It was a nice sunny day with light breeze and some lazy clouds crossing the sky, when Dark-ler decided to find answer on troubling him questions once and for all. He stood in the grass not so far from his house and listened to the strange noises. If only several days ago they were scattered sporadically through the land, and it was a trouble to find them, now they were everywhere: chirr, hum, buzz and rustle of all sorts surrounded him, confusing him with their quantity and inexplicable melodiousness. Finally, Dark-ler chose a target and cautiously, as possible, started to approach it. He was close to the source of the noise and his hopes to solve the mystery were as strong as never, when another sound distracted him. At first, Dark-ler tried not to pay attention to it, focused on his target, but the sound behind him was becoming louder with every moment until the man recognized it. The Dark-ler turned around abruptly, not fearing to scare his “prey” anymore. “Ghosts” in the grass mattered no more and their noise obscured to the sight that Dark-ler witnessed.
Straight to him, looking cheerful and proud, flew Karoo, and the bird was not alone. The crow was followed by sunny-yellow birds, whose bright look Dark-ler almost forgot after many years of darkness. The flock noticed him, but, despite his expectations, there were no condemnatory or aggrieved looks directed to him: Swomee-Swans looked at the man with interest and joy.
Approached the Dark-ler, Karoo perched on his shoulder and cawed softly, looking at him. At first, fascinated by the scene, Dark-ler said nothing, continuing to look absently above him at the golden birds, however, soon his friend drew his attention.
- Ah, hello… I am so glad to see you. - The Dark-ler stroked the bird’s neck lightly with his finger, but next moment looked up again. – It is hard to believe in what I see… Is it real or I truly gone crazy? First those strange sounds and then this… - He fell silent again, preferring not to think about why he saw it, but enjoy the sight. Even if it was an illusion, he didn’t want to chase it off: he was willing to witness it for eternity. And with each moment the sight was becoming more and more glorious.
Swomee-Swans continued to fill the valley. They landed in the grass and rollicked there; they flew to the ponds and creeks to take a bath in crystal-clear water; some of them landed in the young Truffulas and even on the Dark-ler’s house roof. After some time Dark-ler started to notice that some Swans were carrying objects, no less bright than they were themselves. The birds with the “load” flew only to water, where they dropped it. Soon the valley filled with happy hum that was coming from the ponds and Dark-ler understood what the “cargo” was. Not only Swomee-Swans returned to their home today, but Humming-Fish joined them in their trip. And together they brought that necessary bit of life that the valley lacked before. However, something still was missing: there were no Bar-ba-loots in sight, the last of magical species that lived in the valley many years ago. But this thought, along with concomitant fears and suspicions in the Dark-ler’s mind, was suddenly interrupted by another, no less striking one.
The man turned to look at the crow on his shoulder so abruptly that Karoo looked at him with incomprehension.
- How… - uttered Dark-ler finally after short silence, frowning lightly. – How it happened that you came among them? Or… did they come with you?
As a reply Karoo only tilted its head to the side, and it was noticeable that good mood returned to the bird.
- So… - The Dark-ler frowned, realizing. – Can it be that it was you, who showed them the way?
- Exactly, beanpole.