She was a safe place to all animals she encountered. They trusted her, sensed her gentle spirit, her kindness toward them radiating out to them before she could even see them. Are you picturing Snow White lost in the woods talking to all the animals? Perhaps Cinderella, with all her all her birds and mice taking care of and talking to her? She didn't know how or why, nor did she question it, there was no need, Love spoke the language of whatever animal she encountered.

She stood on the outskirts of the forest, a faint deer path inviting her to venture toward her friends, she knew they would be waiting. Love used a soft whisper whistle as the forest wrapped around her, embracing her as she started on the deer path. Just a slight push of air between her teeth and tongue, high pitched like Sparrow or a Blue Bird. Immediately there was a response, and many varieties of birds fluttered about her as she walked through the fullness of the forest. Feeling the prick of the pine or the softness of the leaves. Love spoke to each in their own language. To the Crow she "cawed" with the purr in the back of the throat to ensure she was speaking with the correct dialect, bringing the murder close to her. To the Blue Jay she announced with the 2 tone whistle, and he and his friends responded with good cheer. To the Hawk she gave a high pitched whistle and she replied piercing the air with her arrival. Even the deep soft "hoot" of the Barred Owl was answered before he flew.

The downed tree just to the side of the trail, was of medium size and provided a perfect resting place. Love sat, was still, and listened. Some of her friends came without being called and others seemed to appear as she thought of them. Squirrel chittering and purring, as Love greeted her. Bunny thumping at Love's feet, flicking his feet in the air, then nuzzling her her extended hand for a head rub. Spider was near by, and Love moved a slow hand to her, Spider allowing the invitation, and sat in Love's palm to say hello. Snake slithered about quite content and calm. Ant, stopped from his scurrying to take Love in a moment.

No matter where Love moved her eyes, there was life. Even if she could not see it, she could feel it. These lives interacted with her, some spoke to her, others just watched her as she watched them. It is in this way they communicated with each other, with Love.

Time did not exist in this forest, the sky barley visible through the tops of the trees. The green of the trees and plants were pleasing and calming. Deer moved quietly toward Love, bringing her twin Fawns. They were so quiet and protected by their markings that Love did not see them until Deer was in front of her. They gazed into each others eyes as Deer nibbled on some greens. The Fawns picked up the light energy and approached without fear or concern. Love happened to have some Oatmeal Raisin cookies, which she knew to be Deer's favorite. The Fawns seem to find them irresistible as well. Raccoon announced himself before he made his appearance, trilling to everyone that he as on the way. So all were looking in his direction as he sauntered his way to Love. He took Love's hand, and removed a piece of remaining cookie. Love laughed, and scratched Raccoon's head and behind his ears.

Honk! Honk Honk! Splash!

Oh my Love thought, and laughed at herself, at the sound of the Geese making her jump. The soft quack of The Ducks, and the Peeps of their Chicks reminded her that there was a small pond nearby.

Love rose and stepped onto the path. She stopped and thanked those whom she had been spending time with for their company. Although most would remain as Love moved on, Deer and her Fawns, and Raccoon accompanied her to the pond. Many of the birds flitted about from tree to tree and surrounded Love with songs and merriment as she traveled.

Pond met Love on the shore. Lizard waited in the tall grass at the waterline with Frog who "croaked" a forlorn greeting. Turtle was just to the left on part of a log that was not submerged. Fish swam this direction and that to get Love's attention. No, not just Fish, Fishes, they were all causing a moving ripple, as if the water itself was alive. Love saw the silhouette of the gray and white bird in the reeds. "Heron do' in" Love said. "Squawk" was Heron's reply, the deep, loud, throaty squawk of greeting, but Heron stayed where he was. He had his eye on a prize.

Here at the pond, time seemed more noticeable to Love. Sky making itself quite visible here, announced with gray clouds, and a soft breeze that it would soon be sending Rain to visit. The moist air brought about a few friends that Love did not have an ill will toward, but did not find the greatest comfort in their time together. Mosquitoes, although having been around as long as Love, had not evolved past biting when they offered a kiss of greeting.

Although Storm was always welcome in Love's eyes, she preferred to great Storm with at least a bit of cover over her head. Love knew it was getting close to that time of day to head back to her home away from home.

Love closed her eyes and breathed in and out, emanating all that was within her, in reverence to all that was around her.

Love turned and journeyed back on the path she arrived on. Still enveloped with the songs of those friends in the canopy above. Deer, her Fawns and Raccoon traveled with her to the forest edge.

Love unwillingly stepped out of the forest, and turned to face it's edge. She took in a deep breath, and bowed her head, thanking the forest and all it's inhabitants for a wonderful time. As she looked up Love saw Deer bow her head, and Raccoon put his paw in the air and hold it there.

They knew this was not goodbye. You see, Love never really leaves.

March 20, 2021 16:26

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RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

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