Chapter 1

T woke but kept her eyes closed. Something was different. Peeking with one eye being careful not to move her eyelid she looked straight ahead and then slowly to the window. A bright beam of sunlight warmed the blanket covering her feet. The day before, she thought, the sun shone on her stuffed cat on a wicker basket at the foot of the bed. The window had moved. It was now closer to the middle of the wall. T closed her one eye and opened both. Now she could see the apple tree in the middle of the field where yesterday she could only see the path winding its way up a long hill to the south. It had rained and a rainbow bridged the path. She had followed that path the day before with four of her friends -Igy an iguana, RA a pack rat, limiL a groundhog and Elle an eagle, to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Their adventure had taken all day. Igy found bugs to eat, RA found shiny rocks, limiL liked to run ahead, stop and sun himself and Elle soared high and flew in and out of the rainbow but T didn't find any treasure. She was tired and hungry when she got back to the castle.

Her room in the castle did that. It changed shape. It had been doing that for all of her life. She was eight. The furniture also changed shape. It even changed floors like she lived on an elevator. The changes didn't happen all the time. Some times she woke up and her bed was in the basement. When that happened she would eat breakfast, cuddle up in her blankets and stare out the small window. The view was bleak, it was dirt. One time she woke and her bed was on top of the castle and in every direction she looked she could see far beyond the hills. She saw big animals and circus tents and giant ice cream machines and things she didn't know existed and sometimes they just looked like fluffy clouds.

Today she saw the apple tree and a big apple at the top. That would be today's adventure. Every day had an adventure. T could not remember them all. Today Igy said he was happy and wanted to stay in his cool cage. Elle said, "You can see the apple so I don't have fly up and find it, I will go down to the river today and fish. RA said, "You need me to get the things you need to climb the tree and a basket to put the apple into."

"I will go with you." limiL said. He wanted to go with T. He had seen the tree the day before and thought the shade under the tree would cool and that apples on the ground would be tasty.

T, limiL and RA left her room. RA rode on T?s shoulder and limiL ran down the stairs. Finding the banister on the stairs free of clutter and three floors high, T threw a leg over the polished wooden handrail and slid in a long spiral down to the big door to the outside which opened as she landed. Griffon, a dragon, who called himself her mentor, had opened the door. T never knew why or how, but "Grif" just seemed to be at the right spot to keep her from crashing into things.

"Taylor Anne" a voice boomed from the kitchen. "Taylor Anne, come here and eat your breakfast".

"Oops." T thought. Her friends called her T. Friends of her mother called her "Taylor". "Taylor Anne" usually meant she was in trouble.

RA jumped off her back and scurried away and returned with a small lunch basket with fruit, sandwiches, and a bottle of lemonade. T went into the large kitchen. She held out the basket and said, I've already had breakfast and packed a lunch, see. It was a small lie but there was an adventure to start. T backed up a couple of steps, turned and skipped out the front door into the sunshine and onto the road that lead to the bridge over the moat.

She skipped along turning in circles looking at the castle, the horse stables and pens of goats and sheep and fenced in areas for cows. The castle grounds were surrounded by a moat and beyond the moat were hills and large meadows and forests.


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