From a high tree just outside the Holt, Copper watched her tribemates' pursuits; Cinder and Rill were racing around the Holt and, even though she didn’t see Glow, Copper was almost certain that she was running right behind them. The hunters were collecting everything they needed for the hunt that night and the fishers were busy at the river. All of them were busy, and the evening was only beginning.
Copper looked around.
"She is sitting in the den on the right, right there."
Startled, Copper looked left, where the voice came from.
"No, the little blackbird is on the right," Glow corrected her with a big smile, and let herself dangle down on the branch.
|by Beth K. and Tabitha R.|
"She is warning the other birds that Newt is letting Moonwing fly again," Glow explained, while she caught her hat out of the air. Copper was still looking at Glow, but said nothing, so Glow kept on talking. "A blackbird continues her warning call until the danger has disappeared…”
"I know. How did you get up here?" Copper asked.
"I climbed up through the branches," Glow answered airily, "and you?"
"You know I don't mean that, I..."
"I know." With a thoughtful look, Glow fell quiet for a moment. "The wind comes from... that side," she pointed to the west and looked to Copper like it explained everything.
The Holt was to the east, but that did not explain why she had not seen Glow, or heard her, or even smelled her, thought Copper. For a moment the girls looked at each other. With a sigh, Glow began to explain.
"Grandfather told me that you must rub leaves over your face, arms and clothes, and that you should stalk your prey through the other side of where the wind is coming from. Of course you have to keep out of sight and stay silent. And you were deep in thought, that makes it easier. " For a moment the girls went silent.
This time the short whistling song came from Glow, and the blackbird started singing back.
Within the Holt the gathering for the hunt had finished, and with the hunters' departure the peace was returning. The exhausted Cinder and Rill were under the watchful eye of True Edge, playing with Flicker and Spark.
“You weren't finished yet, were you?” Copper asked after a while. “About the bird?”
“No, I wasn’t.”
"What were you going to say?"
“That they are my favorite.”
“But why?” Copper wanted to know.
"Because they are beautiful."
"What do you mean? More beautiful than a bird of prey?" In her mind, she compared the little black bird with the powerful hunters. But the little bird couldn't compare to her favorites.
“Yes,” Glow answered.
“But they are black or dark brown.”
“You don’t have to be colorful to be beautiful. ” For a second, Copper looked at Glow, who kept on talking uncontrollably. This she hadn´t expected when Glow had shown up.
“Come, I want to show you something.”
“Where are we going?” she called after Glow, who wasn’t going to wait for her to climb down, and who was already heading down the tree.
“You will see.”
Not quite sure what to expect, she followed Glow down the tree.
At the bottom the girls were greeted by Silversong. “Are you coming with us, Silversong? I am taking Copper to our secret place and our little friends.”
While following Glow and the silvery wolf, Copper looked around for landmarks so that she knew which way they were heading. Just when she knew for certain where they were heading to, Glow´s hat was pulled over Copper's head.
“Hey, take it off.”
“No,” Glow answered while she took Copper's arm and spun her around until she was sure Copper would not notice that they were going towards and up Den's Creek.
Just out of sight of the fishers stood a big bunch of bushes. After making sure that the boys wouldn't notice them and follow, Glow led Copper down and through the bushes, placing the two girls by a little puddle near the creek.
By a seeking touch Copper found Silversong. Noticing that she was ready for a run, she kept her ears sharp for a sound which would tell her where she was.
“This is my place, like you have got your tree. You can take off my hat now,” Glow interrupted, “and you can play." The moment that was said, Silversong was gone. “Please hang my hat on the branch next to you,” and with those words Glow was off too.
Gently Copper pulled the hat off her eyes and hung it on a twig and looked around. In the middle of the open space was a little pond. At the pond there stood a proud white heron which flew off as Silversong reached the puddle. A big duck approached the silver wolf and started splashing with his wings, and the response of the wolf made it look like they were playing. Glow had taken her shoes off and was pulling her trousers up to her knees.
The pond was surrounded with trees. One of the trees had a berry-red mark on it and a knife-looking stone dangling in the middle of the mark. The silence was changed to a constant whistling and singing of birds. There were birds everywhere she looked; bluebirds and blackbirds, nightingales and mockingbirds and even a shy robin showed his face.
Shocked, Copper looked at Glow. “What was that for?”
“It is part of the thing I wanted to show you,” Glow responded, with another handful of mud ready for throwing.
“But you could have warned me!”
“Duck!” and another ball of mud flew through the air, hitting Copper in her stomach.
“Do you see it?”
“That you don’t have to be colorful, pretty or special to be beautiful.”
“But I have seen that, I just wanted to know how you had.”
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