Swampy enters the den just as all the wolfies are starting to bed down for the night. There is much stretching and yawning, and the fire is tended one more time before sleep.
Quietly curling up on the braided rug in front of the warm flames, Swampy begins to tell a story...
Once upon a time, in a far off land, in a deep dark forest, lived an old, old woman. She lived alone and only had the company of the forest animals and no one knew this old old woman who lived in the far off land in a deep dark forest.
Each day the old old woman would grab her basket and make a trip through the woods picking berries, gathering nuts, and pinching green sprouts to take home and eat for her meal.
One day as the old old woman made her way into the deep dark forest a strange man appeared..
"Who are you," demanded the man. "Why are you in my far off land, in my deep dark forest. I own this land. I am rich...and powerful..you don't belong here. Be off with you and take all your animals friends too."
Well, the old old woman was so upset, and her animal friends all gathered around her to ask; "What shall we do..we have no where to go.
"Not to worry my dear little ones, I will take care of you, now let's get packed for we have to leave."
By this time the aged old oak was waking up from having a nap, and he heard the old old woman say she and the animals had to leave the deep, dark forest...
"Old old woman," said the aged old oak..."Why do you have to leave the forest?"
So the old old woman told the aged old oak the story.
"WELL..if you can't stay here and the animals can't stay here, then there is no reason for me to stay, for I won't have any animals to give shade to and there will be no animals to rest on my branches or birds to make their nest on my twigs. I am coming to and so is all my family"....and with that, all the maples and firs, and cedars, and cypress, and oaks, and willows, and every other tree and sapling started shaking their limps and pulling up their roots to leave this beautiful deep dark forest, in the far off land.
All of the noise from the trees pulling up roots, awoke the flowers nodding in the mid day sun....
"What is happening?, said the wood violet...is the ground slipping into the sea? Old Old woman, what is happening?"
So the old old woman told the bright new flowers that she and the animals had to leave this deep dark forest in the far off land, and since she and the animals were going the aged old oak, and all his relatives were coming too..
And with that, all the flowers and vines, and grasses cried out. "We are coming too. For we won't have anyone to pick our berries, or enjoy our blooms. Our grasses will grow too tall for no one will be here to nibble on them," so they pulled up their stems and started following the old old woman, and the aged old oak, and the forest animals out of the deep dark forest in the far off land.
Suddenly, the stream water started rumbling and splashing, and a voice came out of the stream..."Hey. Why have you pulled your long roots out of my bed. Now the water will run off and my sides will become dry, what is happening old old woman?"
So the old old woman told the cold clear waters they had to leave...
"Well if you leave who will drink my cold clear water, and lay on my banks in the noon day sun? If you all are leaving them I will also", and with that the cold clear water disappeared into the ground.
Pretty soon they came to a bare field, and stopped to rest for the night. They were all cramped and falling over each other, and were so miserable..and they were scared. For this land was too dry for their roots, and there were no bugs to eat, and they were so afraid that they each laid down and went fast to sleep, thinking they were just having a bad dream, and tomorrow they would wake up and everything would be right again.
But early the next morning, the old old woman, and the aged old oak, and the bright colored flowers, and the forest animals awoke in a strange ugly place. The leaves on the trees were withering and the flowers were bent all over from lack of shade, and water. Everyone was so sad.
Suddenly they heard a voice calling them.
"WAIT WAIT....DON'T LEAVE...PLEASE STAY.." It was the rich strange man..He was running towards them, waving his arms.
"I have made a terrible mistake. Please don't leave...for with you all gone, my deep dark forest is no more. I have no soothing shade to cover my head, or sweet smelling flowers to brighten my day. My children have no where to play, and I have no place to prop my back against as I write my stories. And my lips will become dry with out a fresh drink of water. Please come back. For there is room for all of us in this far off land, in the deep dark forest. I need you...my family needs you...Please come back.."
"Well, I don't know said the old old woman..I will have to talk to my friends"..and she turned and spoke quietly to the aged old oak, and the bright colored flowers, and the forest animals...
"We have agreed," said the old old woman..."We will come back..but on one condition....that you will always be kind, and make this a happy deep dark forest, and promise to come lay under the aged old oak, in the bright colored flowers, next to the cold clear water, and read your stories to the animals of the forest."
I promise said the rich strange man. For we are nothing with out each other. We need each other to make up the deep dark forest in the far off land."
And with that they made the journey back, and the aged old tree and his relatives thrust their long roots back into the soil, and the bright colored flowers and her kin put their tender stalk backs up straight, and the vines curled back around the trees and shrubs, and the cold clear water once more filled the banks, and the forest animals set out to roam the deep dark forest, and the old old woman picked up her basket, and ventured out to start her new day.
With out each of us here in the pack there is no pack. We need each other. We need each others words, we need to hear of the desert from Chantal.
We need to follow Vision as she makes her rounds of the flooded areas.
How will we know about quilts without Soul.
Whose Laughter will we hear without Kari.
Who will guard our dark corners when we are afraid without Shadowwolf.
Who will give us grandmothers with out Rainbow.
Who will keep us informed on women's issues with out Emerald and Gemini.
How will we know about mosacis without Wildwolf.
Who will take us inside the police force with out Ladywolf.
Who will tell us about Harley's and belly dancing without Wolfwolf.
Who will tell us about dog issues without Alpha.
Who will give us urls with out Seal and Winter.
Who will lead us when we need to be led with out Amani, Annie, Kari.
Who will teach us about soap making without Whisperingwolf.
Who will teach us how to adjust our bikes without Bilwolf.
Who will send us gentle posts without PaulCarewolf.
Who will write profound poetry with out Kitsune.
Who will teach us about Straw house with out Strawwolf.
How would we know about medieval garb with out Innerwolf.
Who will tell us about knitting and shawls without Boundarywolf.
Who will keep us up on VA hospitals with out Phatwolf.
Who will remember to ask all the right questions without Prairiewolf.
Who will help us when we are ill with out MartyRebelwolf.
Who will teach us of the fairies without Fairiewolf.
Who will make us t-shirts with out Irisa.
Who would we pullout of the shadows without Mountain wolf.
Who will we follow as they search for their mother with Inannawolf.
Who will send us beautiful thoughts if not for Leisawulf.
Who will let us know about hospital practices with out Nativewolf.
Who will teach us about fingerprints if we didn't have Nightwolf.
Changlingwolfs words would never have been heard.
How would we have had a new baby in the pack with out Parrotwolf.
How would we learn about welfare benefits with out Timidwolf.
Who would Redsun/Waterwolf be?
Who will help us find things on the web if Curiouswolf is not here.
Who will tell us about Oregon without Dorawolf.
Where would we be without Willowwolfs wisdom.
Would we know who Tsa La Gi wolf was?
Who would teach us Tai Chi with out Artemiswolf.
Would we know Ricawolf or Jungwolf or Tomyris.
Who will tell us about being a police dispatcher with out Windwolf.
And who would write post of peace and understanding without Greywolf.
Who would tell us of her struggle regaining her daughter with out Persephone.
Who will tell us about realestate if we didn't have Dancing wolf.
Who will tell us about the River if not for Riverwolf.
Who will keep us informed about school if not for Youngwolf
Whose amber eyes will we see without Amber wolf.
Whose post will we be excited in seeing after a long silence without Dorawolf.
Who will keep us up on her mother and the beauty she sees without Gardenwolf.
Who will tell us of her beautiful land with out Articwolf.
Who will tell you stories of the swamp without Swampy.
And who would the mystery wolf be with out Liga .
And there is Karin, Mia, ,Artemis Tomyris,Trotting Timberwolf, Catwolf, Mamawolf, Riverwolf, Wonderwolf, Sisterwolf, EllaWog, Noire and all the wolfies that I haven't mentioned but count just as equally important...we are the pack...and we each compliment the other.
Copyright Barbara Harrell (Swampy)woodland image courtesey of freedigitalphotos.net