by Oren the Otter

Archivists note: Since Gornul is unable to utilize human speech or writing, the following story has been translated from the visual mind-speech used by Gornul's kind.

An Island. A beautiful island, it is covered with lovely green and growing things. Food is plentiful. The sun is warm. This is the place which my kind call home. I have many friends there. Life is good there, but it is boring.

That is why I decided to explore the sea around me. I wondered if I could find any other islands. For the setting of two suns I flew, but could find nothing. I turned back. A storm came suddenly. It swept me off course. I became lost. I blacked out, but woke up later in a strange land. I made a friend that morning. An otter-morph shared his fish with me. He was my only friend in this new land, so I traveled with him.

That is how I came here. I live now at Metamor Keep. It is a beautiful place with strange and wonderful people.

I have many friends here now, but there is still something wrong.

One morning, I sat on one of the battlements and watched my Otter friend below as he built. He laid stones together to form a circular house. Just now, he was starting on the second level. I heard people talking behind me.

"Hey, isn't that Oren's dragon?" Said one.

"Sure is. Wonder what he's doing here by himself."

I sighed. This was not the first time this had happened. I knew that I was seen as some by Oren's pet. In fact, in two stories, he had made me his dog. I did not mind that at all, but people did not see me for who I was. To them, I was just an extension of Oren. I was not a person to them, but a beast, like a horse, to be spoken of but not to.

In the writer's guild, it was especially bad. I love to make up stories, but I cannot speak or write. Others must do it for me as I tell my tale in mental pictures. To them, I am as a non-entity as I cannot write for myself.

I had just finished a wonderful story, through Oren, of course, about a land in the far future that had not known magic for thousands of years, and suddenly received it all back in spades. The characters were a corps of magic wielding warriors whom I had given the names of people within the guild whom I would like to call my friends.

The story had found its way to the ears of the king of Whales, and been given a royal commendation as an excellent literary masterpiece. Oren had gotten his share of pats on the back, but no one had said a word to me.

As I gazed down, feeling sad, I saw a kangaroo come hopping up the way. I knew this boy. He was Jesse, the kangaroo, a good hearted lad. He held a box in his arms. The roo approached Oren and spoke to him is a voice so soft that not even I, with my exceptional hearing, could make it out. They spoke for some time, smiling all the while. Jesse then opened the box and produced a tunic. Oren quickly snatched the tunic and stuffed it back into the box. He looked more than a little agitated.

Some one else passed behind me. "I wonder what Gormul's doing up here all by himself." he wondered aloud. That made me angry. Not only did he pronounce my name wrong, but this was one to many occasions in which I was spoken of and not to. Angrily, I flashed a picture in his mind of myself, with a large arrow pointing toward me.

"Yes, you're cute, Gormul." he responded as he scritched my horns with a flipper. I sighed in exasperation before flying off to sulk.

I returned home at the downing of the sun, as is my habit. I looked around for Oren, but did not find him. Instead, there was a note on the table. Knowing that I cannot read, Oren had drawn a map to the writer's guild, and a sketch of me with an arrow, indicating that I come to him there. I heaved a sigh and set off. I didn't want to be at the writer's guild and be further ignored, but I knew that Oren must have had a reason for asking me to come.

It was dark inside the guild area as I entered, but my entrance must have tripped a spell, because several dozen torched flashed to life.

"SURPRISE!" yelled a roomful of authors.

I was flummoxed. Slowly, I let my gaze sweep across the room to see bright ribbons, food and drink, and people from one wall to the other, all wearing tunics with my picture painted on them.

"Congratulations on Magic Reborn, Gornul!" someone said.

"Yeah, congratulations!" said another. The room slowly filled with praises for the work which had earned the praise of Whales' king.

There were no pictures to describe how I felt. I thought that no one knew that I existed, and yet here they were having a party in my honor!

"Speech!" someone said.

"Speech!" someone else echoed.

"He can't talk!" a person in the back pointed out.

Ah, but I could show! I made my speech thusly:

A little blue dragon, looking sad.

A little blue dragon shaking hands.

A happy dragon standing in the glowing sun.

A four leafed clover.

A room full of wonderful friends.

A little blue dragon stuffing his face with cake.

I am Gornul, and I am where I belong.