(I want it read to me)
She lay with her whiskers pressed against his outer skin of bark. She closed her eyes and sighed.
She opened them. “Harry, my father and the Council of Cats has asked me to travel far from you and go visit a human. A woman. They won’t tell me who she is, or why. Just that she knows how to save you.” She looked up into the branches. “Who is she?”
The breeze blew through the leaves. She could feel the power of Harry’s calm. The whispering voices filled her with images. A flowing kaleidoscope of moving pictures. Things he had shown her before but now in greater detail.
She saw the Wooden Birds floating on the water and coming to beach shores. They glided into a large river that met the shores. The river carried them deep into the forest. The Wooden Birds arrived where the Forest People lived. Many of those people came to the bank of the river, hiding in trees to see this strange wonder. Beautiful Wooden Birds with large white wings that sprouted from the top.
They talked among themselves. The Forest Tribe thought that maybe these Wooden Birds had come from the stars. As the City People came out of the Birds and entered smaller wooden boats, they noticed that many of these people had silver headdresses made of metal. The Forest People greeted them as though they were gods. They laid on the ground several colorful blankets and sat facing the City People. They offered them food and drink, and gave them gifts of colorful quilts. The City People studied the fabric of the blankets. The Forest People pointed to the trees and then pointed their hands at the fabric. They made the blankets from trees.
The Forest Tribe asked the City People why they had come.
The City People told the Forest People that they came in peace. They only wanted to explore this beautiful land and that maybe they could trade. The men with shiny heads carried a wood box to the Chief of the Forest People. The Chief opened the box so that the sun could reveal sparkling jewels piled to the top of the chest. The Forest People eyes became wider when they saw the sparkling glass. Many smiled. The leader of the City People lifted a single string of brightly colored crystals to the Chief's face. The Chief tilted his head forward as the leader of the City People placed it over his head so that it rested on his chest. The leader of the City People called them glass beads. The Chief took off his own necklace of polished shells, and bright gold flat circles and placed it over the City People’s leader’s head.
When the City People saw the shiny gold metal on the necklace, their eyes grew wide with surprise. The City People began to talk to each other in whispers that the Forest People could not hear. As though the City People were trying to keep a secret. The Chief noticed this.
None the less, a friendship began. The Forest People agreed to let the City People build homes near them. They taught the City people to hunt and to fish and use the gifts of the trees and grass to make warm clothes. They were friends.
The wind in the tree whispered softer now.
Some of the City People wanted peace. But others did not want to live next to the Forest People. Instead, they wanted their land. And they wanted gold. After only one year, the City People broke their promises.
A great war occurred between the two tribes. The warriors of the Forest Tribe were strong, and they fought to protect their tribe. But they had never fought against weapons made of steel tubes that harnessed lightning and thunder. Explosions shook the ground for days. The Forest People were losing the battle. The power of these weapons shattered the village walls and caused the homes inside to suddenly burn. The Forest People had no choice but to flee to safety deeper into the trees.
Not all of the warriors were able to flee to safety. Some had been seriously injured. One of those was the Chief. He was hurt by a metal ball that pierced his chest. It was shot by a shiny metal tube that the City People called a gun. He coughed when he inhaled.
When the City People found him laying on the ground, they saw that his head was in the lap of a young woman. They recognized her. She was his daughter. She would not leave her father. She asked to stay with him.
Stella became sad at all these images.
The wind whispered louder through Harry's leaves.
One of the leaders of the City People took pity on her and gave her and her father a room in the City Peoples town. There she nursed him as best she could, but it did not help. His time to depart into his own grandparent's world had arrived.
The images faded and Harry spoke directly to Stella. “For reasons that you will discover, she decided to stay with the City People even though her father had left his body. You will find her in a small hut at the edge of the Oaks, near a small babbling brook that is fed by the spring at the mouth of a cave at the bottom of the blue-green grass hill. This is where her tribe used to conduct the dance around fires when the dark moon appeared. Go to her, and she will tell you a secret about you I have long known. In that secret, you will find what you need to do to remove the marks on my body and change my future.”
Beyond this, Harry’s thoughts were blocked. He would not let her see the secret that would save his life. She trusted him. She did as he asked.