I didn't hear another word that was said to me the rest of the day. I can barely remember anything now. I know that I stayed in the dean's office for a while longer while he sorted out my class schedule and then I left. I remember being back in the village, I must've slept on the plane, and telling everyone I'd been accepted. I remember falling asleep and that's it. Even the next week passed by in a blur. I was given that long to tie up loose knots and get my things together so I could start the beginning of the next term.
Eir, our medicine woman, complained the entire time. It'd be pretty hard to forget that. She was angry she had to rush the next seven years of my education into the next seven days. Those were the toughest days of my life. It wasn't like I didn't enjoy Eir's lessons but, when I was having twenty hour lessons with four hours for sleep and no food breaks, it got a teensy bit tiring. No sarcasm meant by that, though.
Eir had been teaching me all of her medicine woman secrets, the ways of our forests and animals, along with other, more exclusive, tricks since I can remember. You see, I'm sure there are things about the Rocky Mountains you don't know. For example, in them is one of the seven reserves for dragons. Seven: one for every continent. That way the dragons won't have to change their main living enviroments. There are all kinds and Eir wasn't content on letting me learn about just the ones in our reserve. So, for the remainder of my time in the Rockies, Eir abandoned my medicine woman studies and was determined to shove every ounces of information she could about dragons into my puny, pathetic, human mind. Her words, not mine.
Eir was more than a medicine woman. She was one of the seven Caretakers of dragons. She ran the North American reserve and I was supposed to replace her when she died. Not a cheery thought, but it was a very old system. Eir always had bigger plans for me, though. She wanted me trained so that I could become Elite. Elite's a tricky term that basically means I would run the organizations. Lots of power but it was spread out over a handful of, oh, eleven people. Yeah, that sounds safe, doesn't it?
Over time, the Elite got corrupt and the reserves seemed to be getting lower on their list of priority. It used to be that being part of the Elite was an honor. Now, they demanded pay and it was an inherited title. Eir and I were out to change it. That's why I thought it was such an important thing for me to go to Cranbrook. It was an international boarding school that was reknowned for raising Elite. Eir, however, thought I would get corrupted by their ideas and thought that I should stay in the village and be taught by her. Needless to say, she was pretty angry that entire week.
There was only one thing that kept me from being totally happy and regret-free: the dragons. They were so sad that week, when I told them I was leaving. I only got to take Burns with me. He was a Kyanmar Dragon. That means he has four legs, two wings, breathes fire, and is about a foot tall. He would be able to fly in and out of window at night without being seen and he wouldn't have to disobey rules and follow me anyways like we all knew he would. However, we had to be sneaky about it. Cranbrook didn't just house the Elite. It held normal people, too. Normal people couldn't know about Burns.
At the end of my week, everyone was in tears. They held me and passed me around, telling me to visit and write often. I didn't cry at all. I hugged everyone and, with Burns safely hidden in my bag, I boarded the helicopter I was taking to my new home. I looked over my beautiful mountains and, with just one tear sliding down my cheek, I turned my back to it and settled for stroking Burns' head.