601 – Injured

The wise owl gently touched a burnt branch, making it crumble into ashes.

“At least it didn’t cross the river. It could have been much worse, the whole forest might have burned down.” Said the old fox, sadly looking at a squirrel’s blackened bones still curled beside a rock.

“This canyon was my favorite part of the forest.”

“I know, I used to nap at the base of the old oak right there by the river.”

They stood in silence, feeling the full weight of the dark clouds above and the charred trunks and scorched earth around them.

“Can’t you do anything about this? You’re the guardian of the forest.”

The fox sighed. “I wish I could, but even if I had more than my little tricks, magic has its limits. It hurts, but this is just the normal flow of nature. It’s never wise to mess with that.”

“So you’re just leaving it like this?”

The fox didn’t miss the anger in the owl’s voice. “Our forest is very old. It has burned many times before and will yet burn many more. But It’s still here and Its heart is beating strong.”

“I’m sorry. I’m not mad at you, it’s just that if I stop feeling angry I won’t be able to stop crying. A big chunk of our forest burned down and there was nothing I could do about it.”

“There’s nothing wrong with crying. We lost many friends here and our forest is badly wounded. But it may help you feel a little better knowing it has already begun to heal.”

“All I see is ashes and death. How can this ever heal?”

“You just have to open your heart and look closer.”

The owl turned her watery eyes to where the fox was looking, and was surprised to see tiny green shoots barely peeking out from under the carpet of ashes. “How? I thought everything alive here had burned away!”

“Life always finds a way, dear. We just have to be patient and give it time.”

“It will take a lot of time.”

“Maybe, but in the end you can be sure it will grow back and become beautiful again.”

A gentle rain began to fall. The owl slowly placed her head on the fox’s shoulder, and finally let her pent up tears flow.

• • •

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