Another fantastic forest adventure was about to begin. As Lily and her mom stepped into the woods, the cushy ground sent them bouncing forward. It was like stepping on a wet sponge and it was hilarious. Exploring the forest was one of Lily’s favorite ways to spend the day.
Is that a pinecone? Lily stepped closer to the base of the giant cedar just ahead and peered at what looked like a dried up old rose but with pine cone petals. It seemed delicate so when she leaned over she put her hand on the tree for balance. This rose cone would be a special addition to her nature collection, and was the first time in all her six years Lily had seen anything quite like it.
Just as Lily was about to collect her treasure she heard a whisper, and froze. Her mom was taking pictures of spring flowers and didn’t seem to notice.
“Pssst”. It sounded like the whisper was coming from the tree, but that seemed unlikely. When she tried to take take a step back to look around Lily discovered, to her amazement, her hand was stuck to the trunk.
Then again, “pssst little one”
This time she bent her head back as far as it would go, but it didn’t help. There was no one in sight, and the tree was so tall, she couldn’t see to the top.
Again, “pssst little one. Don’t be afraid. I’m just hoping you have a hug for me. There haven’t been too many folks around this winter and I’m lonely. I would be most grateful.”
Lily thought how odd it was she could understand the tree. She hesitated, wondering if her whole body would then be stuck. but her mom was nearby, so thought it would be ok. She knew how amazing a good hug was and pressed her whole body around as much of the trunk as she could, which was not even half way around. She’d never hugged a tree before and giggled to think of how funny she must look.
She stood quietly resting her cheek on the rough bark then closed her eyes. After settling in, she began to feel vibrations coming from inside the tree, then noticed a slow stream of energy rise up from the roots. It was the same happy feeling she got when her cat laid down on her chest and started to purr. As the vibrations hummed through her body, any remaining worries floated away.
“Would you like to take an adventure with me little one?” The tree really was speaking to her. She smiled and before she could answer the tree took her smile as a “yes”. With that, her little body started to disappear into the bark, as if it was melting. The next thing she knew she was entirely inside the tree. Then the stream of energy gathered her up and together they sailed right up the trunk to the very top.
Plop! Lily found herself sitting on a thick branch and grabbed a couple of smaller ones in each hand for extra support. With a clear view of the entire forest and hillside beyond, she could see why the tree wanted her to show it to her. The forest was much bigger than she ever imagined, and much more beautiful. She vowed one day she would hike to the other side.
There was nothing to do but take a good look around. The only sound was the occasional bird tweeting as it swept curiously by. Otherwise it was the complete silence that caught her attention. She could feel a quiet echo in her ears and thought it was strange but peaceful in some way.
“Look down a bit and over to the other side of the tree”. By now Lily and the tree understood each other perfectly.
There, tucked into three strong branches was an enormous bird’s nest. It looked messy, with large branches loosely woven together to form the base. Then further up the branches were smaller and more tightly wound. Inside, on the bottom of the nest, was a thick layer of moss and leaves, dried grass, and feathers loosely formed to make a soft bed. The nest seemed empty and the parents were nowhere to be seen.
“If you look closely you will see two eggs, each about the size of a large chicken egg, but more round. It’s likely the parents are out feeding themselves, so nothing to be concerned about. Have you ever seen an eagle’s nest little one? Do you see how big it is? It’s wider than you are tall!”
Lily was speechless. An eagle’s nest, and with eggs? She had only seen an eagle’s nest from a great distance, and even then it looked humongous. If the nest is this big, how big are the mom and dad? Lily’s heart started to race.
Just then she heard a series of loud squeaky chirps heading her way. They were raucous and very unfriendly and hurt her ears. She looked around and spotted a full grown bald eagle zooming straight for her. Its long curled talons were fully extended ready to tear her away from her perch, and its piercing yellow eyes bored fiercely into hers. She did not want to be lunch!
There seemed to be no escape so she screamed with all her might.
M O O O O M !!!!!
“Hold on little one”. In a flash Lily was back inside the cedar and on her way down to the forest floor. She landed on her bum just outside the tree with a loud thump, leaned back, and tried to calm her breathing.
Meanwhile, Lily’s mom was taking pictures of the same flowers as if no time had passed, but when she heard the strange noise she turned to look at her daughter. Before her mom could say anything, Lily held her hand out and dropped her head. She just couldn’t speak yet.
That’s when she noticed, right beside her, the rose cone that started it all. As she stashed it carefully in her bag Lily thought how fun it would be to share the day with her friends. But would anyone believe her? In fact, she wasn’t sure if she believed it herself!
Soon Lily was able to stand up. Her mom reached for her hand and the two set off down the path once more. Lily was quiet, but she had questions. The first thing that came to mind was, “Mom, have you ever hugged a tree?”
You might also enjoy reading Lily’s New Friend the Beast – the first in Lily’s fantasy adventure series.
Thank you for stopping by. I enjoy your comments. Have a brilliant day.