"Hurry up. I'm getting cold," Bushy-Red said.
The squirrel's fuzzy fur coat trembled in the wind. As usual, he hung upside down. Sharp claws held tightly to a large maple tree.
He was very impatient. His black nose wiggled nervously.
His best friend, Perry Partridge was being a slow poke. They were supposed to go on a picnic.
Perry was busy exercising his wings. He wanted to fly at least higher than the lowest branch.
"Be patient," he called to his friend. "I'm almost finished."
Perry was still a young Partridge. And he had to keep in practice.
So he ran down the path once more. His three-toed feet left deep marks in the soft soil. Feathers flapped faster and faster.
This time he landed almost on top of Bushy-Red.
"Yikes! Watch it!" the squirrel squealed.
"Try running like Fred-Fox the next time. And keep your head up," HOOTY Owl chuckled. She was another one of Perry's good friends.
The little Partridge tried seven more times. Thankfully, crash landing on the ground did not hurt.
Early morning rain made the ground all wet. And soft.
Now the three of them sat together. From up here they could see far. Greenwoods, their homeland was in a valley.
"Look at the tall woods on both sides," Perry said.
"I see them every day," HOOTY added.
"Yah, but I don't," Bushy-Red scolded. "I think this view is really neat. So there."
"Now, now," Perry interrupted. He did not like his friends to argue. And they usually did.
Pretty Pasture looked yellow under the noonday sun. The high grass was a safe place for the Dee-Deer to sleep.
"I can even see a tiny lake," Perry said. He had never flown this high before.
"That's North Pond," HOOTY quickly answered.
"I was at South Pond once," Busy-Red said.
Their large branch swayed like a swing, back and forth, back and forth. The blowing wind reminded them of their plans.
Just then, two fat floppy crows flew by. "Hello HOOTY!" they yelled.
"HELLOOO," HOOTY politely answered.
"Cheers to you too, Bushy-Red," they said.
Bushy-Red was puzzled. "What does Cheers mean?" he asked HOOTY.
"It means, Be Happy," HOOTY answered.
"Thanks," Bushy-Red said. "CHEERIES!" he yelled out. Somehow the word did not sound the same.
"Bye-Bye, Perry." By now the fat floppy crows were almost at Three-Trees. It was a meeting place for everyone in Greenwoods.
"Perry quickly put his wings to his beak. "BYEEE-BYEEE!!" became an echo in the valley.
It was time for the three friends to begin their hike.
Perry flew from branch to branch. All that practice sure helped.
Bushy-Red ran up and down trees. He kept searching around each one for any treasures.
And HOOTY followed with the food sack. It was heavy and she had to rest often.
Finally they stopped beside Creepy Creek. It sang strange noises as it winded through the valley.
Perry and Bushy-Red prepared the snacks. After all, HOOTY had carried the food this far.
There was fresh leaf-tips and bush cranberries for Perry. And they saw a bush full of Hazel nuts for Bushy-Red.
And left over pieces of mouse meat for HOOTY.
After full tummies they rested.
'"Remember what happened yesterday?" Perry asked.
"That Ra-Rabbit was sure lucky we came along," HOOTY answered.
"Yes," said Bushy-Red. "Something was wrapped around Ra-Rabbit's front leg." He and Perry did not know it was a circle of wire.
"It came from the Village of Walking-Trees. Beyond Greenwoods," wise HOOTY said.
Perry had never heard of that Village before.
HOOTY continued on with her story. "Sounds of thunder and lightning come from their branches. It happens during the time of autumn. And sometimes Dee-Deer fall to the ground.
Then they go to Forever Place."
Perry wrapped his feathery arms around Bushy-Red. The squirrel was sure shaking.
"Please. No more stories about those unwelcome visitors," Perry said.
First, they had a nice cold drink from Creepy Creek. Then there was time to play.
HOOTY hid first. She found a low branch on a thick pine tree. But they could not find her. She had to call out, "Hoot! Hoot!" until they did.
Perry Partridge decided to hide under a log pile. But his friends could not find him. He had to beat one wing loudly against a fallen tree.
Then they did find him.
Bushy-Red got tired of this game. So they continued on their journey. They kept a watchful eye for "HUSHY-Hawk."
If that nasty bird caught HOOTY, he would eat her.
They also had to be watchful of C-C Coyote. And W-Wolf. They lived in the Dark Woods, way past North Pond.
Three friends now went for a swim.
They jumped and flew together off huge Rough Rock. It was like a diving board. They shouted and splashed.
And shook wet feathers and fur at each other.
After a nice rest, they headed home.
This time they walked across Pretty Pasture. Then they rushed past Lightning Tree. "Long ago, a crooked arrow came from the sky, " HOOTY said. "And bent that tree."
They sang songs and laughed and yelled a lot. Three friends hopped skipped and flew, with Perry leading the way.
Their happy sounds carried across the sky.
High above 'Eagle Eyes' slowly flapped her eagle wings. She wanted to make sure three friends returned home safely.
Greenwoods soon turned dark.
Perry and Bushy-Red were sleepy.
And HOOTY flew off until tomorrow.
* * *
Richard & Esther Provencher 2006
81 Queen Street, Unit 6, Truro, Nova Scotia
Canada B2N 2B2 Phone (902) 897-2344
Word Count = 907 for the above story
My wife, Esther and I really enjoy writing. It is an excellent salve, in addition to prayers, a great wife and family during my continuing recovery from a stroke/aneurysm. You can contact us at:
firstname.lastname@example.org re comments on our work. We live in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada. Pray for others.
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Richard L. Provencher
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