A Woodland Discovery by Ken Griffin

There once was a woodland creature who loved to explore the bigness of the forest. It loved the warmth of the light coming through the trees and the music of the woods. One day while scurrying about, foraging and tasting all the tasty tastes found on the forest floor something caught the corner of its eye. The creature froze. Slowly it turned its head and saw that there was another creature looming right behind it. It had the same shape as its own but was bigger and darker. Frightened, the creature dashed off to escape this unknown creature. It ran and ran and ran. Every time it stopped for a breath or thought that it must have outrun it, the scary creature would still be right there. Tired and frazzled, it ran and hid in the darkness of a hollowed-out tree. It discovered that hiding in the darkness worked, but when it went back out, the other creature still there. This time, though, it was right in front of it. As it slowly began to back away, waiting for the just the right moment to break for it, it noticed that the other creature copied its moves exactly. If it moved its paw, so did the other; it turned to one direction and so did the other. Now it was no longer scared, but it was starting to get upset with this copycat creature. In a huff, it quickly spun around and again tried to outrun its unwanted visitor. No matter how it zigged or zagged, it couldn’t lose the other one. Our friend knew that it could escape alone into the darkness but really preferred being out in the world. Then, as it huffed and puffed, tired from all its running away, it felt the warmth of the light coming through the trees and kissing its face. It took another deep breath and then felt the breeze begin to brush through its fur. It closed its eyes and began to let the warmth and the wind relax its tired from trying to escape little body. When it opened its eyes, it saw movement on the ground before it, but it wasn’t the other creature. There were dark shapes dancing on the dirt. It noticed that the shapes were just like the leaves blowing on the branch above it. Then it saw the shapes of the branches themselves stretched out before its eyes. The creature suddenly realized that it was the sunlight, that it cherished, making these dark shapes visible. It realized that everything around the forest had its own dark shape that looked just like it. There was nothing to be frightened or upset about at all. The unwanted follower was actually a part of itself. It no longer wasted energy trying to outrun this aspect of itself and instead saw it as a friend. Our creature went on discovering more of the woodland world, and while it still sometimes hid in the dark, it never again needed to escape from any part of itself.