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A Weelad's JOURNEYThe Old Forest, Lake Anura and The Great Oak
By K Kinsey
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 K Kinsey
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThere once was a village located on the northern side of the Wonscap Mountains, mountains that seemed to go on forever, they were very cold and always covered in snow. With dark clouds always around them, it seemed the sun never shined on them, which made them feel colder than they probably were. This was the home of the little folk, Weelads they came to call themselves, tiny creatures, no more than two feet high, for the most part social, friendly, usually very happy and are distant relatives of the owls, though they are unable to fly. The males have a longer and much slenderer tail than the females, with a tuft of fine black hair on the very end. They have three fingers at the tip of each wing with the middle one being much longer than the other two and it is the same way with their feet. They do have claws, though not very long, for Weelads dine only on bugs and green plants, but usually just the leaves. All Weelads have a love of walking and you can often see many of the families walking around the village during the day visiting with one another, however, should they feel threatened, they can out run anything that might try and cause them harm. And unlike their kin, they are out during the day and night, resting only when they are tired. Many nights would find them up until morning talking to each other or visiting with the elders for they were considered the teachers of the village. Most of the younger Weelads have been known to go a few days before they would decide to find a safe place to get some rest, usually in the canopies of the huge trees in the village.
They are very knowledgeable of the ways of village life which may be attributed to their long life or listening to the elders of the village with their nightly story telling. Though small in size, they work very hard and prefer a quiet life in the hollows or the canopies of the big oaks that are in their village. They are not much on building places to stay so they like to move into an old nest or hollow calling it home for many years. They have found that these huge old oaks also made for a safe warm home in the winter season, for their village was on the northern side of the mountains where it was always so cold, the nights were long and most of the time, one did not see the sun, which was something most of the Weelads did not like. Too long they had been cold. And too long they had not seen the stars at night. They loved the warmer climate and they wanted to move to the southern side of the mountains for they had outgrown their village.
Their little village had come under attack by some of the mountain people, the Weelads called them mountain trolls. Big horrible creatures that would eat anything they could catch and with the little village so full of young Weelads, they attacked often. Many of the villagers were hurt and though most of them would recover, Beetelybug's mother would never fully recover from her wounds. It was then decided by the village elders they would move to the other side of the mountains once a new village could be found for the elders made most of the decisions that affected the village. They would send two of the elders out in search of a village, one they could move to on the southern side of the great mountains, as most of the villagers had talked to the elders about this for so many nights. For now the safety of the villagers was threatened and the best thing to do for all would be to move.
The village elders would tell stories nightly of two of the village elders, Natir and Uri, two brothers that were always together and always exploring the neighboring lands. When they were younger, they were constantly in trouble but nothing much came of their antics. The elders knew one day they would grow up and hopefully become fine young men and elders of the village. Then one day while out exploring the neighboring lands in hopes of finding a new village they could call home, they came across the little village. The village they were living in had grown small for their use and with the attacks coming more frequent, they wanted to move to the southern side of the mountains hoping it would be safer and warmer and by being warmer, they hoped the trolls would not venture there. Looking around, it appeared to have been lived in once before. But it did not appear to have been under attack, it just looked like they packed up their belongings and moved away. All that was left were a few items that could be put to use by the Weelads, but this little village had a place in the center for the nightly gathering of the villagers, which was important to the elders, and a small creek was close by with such great trees and so many of them too. After walking around the village, they decided they would speak to the elders about moving their families to this little village for it had everything they needed and it just seemed perfect. They would call this the Village of the Weelads, for it was to be their new home, and at the time, they could not think of a better name. It was at the southern part of the great mountains, the Wonscap Mountains, which could barely be seen from the village, with so many huge oak trees and green grass and the weather was perfect. They had plenty of room here to grow and play. They would not need to move again for a long time for this village was really huge. Yes, this village had everything they needed. They decided they would spend the night in the village just to make sure it was everything it appeared to be and make their decision in the morning. They sat and visited with each other most of the night, listening to the forest and watching to see if anyone or anything came out of it into the village. They too had heard the stories of the forest and how evil a place it was, though they were finding it hard to believe at the moment for it seemed to be at peace. In all their travels, they had never been able to see the stars better than they could in this village. It was almost as if all the stars in the heavens were hanging right over this little village. Natir built a fire in the center of the village while Uri continued watching the forest for any movement. This little village made them feel as though they were already home. It appeared most of the trees had not been lived in. What great trees they were and some of them were really tall. They walked the entire border of the little village and would look down into the forest for any sign of movement. It amazed both of them that someone would leave this village, but if they did, it was not because they outgrew it. They looked at some of the items that were left behind, but it appeared nothing had been broken and they saw no signs of an attack of any kind for they were worried the trolls may have attacked the village. They were amazed at the quietness of the village. They took the time to look around the trees for any movement, and finding none, they decided this would be the best place to move their families.
As morning was almost on them, the two brothers quickly decided to return to the village to let the elders know of a great village that was on the southern side of the mountains, it was much warmer and had more room to live, play and grow than they would ever need. It had been lived in before but it appeared they had all moved away. They let the elders know they had stayed there the entire night, walked around the borders of the village, looked down into the forest and the trees for movement and all they found was a great village to call home. The village was next to a forest, a very old forest, with air so clean and a warm breeze coming through the village all throughout the day and into the night. The brothers could not think of a reason it would have been vacated but they knew this would be a great new home. You could clearly see the sky so the stars and moon would be visible at night, something very important to Weelads. All the families gathered in the center of the village and were told of the new village at the southern side of the mountains. They decided to make the move to this new village and without any further delay, all of their belongings were packed and they were on their way. The journey took several weeks as there were small Weelads to take care of on the way there. At night, the two brothers would speak of the new village to the villagers which gave them hope and it encouraged them to keep going, out of the cold mountain area and into the warmer climate which lied south of the great mountains. The decision was made that night for some of the smaller Weelads to be carried by the elders of the village as this would save time and they would not need to stop so often.
With the harsher cold weather now behind them and hopefully all the attacks, they looked forward to quieter days in this village that nestled up against a forest, a forest that appeared to have been there for a very long time. The trees were larger and much taller than those of their old village and they swayed with the gentlest of breezes, almost as if they were talking to each other. The elders often spoke of Tree Talkers, and though no one had ever seen one, one could only wonder if they truly lived. With its warm breezes and clean air, this little village would be their home for a long time. There was a sense of peacefulness among the elders and the villagers for they had grown so weary of all the attacks and they all hoped for a quieter existence in this new village. Though some had wondered what might have happened to the villagers that once lived there, no one ever said anything about them. And as there had been no sightings of them in the village, the elders felt sure they had truly moved on. As with the other village, elders would watch the borders of their new village at night to make sure all was safe for the villagers. This first night in the new village would find them moving in and getting the smaller ones off to a safe place to sleep. With so much going on, the decision was made to put the smaller ones close to the center of the village so all could keep an eye on them. And with the fire lit, it would be a warm place for them as well.
Now with most villages in the neighboring lands, it was up to the elders to tell stories nightly of where their families had come from and who found the little village they now call home. The village elders knew where they had come from and they held a firm grip on the village and the villagers for it was their responsibility to pass on all they knew to the young ones. All the villagers would gather in the center of the village, a fire would be lit and they would sing and listen to these stories all through the night. Some would hear these same stories more than once, but then sometimes these stories would vary, depending on the elder that was doing the storytelling! The elders wanted to make sure all knew the family history and would keep it passed on for generations to come for they did not want the Weelads to ever be forgotten through time. And so the stories would continue each night with this story being told many times so all would know of their beginnings. The elders believed you could not move forward if you did not know where at first you began.
Now Weelads were known to live a long time with several families and generations living together in a village. This was one of the reasons they needed to move for they had grown in number and there were not enough trees to support their growing number. And with their old village under attack so often, the villagers decided to stay together for they felt they would be safer. In better times, Weelads would sometimes move away to another village once their youngsters were old enough to take care of themselves, but not feeling safe would always keep them together, so their numbers grew and eventually, they outgrew their village. Now this new village the two brothers found was much larger and it nestled up against the Old Forest which was also located at the southern part of the Wonscap Mountains. With so much room, there would be no need for any of the Weelads to move on for quite some time. The elders would often speak of the Old Forest, with trees that spoke to each other and of strange lights all through the forest. Not knowing these lights were the woodland fairies, the elders assumed they were warnings to all non forest dwellers to stay away. One had to be most careful walking through the forest for limbs would fall for no apparent reason and noises, the strangest noises were said to come down from the canopies. Stories were told of huge birds living in the canopies of the trees that prayed on all those entering the forest. The elders claimed they were the ones that made all the strange noises. The elders also spoke of mountain trolls entering the Old Forest from the mountains but no one knew how they managed to do this unseen for trolls are really big, hairy and for the most part ugly, and it would have been hard to miss seeing them. And though no one had seen them, it was best to stay out of the forest for it welcomed no one to visit it. And so, all the villagers were told nightly to stay away from it for fear the forest may do something to them. Young and old would listen nightly to this warning. And most of the villagers were quite happy to stay within the borders of their new village, most that is.
Now Natir and Anura had a son, Beetelybug. He was just 10 when the villagers moved to this new village. And being a youngster, he loved his new home. So many trees and a forest close by to also play in. He would hear strange noises coming from the forest and would remember what the elders had said about it. He had made friends in the little village and time would find him playing every day outside, rolling in the grass and checking out all the trees within the village. Now Beetelybug was very close to his mother and he would spend many days talking with her of the villagers and the forest. She would remind him to stay out of the forest for there was plenty to do in the village. Days would pass, then months and then one day, Beetelybug was sitting at the edge of the village looking into the forest, and he thought he heard his name being called by someone. He looked around for his mother to make sure she was not calling to him, then he heard it again. Someone deep inside the forest was calling to him. Out of fear, he stood up and quickly headed back to the center of the village, and again he heard his name. It was like the forest was trying to scare him away but then would call him back. He would hear his name being called many nights just at the edge of the forest. But being so young, fear would keep him in the village. He often asked his mother if they had come from the forest, or did someone they know move there. He thought it was a curious thing to hear his name being called from the forest, the huge forest he was warned not to go into. Though one day when he was older he knew he would go in to the forest. For he was a lot like his father, he wanted to be an explorer too. Yes, one day, he thought to himself, but now he wanted to go outside and play and run and sing and roll in the grass. He had a new home and he wanted to visit every tree, though he only lived in one! As his father was gone most of the time, he was raised by his mother. A mother he loved so much and would talk with nightly of his hopes and ideas. She would always listen to him, encourage him and remind him to be careful in all he did, to never leave the village and to always make sure she knew where he was for this village was much larger than the one they had moved from. Weelad mothers are no different than any other mother you see and she was very protective of Beetelybug as he was her only child. For because of her wound, a wound that had broken her heart, she would not be able to have another Weelad, but in time and with the move, she would regain her strength. And she had such a little Weelad in Beetelybug, so much like his father, but more like his mother, as time would show. And she worried about him too, for she had seen him looking down into the forest and she feared he may go in there without her permission. She knew as long as the forest scared him, he would stay in the village and play amongst all the trees with his friends, though some nights he would forget to come home, which worried his mother, but in the mornings, he was always back in his bed, dirty feet and all.
Excerpted from A Weelad's JOURNEY by K Kinsey Copyright © 2011 by K Kinsey. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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