Ember arched his neck. “Who are you?” he asked, not really caring how he sounded. She didn’t look taken aback at all.
“I’m Summersong. I just wanted to meet you…. I noticed you didn’t have many friends.”
Ember frowned. “I have all the friends I need.”
Summersong shook her head. “Everyone can always use more friends. As long as they’re good friends.”
He hesitated, then nodded. “I guess you’re right about that.” His eyes flicked over her brownish-gold hide, her pale pink feathers, her light brown mane ruffling in the breeze.
She turned toward the Red Rock Mountains and saw Starpebble flying toward them. She perked her ears as Starpebble landed and grinned at Ember. “Hey, what’s up?”
Summersong’s ears flattened a bit.
“Who’s she?” asked Starpebble and Summersong. Ember snorted and the two fillies snickered and grinned at each other.
Ember flourished his wing at Summersong. “Starpebble, this is Summersong; Summersong, this is Starpebble.”
Starpebble nodded at Summersong. “Nice to meet you.”
“Likewise.” Summersong circled Starpebble. “Wow, I’ve never seen a silver hide before!”
Starpebble smiled wryly at her. “They’re common in Snow Herd. I think they’re too common… it’s not easy to be unique.”
“Well, here you’re very unique. There are absolutely no silvers in Desert Herd… except for you now. You did join Desert Herd, right?”
“Yes.” Starpebble glanced up. “Here comes Spark.”
Spark landed next to them, his hide damp with cloud sweat. “Hi. Who are you?” he asked Summersong, curiously, not rudely like Ember had.
“I’m Summersong. Maybe you’d let me join your little group? The other weanlings don’t think you’ll ever amount to much… I don’t agree. I think you’ll use the starfire only for good.” She shook her mane. “Well, can I join you guys?”
Spark was slightly dumbfounded. “Of course you can!” butted in Starpebble. “We don’t do much… just train, mostly.”
Summersong fluttered her feathers. “I’ll soon fix that!” She smacked Starpebble on the shoulder.”Catch me if you can!” Then she darted into the sky.
Starpebble leaped into the sky, flicking Ember across his face with her tail. “Got you!”
Ember leaped after her.
They played in the sky for hours, until Starpebble was exhausted, and for the first time since she left Snow Herd, she felt her age: young.
She slept that night with a full heart and Star visited her in her dreams. He reassured her and congratulated her.
“They are doing well,” he said. “Good job.”
Only one month until their first birthday.