Little Girls of Wonder - A Story of Hope
Chapter 7

Copyright© 2012 by Allan Kindred

As they continue their trek across the lush green meadow, in the magical land known as Shimmering, they come across a huge tortoise that is moving all so slowly. The tortoise is half as tall as Hope, and is as big around as her beanbag chair in her bedroom where she reads her favorite stories. The tortoise is hard to miss because he is bright blue and orange.

"Hello," says Hope, not wanting to startle the giant tortoise.

It takes the tortoise some time to turn around and look their way. He smiles fondly at them and says, "Hello to you too, little girl and tall folk."

Hope giggles. "Hello," says Sarah and Allan, but this is Hope's journey so they look on with love and pride.

"My name is Hope. May I ask you your name?"

"You may indeed, polite and kind pretty girl. My name is Alfred."

"I have to say, Alfred, that I think your bright blue and orange colors are very pretty."

"Thank you for saying, Hope."

"We are going to visit the fairies. Where are you going?"

"I too am going to visit the fairies."

"Alfred, do you know how far it is?"

"Not very far for you, but it will take me weeks to get there."

"Maybe we could help you get there faster?" offers Hope from her wonderful heart and mind.

"I appreciate the kind offer, Hope, but often times in life you will find that taking your time isn't always a bad thing. In fact, oftentimes it is the prudent way to travel, as it were."

"How so?" asks Hope. Both Sarah and Allan are proud of her because she is always willing to listen to other people's thoughts and ideas, while still being strong enough to come to her own conclusions.

"Well," says Alfred, "In the same way that some lessons cannot be taught they must be lived, the importance of a life is often in the journey not the destination. Do not be in too much of a hurry, little girl, or you just might miss out on something wonderful."

Hope thinks about it for a second and then says, "Well, thank you very much, Alfred, for sharing your knowledge with me. We all have our own journey to travel, so we will be going along now at our own speed. It was most wonderful meeting you and I hope you have a wonderful life."

"Well, aren't you the sweetest and prettiest girl I've met this century."

Hope smiles at Alfred, and then she looks back at her mom and uncle and begins to understand that some people are a blessing to have as a part of your journey. Hope feels lucky, loved and cherished. She walks over and hugs her mom, "I love you, mom, for always believing in me." Then she go over to her uncle and says, "I love you, too, Uncle Allan, and I could think of no one better to watch over me as I traverse this thing called life."

Sarah and Allan heal a little more, as Hope's love and wonder makes them smile.

As they continue to walk through the meadow, the next creature they come to is a giant snake. Hope, Sarah and Allan wonder what lesson is going to be learned here. The meadow glimmers a little more, because instead of being afraid and prejudging, they understand that you often risk much to learn something new. Although you walk through life with your eyes wide open, because snakes are not the only vipers in the world.

"Hello, big snake. I am Hope, daughter of Sarah, niece of Allan. I am most pleased to meet your acquaintance."

"Well, thank you, Hope. My name is Hannah, and very few people have the courage and consideration to talk to me the first time they come to Shimmering."

"I know with my Uncle Allan nearby that I am safe, and he would stop me from doing anything foolish. I also know because of my mom's love and support that it is wise to never judge a book by its cover. I mean it is not fair to prejudge somebody or something. But, beyond all that, Hannah, you are very pretty. I love your red, black and yellow rings."

"Thank you. I am a king snake."

"Shouldn't you be a queen snake?"

Hannah hisses as she laughs. "Do you know how to tell the difference between my kind and the venomous kind in your world known as the Coral Snake?"

"I do not. Could you please tell me so that I might be safer if I ever run across one? I would be most grateful."

"It would be my pleasure, Hope. It goes like this - when red touches black it's a friend of jack, but when red touches yellow it'll kill a fellow. That of course refers to the order of the color bands of my skin."

"Thank you! You have taught me a lesson that could improve my ability to survive on my own. You have helped increase my self-reliance and I am most grateful."

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