The forest was quickly growing darker... So dark that the young sheep was, more and more relying on other senses to move forward.  He knew that shelter now meant survival.  He also knew that he had no thought other than to survive. 

A faint, but unpleasant odor reached his nose.  He recoiled at first, but then sensed warmth along with the smell.  He advanced slowly, cautiously.   He had left the path and was going deeper into the forest.  Branches rudely scraped his nose, and slapped the nub of his tail.  Briars tugged at his ears.  The odor was getting stronger, nearer.

When the branches quit harassing him,  Hobie sensed that he had emerged into a small clearing.  The ground was rocky in places and sloping to the left.  He moved carefully in that direction.  The air was much warmer than it had been along the path, and was damp.  His eyes burned and watered.  After a dozen steps, his left hoof was in shallow water.  It was hot!  He withdrew his hoof quickly.  He wasn't yet in pain, and didn't want to be. 

Despite the odor from the hot spring, Hobie knew that this place would provide protection from the life-sucking cold this night.  If he could just get a little further from the spring, he might be able to spend the night in some limited comfort.  He would survive.  He edged back up the slope, and found that it became gentler as he progressed.  He soon felt another branch against his side.  A large evergreen grew in a depression near the edge of the clearing.  Hobie made his way under the branches which seemed to trap a little of the warmth from the spring. A generous layer of needles under the tree made a welcoming bed.  Hobie bent his knees, and then lay down on the forest mat.

Exhausted, Hobie soon began dreaming.



The End

2 comments about this story Feed