Amber and I sat for a long while, thinking in unison.

"You know, Mother would want us to go." I said. Amber seemed horrified that we would probably go, as was our role. I felt the same. The elven court! All they wanted to do was sit around, gossip, think. We both hated it.

"I'll get some food." I said suddenly, bounding off into the woods. I found a quail, hurt, out farther in the woods.

"Please!" she cried to me. "My chicks! Take me to them!" Holding her gently, I brought her to her nest, where a few baby quails nestled against each other. "I'm weak." the quail said. "I'm going to die, I know. Please take care of my babies! Do not let them die!"

"That I promise." I said. "I shall take care of them as if they were my own."

"Thank you..." the quail murmured. She went stiff, and I knew she was dead. I buried her, nestled in the roots of a tree, and inscribed in the tree a small note to tell others of the brave mother quail.

I stopped at the nest, and took out the quails. There were five of them, all small and fragile-looking. Finding some seeds, I fed them to the baby birds. "There you go," I said. "Come on, chickies, you're going to the elven court with us!"

The End

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