Prestor curled his tail around the hill of books behind him and leaned back to read the first sentence again—just in case
he had seen in Lewis’ writing something that wasn’t…
Among the hills a meteorite
Lies huge; and moss has overgrown,
And wind and rain with touches light
Made soft the contours of the stone.
This had to mean something marvelous was hidden in plain sight. A meteorite from beyond the world had landed in the ordinary landscape, and the earth had camouflaged its origin. He felt confident enough to go on to the next sentence.
Thus easily can Earth digest
A cinder of sidereal fire,
And make her translunary guest
The native of an English shire.
Prestor squinted, his green-gold eyes glowing in concentration. The meteorite had impact and power when it first hit the ground. It burned through the atmosphere and landed in fire. Yes, it was only a mere cinder shed from the universe, but it was no small event to take in such a guest. And Earth, so it seemed, knew how to accept and absorb it. Now, if ordinary earth and rain could disguise the shard of a star, could not earthly creatures disguise something more magnificent? Or perhaps absorb it so well that it became an expected sight—or further, became invisible? What if humans were hidden from dragons by the magic of ordinary? He read on.
Nor is it strange these wanderers
Find in her lap their fitting place,
For every particle that’s hers
Came at the first from outer space.
Yes, of course. The meteorite was easily absorbed for a reason. Because…
All that is Earth has once been sky;
Down from the sun of old she came,
Or from some star that traveled by
Too close to his entangling flame.
Yes, Earth itself was a meteorite. Long overgrown, long disguised by its own nature, dusty with the magic of ordinary. But it was stardust all the same. If an iron meteor and the wild earth could embrace as long lost siblings, could not humans and dragons meet as long lost friends? One last sentence…
Hence, if belated drops yet fall
From heaven, on these her plastic power
Still works as once it worked on all
The glad rush of the golden shower.
The meteor was a latecomer, but nature worked on it as diligently as she did Earth itself, the firstcomer. Nothing, then, was alien about the coming of the meteor. And this made Prestor think again: if man ever appeared in the world of dragons, would it not be so much an invasion, as a homecoming?