The Glade of White Grasses

They called it the Glade of White Grasses. No man knew why it had taken on such a peculiar character. The children loved to go there to play in the summer, to pretend the snows of winter had claimed this little patch all year round. It was as good a guess as any, as the cold months brought snow piled deep in the mountain pass that led there. No one traveled to the Glade in that time of year; there was no reason.

In the Year of the Great Bear, the Month of Blue Waters, the snows came early. Valar’s parents were in a panic; their little one was nowhere to be found. Ghotir and Lana bundled themselves in leopard-skins and gathered their ice-hatchets and began the dangerous climb. Five days they fought the winter, five frozen nights they carved a path to the stranded child. When they found him, all color had fled from his body, his face locked in a ghastly scream. He was dead of fright.

They called it the Glade of White Grasses. They brought down the mountain pass, and the children never played there again.

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