Chapter 2 The Storm

Suddenly, Lefcardia was yanked from her covers and thrown against her bedroom wall.  She rolled to the floor, and before she could stand up onto her feet, she was flung across the room in another direction.  She used her tiny claws to dig her way down to the bottom of her nest, being careful to grasp only the thick strong sticks and not try and hold onto thin twigs that might break easily.  She had been through this before.  This was not her first storm.

There was a great howling sound from every direction as the wind whipped treetops back and forth.  Healthy trees are flexible, and enjoy getting rocked around in the wind.  A good williwaw is nature’s way of cleaning away dead branches.  When dead branches are whipped around, they break off.

The wind howled and Lefcardia could hear the occasional snapping of dry twigs.  Every once in a while a great crack would rip through the air, followed by a ‘shrush’ sound of a big branch landing on the forrest floor. 

Lefcardia clutched the strong sticks on the bottom of her nest and closed her eyes.  She had chosen her tree carefully, and knew it could withstand a big blow.  Even if it did tip over – which Lefcardia felt sure it would not – but if it did, Lefcardia had been through a tree fall before.  There would be a mess, followed by a lot of work, and she might even loose her stash of acorns, but trees tipped over slowly, in stages, not all at once.  Lefcardia knew if the worst happened, she would have enough time and opportunity to get away.

For now, the best Lefcardia could do was go to sleep.  If she could not fall sleep, the second best thing she could do was wait patiently.  This storm would pass.  Lefcardia nestled a bit deeper into her nest and braced her legs against strong sticks, that way, so she did not have to hold on so tightly.  Oh, how glad I am to be in a strong pine tree, she told herself.  Oh, how glad I am to be in a well built nest, she said out loud.  Oh how glad I am to know this storm will pass, loud enough for the wind to hear her.

She tried to think of something pleasant.  Treasure!  Yes, when the storm passed, she could forage the the woods and see what had fallen out of trees.  There would be pine cones, possibly more acorns, and interesting pieces of wood.  She might find a new table or chair.  Oh dear, she might find a bird in trouble.  Sadly, birds were not always smart about building nests, which may be why ‘birdbrain’ became a word.  

Lefcardia’s nest lurched to one side.  She had to hold tightly with all fours to stay in place.  Think, she told herself, think of something good.  Yesterday.  Yesterday, the woods was  white and silent.  Oh what fun she had had playing in the snow.  She had so much fun she never took time to write about it in her journal.  There was sliding down split rock; and following footprints of foxes, rabbits, deer and birds.  In the snow, she could see exactly where her forrest friends traveled, and following those tracks was like learning secrets.  

Yesterday, Lefcardia found some tracks by Split Rock, and followed around the rock three times before she realized she was tracking her own paw prints.  As she giggled at her own foolishness, she recalled the tender yellow blossom, and how she wanted to know if it survived the snow.  It took a minute before she could remember just where she had seen it, and guessed wrongly twice before she found it.  And there it was, promising warmer days ahead.

Witch Hazel in the snow
Witch Hazel Blossom Covered in Snow

Not every day’s a sunny one

Williwaws and rain will come

Trust the job you did building

Trust that you can build again

Wait patiently for storms to pass

Know its goodness that lasts and lasts

Lefcardia, January 29

Lefcardia tried to get the words in her poem to rhyme. She twisted them this way and that. As she juggled the letters, she fell asleep.

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