As Malcolm made his way through the forest, he had such a big smile on his face. He was feeling good again. Actually, he was feeling better than good and just because he felt like it he started singing a little song to himself.
Goin’ through the forest
See what I can find
So far found a squirrel
She was mighty kind
Nana Owl here I come
Help me find my way
Lookin’ for my mountain
What’s she gonna say?
As Malcolm continued on his way, he felt almost as if the rocks and the leaves and the trees were singing along with him and before he knew it Malcolm was singing at the top of his lungs, jumping around and dancing to his made-up song.
When he finished, Malcolm took a very deep bow, so low his head almost touched the ground. All of sudden, he heard applause coming from not too far away. Malcolm snapped his head up and saw someone watching him from inside a log.
“Oh well done, well done!” The animal cried. “That was quite the show.”
Malcolm, who had no idea anyone was watching him, didn’t know what to say. So, he simply said, “Thank you,” and then added as an afterthought, “Who are you?” Malcolm hoped it wasn’t a rude question to ask.
“My name’s Osbourne,” said the animal as he emerged from the log. “But you can call me Ozzie.”
As Ozzie came towards him, it took all of Malcolm’s self-control to stand there and smile. Malcolm couldn’t believe it, but Ozzie was a skunk! He had never been so close to one before, and Malcolm half expected to be able to smell Ozzie before they were actually face to face with each other. But to Malcolm’s surprise, Ozzie didn’t smell at all. In fact, he smiled in such a warm and friendly way that Malcolm couldn’t help but smile back and say, “My name’s Malcolm. It’s nice to meet you, Ozzie.”
“So what brings you to this part of the forest?” Ozzie asked Malcolm, swishing his tail back and forth. For a moment, Malcolm felt nervous as he watched Ozzie’s tail, but then he realized that just because Ozzie was a skunk, didn’t mean that he was going to spray Malcolm. Realizing just how silly his fears were, Malcolm answered, “I’m going to see Nana Owl. I’m hoping she can help me find a place I’m looking for.”
“It sounds as if you are on quite the adventure,” Ozzie said. Malcolm hadn’t thought about it like that before. He had just wanted to find the mountain he had been dreaming of, but suddenly he became very pleased with the idea that he was an adventurer, so he told Ozzie, “Yes, I am.”
“Well you’re almost there,” Ozzie exclaimed. “Just a few more hours to go. Once you reach the forest’s edge, head north towards the tallest Elder tree. That’s where I hear Nana Owl’s living these days. You’ll know you’re going the right way when you see Sage Mountain in the distance.”
Malcolm couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Nana Owl lived by a mountain! That had to be a good sign and suddenly Malcolm couldn’t wait another moment. But then he remembered being so hungry earlier in the day and he realized that not only would he have to figure out where to sleep that night, but he would eventually need more food.
Disappointment flooded through Malcolm as he realized he would have to delay getting to Nana Owl’s by one more day. He realized, though, that he didn’t have a choice in the matter. First had to take care of himself because otherwise he might not get there at all. I can wait one more day, Malcolm thought. One more day didn’t seem like too long to wait.
To be continued….