“Then what is enough?” Finny asked.
At first there was only silence, then Zeufin fluttered his wings and answered. “We have to believe.”
“Believe? Believe in what?” Finny scratched his head, more confused than before.
“Oh.” The softest whisper Finny had ever heard startled him. “We have to believe in you and you have to believe in us.” The translucent figure beside Misty stepped forward. The two complimented each other with beauty and grace. The girl was as good a description of ethereal as Finny had ever seen. He wished Mrs. Sanders was here now, so he could spell the word for her. Maybe that would add some kind of a comfort zone for him.
“It’s alright Sweetie.” Mama Jack patted his shoulder.
The soft black muzzle of the horse in the stall pushed against his shoulder. Rich brown eyes winked, first one then the other. “You believe in us, now you have to believe in yourself.”
The deep voice reminded Finny so much of his father. I wish he was here. He’d help me understand. Before Finny could find a way to share his thoughts the shed began to shake. The ground beneath his feet bucked.
“Grab hold.” Zeufin’s nicker deepened as he pushed around the end of the stall and forced his wing under Finny’s arm. “Don’t let go.”
“What–?” Before Finny could push the question out, darkness swirled in.
“Remember, we believe in you.” Mama Jack’s voice vibrated through him.
Finny grabbed hold and squeezed.
The sinewy muscles beneath his fingers tensed. “That’s it. Now pull in close. At first he felt himself tucked under Zeufin’s right wing. Soft down made him want to stay there.
You have to get up on my back.
It was so nice against the feathery body, but urgency pressed in. Zeufilin bent his right foreleg so Finny could use it as a ladder to climb up.
I’ll fall off? Finny had no sense that he could keep his seat once he was on Zeufin’s back.
There in front of you. Grab hold of that curl..
Wher…? Before the word could tumble completely out of his mouth, sure enough, there stretching from the feathery hide was a single stringy gray and black tuft of hair. It was obvious, because the feathers were a reddish brown.
Finny grabbed hold as best he could.
Use your knees, said Zeufin. Press behind my wings.
At first Finny flopped around as wind whistled past and chilled his earlobes. Just as he thought he was going to flop off, he found a slight indentation behind the wings and his legs slipped beneath. Then warmth formed another anchor from behind.
It’s all right Sweetie. Zeufin’s strong enough to carry us both. Mama Jack put her arms around him and hugged tight.
Good. This time it was Misty who added encouragement.
You’re coming too? he asked.
We all are, sweetie.