Once I was inside the hatching room, I set Nico down on one of the many crates and took a look at the schedule Mother Hannah had pinned up for me.

Well, dear Eloise, I hope you learn something from this little experience. It’ll serve you well to gain patience. Read further for what you have to do.

1. Wash out the kelpie tanks – don’t ride on their backs!

2. Set out the feeding trough for the unicorns – be careful of Theo, he’s in a bad mood because he lost a fight.

3. Dust the baby roc’s nest.

4. Rack up the coals for the fire salamanders – Frosty’s got a cold, so turn the furnace on for her.

I’m sure you’ll do well! Have a nice time.

Yours, Mother Hannah.

My heart quailed at the list. This would be repeated every day until Mother Hannah came back?

Suddenly, Monday seemed very far away. Nico perched himself on my shoulder, overlooking the list.

He sniffed at it, and then pulled a sour face.

“That’s how I feel, too.”

View this story's 2 comments.