He told her of the many doors, and as he did, one by one they shone through the trees. Startled by their appearance, X flapped her wings and squawked. The animals responded by calling out her name, although they remained very much unseen, partly out of choice, and partly because of how heavy the snow was falling. To George, the music in the air was hypnotic. It made him sway to the point that he had to catch himself from falling over. She couldn’t hear a thing—as was to be expected—although within her heart she felt a magic she hadn’t known in years.
“You could step through any door you wish, but there’s only one, isn’t there?”
“Is there?” she asked.
“Why of course. It’s been waiting for your approach for so long, and now—at this moment—it seems as though it’s time for you to make your way.”
“But I don’t have a key. Do you?” George smiled at her before responding. He’d missed her and her good heart, and it made him so sad to think they wouldn’t have much longer together.
“You, my dear Prudence, are the key. You’ve always been the key, don’t you see?”
She did, and she didn’t. It was all very confusing, and the only thing she could think of doing was flapping her wings again. Sensing the time was almost at hand, George shook the snow from his coat of fur and prepared to make a move.
“I do believe it’s time for us to find this door of yours and join in the dance that awaits. Now, pick up your little friend and hop onto my back. It’s not far, not far at all. I shall explain as we go, although, in truth, you already know what I have to say. Perhaps all you need is to hear it said out loud. That often seems to be the way with you humans—even if you don’t currently resemble one adorned in all those feathers of yours.”
Thinking over his words, X hesitated before taking Herbie in her beak and climbing onto George’s back. Balancing herself as he skipped through the snow following the music, the closer they got, the more she was sure that she heard it too.