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<span> After leaving Kelton, Furello followed his chosen trail for hours. </span> <span>Eventually, it ended in a sea of tail-high grass. He was starting across the emerald meadow when the sound of munching struck his ears. </span> <span> Turning toward the sound, he gaped in wonder. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> There was the Queen, clad in a flaming red cape, crawling on her hands and knees, eating the green grass while cattle and sheep grazed peacefully around her. </span> <span>Furello was delighted to have found the Queen, though it did seem strange that she was eating grass. </span> </p> <p> <center> <img id="image_08" src="image_s_08.jpg" onfocus="this.src='image_f_08.jpg';" onblur="this.src='image_s_08.jpg';" alt="Furello finds the Queen." tabIndex = 0> </center> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> He bounded up to her and, in his most cheerful manner, said,  Hello, I m Furello and I certainly am happy to find you. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> The Queen looked gravely at him and said haughtily,  Kindly address me as  Your Majesty. </span> <span>I could have you thrown out of here immediately, you know! </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Not seeing anyone there to throw him out, Furello continued,  But I have been looking for you for two days, and at last I ve finally found you. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  You are a foolish youngster, retorted the Queen. </span> <span>  This is where I always am, right here in my palace. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Oh, no! Furello exclaimed. </span> <span>  This is not your palace. </span> <span> Your palace is back by... </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Do not be insolent! shouted the Queen. </span> <span>  This is the grandest, most magnificent castle in the whole world, she said as she swept her arms open, embracing the vision of the entire meadow. </span> <span> At that, one of the cows lowed a long, soft  moo-oo-oo. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Ah, there. </span> <span> She agrees. </span> <span> One of my very faithful servants. </span> <span> And just see how my palace is studded with fabulous jewels, the Queen boasted, pointing at the lovely flowers in the meadow. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Furello wondered how he could make the Queen realize that she had a real palace back in Fittle and that her subjects needed her. </span> <span> The unicorn s eyebrows knitted in thought, then an idea flashed. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Your Majesty, he said,  I can see that your palace is truly very wonderful, but there is something you do not have. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  And what is that? demanded the Queen. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  You do not have a unicorn who can take you flying through the air, Furello replied, a little anxious because he did not know if he had ever carried anyone on his back before. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Ha! chortled the Queen. </span> <span>  And I suppose you are just such a creature? </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Hoping he had not gone too far, Furello replied,  Yes, I am. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Well, my little one, we shall see! said the Queen, and, taking a fast step, she hopped directly onto Furello s slender back. </span> <span> The heavy load staggered him, but after a valiant struggle, Furello managed to leap into the air. </span> <span> Laughing with glee, the Queen yelled to the cattle and sheep below,  If the King comes, tell him I may be late! </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> As their shadow swept over the trail far below, the Queen cried exuberantly,  Never have I had so much fun. </span> <span> Faster! </span> <span> Faster! </span> <span> Higher! </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Eventually, the town unfolded before them. </span> <span> The Queen became silent when she saw her gleaming castle below. </span> <span>It sat in the center of huge gardens and green lawns, surrounded by a moat, with a footbridge connecting it to the town. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Exhausted by his load, Furello landed heavily on the grass. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> The Queen sprang off his back and exclaimed,  My goodness! </span> <span> My castle! </span> <span>Where have I been? </span> <span>Before Furello could answer, the Queen turned to him. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  You...you saved me!</span> <span> Name anything in my kingdom and you shall have it. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Furello smiled happily. </span> <span>  I just want to know the answer to one question. </span> <span>What is the most... </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Before he could finish, a loud clamor arose as a crowd of citizens flowed across the footbridge and cheered the Queen. </span> <span> They lifted her high above their heads and carried her through the town. </span> <span> When the crowd finally brought the Queen back, Furello tried to ask the question again, but the Queen put him off. </span> <span> Tut-tut, my lad. </span> <span> Now is not the time for questions. </span> <span>It is a time for cheer. </span> <span> You shall have the most splendid room in the castle. </span> <span>First we rest, then we can talk. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> With that, the Queen clapped her hands smartly. </span> <span> A servant appeared quickly and directed Furello to a most splendid windowed room. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> There was a huge pool in its center, fruit trees and rainbow-colored flowers growing around its sides, and through its enormous stained-glass window was a balcony overlooking the entire town and countryside. </span> <span> Though the room was beautiful and he was tired, Furello did not stay there. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Worrying about Kelton, he left the palace and trotted through town until he spotted Ms. Sneazel. </span> <span> She greeted Furello with a smug grin. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Welcome, my honored friend. </span> <span> I heard you found the Queen. </span> <span>I trust you followed my directions and they proved me correct? </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Yes, I did, Furello replied. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Ah, then, I was right. </span> <span> Most gratifying, Ms. Sneazel glowed. </span> <span>  By the way, where is your striped friend? </span> <span> You know, the one with the hat rack on his head. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  I am not sure, Furello answered, trying not to look as worried as he felt. </span> <span> We came to a split in the trail, I went one way, and he went the other. </span> <span> The smile rolled off Ms. Sneazel s face. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  You came to a split in the trail? </span> <span> Seeing her look of horror, Furello spun about and bolted down the ivory road to the trail. </span> <span> What had previously taken hours to travel, he now covered in minutes. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> He soon came to the meadow where he had found the Queen. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  What happened to the split in the trail? he wondered. </span> <span> Slowly he traced his way back. </span> <span> He searched and searched but could not find a fork in the path.</span> <span> He felt exhausted. </span> <span> Wearily, he flew back to the castle. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> That night, Furello stood on his balcony, awash in the pearl luster of the moon. </span> <span> Below him, silken figures danced on a marble patio. </span> <span> A banquet for the Queen was to begin within the hour, but Furello did not feel like eating. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Kelton, Kelton, he wept silently. </span> <span>  What has happened to you? </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Meanwhile, Kelton had finally reached the town and was amazed to see the street teeming with joyous people. </span> <span>Confused and tired, he jostled his way through the happy throngs and followed the general flow of traffic toward the palace. </span> <span> He was about to ask someone if they knew of Furello when the press of the crowd pushed him across the footbridge and into the palace courtyard. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Furello had come down from his balcony and was walking through the crowd. </span> <span> His mind was filled with concern for the lost sea captain, and he resolved to search for him in the morning. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span> Downcast, he walked toward the footbridge. </span> <span> He forced himself to sound cheerful when enthusiastic citizens approached him with questions about finding the Queen, but he was not in the mood for festivities. </span> <span> Suddenly, he spotted Kelton looking frantically about. </span> </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp; <span>  Kelton, Kelton! he burst out. </span> <span>  You re here! </span> <span> Oh, I am so happy to see you! </span> <span> Bubbling with delight and relief, the two companions picked their way through the throng until they found a vacant table heaping with fruit and nuts. </span> <span> They sat down to the feast, interrupting their eating only to pour out their experiences to one another. </span></p> <br> <br> <br> <a href="chapter_7.html">Click here to go to Chapter 7.</a> <br><br><br> <!-- #EndEditable --></td> </tr> </table> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" bgcolor="#000000"> <table width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tr> <td><a href="http://www.host-central.net"><img src="../images/template_design_r6_c1.jpg" width="773" height="22" border="0"></a></td> </tr> </table> </td> </tr> </table> </body> <!-- InstanceEnd --></html>