The Fellowship of the Toys

by Peregrine

Chapter 6: Hawks and Home

The hawk wheeled about in midair and came striking back at Aravan. The wee dragon dodged the winged missil, but the bird merely came back around for another attack.

Legolases, mean while, clung to Aravan's fur as the dragon swooped and dodged, trying despretly not to fall off. And far, far below, the others watched helplessly as the raptor came down for another attack.

Aravan swooped to miss it, but a talon shot out. It did no damage, but in twisting to avoid it, Aravan lost his balance in the air. Tumbling down and down, the wee dragon flapped his leather wings in a despret attempt to regain control. He managed to find his balance just before slamming into the cold, snowy earth. He soared upward once again and was slammed full in the chest by the bird.

The hawk had not expected Aravan to be so hard and Aravan had not expected to be hit so hard. Both winged creatures hurtled backwards and tumbled and twisted through the chill air.

Suddenly one of the Legolases lost his grip and fell. His brother gave a cry of alarm and snagged his hand. But in grabbing his brother, Legolas in turn lost his balance and soon both Legolases were hanging from Aravan's hind foot while the dragon swooped and tumbled and twisted in mid air. And below, the others cried out in alarm to see the two dangling so percariously above the earth.

The hawk, regaining its senses, turned about and came around for another blow. Aravan knew he had to get out of range, but he also knew that if he moved too swiftly, he would knock Legolases loose and send them both tumbling to their doom in the snow below. Even toys as well made as they would not survive a straight crash into a cold rock or a block of ice. So the dragon braced himself as well as he could and waited for the shock of the feathered demon.

But it never came! Instead, the bird let out a terrible shreik and jerked backwards in mid air. Burrowed in its cheek was a small, straight stick. Third Legolas had snatched up the first non-plastic item he could and had fired it upon the raging hawk. The tiny twig, though not very sharp, had been fired so hard that it had actually broken the skin and now was lodged like a thorn in the hawk's feathery cheek.

Screaming its rage, the hawk folded its wings and dived down upon Camel and his riders. The camel, hroking in alarm, bolted and the two upon his hump nearly lost their seats. And the hawk just managed to pull up before hitting the ground. And even as he flew up and up--Aravan slammed it full in the side!

Legolases had regained their perches and now clung extra tight to Aravan's fur. The dragon, in turn, attacked the hawk, showing him just how tough he really could be. And Legolases screamed and shouted insults at the bird, waving their little bows and long knives in the air.

The hawk, giving a final scream, gave up. A flying meal would have been quite enjoyable, but not one that was so much of a hastle! Turning on a wing, the hawk wheeled about and flew away to pluck the annoying little twig free from its cheek.

Legolases cheered and praised Aravan, the dragon stooping down and landing gently upon the snowy earth.

"Great flying, Aravan!" Frodo cheered. Aravan puffed up his fur and grinned his reptilian grin. Legolases patted the winged drake upon the head.

"Excellent!" they cried.

Camel growled and grumbled, angry that the stupid Elf upon his back had tried to pull him into the whole matter.

"If I do say so myself," Frodo said, "hawks and dogs and six-foot drops and massive flights of stairs and wading through three feet of snow is quite enough adventure for me. Besides, the Big Ones will be home soon and we must be back before them!"

Aragorn upon Brego sighed.

"You are right. Let us head back for home. I fear the journey back will be more difficult than the journey from."

"There and back again . . ." Frodo grinned. "A Toy's tale, eh?"

Aragorn laughed and turned his mount. Together they trekked across the frozen wastes, came to the broken road and managed to climb back up onto the concrete. Night was falling and the chill air was beginning to be blown into a gale. The toys struggled across the street and down towards their home. They waded down the hill to come to the door--towering nearly six feet above their head.

"Oh, dear." Aragorn sighed. "I did not think as to how we could get back up."

"Aravan can lift us all up." Aragorn upon Camel said.

"He is too weary!" Legolases protested, patting the wee drake upon the head.

"Oh, great. Now we're stuck outside until either Aravan can get us up there or until the Big Ones come home and find we are missing!" Frodo cried.

And as if to laugh in their face, the wind picked up and it began to snow.

Camel growled in anger and now everyone could agree. And it began to snow harder.