My New World – A Short Story – Part Four

[Continued from My New World – A Short Story – Part Three]

We walked out the dirt road and took a narrow path up toward the mountain. At first I walked heavily and made enough noise for three boys.

I noticed Rustam walking ahead; his giant clodhopper didn’t make a sound. He was all eyes and ears. Seldom did he say much.

“ I figure the world would be better of f if people just wouldn’t talk unless they had something to say,” he told me and always carried it out himself. Whenever I asked him questions he always answered them quickly and simply.

I began to watch and listen. He told me where to find snakes, how to tell poisonous ones, which paths not to take, the kinds of birds, and where they built their nests. I was completely under the spell of this new world.

I began finding things for myself, and I took the lead. I had learned how to travel silently.

All of a sudden, the bushes at the side of the path rustled – a black and white animal strolled out into the clearing. It had a pure white stripe and the softest fur and bushy tail I’d ever seen. My first impulse was to try to catch it.

“Mc,” the quiet, but commanding sound of my name made me stop in my tracks. It dawned on me – a skunk! “Don’t move,” Rustam whispered.

I stood frozen. The unsuspecting animal went on its way into the bushes on the other side o f the path. I turned to my smiling companion and we were on our way. We had been traveling on moss, and small underbrush – mashing it down as we walked – and I could tell these paths were seldom used.

When we entered a small clearing, I noticed tracks in the soft dirt. I bent down and closely examined them.

“Deer?” I excitedly said. Rustam nodded. I was intrigued with the small and large hoof prints. “Think we can find and see any?”

“Not today, too late for them. They’re clear up in the hills by now. They come, down to the lake and water almost every morning . An’ I’m thinking we’d better get back before breakfast. Don’t you think?”30 nostalgic photos of manipal 1997 to 2001

“ Sure, but think we could see any tomorrow?” I asked him pleadingly.

“Have to get up mighty early,” he answered.

“Honest, I’ll get up,” I promised.

A bargain was made.

I had just pulled the covers up under my chin, when the old rising bell clanged.

[Continued - My New World-A Short Story-Part Five]

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