Little D- Son of Duncan
Chapter 20 of The Celestial Pack 

The silver haired cowboy with the twinkling blue eyes peered out from under the brim of the white cowboy hat as he sat patiently astride the lovely palomino, Venus Tia, while she walked in the verdant hills of the Celestial Valley towards the Rainbow Bridge. Close behind them followed the American Cream Draft, Valerius carrying a beautiful horsebow in a bow quiver attached to his empty saddle.  Finally they arrived at the Bridge and stood looking across it into the distance at the slight shadowy figure of a handsome lanky young man as he hesitantly approached them. The young man had long dark bangs carelessly 
swept to the side of his face and held in place by a whimsical knit hat. 

Sir Jerald calmly sat in the saddle and gently stroked her mane, as Venus impatiently pawed the ground. “Easy now, Venus.  He is almost here.” Valerius tossed his head and butted Sir Jerald’s leg, “Yes, I know Valerius, just wait a bit more. You are the one to carry him;  Giraldus would wish it to be so.  You are the best horse to ride for horseback archery, and we know that Little D will be leading the Celestial Pack on you. See, here he comes. He is starting across the bridge to us already.”

Little D sped up a bit when he caught sight of the palomino horses.  He quickly crossed the Rainbow Bridge, but slowed down as he approached the horses. “Bee?” he said quizzically, holding out his hand towards Valerius.  “No, son, this is Valerius.  Do you remember him from Summer Hunt?  He belonged to Giraldus, the son of Donwenna . I am Sir Jerald, a friend of your dad’s.  We’re here to welcome you.  Here are your arrows.” Sir Jerald handed down 
a black leather quiver embossed with a gold horse’s head. The quiver was full of arrows fletched in purple, orange, and black.  Little D took the quiver of arrows from Sir Jerald and strapped it to his thigh as he said, “ I remember Valerius. For a moment, I thought he was my Bee.” He reached over and patted Valerius on his neck. Valerius gently put his head over Little D’s shoulder and pulled him in for a horse hug.  It lasted a long moment before V
Little D stood back, gave a deep satisfied sigh, and looked up at Sir Jerald. “What happens now, Sir Jerald?,” he asked while gazing steadily at the older man.  

“You join us, son. You will ride on Valerius at the head of the Celestial Pack across these beautiful green valleys with the dogs, horses, and other Noble riders here during this endless summer. “ Turning his head to look back at the bridge, Little D quietly thought for a moment. “But what about my dad and my mom and my sisters? “ Sir Jerald bowed his head, “That’s a good question, 
son. They know you are safe with me and that you will be happy here until you go on to the next stage of your journey.” With a gentle smile, he continued, “Would you like to get up onto Valerius and walk with us while we talk?”

 Nodding his head, Little D put his foot in the stirrup, then rose gracefully and settled into the saddle. Valerius stood rock steady, and Little D leaned over and patted his neck murmuring “Good boy.” Together he and Sir Jerald turned the horses away from the bridge.   As they walked, some greyhounds came rushing up to them. Tongues hanging out and  panting, they romped around the two horses and their riders. The horses tossed their  heads a bit and walked a little faster, just a little more eagerly in the sunshine. The soft cool breeze ruffled their manes as Sir Jerald looked over at Little D and continued, “ I hear that 
you are a fire dancer and I can tell you already that we all look forward to seeing you spin fire. Master Johannes is wondering whether you will be willing to teach him how. That Johannes,” Sir Jerald chuckled, “ he always loves to learn new things. ” With a small smile, Little D thoughtfully said,” I suppose so. ” As the horses walked along, the expression on Little D’s face became more relaxed and began to brighten into a smile.  His eyes began to sparkle as they looked around at the green countryside, so like the places where he rode back in Washington state. Looking at Little D, Sir Jerald pointed at the horsebow in the quiver, “You can take that out and try it out, it’s yours while you are here.” Little D nodded
as he removed the bow and nocked an arrow. Valerius calmly twitched an ear back for a moment, but was steady in his stride, because he knew that Little D was under his care. 

“What is that?” Little D asked Sir Jerald. “That is Master Johannes sounding the hunting horn calling us to the Hunt” replied Sir Jerald. “ Do you feel like you are ready to take a run on Valerius and to try that bow now ?” Sitting up straighter and wrapping his legs a little tighter on Valerius, Little D smiled and eagerly nodded at Sir Jerald. As the horses picked up their pace, and leapt into the canter, Sir Jerald watched Little D a moment. Satisfied that Little D had a secure seat, Sir Jerald leaned forward just a little bit on Venus.  From one 
stride to the next , she reared slightly on her haunches to gather herself for a mighty leap. Then, Venus flung herself forward with Sir Jerald into a full out gallop. Beside them, firmly astride Valerius, Little D whooped in shear excitement as they galloped and all raced towards the sound of the horn and the brightly glowing sun.

In the distance, Master Johannes called out waving the horn, “We welcome you this day, Little D to the Celestial Realm. After your run, come and meet the rest of the Celestial Pack and let the breezes of the Celestial Lands caress you. We the Kings, Queens, and Nobles of the Celestial Realm have been charged by your father, Duncan to watch over you, to love and care for you, to keep you safe.

 Hear now the Roll of the Celestial Pack, who will be your 
loving Companions during this Endless Summer:
“Beaux, of Meridies”
“Venus Tia, of An Tir”
“Cisco, of Trimaris”
“Valerius of An Tir”
“Titus of An Tir”
"Aces High, of Midrealm"
"Aiden, of Calontir"
"A-Me-Go, of Midrealm"
"Ariel, of Meridies"
"Belle, of Ansteorra"
"Belle, of Midrealm"
"Bernie, of Meridies"
"Blackout, of Atlantia"
"Bo, of Midrealm"
"Brodie, of Atlantia"
"Browning, of Meridies"
"By Choice, of Meridies"
"Carl-Ten, of Meridies"
"Chris, of Meridies"
"Christa of Meridies"
"Colt, of Meridies"
"Cutie, of An Tir"
"Damon Fox, of Meridies"
"Digger, of Trimaris"
"Dixie, of Meridies"
"Duncan, of Midrealm"
"Ears of Dark Horde"
"Emily, of Atlantia"
"Erromani, of AEthelmearc"
"Et Cetera, of Meridies"
"Frankie, of Midrealm"
"General, of Midrealm" 
"Gryphon, of Midrealm"
"Harmony, of Meridies"
"John Moore, of Meridies""Keavy, of An Tir"
"Lookin, of Trimaris"
"Lucinda of Trimaris"
"Lucy, of Calontir"
"Madeline, of Artemesia"
"Magic, of Meridies"
"Missy, of Meridies" 
"Muskrat, of Meridies"
"Myra, of Ansteorra"
"Pat-C, of Midrealm"
"Pattycake, of Atlantia"
"Pest, of Artemesia"
"Ripley, of An Tir"
"Ross, of Meridies"
"Scooter, of Meridies"
"Seeger Rock, of Meridies"
"Sha-Kar, of Ansteorra"
"Sheba, of AEthelmearc"
"Sissy-B, of Midrealm"
"Splash, of Meridies"
"Storm, of Meridies"
"Streaker, of Ansteorra"
"Stumah, of AEthelmearc"
"Sugar Sweety, of Meridies"
"Sunni, of An Tir"
"Swift, of Midrealm"
"Tasha, of Midrealm"
"Tucker, of Meridies" 
"Velvet, of Midrealm"
"Zima, of Ansteorra”
So Howl and Roo all you hounds! Whinny and Prance all steeds of the Knowne World for 
tonight, there is another Noble rider, who shall grace the Celestial Lands. Little D is free of earthly pain and safe with all those Beloved who have gone before, while he awaits his family and friends in the Celestial Realm.

Done by my hand this day, 21 January 2016, 

Donwenna LaMareschale
© Donna DeBonis 2016
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