Editors Note: A dear friend lost her beloved companion this morning - her dog Deirdre died in her arms. We send our friend our love and thoughts of comfort in this most sad time. This is how it happened here in The Good Land.
Little Mo hurried ahead of Princess Kai thru the passageway to OFG's inner chamber. When they stepped into the room Kai could see her liege sitting with a scroll of great sadness hanging loosely in her hand, the early morning light just barely peaking into the chamber. Col Ti stood silently beside OFG, as always keeping watch over her.
OFG turned her tear stained face toward the Princess, "Assemble the troops. Order the flags at half staff. I've just received word that a noble huntress has fallen."
Kai bowed her head reverently and shared the moment with her mother. Then silently she turned and left, quietly dispatching orders to her Men at Arms standing outside the chamber.
A hush blanketed the barnyard as the troops stood to attention. All were in their dress armor, glistening in the morning's sun. OFG's voice carried across the parade yard for all to hear.
"We've received word from the House of Ehren that the noble and much beloved Deirdre LionSlayer of the Veld has fallen."
Some among the crowd glanced about in shock, some stood stone faced, but all felt the heavy weight of this great loss. The House of Ehren was legendary throughout all the lands. The mistress of that great family was a fire haired woman who's sacred light sparkled with the glow of all whom she saved. Her healing powers were well known. Many broken and fallen warriors and hunters were brought to her from all directions.
She administered her tender mercies to these wounded souls, strengthened them in mind and body, and found them places of rest and love. Her banner was a large red dog hunting a lion across a dark green field, the golden words embroidered across the top loosely translated into the common tongue as "Saving Dogs."
"We send our most tender condolences and love to our dear sister in the Westlands. We weep with her over this great loss, our hearts most broken with this heavy blow."
"But even as we wipe our tears of sorrow, we thank the Great Father of All of Us for His extravagant gift to us - for this great companion, for the time spent with Deirdre, for her friendship, bravery, and love. We shall sing songs of her heroic deeds, of her soulful eyes, and all her wisdom she shared with the younger hunters and warriors. We rejoice in her great lineage, of the ones who were well suited for the most kingly of hunts, and know that she is ever in green fields joining her ancestors."
"Join me now as we pray peace and comfort over the House of Ehren and we ask strength in this time of sorrow."
All bowed their heads as Shine King of Barncats struck the Great Bell of Remembrance. Then OD the Gander strode forward, took up a shining silver trumpet and played a song of such sorrow that none could contain their grief.
As the troops were dismissed young Zander stood with his Princess sister Kai and watched the assembly go about their way.
Knowing her thoughts he said, "It is the way of things."
"Yes." She agreed. "But it doesn't seem fair that they have to live so long while we get to go on to the Land of Unspeakable Joy before them. It must be so sad after we leave. It doesn't seem right."
The young captain Zander turned to her, "We have to trust the way of things. Its all that we can do."
Kai nodded, "You know what else we can do?" She said with a gleam in her eye.
Zander laughed. "Do you think of nothing but hunting, Sister?"
"Nope," said Kai shaking her bon-bon tail. "A hunt for Dee Dee then? In her great honor? There are no lions here but I know where we can find a possum!" Kai laughed and bounded off her brother following close at her heels.