all day long Night Star and Eron had been searching through books at the Library. mainly they had spent most of their time on the top floor. but
nothing. not that they had not read many very interesting articles and stories, spells and formulas but absolutely nothing that would have helped
them to get further. they were sure, the mysteriously missing book would hold the clues.
i’m tired had Night Star said before she had left the Hall and Eron said he will stay longer, he was immersed in all the fascinating literature and
just couldn’t stop reading.
besides, he still found himself remembering the flight on the dragon’s back which kept him awake, it had been so awesome. also, there was this
suspicion nagging in the back of his mind: these three dark figures, it doesn’t make sense, were they who they said there were? one minute here and
then gone, he could not explain such behaviour. specially this instrument that Chime had handed him was not to comprehend. what if it was a bug, a spy
system that enabled the enemy to track their every step……
mmmh….. he decided to get rid of it. just in case! while Night Star descended the stair cases, he made his way further into the last corner on the
top floor to find some hiding spot for it where he would leave it.
Night Star settled in for the night. she was too tired to bother with a camp fire, she wasn’t even hungry and her mind was still buzzing from all
the words and phrases she had been reading. she snuggled up to her snow leopard.
after contemplating on things for a while she said to Strong Claws: “you never told me where you came from before i rescued you from that awful
“Night Star, it is a sad story. i am not surprised you bring this question up now, you know that Jigme’s disappearance had something to do with
me. well….. i do think she might have recognized me.” Strong Claws took a deep breath as if in agony over old memories.
“my clan of snow leopards come from the roof of the world. the very snowy tops of the roof near Namtso where Jigme comes from. that is where we
roam and chase gazelles and the like for a living. you must know that the gazelles are extremely nervous animals and their instinct often prevents us
from hunting them down.
in those times when i lived in that frozen part of the world i had a good friend. we were more than good friends. we were a pair, what humans would
call married. my pair was the most beautiful and adept snow leopardess, her name was Zigsa.
one of those appalling foodless days the skinny yellow wolfs had chased away all gazelles into their own trap and Zigsa was so very hungry, i offered
to go down to the village where we on a needy occasion would steal a lamb or goat. well…….. it is hard for me to recall the events…… but then
again, it could have happened to anyone, Night Star, please forgive me, don’t think bad of me.
the villagers had dug a trap then covered it with loose branches. it had snowed all night, i could not have seen the trap, there were no sights nor
smells about it, so i fell into the pit. first i thought they will skin me for my fur and i bid the world farewell. but to my dismay they had the
opportunity to sell me to a traveling caravan from the middle east. they then sold me for even more money to a merchant who then sold me further to a
rich circus owner who travels the middle realm of this enchanted forest where you found me.
Zigsa however was Jigme’s best friend. they were one heart and one soul. whenever i was hunting, the two would be together for days and nights.
but when Zigsa received news about my misfortune, she thought me dead. i also heard news, via the spiders who travel on caravans crossing the cobweb
road from the east to the west, that Zigsa died soon after from a broken heart.” Strong Claws cleared his throat . “See, the sight of me must have
made Jigme very sad. She always was an unusual child, but enough of that, she never liked anybody to talk too much about her fate.”
Night Star wrapped her arms around Strong Claws who sad: “i am with you now, old times are gone, i love you very much.”
a drawing from Jigme’s sketchbook
beautiful blue eyed Zagsa
it was still dark but something had woken Night Star very early next day. she sat up and opened her eyes, it was still dark but she saw a figure in
the light of a lantern.
“Jigme! i still have not found New Here nor Sussurra but it is so good to see you. where were you?”
“oh…. all around…. mainly in the snowy mountains where i have met the most awesome crowd of ice bears, i went to visit Gathri and the gnomes,
but i will tell you all about it later. for now, i might have an idea how we could find the book again. you know, the rats…. they are everywhere….
they usually know a lot. would you like to come with me to find out?”
Night Star was right awake and ready for action. just as she was to wake up Eron, the Lampada said: “best leave him sleep. he fell asleep very
late and his mind is not rested yet.”
so the two of them went back to the hall. i know, said Night Star, as a young elf i used to often visit the kitchen for special treats i would get
from the cooks. let us start there where rats are spread thick.
soon enough they had cornered a fat rat and captured it with the cheese bell. after a short while debating the fat rat did admit to know where the
book is. scorpions had carried it through the sewerage system, where they had dropped it because a extremely angry voice had yelled at them to
assemble for an attack NOW.
would you please lead us to the book, had Jigme asked of the rat. the rat thought this an opportunity to bargain. “my knowledge for three measures
“you filthy stinking rat” Jigme was outraged, “not this time! you forget that you are our captive. your knowledge against your freedom”.
“ha, very well then” answered the fat rat “let me out and i shall lead you to the book." Jigme was hesitant, not trusting these cunning little
beasts. she looked at Night Star for help who raised her shoulders and guessingly nodded.
“slowly then, so we can follow” and with that the rat slowly lead the way and disappeared through a little whole behind a kitchen cupboard.
“no” yelled the two: how shall we follow you this way. “aha, said the rat. three measures of gold for my knowledge or farewell.”
“i know where D’Uncle Gnomes have a stack of gold. maybe they will spare us some for a good deed?” Night Star offered. “no”, said Jigme
“not enough time. morning will break soon and i will have to go. but there is time enough to ask the Golden Moths to spare us some of their gold.
lucky that fat rat had not specified the size of the measure, so we will assume he means rat size measure that it can carry.”
the Golden Moths around the Laterna Magica were happy to help and rubbed their wings. gold dust started to heap up in a little while. Night Star and
Jigme bagged one third in one pouch and two thirds into two more bags.
“you can have one bag now, see, and these two bags you get when you get us to the book. and no more tricks otherwise we will find your mother and
so the rat led them down revolting sewage pipes and tunnels. the stench was nearly unbearable. Night Star and Jigme had to throw up several times
before they managed to keep themselves steady while the rat was grinning.