While the little hedgehog was recovering from the vision, far across the forest Loki was standing at the crest of the hill above where his cavern home was located. His daughters were scattered about, but all within eyesight of the proud elk father. Occasionally he would stomp his front right hoof, and look down at the ground nervously. It had been a quiet early morning, until Cobalt eagle arrived, and explained he needed to get into the ruins of his old home when he was a human. The curious elk agreed to tag along, and was able to move a large stone that had blocked a narrow opening that led into the ground. Where their cave now stood, once was a plan of houses, and at one point it had been part of a garage. Leaning his head down closer to the ground, he called into the hole. “Cobalt … you doing ok in there, bud?”
At first there was no response, which made him nervous, so he called again. “COBALT!” There were faint chirps from the eagle, as well as grunting. The elk grumbled to himself, watching a young buck deer prance in front of his daughter April. “HEY, YOU GET AWAY FROM MY DAUGHTER! GO ON … GET!” The former human yelled at the male deer, who looked up at him, then ran off at a quick speed. His daughter turned to face him from her spot lower down the hill, and stuck her tongue out at him. As she walked slowly up, munching on the various grass and plants on the hill, she reached her father. “Oh Daddy … he was just saying hello.” Loki shook his head slowly, “well … it starts at hello … then goes downhill.” The father and daughter looked at each other, then started to laugh. After a period of time passed, April looked at the hole beside her father’s right hoof. “How long has Cobalt been down there?” The former humans turned to look, as a set of fluffy brown tail feathers appeared.
Sighing out of relief, Loki started to chuckle, “took your sweet time down there … Cobalt. Did you find what you were looking for?” The two elk watched as the eagle continues to back out, and was dragging a leather tube out. Once the eagle and his possession has exited the cave, the former human looked up, “yes, I did. Thank you, Loki, can you block the opening again?” The bull elk obliged, and moved the flat stone back to cover the entrance to the cave that led to the human homes’ ruins. April looked at the leather tube, and it was about a foot long, with stained dark brown leather. It had pale brown leather cords that tied it shut. She wiggled her ears, “what is in the tube?” The eagle looked up at her, “plans. Come over to Pudgy’s home, we have much to discuss today.” The eagle hopped a bit, and snatching the cords in his talons, began to flap hard. In seconds, he had taken flight, and was flying in the direction of Friendship Town. Loki nodded, “ISABELLA … GRETCHEN …Come over here! We are heading to Pudgy’s.” The two other cows looked up from their grazing spots, nodded, and began to head towards the town. Loki and April walked side by side, wondering what was going on?
Cobalt did not waste any time, and flew quickly towards the lake. Scanning the shores, he found Sandra and Raymond blue heron in a section of cattails. Calling out, “Sandra … Raymond … head to Pudgy’s. We have much to discuss!” The two blue birds looked up and nodded, before taking flight. The eagle quickly flew over to beaver town, and called out to head to the hedgehog’s home. The aquatic animals nodded, and all began to swim towards the river that led to Friendship Town. The former human made stops at the bear cabin, tiger camp, Patches’ tree house, dragon cave, Waffle Cat cabin, otter encampment, as well as many other places. The animals looked up and nodded, all wondering why Cobalt was carrying the brown tube in his talons? As word began to spread throughout the forest, many kinds of animals began to head towards the hedgehog’s home, with much chatter as to what this was all about?
Meanwhile, Pudgy was sitting in his homes, with shaking paws. He was using both of his front paws to hold a mug of water, and sip slowly. Argente was besides herself with a mixed set of emotions, both upset at him and worried at the same time. Her friend had not said anything since waking up, and only seemed to stare forward. Heather owl was worried too, and looked at the silver fox. “Is it always so exciting here in the forest,” the former human woman asked? Argente nodded, “it always starts like this. We can only delay the adventure so long … peace never lasts … though this time was a bit over a year, I think. Pudgy …what did you see?” The little critter did not answer, but did look at Argente and smiled softly. He was starting to feel better, which made both female animals start to relax. Outside of the underground home, there was a noise that was beginning to build. Argente looked towards the round kitchen window, and her mouth dropped open.
Heather hopped over to the second-round window, and peered out. Animals of all manner were arriving outside in front of the underground home. “What the heck is going on? Pudgy, everyone is coming here?” The little hedgehog looked up, and put his cup of water down on the table. He scampered over to the window, and it was just as his two friends said. All animals of the forest were amassing: bunnies, ground hogs, beavers, mice, squirrels, birds, bears, deer, elk, a red panda, bobcats, otters, and many more. When Cobalt landed in front of the underground home, he looked back into the window and chirped. “Pudgy come on out, we have much to discuss.” The little hedgehog’s heart started to pound hard, it was time to go! Argente frowned, and watched as the little critter scampered out quickly past and through the front door. The owl and silver fox followed after him, and exited the home. All eyes were focused in on the eagle, who chirped loudly.
“I am sure you are all wondering why I called you to Pudgy’s home today?” Cobalt called out in a loud and clear tone, as he watched animals gather on both sides of the river. “Our town is strong and prosperous, and full of friends. You should all feel proud of your actions, to grow our forest home to what it is today. To all animals in attendance, both long time residents, and new friends … welcome.” The animals cheered, sending their various calls into the air, making a terrific noise. Once the group quieted down, the eagle’s expression turned serious. “However, it is my sincere regret to inform you all … that our home is threatened. As many of you have noticed, the chill of winter no longer comes to the forest. I noticed that the stars were off in the night sky, and began to make observations as well as records. Over time, I was able to prove that the stars were changing positions, due to the planet shifting. I immediately informed the aerie of my findings, which drew a response from the eagle high command.”
Mr. Bear raised a paw, “I bet it did Cobalt!” The eagle chirped and nodded, “my observations were collaborated by other eagles dispatched all around us in far flung posts. They reported not only did the stars move and weather change, but that the water was rising as well. Rivers grew, streams widened, lakes deepened, and the surface land disappeared at an alarming rate. So, the aerie ordered me on a reconnaissance mission to the human lands that once were called Georgia. When I arrived, I watched as the ocean waves had formed a tsunami wave. The land was gouged, and fell underneath me. Animals were swept out to sea, and were not able to return to dry land. I can still hear their cries in my sleep. Beth Tiger, and Heather Owl can confirm my story.”
The white tiger looked sad as she nodded, “I tried to save as many bunnies as I could. I could only carry so many on my back. My human home was over 300 miles from the ocean, and it made it there suddenly and without warning.” Heather owl hooted softly, “yes … the land sunk beneath the ocean waters. Beth and I were heading as fast as we could inland, and to higher ground. Eventually …we made it here to Friendship town.” The existing animals started to become visibly upset, while the newly arrived animals sat with unblinking eyes as they listened. Cobalt began to speak once more, “the devastation is spreading at an alarming rate. Most of the central lands of what used to be the United States are now under salt water. This has resulted in the fresh water fish to flee up river, which Argente and Pudgy can attest to.” The silver fox nodded, “it was so strange … they were swimming so fast … and were leaping out of the water to get ahead of the others.”
The eagle nodded, “and the otters can attest to the rising waters.” Private Pawl nodded, “yes … the first lock and dam was covered by the river water almost as soon as we finished it.” Sargent Miller nodded while adding, “the second lock and dam is in danger of being covered at this time Cobalt. We might want to start thinking of building a dam.” The former human man chirped a short laugh, “I wish it was so simple. Just wall us off from the world, and keep the water at bay. Pudgy is having dreams again …” As the eagle spoke those words, the animals looked at the little hedgehog. It had been over a year, with no hedgehog adventures, and many had finally relaxed from the attack of the wolves. Cobalt called out, “Angeliki … what is the condition of the ley line node?”
The raven looked up from her perch on the bridge railing, “Cobalt … I am sorry … are still not working. But there was a development last night … Pudgy tried to use the node to travel. Instead of travelling, he began to float, with eyes glowing white. The sapphire teleportation stone floated above him, and the ground suddenly thumped hard. He was transfixed for a time untold, until finally he dropped onto the stone.” The silver fox grumbled, “HE TRIED TO RUN AWAY AGAIN!” Argente flashed an angry set of brown eyes at the hedgehog who wiggled his nose at her. Cobalt motioned with his wing towards the hedgehog, “Pudgy’s dreams show that a fox that resembles Argente is leading him to a place very … very …very far away.” Before Pudgy could speak, Argente stomped her foot, “that is not me! I would never tell Pudgy to travel all the way to Manilla!”
Sandra blinked, and looked at her husband. Raymond’s long beak dropped open, “Manilla … as in the Philippines? Pudgy … there is no way you could go there! It’s almost eight THOUSAND miles away!” Mrs. Waffle cat meowed sadly, “nooo! We can’t let you go there!” Cobalt nodded, “Pudgy has been trying to sneak off with the steam ship … and now the ley line node … to head to Manilla for reasons that are unclear.” The animals all started to call out in unison, that Pudgy should not go. It was too dangerous, and several rushed across the bridge to hug the little hedgehog. Tears were in their eyes, as they worried and spoke at the same time. Pudgy hugged back, and tried to reassure them, but the overwhelming concern was relentless. After a period of time passed, to let emotions calm, Cobalt spoke once more. “Pudgy … what have your dreams been like?”
The little hedgehog walked slowly in front of his eagle friend, and looked up at him. The eagle’s expression was sad, but his yellow eyes were piercing. Pudgy swallowed hard, then spoke as loudly as he could. “When Pudgy used the ley line last night … Pudgy travelled very far away. Pudgy saw the oceans covering the lands Pudgy visited, and a river that heads between Texas and Mexico. The river stretched all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Across a deep blue sea, over volcanic islands, Pudgy followed a silver fox that looks just like Argente. But she was different, Pudgy could see her tail was striped with white and black. She told Pudgy, to get to Mt. Apo as soon as possible. It was a tall green mountain, rising high out of the ocean, with no snow at the top.”
Argente’s ears folded down as she whimpered, “mother … why are you doing this?” Heather owl looked with concern at the clearly upset silver fox, “your mother?” The female fox nodded as she started to cry, “when she comes to me in my dreams … it means something bad is going to happen. Why would she visit Pudgy, and tell him to go to such a dangerous place?” Pudgy wiggled his nose, “she showed me what would happen if Pudgy didn’t go. The world will be covered with water completely … there will be no land left at all.” Cobalt nodded, “many world chains … our connection to the great spirit Gitche Manitou have been destroyed. The ley line nodes are also in disrepair, and the magical connections are being severed. We are on the precipice of calamity.”
The forest animals all began to panic, and started to call out in their various alarms. The eagle raised his wings, and cried out loudly. Mr. Bear and Grandpa Bear roared, which quieted the gathering. As all quieted down, the forest was dead quiet, save for the sound of the river passing by. “Our choices are clear. We can choose to do nothing, and live here for as long as we can. I know not the time we have left … and then move further inland. Eventually we will run out of land, and have to meet our fates in the sea. Or we can assist Pudgy in his mission to the Philippines.” Loki called out from the rear of the group of animals, “JUST HOW IN THE HECK ARE WE GOING TO GET HIM THERE?!?!” The little hedgehog wiggled his nose, and looked up at Cobalt again. The eagle’s face grew resolute, and spoke with a bit of a waver to his voice. “Under my talons, rests a leather tube. Inside are the plans for the USS Brig Niagara … “
The bull elk’s eyes widened, “a … sailing … ship?” The eagle nodded, “the steam ship will never make it to the destination. Pudgy will run out of fuel, and other supplies before he even reaches the interior ocean. Wind power represents the best option to get him there.” Tess the female bobcat was crying, while her husband was hugging her trying to calm her down. Pope called out, “Cobalt … are you mad?!?! There is no way we can build a sailing ship overnight!” The eagle nodded, “who said overnight. Prior to my animal conversion … I was a human with an interest in history. These plans will need to be modified to suit our needs. Also, we have to account for the fact that the trip will be at least 3 to 4 months to reach the island.” Argente yelled at Cobalt, “WE ARE NOT SENDING HIM TO DIE!” The silver fox stormed over angrily, and looked him in the eyes. “You really want to send him out there alone? To a far away land, with no one to help?”
The eagle’s eyes locked onto the fox’s brown ones, “who said alone?” Argente blinked, “what?” Sandra waved her wings, as Sargent Miller called out. “The sailing ships could travel at 4 knots, which is roughly four miles per hour. Doing rough math, you are right Cobalt, it would be about 3 months. But how can we build a ship? Granted the steam ship was built before my arrival, but how long did it take you to build it?” Drew red panda raised his paw, “four months … it took forever to get the raw materials ready for assembly.” Cobalt nodded, and watched as Argente’s eyes start to soften as she realized what this meant. The silver fox backed away, and then let the eagle speak once more. “There are no more helpful friendly humans … only we animals in this world. It will take us time … and life will go on … but we will be resolute in our resolve to build the ship. Once it is ready, Pudgy will need a crew, to help him operate the ship. Unlike adventures before, this time our hedgehog friend will have backup.”
As the animals talked amongst themselves, they all started to cheer. “BUILD THE SHIP! BUILD THE SHIP! BUILD THE SHIP!” The sounds of their voices rang clear, as Pudgy started to bounce happily and cheered as well. Argente frowned, but nodded as she was resolute that she would go on this adventure no matter what! The animals quieted down after a time, when the eagle raised his wing once again. “Pawl … Miller … begin deconstructing lock and dam number one and number two.” The curious private raised his paw, “why do you want us to disassemble the locks?” Sargent Miller blinked, “Cobalt … you’re going to build it back here? The logs are all water logged, and not suited for ship building.” The former human nodded, “true, but for our purposes they will suffice to build a massive pier. I need a freshwater harbor … suitable for a ship about sixty feet long.”
Pudgy’s little steam ship was roughly 5 feet long, so this represented a 12-fold increase in size. The little hedgehog’s mouth dropped open as he looked up at his friend. “Cobalt, why ship so big?” Drew nodded, “I understand why. Pudgy, you need supplies to last at least 90 days. This is a tremendous amount of material, plus space for all the crew to live and work. Man … oh man … this is going to be a massive build.” The eagle called out, “before we start … does anyone have any objections? Know this … it will take us months to build this ship. Pudgy will not be leaving …nor sneaking off again to make everyone worry … right Pudgy?” The little hedgehog nodded, and bounced excitedly while speaking, “Pudgy promise!” There were some mutterings between the various animals, but soon all began to depart.
Cobalt called out once again, “anyone with building experience come to the General Store. Everyone else, thank you for coming today, I will contact you when we are ready to proceed with the build operation.” As the animals started to disperse, Mr. Bear and his father walked to the river, and swam across. Raymond and Sandra quickly flew over, while Cobalt walked with Drew towards the general store. The little hedgehog scampered along behind them, watching as the red panda was dragging the leather tube behind him. The trip to the building was short, and with an excited hedgehog helping, they were able to open the tube. A musty smell came out from inside, and while there were some water stains, the plans were still legible. A United States Navy emblem was emblazoned on the plans, drawing a comment from Sandra. “Cobalt, these look almost real.”
The eagle chirped, “I sent off a request to the Navy a long time ago, when I had some questions. They said for a fee, I could order replica plans, so I did. For obvious reasons I called you over here, because this is going to represent the largest build this forest has ever attempted. We are going to need lumber, sails, rope, water tight barrels, water collection supplies, food, water, medical supplies, and a laundry list of other things.” The red panda nodded, “we need metal for nails … and an anchor with chain. We do not want the ship to float away when Pudgy gets to the island … in … 3 … months… Cobalt, how can we do this? This seems too big for anyone to do. Even if we were still humans, and had all the technology and assistance, it would still have been impossible.” Mr. Bear nodded, “one day at a time Drew. Let us think a different way, what raw materials do we need first?”
Grandpa Bear looked at the plans as they sat on the ground, “this says 110 feet long. Cobalt, you said for the otters to build a 60-foot dock, and those numbers do not match up.” The eagle nodded, and watched as Loki was attempting to cross the river in the background. “We need to adapt these plans to our need, so I think the first step is to start planning. Once we understand how to design the ship, we can proceed to stage 2: material collection. Stage 3 is building, and stage 4 is testing. Only once we have ensured the ship can survive the hazards to ocean travel, will we proceed to departure. Ahh Loki, glad of you to make it.” The soaking wet elk was just exiting the river, “oh sure start without me. So, are we building the SS Hedgehog or what?” The group of animals laughed, and Pudgy wiggled his nose with a thoughtful look on his face. “Pudgy wonder what we should call the ship?”
Argente giggled as she approached, “well we have to build it first. Pudgy, perhaps everyone would like some tea?” The hedgehog nodded, and quickly scampered off to his home. The group watched as the excited critter reached his home, and quickly entered it. The silver fox sighed, “are we really going through with this?” Cobalt nodded, “yes … but we need more information. Mr. Bear … do you think the Mother of All Bears could provide any assistance to us?” The brown bear raised his paw, “I don’t know how to contact her Cobalt. She just sort of shows up, there’s no known way to summon her. Too bad the Wolf Mother is busy; she might be able to help at least with what’s going on with the ocean.” The group nodded as they looked at the plans, then as the raven started to bounce up to them.
“I can use the ley lines to communicate with my mother. The goddess Hecates should be able to contact Selene, but it will take me some time. Cobalt, after Pudgy attempted to use the ley line, all the stones changed position and some merged together. The stones are now acting like a compass, and pointing in different directions. I suspect that he triggered something, but I know not what at this time.” Loki chuckled, “we have the time … and maybe I can keep my daughters away from all these bucks during the build.” Angeliki chirped as she giggled, “you don’t want to become a grandfather?” The bull elk snorted, “not like this! And does anyone know how to deliver a baby elk, because I sure as heck do not know!” The group started to laugh heartily, watching as a puff of smoke started to escape from the stove pipe of the underground home.
The discussion turned back to the plans, and over the rest of the day, it was determined that they needed to take more time to adapt the plans to their needs. The group departed, and after a long night’s sleep, they reconvened the next day to begin the work in earnest. It took about a week of long days, planning, arguing, and writing down what was needed for the ship build. Each passing day the hedgehog grew more agitated, which was resolved by many hugs and ways to occupy his mind. Hugs helped, and Tess the bobcat did a wonderful job keeping him busy. But eventually it could not be helped, and the hedgehog appeared at the General Store. The building had been converted into an office, with the plans hanging on the walls. A long ledger of supplies was on the floor, with Drew and Cobalt talking with each other. The little critter tugged on Drew’s red and white striped tail, which resulted in a smile from the former human.
“Hi Pudgy, how are you?” The little critter folded his paws, and wiggled his nose, “Pudgy good …when will we build the ship?” The eagle turned around and chirped as he laughed, “one track mind huh? Ok Pudgy, we are ready to move to stage 2 … material gathering … come look…” The little hedgehog scampered into the building, and saw the long lists of materials. He wiggled his nose, “Pudgy do not understand. All you did was write stuff down on paper, there is no ship here.” Drew chuckled, noting the hedgehog’s confusion but otherwise friendly demeanor, he spoke. “Pudgy, you do not realize how big of a project this is. But now we have a better understanding, which will help us with construction.” The hedgehog read strange numbers out loud, “55-foot length, 5-foot beam width, 50-foot mast height …This is going to be huge!” The hedgehog started to realize just what his friends were doing here all this time, so he started to hug them both one at a time.
“Pudgy, come with me, we need to go on a field trip.” Drew the red panda said, while watching the hedgehog bounce. The little critter climbed up onto his friend’s back, and chuckled as he backed out of the general store. “Beep … beep … beep … beep,” the critter said, drawing a laugh from Cobalt. “Drew, I’m heading to Beaver Town. It’s time to place the order for logs. I am sure they will be shocked.” As the two watched the eagle take off, and quickly fly down the river towards the lake, Drew spoke. “Ok Pudgy time to go. We need to head to the big field beside Mr. Bear’s cabin.” After shutting the barn doors to protect the building interior, the red panda padded quickly up the bear road. “The first thing we need to make is rope, we will a whole lot of it.” The hedgehog wiggled his nose as he held onto the long red fur coming sticking out in all directions from his panda friend. “How do you make rope?”
Over the hill, and down the hill they headed, make the left, then the right over the bridge, and right again to scamper past the cabin. Drew explained along the way, that rope is made from twisted and braided fibers. The original ropes were made from hemp, before being replaced by man made synthetic fibers. But the truth was, that any type of fiber could be used, which provided useful. As the two friends reached the field, they found multiple gray fluffy bunnies had made huge piles of grass. They were being careful to not rip it out of the ground, and chewed off the long grass blades. They would make rope from grass, and had a huge field of it for rope making. As Drew inspected the huge piles, he saw there was a group of squirrels waving at him. Drew wiggled his ears, “hello everyone … how goes rope making?”
A tired but excited brown squirrel was quickly showing the strands of rope made so far. It was fairly strong, and did not break when two animals pulled on each end. But it was very thin, which did not mean it could survive the strip. Drew nodded, “good work, that will form the basis of the rope structure. But this twine will definitely help us too, so we will keep a bit of it to the side as well. Pudgy, please help the squirrels, they will show you how to braid.” As the hedgehog slid off his back, the squirrels bounced excitedly, and started to show their hedgehog friend what to do. While the little hedgehog began to follow their instructions, he began to realize his friends were hard at work. He started to feel bad, having put so much pressure on them, and resolved in his mind to do something nice for them. Pudgy could bake a cake, lots of cakes, with icing … sprinkles …whippy cream. But then he remembered that a lot of those things did not exist anymore, which made him sigh.
Hours passed, until Mr. Bear showed up to help the smaller critters move the gigantic piles of cut grass to underneath the cabin porch. By the time that evening approached, Pudgy was exhausted. He laid on the bears’ porch and looked at all the rope that had been made. It was amazing, and with this amount, they could so many things with it. The hedgehog wondered why exactly they needed so much, and decided to ask Cobalt tomorrow about it. Grandpa Bear offered to let Pudgy ride back on his back, which he gratefully accepted. The elderly gray bear was moving slower, and his joints were starting to crack. “Oh my … I never thought I would ever get this old. Running around in the tall grass, and chasing after my mate, you never think of what would happen if you live long enough to see your children to middle age.” Pudgy wiggled his nose, and hugged the bear from his perch on his back. “Don’t mind the complaints of an old bear … I hope to see you tomorrow again Pudgy. It was nice to see you all day in the field beside the cabin. Your ship is going to need as much rope as we can make.”
The hedgehog called out, “why do we need so much rope?” The gray bear nodded as they reached the crest of the hill along the bear road. “Rope is needed to pull up the sails primarily, and to do other things on the ship. You need to have replacement rope, in case it snaps, and you need to make repairs.” The critter yawned sleepily, “ok Grandpa Bear … Pudgy understand …” By the time they made it to the underground home, the hedgehog had fallen asleep. It took a gentle shake to wake him up, enough to head inside his underground home, and off to bed. As the door shut, the elderly gray bear grinned and looked up into the darkening skies. “Oh … Mother of us all … please … if you can do anything?” Grandpa bear turned around, and started to slowly walk back home.
Once more up the hill, across the crest, and down the hill Grandpa Bear headed. Until he was almost at the bear bridge, when he noticed the stars moving around in the sky. They formed into the face of the Mother Of All Bears, who looked on with concern. The elderly bear bowed, “thank you for responding to me.” The stars formed into a grin, “I always like it when my children are respectful. What is wrong Razor Claw?” The gray bear grinned in return, “there is a name I have not heard for a long time … What can you tell me of the rising waters that threaten the world? Do you know how much time we have?” The star face of the Bear Mother nodded, “I see. I do not know how long. It is hard to tell from my vantage point. What I can tell you, is that the lodge where you stayed with our former dragon friend is underwater. Much of the island of Kodiak has been reclaimed by the ocean, but our island still stands. I can see the distant mountains that are on the coast, and there is no snow. It is cause of tremendous worry, as the arrival of winter is so delayed. My children may not have enough food to eat, nor space to live soon.”
The elderly gray bear nodded, “Cobalt eagle informed us of the devastation of much of the lands of the United States. Pudgy keeps dreaming of somewhere called Mt. Apo, in the Philippines. It is so far away, that the forest started work on constructing a sailing ship.” The Bear Mother giggled a bit, “oh my … a ship … I hope he comes to visit me again. I miss that little hedgehog, and his wonderful stories. I wonder how many more adventures he had since leaving my island?” Grandpa bear laughed, “he’s had a couple so far … with a wolf attack being most recent.” As the two were talking, Mr. Bear walked out and looked up. He waved a large brown paw at her, bowed, and then sat looking up into the sky. The Bear mother’s expression turned serious, “a wolf attack?” The large brown bear nodded, “yes … a huge black wolf made of smoke and blood red eyes appeared with hundreds of wolves and coyotes. Pudgy left with them to save us, after they overwhelmed our defenses. Pudgy eventually returned with Cobalt, safe and sound, with tales of a terrible battle between Unetlanvhi and Hades / Blood Fang. The Mother of all Wolves returned, and is somewhere on an island north of here between the great lakes.”
The stars started to fade, as the Bear Mother disappeared from the sky. The two bears sat quietly, looking at the night sky, wondering if their words had resonated with Mother Bear? After a time passed of quiet contemplation, they stood up and walked back to the cabin. With the soft glow from lanterns illuminating the cabin, Grandpa Bear grinned as his son got out the clay jugs with the moonshine. Two bears, and two jugs of bear strength liquor meant the rest of the evening would proceed quickly. In time the jugs were emptied, and the two bears were sleeping peacefully in their cabin. They dreamed of Kodiak Island, and the Bear Mother walking the newly formed beaches of the island. In the distance, a dark blue ocean rolled with waves bigger than they had ever seen. The waters continued to rise … slowly … but surely. Then a deep rumbling sound could be heard, shattering the tranquility. Both bears had rolled onto their backs, and were snoring loud as chainsaws. The Bear Mother giggled, and ended the dream, she had heard enough of that already on her own island.