Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Adventures of Ollie-Dare - Chapter 11

OLLIE-DARE Visits Parents

         The heavy snow had begun to melt, and the promise of warmer days could be felt within the forest walls. January had been a cold snowy month, and Ollie-Dare was glad to see the sun peeping through once again, for February held a very special day for Ollie-Dare. His parents' anniversary was coming up, and Ollie-Dare wanted to travel deeper within the forest to visit and enjoy this special day with them. Ollie-Dare couldn't always make the trip, for sometimes the winter snows would hold him inside, but this year he could sense a change in the wind, and feel the warmth of Spring nearing. So Ollie-Dare had hopes that Shantey the Groundhog would give him news of Spring soon. Shantey was the forest seasonal weatherman, for he could always tell when the seasons were about to change, and knowing Ollie-Dare wanted to make this trip, he had sent word by Jimmy that he would keep a daily check.

         Ollie-Dare was hoping that he could make the trip, for in the long winter months he had thought of his parents often. He hopes to visit with the Elders also, for they always gave him guidance, and he was fond of each of them. His parents, he knew would be watching for him, and he didn't want to let them down. Randi and Miria would plan for weeks the dinner and the activities, and he so enjoyed their stories told by the warmth of the evening fire.

         Ollie-Dare had not yet come up with a gift for his parents, for he wanted it to be a special gift. He had thought on it often, and still he hadn't come up with just the right gift. But he knew that by the time he started his journey he would indeed have a gift for the special day, and also other gifts that he had gathered throughout the year. He often found small things while walking, or when visiting his forest friends, so he would store them gently away in a basket until the time came for him to make his journey. This year he had several special trinkets for his parents, for on his trip with Samual he had collected beautiful stones from the many streams where they had stopped, and Max the Riverboat Pilot had given him wonderful clothes for sewing, and funny pipes that he knew his dad would enjoy.

         Even though the Great Forest was now Ollie-Dare's home, he always considered the Forest of his parents his true home. For there were the memories of childhood, and most of his friends now in the Great Forest were born there. The Forest of the Elders was vast and green. Its trees older than even the ones in the Great Forest, stood with huge majestic branches that swayed in the wind. The river there was cool and clear, giving soothing sounds as it slid over the smooth rocks.

         Ollie-Dare was just sitting down to breakfast tea when he heard a sound at the door, and in came Jimmy the Rabbit with a bouncing leap. Jimmy was never one to enter slowly, and Ollie-Dare was always amused how his friend seemed to leap rather than hop. Jimmy breathlessly said "Ollie-Dare, I have news from Shantey. It seems that your trip home is going to come about! Warmer winds are entering the forest and Shatney says happy traveling".

         "Wonderful, Jimmy," answered Ollie-Dare. "Wonderful news indeed. Come have some tea, and chat a while."

         Jimmy began telling Ollie-Dare recent forest news. "Well, Banjo is finally over that cold, and is planning a visit in the next day or so. Ace also is stopping by, I think he has gifts for his parents for you to take, and Nibbles and Bloosom are putting together a basket of some sort for your parents and the Elders. I still haven't heard from Beaver Joe, or Wood chuck the logger, but if the warm winds are here to stay, they shall be out and about real soon."

         Ollie-Dare listened and smiled as Jimmy rambled on while drinking his tea, and thought of how wonderful seeing his parents would be. Soon Jimmy was leaving and with his farewells, promised Ollie-Dare he would stop by before he left.

         And as Jimmy the Rabbit had said, Banjo soon stopped in, and Ace the Coon, Nibbles the Squirrell and Bloosom the Possom had delivered beautiful baskets filled with baked goods, and soups. Ollie-Dare was wondering how he was going to carry all these things when Woodchuck the Logger happened by. He was returning to the forest, and along with him was a gift for his friend Ollie-Dare. It was a wooden cart that could be pulled, and Ollie-Dare could take all his things on his trip. Ollie-Dare thanked his friend and promised a visit upon returning, as he saw him to the door.

         The day soon came and Ollie-Dare loaded with all his goods began his trip to The Forest of the Elders. It was a two day walk, but Ollie-Dare enjoyed his freedom after the winter days, and stopping only to rest, he soon came upon the forest of his youth. And as he knew they would be, his parents were walking up to meet him shortly after he entered the forest walls. Smiling, Ollie-Dare explained the strange cart that carried all his goods, and Randi and Miria were impressed that Woodchuck had thought of such a thing.

         Randi began asking Ollie-Dare "Son, how are the others in the Great Forest?" Are they all well?"

         Then Miria asked "And You, Ollie-Dare, how are you? Have you read any new books?"

         Ollie-Dare smiled and answered, "Mother...Father, with fresh tea I shall answer all your questions, but I need fresh tea first." Laughing they began their walk up to the cave that had held so many fond memories for Ollie-Dare.

         Over tea, Ollie-Dare told his parents of Samual, Max, and his camping Adventure. At first, Miria seemed to frown, for Ollie-Dare was traveling beyond the forest walls where danger was. But Ollie-Dare assured both his parents that he was safe and his new friends were wonderful people. Ollie-Dare heard news of his home, and of the Elders. Also, he was told that the Elders had requested a visit. Now, this was strange for Ollie-Dare always visited the Elders, but it seemed that this was a special request. Miria and Randi had no clue of what the request was about, and plans were made to visit them early the next day.

         After an early breakfast of tea and toast, Ollie-Dare and his parents left to visit the Elders. Entering the Elders Circle, Ollie-Dare saw not only the Elders, but all of the parents of his friends and creatures of the entire Forest sitting just beyond the Elders circle. Greetings were made and Ollie-Dare and his parents were seated as the Elder of the Elders began to speak.

         "Ollie-Dare, we welcome you once again to the Elders Forest. We have heard of the many things you have done to better the forest, and help all the forest creatures. We have come together once again to say special words to the son of Miria and Randi. As you can see we have gathered all the Elders Forest creatures once more to sit in council. We know that this must puzzle you, so we shall get on with our meeting."

         The Elder of the Elders once again returned to the circle, and another Elder started to speak. "On this special day of your parents, we would like to also honor you Ollie-Dare, for we have indeed been given a special gift in their son. We, the Elders of this Forest, and all that live within, give thanks to you. We shall on this day make you the next Elder of the Circle. This new circle of Elders will begin with you Ollie-Dare, in your Great Forest. We do this so that our custom will forever live, and that wise and true guidance will serve all the forest."

         Again, as this Elder was seated, another Elder began to speak, "Ollie-Dare, on this day we give to you the staff of a Elder to be honored and cherished throughout your days." And with that, a golden staff was placed in Ollie-Dare's arms.

         Ollie-Dare was so overwelmed, that he became quiet. Soon, with the teary eyes of his parents watching, Ollie-Dare stood and spoke. "For the honor, I am humbled, I shall, with all that I have, give back to the Elders, as they have given to me. I shall work to better the forest and protect those that live within it. Thank You".

         All the Elders rose, and the forest creatures gathered around Ollie-Dare with wishes of good health and wisdom.

         As Ollie-Dare and his parents started home, Ollie Dare thought of the gift that he had brought for his parents' day, and hoped that it would be enough to show his love. He had labored for hours on it, but now he wasn't sure if it would honor them as much as he wanted to on this day. Evening came and as Miria prepared her meal, Ollie-Dare and Randi spoke of the day's events, and what it meant to them. The aroma of fresh baked bread and soup filled the cave and when Miria called for them to come and eat, Ollie-Dare slipped away to get the present he had made.

         As he reached the table that had been so beautifully decorated with dried flowers and fruit, Ollie-Dare spoke to his parents. "Mother and Father," he began, "today I have been given a great honor and responsiblity. Through you, I have gained that place of honor. I have made this small gift before knowing of today's events. It speaks of my devotion to you as parents, and my respect as friends."

         Miria reached for the gift, and with tears and a smile, began opening it, as Randi smiled and waited patiently. Resting within the box, were three beautiful stones that had been polished to a sheen. The names, Miria, Randi, and Ollie-Dare were written, one upon each rock. The stones had been glued together and fashioned with a ribbon of gold for hanging, and in the center nestled a small staff whittled from wood.

         Miria silently walked to the fireplace and gently hung their gift. "Ollie-Dare" she began, "no gift could be fashioned with more love and care as this gift; no mother more proud of a son than I. Thank you, for you have chosen well this gift of heart."

         After much tears and laughter the family sat down to dinner, and Randi began the grace.
    "Dear Lord, Thank you for the food we have on our table. Thank you for the blessings of today, and most of all thank you for caring for us through the years, and allowing us to be your servants. Thank you, Lord, for the home filled with so much love, and a son that has given us much joy. Amen."

         Ollie-Dare and his parents later drank their tea by the fire and spoke of the books that they had read. They spoke of yesterdays, and planned for tomorrows. Ollie-Dare knew that this day was indeed a great day, and thought of his home and friends. The responsibility was great that the Elders had given him, for Ollie-Dare would be Elder for the next generation of Elders. He would say good bye once again to his parents and return home in a few days, and start building a circle of Elders that would, with wisdom and compassion, keep the forest safe. Ollie-Dare said a silent prayer as he prepared for bed that evening, and fell asleep wondering what his next adventure would be.
©2002 Rebecca Morris
Next month: Ollie-Dare Takes a Trip

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