As he entered the stables, the boy saw many fine horses along one side and beautiful cages filled with colorful birds along the other. With a shock, he recognized his brother’s big roan horse partway down the aisle. At the same time, one of the birds flew wildly to the edge of its cage and began to beat its wings against the bars.
The youngest brother ran to the cage. “Is it you, brother?” he asked. The bird dipped its beak as if nodding. The boy reached out for the cage’s latch, but stopped the moment before his hand touched the ornate metal, remembering the beast-man’s words.
Instead, he pulled the faery’s shining coin from his pocket and rubbed it. The faery appeared at once on a sweet-smelling wind. The boy explained the situation, ...