The little pony shut out the words of the old,
bitter horse. He knew in his heart that he could trust the small human. After all, the boy had helped him, hadn’t he? The little pony neighed softly and tossed his head to let Little Wolf know that he trusted him.
“Follow me,” Little Wolf said to the pony. “The place is not very far.”
Little Wolf led the way to the secret place. The
little pony followed behind him. As they
travelled along, Little Wolf talked to the pony.
“There is plenty of good grass and other plants to eat here,” Little Wolf said. “There is sweet water to drink, too. The mountains will provide for you.” The boy showed the pony where to get the best grass and which plants were good to eat. “And in the harvest season, there are apples on these trees,” Little Wolf said, pointing out the apple trees. “Do you like apples?”
The boy led the pony to the top of the rocky ridge. Little Wolf stopped and gestured for the pony to halt. “Look,” he said. “The secret place.”
The little pony looked down and saw the small clearing. His eyes lit up when he saw the green grass. It reminded him of the grass in the field of his home. He bet that the grass would taste just as sweet. The little pony tossed his mane in delight. The secret place was
beautiful! The pony and the boy walked down the ridge and into the
“You can stay here as long as you want,” Little Wolf told the pony. “No one knows of this place. No one will find you here.”
The pony looked
at the boy. His eyes
communicated his thanks. “You will not be lonely here,” Little Wolf
continued. “There are many animals and birds that live in this place.
If you do not scare them or try to hurt them, they will be your friends.”
The little pony liked that. He didn’t like to be alone.
Little Wolf sat down beside the waterfall. He took out a flute and started playing. The pony pricked up his ears at the strange sound. He had never heard anything like it!
The pony liked the music that the boy made.
It was sad and
beautiful, all at the same time. Somehow it made the pony feel better.
After Little Wolf
finished playing his flute, he and the pony sat for a few moments in contented silence. For the first time since he was taken away from his home, the pony felt at peace.
Presently, Little Wolf broke the spell. “Look over there, pony,” Little Wolf said and pointed to a small bird. “There’s a wren. Would you like to hear a story about the wren?”
The boy tried to tell the story just the way it was told to him. “Now the little wren is the messenger of the birds,” Little Wolf began. “It is a very nosy bird and pries into everything. The wren gets up early each morning. The little bird goes round to every house in the settlement to gather news. Then the wren goes back to the bird council and reports all that she has learned.”
The little pony
listened with interest to Little Wolf’s story. He had never heard such a tale before. “When a new baby is born,” the boy continued, “the wren finds out if it is a boy child or a girl child. Then it flies back to tell the bird council. If the baby is a boy, the birds sing a mournful song. ‘Alas,’ the birds cry. ‘The whistle of an arrow!’ The birds know that when the boy is old enough, he will hunt them with his
blowgun and arrows.”
“But if the baby is a girl, the birds in the
council are happy and sing joyously.
‘Thanks!’ the birds sing. ‘The sound of a pestle!’ The birds know that when the girl is old enough, she will beat the corn into meal to feed her family. Then the birds will be able to pick up the stray grains of corn that she leaves behind.”
The little pony enjoyed the boy’s story very much, but he was starting to get very tired. The pony’s eyes began to droop. “You must rest now. You need to get your strength back,” Little Wolf said. “I will leave you. But you don’t have to worry; no one will find you here. You will be safe if you stay near this clearing.”
Little Wolf picked up his flute and turned around to leave. “I must go,” the boy said. “My mother will worry if I am gone too long.
The little pony’s heart sank. Was his friend saying goodbye to him forever?
Next Time: The Cougar