Pindi burst into the grand hall panting, her hands on her knees, trying to catch her breath.
“Mother, Father, Mindi, the dragons are back!” Pindi gasped between breaths. “Can we go greet them? Please? There are so many! They’re resting in the Crape Myrtle Trees. Ka-a and his friends made room for them.”
“May we,” Queen Caelia corrected.
“May we go greet them?” Pindi repeated, bouncing from one foot to the other, impatient to get going.
“They’re here early,” said King Bran. “Let’s go speak with them. I’d like to hear about their migration.”
“There are lots of babies and young dragons with them,” Pindi said. “We can make friends.”
King Bran and Queen Caelia flew towards the front of the garden, followed by Pindi and Mindi. They saw hundreds of dragons sitting in the Crape Myrtle Trees. The dragons looked down from the branches, their long necks curving gracefully. Their wings shone with every color of the rainbow. Their eyes were kind.
“Wow!” whispered Mindi. “They’re beautiful.”
“Argan, Feyran, we are happy to see you,” King Bran called to the leaders of the blaze of dragons. “How was your migration?”
“King Bran, Queen Caelia, Princesses Pindi and Mindi,” replied Argan, nodding his head regally. “We are happy to see you. We had to leave our summer lands early. There were huge storms coming. I wanted to be gone before the winds and rains started. We flew quickly, ahead of the storms.” Argan was very formal in addressing the fairies. Fairy was not his best language. He spoke slowly and sometimes stumbled on the words.
“Did you have any trouble along the way?” asked King Bran.
Bored by the adults’ conversation, Pindi and Mindi flew over to a small group of young dragons.
“Hi,” they said. “We’re Pindi and Mindi. Welcome to our land. Let’s be friends!”
The young dragons all spoke at once, none of it in Fairy.
“I guess they don’t speak Fairy,” said Mindi. “We don’t speak Dragon. What shall we do?”
“We don’t need to talk,” said Pindi. We can use signs and gestures. And we can teach each other our languages.”
“Come on, let’s fly,” Pindi called to the dragons as she gestured with her arm. “Let’s go.”
A half dozen young dragons lifted off from the Crape Myrtle Tree and followed Pindi and Mindi.
“What if someone sees us?” Mindi asked.
“Don’t worry,” Pindi replied. “Most humans can’t see fairies, let alone dragons. We’re invisible to them because they don’t believe in us.”
Dragons are much larger than fairies, and they fly faster. Pindi and Mindi flew as fast as they could after the dragons, but they couldn’t catch up. They stopped at the large fir tree to rest.
“I don’t think they know they left us behind,” said Mind, pouting. “I wanted to get to know them.”
Just then, the dragons turned and flew back towards the Crape Myrtle Trees calling to Pindi and Mindi in Dragon.
“We’re here!” Pindi shouted, jumping up and down on a branch. “Over here!”
The dragons heard them and turned as a group, colors swirling like a sparkling rainbow.
One of the dragons nodded towards the fairies, turned her head, and jerked her neck back.
“I think she’s trying to tell us to climb in her back,” said Mindi. “Let’s go.”
Pindi chose a purple dragon and Mindi chose a pink one. They climbed up and the dragons took flight.
Pindi directed her dragon by pulling on her scales to go right or left. Mindi’s dragon followed. They flew until the dragons were tired, then headed back to the Crape Myrtle Trees. The dragons landed on branches and Pindi and Mindi leaped off their backs.
“That was fun!” Pindi said. “Let’s try to talk with the dragons.”
Mindi bowed her head to her dragon and said clearly, pointing at herself, “my name is Mindi.”
She repeated “Mindi” again. Her dragon nodded. She tried to say Mindi, but she couldn’t quite get her mouth around the sounds.
Mindi shrugged and pointed at her dragon and asked, What’s your name?”
“Spark,” said the pink dragon.
To Mindi, it sounded like “sssssparkkkk”. She tried to say the pink dragon’s name with the appropriate number of s’s and k’s. It was hard.
Spark smiled. Mindi’s attempt at saying her name was pretty good.
Pindi pointed to herself and said to her dragon, “my name is Pindi.”
The purple dragon looked puzzled. To her, Pindi sounded just like Mindi. Two fairies with the same name? That was weird.
Pindi pointed to the dragon and asked, “what’s your name?”
“Dazzle,” said the purple dragon.
Pindi tried to pronounce what sounded to her like “sszzazzle”.
Dragons and fairies giggled and tried to say each other’s names until Pindi heard her father call.
“Time to go,” she said. “Goodbye, it was fun flying with you today.”
At dawn the next morning, the blaze of dragons lifted from the branches of the Crape Myrtle Trees and flew south to their wintering grounds in the desert. It was a short stay, but Pindi and Mindi hoped Spark and Dazzle would be back next year.