Author: hummmingbird PM
Set at the time when people still lived in forests, this is a story about a girl who is different and disliked, but soon finds herself on a quest. A quest in which she is only given a month. A quest that involves saving the whole island.Rated: Fiction K - English - Adventure/Mystery - Chapters: 63 - Words: 47,056 - Reviews: 146 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 03-05-13 - Published: 03-23-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3007380
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
We have to walk down the mountain and cross a meadow to get to the hills. I climb the first one and understand why it will take much longer to get to the Juniper village than to the Birch, although it is closer: as far as I can see, there are hills and valleys, hills and valleys...
The stream is easy to spot. It snakes around the hills. It is clear: I have two choices- climb the hills or go zigzagging through them, along the river. Which one is faster?
I'll just see what Claw does- and right now he makes his way down the hill, towards the stream. I follow.
Being a small dog, Claw easily trots down the hill. I am a different story- I trip and slide, barely keeping from falling and tumbling down the hill. By the time I reach the river it is already midday. Claw is there, waiting for me.
Even in the cold I am boiling hot, from all this climbing.
I am hungry too, so I decide to eat. While I unpack the food bag in the grass, Claw goes to the stream to drink. In the bag I find some of yesterday's mallard, a clump of the Birch people's bread, cranberry pie and some hazel nuts.
I eat a bit of everything and watch the little stream rush past. Claw is a bit further off, sniffing something under a bush.
I look left and right. This valley has a strange shape. I trace this shape onto the earth: V
The sides are very steep. Will I even be able to climb them?
"Enough rest!" I scold myself, "you don't have that much time!"
"Come on Claw!" I call out. He raises his head and looks at me.
"Let's go!" I say and take a step forward. Claw follows. I step over the stream and start climbing the second hill.
I pass the next lifetime- sorry, half a day, struggling to climb this second hill. Sometimes i find some strong grass, so i can hold on to it and pull myself up. Other times I'm not so lucky- I step on some loose rocks and they rattle down, threatening to take me with them, back to the beginning.
To my pleasure, I can see that claw is struggling too, so he cannot show off about how quick he is. I laugh to myself at this thought and nearly topple back down, only saved by a little ledge which breaks my fall.
Claw looks back and cocks his head sideways, surprised.
I get up and continue my way in silence.
And then, after what feels like a hundred summers, I have reached the top. Claw sits there and looks down to the next valley. I cannot sleep here, so I guess I have to climb down again, before the day is over. Claw clearly has the same thoughts, because he looks at me for reassurance and then begins to climb down again, to the next valley.
I sigh and follow.
Since I'm going east, away from the sun, the hill behind me soon blocks out any sunlight, casting it's long, cold shadow over me.
It gets darker and colder quickly. I'm not very cold, but I'm tired, and thirsty too.
And finally, when the moon has already risen, do I reach the stream at the bottom of the valley.
I crouch by it, take a long drink and then collapse backwards on the ground, falling asleep instantly.
I awake the next morning to find that the little stream here is not as little as it was on the other side of the hill. It is not very big, but I cannot just step over it. I can't even jump over it.
"Well," I say to Claw, "looks like we'll need to go around,"
I see no need to tell you all the details. Claw and I followed the small river south until it bent around a hill and went back north. Like this, we only went around one of the hills. At the end of the day we had only passed just this one hill.
"So climbing is faster," I decide.
I lie down on the grass and lay my bag next to me. I take the last bit of cranberry pie and munch on it, while watching the moon behind the clouds.
Claw curls up next to me, making me warmer. I give him the last bit of pie and stroke him.
I think about the moon- how high up is it? Why does it not shine as brightly as the sun? Are there people up on the moon?
I fall asleep and dream of the moon setting on fire, turning into a sun and dropping down to the Earth as a large, shiny amber.
When I wake up, my first thoughts are "oh, what a lovely hill, what a nice river!"
But then I remember I have to climb this hill and I almost wish to go back to the dream land I was in just a few moments ago.
Claw sneaks up behind me and jumps on my tummy. I squeal, then jump to my feet and chase him, but he is faster and just in a few heartbeats he has disappeared somewhere.
I sit and take out some nuts from my bag.
He jumps out from behind a rock and runs up to me eagerly. Then he sees they are only nuts. Claw doesn't like nuts. He sits down, disappointed. I laugh.
In the end I eat some nuts and Claw gets a bit of cold mallard. We drink some water from the river and then set off again, climbing the next hill.
I soon find out that this hill is the largest from all.
And once again I find myself wasting the whole morning in climbing a hill. I imagine what I will see from the top of it- a blue lake or big forest?
But when I reach the top, I see another hill after the valley in front of me. I let out a sob and collapse to the ground. Will these hills ever end?
I look in front of me- hills and valleys, I look behind me- hills and valleys. I feel trapped.
I close my eyes and scratch the grass, calming myself. Claw trots up to me and nudges my side impatiently.
"You're right," I tell him as I get up, "the faster we move, the faster we will get away from…this." I gesture to all around me.
And once again we make our way down to the next valley.
I can see that the river is bigger still, than on the other side of the hill. How will I get over it?
I'll swim if I have to, because I am not going around.
As I near it, I see that there are some rocks and boulders scattered over the river.
Just my luck, because I might be able to jump over them.
Claw reaches the river first. He sniffs it and then the air. He looks around, as if searching for another possibility to cross the fast flowing water. Finally, seeing no other choice but to jump the rocks, he looks at me.
"That's the only way over," I tell him.
The white dog looks uneasy. He hesitates to jump- I see why- the rocks are wet, which must mean they are slippery. The river moves quickly. I dread to think what would happen to me if I fell in.
I jump to the first rock and nearly tumble over. I wave my hands wildly in the air and manage to hold my balance.
Claw whimpers somewhere behind me.
I step over to the second rock, then jump to the third. The water flowing dangerously fast makes me dizzy when I look down. I go slowly and carefully, but at last I find myself on the other side of the river.
I turn to see if Claw is coming, but he isn't. He stands on the other bank, tail between his legs, ears drawn back.
"Come on, Claw!" I call, "It's easy!"
The scared dog looks up at me. I guess he understands I need him, for he finds dome little courage from within him and jumps to the first rock. He does great as he steps to the second.
I start wondering why he was so scared.
Then, suddenly I hear a yelp. As I look up, I see a white flash disappear into the rushing river. Before it vanishes, I catch a glimpse of a silvery fish tail.
"Claw!" I shriek.
The fish swims just under the surface of the water. Moments later it is a fish no longer, but a falcon, swooping out of the water, up to the sky. At one point it stops flapping its wings and just falls. As the animal hits the ground with a sickening thud, it turns into a white dog once more.
I watch in horror as Claw closes his eyes and moves no more.
"Claw! Claw!" I cry as I rush up to his limp body.
I crouch down by him. He is breathing. I thank the gods for this.
But still, I shed a small tear, for I worry about Claw.
But I must carry on.
It is about midday. I look up to the next hill. The Juniper village might be behind it. Good thoughts give hope.
I lift Claw and begin climbing the next hill. There are not many clouds and the sun warms my back.
My bag drags me down and Claw's weight doesn't exactly help, but I manage all the same.
I must get to the Juniper village; I must get the clay pot! I must save the island!
Accidentally I look up. Then sunlight blinds me. I cannot hold my balance, for in my hands I carry Claw. I drop him in some grass and topple backwards- falling, falling…
A/N: Ok, so first of all, tell me what you think of that chapter in the reviews. Second of all, I noticed I had put wrong chapters, not finished them etc. in some parts of the story. Please re-read chapters 10 and 21.