Elsa Ramsey stepped out onto the stile, cold and hungry. What was she doing here? Why had she left her home, her family, her friends? It had seemed so grand at first, but now it hurt so bad she could scarcely draw a breath. If she had known that Lynx would die along this journey she would never have made it. But it was just too late now. She had already endured so much hardship, it wouldn't be worth anything to go back to Germany. All she wanted to do was to go home, but it would be a disgrace to her honor. Elsa couldn't do that. Not to her family, not to her homeland.
Drawing the last bit of strength inside her she lifted her hands to her lips, and let out a staggering owl call. To her surprise, she heard an answer! Not just any answer, the call of a horse. But-but how! Elsa thought. Lynx is dead, no other horse knows me. How can I be hearing this call? Just to make sure it wasn't the wind, Elsa called again. The same answer came. Elsa, shaking her head, stepped back into the hut.
To her surprise, a boy was sitting on the hearth, playing a bagpipe. "You have called me," he said. "My name is Elkhanah. You are making my grandfather's whistle. How did you come to know the whistle of my people?" Elsa drew in a breath, sat down, prepared to be on the rug for a while. "Well, it was a dark and stormy night..."