Sky bison calves
The Keystone of Hair
Chapter information

Secrets of the Wind



Written by



Sokka jr, Ty, Kat

Release date

August 13, 2012

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Chapter 1: The Keystone of hair

The fabric mat keeps sticking to my thighs, and my head keeps scraping the top of the table. I wish I was still little so I could actually fit under here. I extend my legs and lay my back against the wall.

I should have shaved the front of my head while I had the chance. These bangs are annoying the heck out of me. Clumping together in knots and dripping with sweat. Sister Iio always said that having my hair down conflicted with my airbending. "Hair is a distraction from the air. You need to feel the wind smooth over you, not strands flying in your mouth and most likely into others." But I liked the way it felt. It just flowed and whipped. Though I used to get some of it in the fruit pies.

When I was seven, Sister Iio took me and Aamina to pick out our sky bison, along with some boys from the Southern Air Temple. She was the Mother Superior, so she was in charge of handling the meeting. Aamina had her hair slicked back and in a low ponytail. She always did what she was told, and never strayed from the crowd. Me on the other hand, I let it hang out loosely all over.

"Choose well, a sky bison is a companion for life." After Iio handed us our apples, I walked around to get a look at all the furry beasts. A lot of them were calm and quiet. I needed an exciting bison! One that was adventurous and mischievous. That's a seven year old for you. While all of this ran through my mind, I felt a tug on my head and came crashing down to the floor. A male nomad was strung out next to me with a bruised apple in his hand.

"Oww! What did you do that for!"

"Sorry miss, I must have stepped on your hair." He held out his hand. I took it and stood up reluctantly to my feet.

"You really should pull it back so you don't fall again." He laughed and handed me the apple I had dropped.

"Yeah well, you should look where you're going!"

"Sorry, sorry! I'm just saying that you could get hurt. I'm Aang by the way." He smiled and held his hand out again.

"Aalyia. And did you know your apple is bruised? You should ask for a new one."

"What seems to be the trouble you two?" A tall man shuffled in front of us with his arms slipped into his sleeves.

"This is Aalyia, Monk Gyatso. She's really nice and told me my apple is bruised. Can I maybe get a new one so that I can find a bison?"

"It's a pleasure to meet you young Aalyia." He bowed at me, then crouched down to our level. "Do you want to know a little secret?"

Aang and I looked at each other, then back at Gyatso.

"Some of the sweetest things in life, can come from those most rotten." He took Aang's apple and rubbed it with his sleeve. The fruit glistened in the sunlight, and the bruises disappeared with the shine.

"What?" I was at a loss, but Aang seemed more understanding.

"Gyatso, is there a problem?" Sister Iio shadowed over us.

"Actually Iio there is." Gyatso stood up, and started to pat her hand. "It seems as if you have misplaced your sense of humor today."

"Not as much as you have misplaced your youth." He started to laugh and they both walked back down the path.

"Aalyia!!" Aamina came running towards me with a bison following behind her. "What are you doing? Haven't you picked one out yet?"

"No. I got distracted because this boy here stepped on my hair." Aang blushed and started to twirl his apple.

"Well, come on, you need to pick one before the mother leaves!!" She started tugging at my hand and managed to get me to start walking.

"Bye Aang! It was nice to meet you!"

"Bye! And make sure you tie your hair back!" He waved and made his way down the hall until he disappeared.


"Why don't any of them like me?" I kicked the floor and watched the dust fly.

"Maybe you're not holding the fruit out far enough." Aamina sat on a stone petting Seiko. The bison rolled on her back and let out a groan.

"What do you mean? The fruit is fine! Just none of them will come to me." I plopped on the floor and placed my head in my hand. "Maybe animals just don't like me."

"That's nonsense! Remember when that lemur followed you around the courtyard for a whole day?"

"I had peaches in my pockets! Then it attacked me and ran off with my mid-day snack."

"Oh... Have you tried talking to the bison? Maybe in a sweetened manor?" Seiko licked her face, and started to fly in circles.

"Well not exactly. They can understand what I'm saying. I can't exactly talk to them like they don't know a tree from a fish."

"Sure you can! Come here wittle sky bison. Come here!" Another boy appeared from behind one of the pillars, along with an overweight bison.

"And who are you exactly?" Aamina stood up and walked over to the boy.

"Why my dear! Have you never heard of me?? I am Kazuki! The most awesome airbender you will ever meet!!" He made several punches of air, then opened his glider in a heroic pose. "And this is Chien, my trusty steed!" The bison rolled out his tongue and flopped onto his back.

"Yeah, sure looks like a bright animal you have there." Aamina and I laughed while Kazuki stood there with shoulders hung low.

"He's a good bison, watch! Chien, fetch me my coat." Chien continued to roll in the dirt. "He's still learning..."

"Yes well that's very nice. But how does this help me and MY chance of finding one."

"You could always drench yourself in honey and run around the stables." Kazuki started to make crazy munching noises. "Yum! Airbender for breakfast!"

"I'm going to say no thank you."

"You just need to be patient Aalyia. You'll find one." Aamina smiled and hugged me around my shoulders.

"Yeah well it better be soon."


The sky started to grow dimmer, and I held the now dirty apple in my hands.

"I'm never going to find one."

"Don't say that." Aang sat down next to me on the grass. A big, fluffy bison followed behind.


"Oops, sorry if I startled you." Aang scratched the back of his head.

"It's okay, I could always use some company." I picked up some pebbles and began throwing them.

"So why are you so sad?" He stared at me with worried eyes.

"I can't get a single bison to come to me. They won't even make eye contact. I'm just going to give up."

"Why would you give up? You know, some relationships take more time than others."

"Well everyone has one but me. I don't think there's even any left!"

"Sure there is. You just need to look." Aang airbended himself off the ground. "Follow me."

We walked all the way to the forests of the temple. All of the lemurs flew in and out of trees screeching and hollering.

"Aang why are we over here?"

"This is where I saw the mama bison fly, she has to be guarding the last of her babies."

"But won't she get mad and try to hurt us?"

"The only thing that can hurt us is your inability to own a single hair tie." I laughed and began to run.

"Hey wait for me!"

We raced each other to the middle of the woods. And there she stood. The largest, whitest, and most peaceful bison I have ever seen. And sure enough, underneath her stomach was a baby. It looked scared, and stayed close to her. I looked in its big brown eyes, and started to make hand motions to coax it out.

"Come here little guy, I'm not going to hurt you. I'm a friend see?" I gave the warmest smile I possibly could.

"Aalyia, Aalyia the apple. Bring out the apple." Aang whispered.

"Oh yeah!" I pulled out the rotten warm apple from my shirt and got down on my knees. "Come on, I've got food. Apple, mmm yummy." I held the apple out and moved it in circles. The animal remained close to its mother and began to whine. I turned around on my knees to face Aang.

"Oh what's the point. He doesn't want my stinking fruit."

"Umm, Aalyia?"

"No! He doesn't want to be mine! He wants to sit there and hide from me!"


"I don't even want a bison anyway."


I face planted into the dirt, and a warm, smelly body laid on top of me. I turned onto my back only to meet a slobbery pink tongue on my face.

"Ewww gross!"

"I told you one would be around here for you." Aang said. The bison continued licking my face until I finally gave him the apple.

"So now that you've found one, what are you going to name him?" Aang asked while petting his.

"I think I'll name him..........Ringo."

"That's a great name for him!" Ringo continued to eat the fruit, while I wiped the slobber off my face.

"Let's go before the lemurs begin to attack you for your stash of leechi nuts." I wiped the last of the spit off my cheek.

"But I don't have any nuts." Aang held his arms out, and a couple lemurs flew down and sat on them.

"What? I though I saw some fall out when we were running."

"No....I don't have any with me..." two more lemurs landed on my shoulders.

"In that case, RUN!!!"

That was the first memory I ever really kept. Sure, learning I could bend was great, and meeting Aamina was too. But getting my first sky bison, and meeting those two boys was one of the most notable. I can still feel the drool dripping down my face, which isn't very pleasant, if I do say so myself.

My bangs fall in front of my face again, and stick against my forehead. I grab the hair tie from my wrist, and pull my hair back. You never know, having your hair in a ponytail just might save your life.

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