to wait a few minutes.”


“I know they’re gathering, just give me a minute,” said Danny, and he jumped to the floor and took off.

The fox picked up his strawberry and went into the kitchen.  “Yuiimp,” he said, which was “Yip,” with his mouth full.



Judy and Danny…21

Judy ran to the castle and skidded to a halt next  to the gigantic dining table, where her Knight was laid out and covered with blankets.  Abby was making”tutting” noises and using wet cloths to wipe the blood off of his face.

“How is he?” asked Judy, trying to find his hand.

“Half dead, that’s how he is,” hissed Abby.  “What was he thinking?  Going after your mother and father.  He knew better,” she said unhappily.

“He did?” said Judy.  “Why didn’t he tell me that?”

“You ORDERED him to go,” she said.

“Yes, but I didn’t know there would be consequences,” said Judy, still searching under the blankets in an effort to find his hand.  “Will he recover?”

“Only the gods know that.  Maybe if a Fairy Healer was here,” she said, rinsing her rag in a metal dishpan.

“Where can I get one?”

“One what?” asked Abby.  “And stop kissing him, he can’t breath as it is.  His ribs are broken, or cracked, or both.”

“JOSEPH,” yelled Judy.  “I need a FAIRY HEALER, STAT!”

Joseph walked into the room, crushing his hat.  “A Fairy Healer?”

“Abby said a Fairy Healer could help him.”

“Why don’t you just heal him yourself?” asked Joseph.

“Me?  What can I do?”

“Daft girl,” sighed Abby, shaking her head.  “Just go inside yourself and find the spot where there’s moving energy.  I guess that’s the best way to explain it.  You have to let go of your thoughts and become one with that.  If you do that, you can put your hands on him, and THINK him well, by DIRECTING THAT ENERGY INTO HIS BROKEN BODY.”

Judy looked at Joseph, who nodded.  “You can.”


“Let me put it another way,” said Abby.  “If you don’t do it, your Knight will die.”

“Danny,” said Judy, looking around.  The cat appeared.  Judy picked him up and put him next to her Knights.  “You have to help me Danny.  I don’t know what to do, but you can direct the energy until I get the hang of it.  You have to do this for him.  Can you?”

The cat started to purr and the fox leaned against her foot.

“Okay, Abby, here goes,” said Judy, closing her eyes.

Once she was able to control her heartbeat, and bring it back to normal, she began to relax.  Her shoulders dropped and so did her jaw, just a tiny bit.  She took a deep breath and smelled spring and new beginnings.  Her hands roamed across her Knight’s body, which felt as familiar as her own.  She smiled.  When she came across a broken bone or pierced organ, it didn’t seem important, she just held her hands over the spot and sent hot electricity into it.  She felt Danny’s energy as well.  Her’s was amber, his was blue.  The fox’s energy was light brown and he was sending it through her body, starting at her ankle, where he was touching her.  It felt wonderful.  Like everything was part of everything else.  She thought she could see suns dawning and setting, moons, fat and slim.  She saw the stars rotating around the earth and she heard earthworms communicating with each other.  Her Knight’s energy was like a thread, it’s color was pink. She smiled again and dove into it, hitting it like a shot of adrenaline.

Danny bit her hand.  She opened her eyes, then everything went black, and she hit the floor.

Judy and Danny…20

“So, where’s your Knight?” asked the leader of the rhino riders,  looking around.

“He’s busy,” said Judy.

“Then it’s just you and me?” he asked, grinning at her.

“Merrrow,” said Danny.

“Yip,” said the fox.

“Ah,” he chuckled.  “You, me, and your…little friends.”

“Actually, they’re guardians, who happen to be my friends.  So, sit down.  Dinner’s ready.”

Abby brought out steaming bowls of soup and baskets of fresh bread, while Judy poured the drinks.  The rhino leader ran his spoon through the soup, looked at all the vegetables, and said,  “Where’s the meat?”

“This is a vegetarian castle.”

He put down his spoon and reached for the bread.

“So are we going to stop the war, or am I going to kill you?” asked Judy, dunking her bread in her bowl.

Danny landed lightly on the table and glared at the man.

“Ever been to New York?” he asked.

“Yes, but that has nothing to do with the matter at hand.  Unlike America, there’s no money to be made in this war.”

“I find that really strange,” he said, frowning.  “Don’t you?  Not having money?”

“I’m getting used to the idea.  Seems better than what we did.”

“Yeah, but cities are not small towns.  What would the millions of people in apartments trade for food and everything else?”

“What about the war?”

“The men don’t want to stop killing everything.  You know how men can be,” he chuckled.

“Men with a good leader can do pretty much anything their leader wants them to do.”

“If I don’t return by morning, they will burn this place to the ground.”

“Well, that’s not going to happen, she said,” putting down her bread.  “I’m sorry you feel that way.  I thought, since you weren’t from here, you would be able to see the benefits in not having anymore wars.”

“You were mistaken.”

“So were you,” she said.

“Nice,” said Danny, looking at the body sprawled on the floor.

“Burt,”called Judy, “will you please bury this guy, or do whatever you do with dead bodies?”

Burt looked at the past leader of the rhino men.  “Are you sure he’s dead?”

“Positive,” she said.

“I’ll get some of the men to help me remove him.”

“Thank you,” she said.  “His men will be attacking in the morning.  I’m going to put shields around everything,  but we still need to be prepared for…you know…stuff.”

“I think we should put his body outside the perimeter, so his men can have him and so they can see that we’re serious about wanting the fighting to stop.”

“That’s a great idea,” said Judy.  “But don’t you think it’s strange that we have to kill them to get them to get them to stop killing?”

“You did give him a chance, Miss.”

“Yeah, but if I want peace, killing him might have been…mmmmm…wrong.”

“I don’t think so, Miss.”

“Can you get our fighters to leave their positions and come to the castle?”

“I’ll get a message to them,” said Burt.

“Thank you.”

Burt nodded and left.  Abby walked into the room, saw the body and put her dishtowel over his face.   “Wouldn’t listen to reason, would he,” she said.  “Funny how you have to be violent to stop violence, isn’t it?”

“I just said that,” said Judy.  “It seems wrong to me too.”

“A lot of things seem wrong,” said Abby.  “Still have to do them.”

“After my mother left, you raised me.”

“Yes Miss.  It was an honor and a pleasure,” she said.

“I find that hard to believe, but thank you. I know how…mmmm…difficult, I can be,” she laughed.  “But Abby, I’m grateful for everything you’ve done for me, for this castle, and for the people in it.  I’m grateful for all you continue to do.”

“There’s a rhino at the window, Miss,” said Abby, pointing.

“I’ll take care of it. Thank you.”

Judy went outside and found Rosy, Runway and Roland waiting for her.  They were all wearing new skirts.

“You look beautiful,” she said and kissed each one of them.  “Do you know what’s happening?”

The rhinos nodded and Judy proceeded to fill in the blanks.  When the discussion was over, the three leaders went back to the large herd to discuss a battle plan.”

“Miss,” said Joseph, crushing his hat with excessive force.  “Your Knight is back, or at least what’s left of him, anyway.”



Judy and Danny…19

Judy looked down at Danny.  “Did you know about all of this?”

Danny looked away.

“Knight,” she said.  “What exactly was my mother and who made me forget?”

“She made you forget,” he said, softly.  “She thought it would be easier for you, if you lived as a human and didn’t have to deal with being her daughter.”

“But I AM her daughter. What is she?  WHERE is she?”

Joseph backed up and eventually walked over to the old rhino, pulling another apple out of his pocket.

Rosy, Runway and Roland turned to face the Knight.

“Just tell me,” she said.

“Your mother was a complicated woman, a combination of things.  Her mother was a god, her father, well he was human, but he was also a dark mage.”

“Seriously?” she laughed.  “Sounds like a bad science fiction novel.  How can someone be human AND be a mage?”

“It happens all the time,” said the Knight.  “Your parents were mad for each other.  Their passion was so great, they had to leave this realm, for fear of destroying it.  When your mother came back, without him, she was pregnant with you.”

“Are you seriously trying to tell me that I’m part god, part human, and maybe part mageish?”

“And part witch.”

“Oh, lovely,” she said, turning her back to him.  “What am I supposed to do with all of THAT?”

“I’m not sure,” he said.

“Where they?”

“I don’t know.  After you were around five, your mother told Abby to care for you.  She didn’t want you to remember her, so she put a forgetting spell on you.  When you were a little older, you were sent to the earth plane to study and fit in with your father’s people.  That’s where I found you.”

“That’s why I was writing about flying rhinos,” she said to herself, more that to her Knight.


“So that’s where all the weird things I can do, come from.”

“Yes.  Unfortunately, no one trained you how to control, or use the power you have.”

“Can you teach me?”

“Not enough.”

“Well,” said Judy, staring at her cat, who refused to look at her.  “I’m me and this is where I am, so no big deal, right?”

The Knight and the cat remained silent.

“And YOU,” she said, pushing at Danny with her foot.  “I TRUSTED you.”

Danny threw himself across her shoe.

“Yeah, like that’s gonna work,” she said. “And you’re NOT Antonio Banderas, in Puss and Boots, so knock off the big sad eyes.”

Danny meeped and lifted his paw.

“I’ve been surrounded by a bunch of liars.”

“No,” said her Knight.  “You’ve been surrounded by those who love you.”

“Are you saying you love me?”

Danny’s ears perked up and his tail moved back and forth.

“What?” said her Knight.

“You said I was surrounded by those who love me.  Does that include you?”

“Uh,” stammered her Knight.

“Oh, for everyone’s sake, just tell her,” sighed Danny.  “It’s not like it’s a big secret, or anything.”

The Knight looked at the cat and then at Judy.  “Yes, I love you…too,” he said.



“Why do you love me?”


“Brilliant,” growled the cat.

“I love you because I can’t stand to wake up and start the day if you’re not there.  I look forward to every second we’re together and…”

She kissed him for a long time.  So long, that Rosy, Runway and Roland,  Went back to grazing with the others.  When she pulled away she said.  “As my Knight, I’m charging you with the task of finding my parents.  You start now.”


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