The trees become fewer and disappear as you leave the ridge. You find yourself following Ramona into fields of blue-purple grass. The Valley of Night is indeed in perpetual night, with only a faint purple glow hanging around to light your way. Cool mist rolls across the ground as you head deeper into the valley.
You continue on through the misty night meadows, following Ramona's lead. The air smells of grass and pond. You breath deeply and watch the clear night sky. You can see stars here, surprisingly enough. You wonder if whatever magic makes this valley extends all the way up into the stratosphere. Suddenly, you hear a clatter of chattering from your right... and it's getting closer. Ramona looks up, a look of confusion on her face, and you ready yourself to run, but suddenly, a tiny creature tumbles out of the tall grass to and onto the path.
It stands and shakes its head back and forth a few times. Stumbling almost drunkenly, it flaps its wings and jumps up and down. Then, it speaks.
"Squawk! Toss me out of the grass! Make feathers dirty! Besi scold you good!" As it yells, it is joined by another two creatures. They are all tiny, barely the size of your head. They gather together and chitter at the first.
"Oh, poor 'brite. Feathers dirty. Mouth big!" the one with rainbow wing feathers taunts, then bursts out with high-pitched laughter. The second, sunset-colored one chimes in.
"Haha! Besi reds turned to browns. Momma scold you good for dirty getting!"
"Push me in the dirt, you did! Bad Frackle! Bad Ima! No scolding Besi, scolding Frackle and Ima!"
The three begin arguing in high cackles. Suddenly, the rainbow one looks up and crows in alarm.
"Ahh! Predator beings! Run!" The three dart away into the grass.
"Wait," you call, "we're not predator beings, just a visitor... and Ramona!" your calls are met by silence. Ramona shakes her head and is about to start walking again, but suddenly, a familiar rainbow-beaked head pops out of the grass directly next to your feet.
"Visitor beings?" it asks.
"Yes," you say. The head disappears. From the grass, you can hear rustling and muted squawks as the little birds discuss something. Then, all three pop back on to the path.
"Greeting, visitor!" the rainbow one says. "I be Frackle. These be Ima and Besi." It motions to the sunset one and then the red and white one in turn. "We be birdbrites. I be leading male; they be following females." Ima smacks Frackle with her wing.
"Leading male?! Ha, you be running male! Run from visitors!" She and Besi laugh and point at Frackle.
"No, not running! Leading visitor away from Jadze." Frackle puffs out his chest.
"Ah ha ha! Frackle no know where Jadze is! Frackle telling tales!" Besi crows and cackles more.
"Do so! Jadze here!" Frackle points into the grass with his wing. You watch, curious.
"Could I see?" you ask. "What is Jadze?"
"A Kiira," Ramona tells you.
The birdbrites look at each other, then turn to squint suspiciously at Ramona.
"How you know Jadze?" Frackle demands.
"I'm Ramona. I work here," Ramona answers, rolling her eyes. "Now, could this visitor please see Jadze?"
"Well... all right, but no tell! Jadze like birdbrites only! Jadze!" Frackle begins calling. Suddenly, a brightly-colored, fuzzy shape bounds out of the tall grass.
The cute animal, who you assume is Jadze, is obviously a young female. She cocks her head at you and stares, freezing in the path. Ima reaches out a reassuring wing to stroke her head.
"It okay, Jadze. Friends. Visitor being," she coos. The young animal seems to relax.
"So she is a Kiira?" you ask, curious.
"Jadze is Kiira. From far off night realm. We take care of her since egg form," Frackle says proudly. Jadze, meanwhile, has seen something interesting in the grass and bounded off.
"Jadze, no wander. Come back!" Besi calls after the creature.
"Sorry, visitor being, must run," Frackle says, and all three birdbrites go running off into the grass. You listen as their voices fade away.
"Well, that was... interesting," Ramona says. She shakes her head and starts walking again. You follow along, wondering what else you will see.
View the Birdbrites
Birdbrites from Wodunga Valley
Kiira from Cypris.Org
Layout and content copyright © Rachel Gratis 2003-2004. Layout photograph from Image Cafe. All creatures copyright to their creators. Respect copyright and do not take images or content from this page.
Last Updated: June 23, 2004