1. Dream

He was alone in the middle of a vast field. The grass felt moist with dew and smooth like silk under his bare feet, the winds danced their most elegant, invisible slow steps around him, and the golden light of the rising sun was strangely gentle on his pearly white skin. He looked around, and realized that he was at the foot of Mount Ida, the same spot to which he usually took his father’s herd of cows and sheep. Except now there was no cow nor sheep around him, neither were his servants and tutors who had always been at his side. Everything looked the same, yet felt so different. An odd mixture of emotions welled up inside him, made up of ethereal serenity and sweet excitement, with a bitter aftertaste of loneliness. He wondered why there was no fear.

A small rustling sound from behind caught him startled, and he turned around to see a large eagle in its most majestic form, perching upon a rock near the slope. Surprised, he walked closer. He had seen this creature, not once or twice, but for more times than he could count with all his fingers. Larger than any of its kind, with eyes the color of the boundless sky, he always felt its gaze on him whenever they met. Again, he wondered why he felt no fear.

He tool one more look around, only to see the same field with green grass, cool breeze and sunlight, devoid of any man or animal saved for him and the bird. He looked again at the beautiful creature. The eagle blinked its mesmerizing blue eyes, and returned his stare. It felt no fear, just like he did not. In fact, it did not seem to fear anything.

Curiosity took over him, and he asked, having forgotten the common sense that animals did not speak the tongue of man:

“Why are you here?”

The eagle tilted its head, and answered him with its eyes, half inquisitive, half amused. He was sure the creature understood him.

The eagle then slightly stretched out its wings, its feathers grazed his arm, softer than water. In amazement he touched the tip of its wing, light as air and fair as the flowing brown hair of a young maiden, when he felt something warm on his cheek. There the eagle was resting its beak, its eyes closed in brief contentment.

But the next instant they were open again, and so intense was its gaze upon him that he felt himself rooted to the ground beneath. He was petrified. He felt fear. He surely had crossed a boundary no man had ever crossed. He knew at once, that the creature in front of him was no beast to be reigned over by the likes of men.

His words came before he learnt its meaning:

“Who are you?”

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