Croi — Croi! The horns from the Ranger watchtowers blasted their message. Croi–Croi! Two short blasts meant that someone was making Crossing.
Little Child had spent the days since his own Crossing learning the ways of Bright City. Soon he would choose to become an apprentice to a Master Teacher who would show hirn how to take his place in the Restoration. If only he knew exactly where he belonged. Was he a player, or a dancer, or a song-maker, or a craftperson? Was he a trader, or an artisan, a cabby, or a crewmate? What was his special place?
Croi–Croi! the horns blared. “Crossing! Crossing!” workers around him cried. Sighters are not afraid he said.
Little Child hurried to the watchgate that faced the Garbage Dump. Since his own Crossing, he had loved being part of these welcomings. How well he remembered the heartening hurrahs that had greeted him from the walls of Bright City.
From the storage barrels beside the gates, he grabbed a colorful streamer bound around a slender pole. Tucking its handle into his belt, he scrambled hand over hand up one of the knotted hanging ropes, his feet pushing hard against the stonework and propelling him upward. At the top, standing on the wallwalk, he saw a large caravan of carts and wagons lumbering from the Garbage Dump.
They were being pulled by great beasts of the forests. A troupe of Rangers in working blues plodded beside the elk buck and deer stags, their stately heads of horns bowing and straining mightily against leather halters and harnesses. From this distance, the cavalcade looked to……..