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155. Earth Bear's Helper

After some lunch and a rest Earth Bear and Theodore continued along the trail as it crossed the top of the hill. The slope down the other side was not as steep and they made good progress. Earth Bear  took a small folding spade out of his back pack and smoothed the path in the places where the water from the last rain had caused some erosion and Theodore helped him by moving sharp stones out of the way. Lower down on the hill they came out of the trees and Theodore was surprised to see all the flowers growing among the grass. Earth Bear pointed out some special ones that he knew by name and told Theodore that they could be used as a medicine for various complaints.  "It is time to go now," he said, "we still have quite a stretch to the Camp Site and we should be there before dark. Our tent is already pitched but I have to fetch some equipment we will need from the store."

Theodore and Earth Bear set off at a brisker pace.  "Now we do not have far to go any more," said Earth Bear, "the path goes across the river and the Camp Site is on the other bank."  They came around a bend in the path and Earth Bear stopped.  He turned around slowly and put his paw over his mouth indicating that Theodore should be quiet.  He pointed in the direction of the river and Theodore edged forward to see too.  A deer had come for an evening drink and had not seen or heard them.  They watched for a while and then the deer walked slowly away, stopping here and there to nibble at the grass before disappearing into the thicket again.  Only then did they walk on and were soon at the Camp Site.  Theodore was surprised to see that there was a tall fence around the tents and Earth Bear explained that was to keep the visitors in and the big animals out at night.  "The gate is securely locked," he said, "not even sleepwalkers can get out there," and he smiled.


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