The dresarge was even more formidable in person. It ripped and gnawed at the bars of its cage. It snarled at me switching its tail back and forth sending clouds of straw bedding material into the air.
We were in the stables below the palace. We came down the inner staircase as soon as night fell. I could see there was a wide set of stairs leading up to the courtyard and out of the palace.
“Easy little one,” Aldobi-rand soothed.
Little one? The beast was practically as big as my pod.
He reached through the bars and stroked the huge animal in the middle of one of its foreheads. “My sweet girl,” he cooed.
She leaned one head against the bar as the other kept a close eye on me. A deep rumbling purr literally shook the airspace around us.
“That’s my girl.” He dug his fingers into the fir between her heads and gave it a gentle tug.
The purring head drooled. The other growled down deep in its throat at me.
The young man opened the cage door. His hand slid over the nearest head of the beast, down its neck and along her side. He grabbed a hand full of fur as he slid his leg over her back. He reached out his hand to me.
“Come,” he commanded.
I don’t know what I thought was going to happen, but it certainly was not me riding a dresarge.
“How else did you think we are to get to your pod?” He shook his extended hand at me impatiently.
I stepped forward. The head closest to me growled and snapped at me. I jerked back in fright.
“Down!” Aldobi-rand commanded as he yanked on the fur at the side of the beasts face. “No!”
“Again,” he commanded and extended his hand toward me. “Be brave,” he ordered. “She can smell your fear.”
“I am not afraid,” I lied.
Just quaking in my boots and almost peed my pants.
I took a wide birth of the heads and came in to the side. I grabbed Aldobi-rand’s hand. He yanked me up to sit astride the dresarge in front of him.
“Point your toes into her side and grip with your legs. Her skin will roll as she moves.”
Roll? If Aldobi-rand had not held me tight he would have left me on the stairs as we exited the stables.