Chapter 5 The Wild World

Amaris Dahia ran to the edge of the forest that bordered the campsite. Peering through the trees, she thought of running away and never returning. Maybe she would join Po. Maybe she would be like her father and travel to every land within the four corners of the known world. Or maybe she would flee to the Wild World and leave the cruelty of the human world behind.

Just then, she felt heat emanating from within the leather pouch about her neck. Cautiously, she removed the Xámza from its hiding place. Sunlight glinted off the surface of the silver hand and the eye of a jackal seemed to come alive. Amaris Dahia was both startled and infinitely curious about the strange amulet that had been entrusted to her. She tried to recall the Chamber of the Beasts, but her memory of it seemed more fairy tale than real to her.

As she continued to stare intently at the Xámza, she heard the distant call of a hawk from the surrounding wilderness. She returned the amulet to the leather pouch and without a moment's hesitation—or reflection—followed the sound toward the woods. Then she saw it! Not the hawk, but a green parrot disappearing into the wild.