It was the captain who noticed the significance of the feathers first — the children were simply busy playing with them, while some of the followers gathered up the downy ones and stuffed them into sacks. It walked with us, and as its feet grew callused on the stone-grass, its wings shed continuously, as though they renewed themselves every so often.
The captain picked one up, and stared at it for a long time, booted feet plodding along with the rest of us, until suddenly the grey sky was full of shouts and laughter. He held up the slim feather, and his fingers touched the rachis, and there was music, silver light and fire all at once, and it lit up his face from within.
Where does this go?