(I want to hear it read)
In the morning she climbed down to the river Trinity for a drink of water. There she found her family of cats drinking water, eating breakfast and lying in the morning sun to warm their bodies. She was so excited as she told them the story of discovering that the tree could talk. She spoke to them about the names he spoke.
Harry and Stella. She loved the sound of them.
They were delighted to learn her name. Then they said something that surprised her. Each of them had also received their names from the trees. Each cat had learned their name from a different tree.
They all knew Harry.
As she looked at them puzzled, they smiled at her and began talking.
Her aunt said, “My tree is Harold.”
Her cousin said, “Mine is Harvey.”
Another cousin said, “Henry.”
This went on until all had spoken.
Her father walked over to her as he finished drinking water from Trinity, and said, “It is the trees that know a cat from the inside out. And because of that when the tree gives us a name, the name tells us what special gifts we have." He said.
"It was Harry who told me my name.' he pronounced his name as though it was a precious gift.
"Roccia which means Rock. I didn't understand how much that name described my purpose in the cat clan at first. Only much later in my life did I understand why he called me this. A leader must be as strong as the rock walls which protect this canyon.”
She loved her father's name, though she never used it herself. She called him, Dad.
She looked back at the cats sitting near her, "Where do Harry and his family come from?" She asked because they were so different than any other forest tree groves. When looking at them, she speculated that they were three times larger than any of the other canyon trees. Harry and his family were immense giants by comparison to the other groves.
One of the grandfather elders sitting nearest Trinity spoke up. "When I was a kitten," he said, "none of my great-grandparents knew how they got here. But there were some stories that at one time, this entire land was filled with everything giant. And then all the huge creatures disappeared. My grandparents said that the world of giants died. Except for Harry and his family." The elder paused and looked down at the grass. Then he looked up with sad eyes. " Maybe one day Harry and his family will die too. I hope not."
She thought about the words. “Maybe one day...” This caused her to think about how precious Harry's family was. How important it was to keep them alive. She thought how sad she would be if ever they left. To make it worse, her thinking took a downward spiral. She felt helpless. What can I, a small, tiny, little cat do to keep them safe? She asked herself.
Then she laughed to herself. What am I thinking? Those trees have been here longer than anyone can remember. They will certainly be here long after we leave. She shook her head to release herself from these crazy thoughts.
Yet, something about the elder saying what he did seemed like a warning. One she should not ignore.
Her body was growing stronger every day. So, for the next full cycle of the moon, Stella decided that she would explore more of this long beautiful canyon. She left her nest each morning, walked to Trinity, did a prayer over her breakfast, enjoyed it, and then explored along the length of the beautiful river. Each day she went a little farther. Each evening she returned to Harry’s wide open arms and excitedly shared with him all the creatures she saw on that day's journey.
During that cycle of the moon, every night after she came back from the canyon adventures, she had very unusual dreams.
The dreams where of a strange looking animal, a male, walking on two legs with two hands with fur on the top of his head who was talking to an equally peculiar looking creature, a female with long dark hair on top of her head. Even though they looked unusual, still there was something lovely about the elegant way they moved. She also liked the way they looked at each other. She could feel a kindness they had for each other. It showed through their eyes.
And then in her dream, the male creatures wrapped his arms around the female. Their faces got real close. Then they touched lips.
Suddenly, in her dream, the woman and the man stopped and turned their faces toward Stella. They could see her. She was so surprised that she woke up.
"They saw me." she thought when she woke. "How wonderful."