Oy! In this week’s reading (chapters 17-20) we visited the Guildling Hall for the first time, which brought back many memories. The Wingfeather kids were nervous on their first day, and so was I. I like dogs and fruit (FRUIT!) as much as any Hollowsfolk, and I was good at tree-climbing and sneakery, but I was hopeless at pummelry. Like Janner, I wanted real book-loving friends to talk to. In a brash and loud world, the Bookbindery felt like it was created exactly for me—just as, I imagine, the Houndry felt for Leeli. 🙂
“Leeli, your mother tells me you’re going to like this,” said Olumphia. “Brimstone, as you can see, is already excited about it.”
The dog barked and bolted ahead of them to the next stone building. The shingle hanging over the door was carved with the silhouette of a dog; HOUNDRY, it read. Brimstone wagged her tail and pawed at the entrance.
Olumphia pushed open the heavy door, and a chorus of barks, whines, and howls poured out. With the noise came the smell of dog and hay, tinged with the odor of animal waste. Kalmar winced and covered his face, but Leeli’s eyes widened. She looked at Nia in disbelief. Guildmadam Groundwich’s dog bolted through the door, and Leeli hurried after.
The inside of the chamber was as full of dogs as the Guildling Hall was full of children. But unlike the students, the dogs were glad to see them. They barked happy barks and circled the Wingfeathers, wagging tails and sniffing at boots and whining to be petted. Leeli dropped her crutch and hugged the first dog that approached her. It put a paw as big as a saucer on her shoulder and panted in her face. Another dog nosed his way under her other arm, and she stood supported between them, smiling so wide that her face turned pink. Then the dogs trotted forward and dragged her along. Leeli squealed with delight as they paraded her around the room, pursued by a train of barking dogs, most of which were as tall as Leeli.
Janner and Kalmar laughed. It was as if the Maker had prepared a place just for their sister.
Discussion: What guild would you most want to join? Sign up here. 🙂
What was your favorite passage this week?