Instead, a small bird wobbles precariously on half-frozen feet. It is barely the size of his muzzle, and though most of its feathers match the swirling snow and pale blue sky it is obvious that the little thing was not meant for a climate such as this. It shivers, and as Pteron uncurls himself from where he lies on the stone, it does not pull away in fear. Too cold, he thinks as he resettles beside the bird and gently tucks it against him. The bird doesn’t protest, and Pteron soon dozes off again.
When he wakes, the bird is perched on his crest, gently pulling through the tangled strands of the pegasus’ mane.
“That tickles,” he says, but the bird continues to preen him as though it doesn’t understand. He twitches the muscle of his shoulder, but the bird simply flutters to the joint of his wing and rubs its yellow beak along a feather as long as she is. He glances out the mouth of his cave gain to see that the afternoon has brought with it a brief let up in the snow and wind, and his growling stomach reminds him that he has not eaten in half a day. Pteron leaves the hollow in the cliff face with a single leap, allowing the air to catch his weight and outstretched wings. He’s amused to see the little bird follows after him, and together the two soar across the hilly kingdom.
Pteron settles downwind of a bubbling spring, where the heat of the water allows a small pocket of lush grass to grow even in the heart of winter. The dun stallion busies himself eating while the little bird inspects the bare branches of a tree outside the warmth of the spring.