to megren & darrin, 11 harvesthome 1017

Meg and Sir Darrin,

There is a Dragon in Lantern Waste. There is a report from the northern guard going to the council that I am sure you will hear; I am watching Torgin write it right now and it will come by the same Bird, I think, but I wanted to write as well and tell you that nobody is hurt that I know of, and everybody is safe and looked after.

I don’t know if this will be in the report. I don’t think the dragon means any harm. It did not hurt me or even try, or Pheeobe the Wolf who also saw it. It seems clever and curious and I think it must not be very old. It is white all over and about twice the size of a horse. It is very beautiful.

My worry is this: it does not understand speech. It tries, and it responds when you speak to it, but I am not sure it will understand the difference between a Talking Beast and an ordinary one when it is hunting. It is also very Large, and if it is young, as I think it is, it may grow larger. I saw it breathe fire and scorch a part of the meadow, and that was only an accident, I think. I am very afraid it may do a good deal of harm without meaning to.

I am also afraid that some of the Beasts and Good People here do not understand the danger. I warned a Squirrel whose tree was very near to the meadow to go to a safe place, but Pheeobe who was with me thought it was not so urgent as /that/ and said so, and so the Squirrel was not alarmed at all. I worry that they will be complacent, and when harm and danger comes they will not be prepared, and they will be hurt.

[There are several ink drips here and other marks of hesitation.]

I miss you both every day, and I hope you are safe and well. There is more to say but Torgin has finished his report and we are only waiting for Liliyu to finish her meal so she can go.


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