Book Three: "RAD and the Chili Pepper Ploy"

       The Lord Master of the Skies – a magnificent golden eagle – was in a stately flight above "The Land of Enchantment".
       Below, on the desert floor, a bus traveling on a two-lane highway that wound its way towards greener pastures, had come to a stop, letting off a lone passenger.
       At the same time, the master of the air effortlessly descended.
       The passenger, a young man with a backpack and a case for a musical instrument of some kind, stood on the highway’s shoulder watching as the great bird glided silently over the yucca flowers growing in the gypsum dunes…suddenly disappearing out of view…then reappearing in seconds clutching a snake in its talons, and as he flew over the watching passenger, dropping it on him. The snake bounced off the young man’s backpack and fell to the ground at the back of his heel.
       The young man looked up at the soaring eagle and smiled. Then his attention turned to the snake. It was still alive, quickly slithering towards the sand in the desert.
       "Was that a good omen? Or a bad omen?" asked a gravelly voice from behind him.