THE ADVENTURES OF HABU

SPIRITUAL STORIES FOR CHILDREN

Introduction

In our present culture the great mythological stories that have been the source of inspiration from generation to generation have gradually lost their meaning, and are being relegated to the growing dust bin of history.

Rushing in to fill the resulting void has been a new set of stories which originate in the realm of Science. What has been particularly troubling about this trend, is that within the context of scientific thought the definition of the human being is not inherently grounded in a religious or spiritual point of view, but primarily limited to a materialistic definition in which humans are portrayed with dark, and sometimes subhuman dispositions, locked in an endless struggle in a meaningless world.

In a society that is distinctly unbalanced in its over-emphasis of the analytical, rational, verbal mind and with its accompanying barrage of fast moving technological wizardry, children now more than ever before need to hear voices from the other shore of the mind; voices that will gently call them back to the introspective landscape of the Psyche, a place where myths and magic dwell.

The Adventures of Habu - is such a voice.

After being inspired by the myths of ancient India and Greece, Roderick wanted to write something that would speak with relevance and clarity to our contemporary culture. Written in the mid 1980's for his two daughters ages five and nine, Roderick W. Marling has truly succeeded in creating a myth for our times.

Habu is a 7 year old girl who goes on a quest to find a mysterious woman living in a cave high in the Purple Mountains. On her journey of self-discovery she finds a new understanding about darkness, and experiences a wonderful light within her own being. On her return home Habu comes face to face with her deepest fear and is able to move beyond it, not by the magic necklace that she brought for protection, but by discovering the power within herself.

Part II . Habu receives a vision that enables her to warn all the people in her village of a terrible forest fire that will soon engulf them. In the process she comes to a deeper understanding about helping others, and also learns about the natural cycles of Life, Death and Rebirth from an ancient Oak tree that miraculously survives the fire.

Part III. A wandering sage named Joseph comes into the village and builds "The House of Wisdom." It is a small building without windows and has a heavy iron door with three locks. Joseph claims that no one can escape from this strange building unless they know an extraordinary secret of Life. To the surprise of everyone, little Habu is one of only three people who accepts the challenge.

Part IV. Habu learns some very important things about wishing, dreaming and life after death, when her beloved Grandmother makes her transition. This is a wonderful story to help children remember something they already know.

What makes these stories truly enjoyable for children is that even though they present spiritual subjects, they don't become lost in abstract theory. On the contrary, they all provide a rich sensual experience. Each story deliberately engages the child's sense of sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. As an extension of Roderick's basic philosophy that the Spiritual and the Biological are complimentary aspects of the same continuum, these stories are filled with colorful flowers, the songs of birds, the tastes of wholesome foods and the soft glow of candle light.

 
This work was written by Roderick W. Marling and is protected by copyright. However it is formatted so that you can easily download it for your own personal use. Give it to all those you feel might benefit, but for any other consideration please contact KamaKala Publications.
 
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PART I

 

HABU MEETS JOSEPH

 

Mata was in the kitchen chopping carrots and cauliflower to put into the large pot of rice, which was already cooking on the stove. Mata was Habu's mother, who gave her only the very best of food to eat, so that her body would grow up to be healthy and strong.

Mata knew a lot about what foods were needed for growing bodies. She also knew many different kinds of plants, that made good medicine whenever it was needed. Mata had learned these things from her mother, who had learned it from her mother. Some day Habu would learn all about plants from Mata. Right now though, Habu was playing in her sandbox in the backyard building a castle made from mud and small stones.

Suddenly, Habu heard a bell ringing. Mata was ringing the bell for lunch. Baba was already sitting at the table."Baba" is what Habu called her father. Baba had his usual white shirt on, that he wore most every day. He had very little hair left on his head. In fact, so little hair, he looked as if he had no hair at all. When Habu asked him one day why he had so little hair, he only would say that Mata had enough hair for the both of them. Mata did indeed have lots of hair. She let her dark hair hang down over her shoulders until it was at her waist. When Habu was younger, she used to like to lie in Mata's lap and cover herself up with Mata's hair like a blanket. It always smelled so good, like sandalwood.

Today Habu was wearing her favorite yellow sweater, the one with a small blue star on the front. And as she sat down at the table Baba announced: "here comes the star!"

Habu had dark golden hair that Mata fixed into a long braid in the back. She had light blue eyes that sparkled from a strong body of seven years of age.

They began to eat their food in silence. Habu wasn't silent for long though. For she started telling Mata and Baba about the mischief Asha had gotten into this morning over in the neighbor's yard.

Asha was Habu's pet raccoon. One day while walking in the Great Forest, she found the raccoon caught in a hunter's trap. She took him home and fed him steamed turnips and carrots to heal his body. And now the raccoon comes to visit Habu nearly ever day. Sometimes they go for long walks together in the Great Forest. Baba told her that to have a raccoon for a friend was especially good, because he can protect her from the poisonous snakes that live in the Great Forest. For the raccoon can smell rattlesnakes well before they can see him, and rattle snakes can have a very angry disposition when they are disturbed or frightened.

This morning however, Habu and Asha were playing a game of tag in the back yard, when Asha got so exited that he dashed off and began to chase the neighbor's two ducks. He didn't hurt the ducks of course, but they made such a noise that most of the people in the village thought the poor ducks must have been dying.

Baba asked: "Where is Asha now?"

"He ran back into the forest, "Habu said. "I think he got scared when the ducks made all that noise. After lunch I'll go and try to find him."

"Be very careful when you are in the Great Forest, especially now," warned Baba, "for this is the season when the rattle snakes are traveling about."

Finishing her brown rice and vegetables, Habu asked: "Please may I go now?"

"Yes," Mata answered, Abut be home before the sun gets lower than the treetops."

Grabbing a large banana from the basket of fruit on the table, Habu skipped out the door. Her long golden braid bounced on her back as she went. It wasn't long until she reached a huge green wall of trees and bushes and vines. This was the Great Forest that Habu loved so much to play in. There were always so many interesting kinds of plants, with different colored flowers that she liked to pick and bring home for Mata and Baba. And there were so many amazing insects that crawled and jumped and flew in all different directions as she walked along the path. She also loved to listen to all the birds as they sang their songs to the sun, as it climbed above the Purple Mountains. However, now the sun was right over head, and the birds were calling to each other and sometimes getting into noisy arguments.

Habu's heart was happy as she walked along the path that she knew so well. She called: "Asha, Asha" walking deeper and deeper into the Great Forest.

After some time Habu came to a large open meadow bright with bluebells and buttercups and daisies. And right in the middle of this colorful meadow was an ancient Oak tree. Some of the elders of the village said that the old tree was over three hundred years old. It was in the shade of this Oak tree that Habu finally found Asha. But Asha wasn’t running and playing as usual. He didn’t even run to meet Habu as he always did whenever they saw each other. He was just sitting quietly under the tree. And there sitting on the ground beside Asha was a strange looking man. His legs were crossed and he sat very still. He had a long beard and long black hair that came clear down to the ground.

"Who could this be?" Habu thought to herself. "I didn't think anyone lived in this forest."

Seeing that Asha was not afraid of the strange man, she slowly walked over and also sat down under the cool shade of the old tree. The man, who had his eyes closed, didn't even notice that she was there. So she just sat quietly studying the face of this strange person, until gradually she began to feel a deep calmness growing inside her. Slowly she closed her eyes and peered into the cave of darkness inside her head. Habu sat there looking into the darkness, and slowly her heart began filling up with a feeling of joy. It was like she had just received something that she had always wanted.

"My little wildflower, I see you are also enjoying the inner sky of heaven."

"Where did that voice come from? Habu thought. Then she remembered the strange man. She opened her eyes. He was smiling. His eyes, which were now open, were blue, and they twinkled as he spoke again.

"My name is Joseph, and you must be Habu."

"But how did you know my name?" asked Habu in amazement.

"Oh, I have my ways, as someday you will have yours, I can see though, that for one still so young, you can sit very still."

"Every morning my Baba sits like you," Habu replied. "And sometimes I sit with him looking into the darkness inside."

"That is excellent," said Joseph. "The darkness is our Mother. When you have something that no one can help you with, run to your Mother in the darkness. Ask for help in the darkness and She will always hear you. All light comes out from the darkness. Continue looking in the dark, and one day you’ll see your own sun, shinning brightly within the darkness. And then you’ll know beyond all doubt, where you have come from."

"My own sun?" questioned Habu. "What will this sun look like?"

"Not so fast youngster," Joseph said, "that’s something no one else can tell you, for you’ll have to experience it for yourself."

Just then Asha jumped up into Habu's lap and licked her cheek. Then he started running back toward the forest.

Habu quickly remembered now the sun of this outside sky. For it was below the treetops already, and she had better start for home immediately or Mata and Baba would be wondering if she had gotten lost. She felt sad that she had to leave her new friend so soon. Habu looked deep into Joseph's blue eyes and asked, "Will I get to see you again?"

Joseph looked off to the distant Purple Mountains and softly said, "Yes, someday we will meet again."

Habu then said goodbye, and ran back toward the green wall of trees and bushes to catch up with Asha.

 

HABU FINDS EVA

 

Habu burst through the kitchen door, her long golden braid bouncing after her. Baba and Mata looked up from their dinner plates in surprise. "Where have you been?" They both said together.

Quickly sitting down at the table, with much excitement Habu told of her meeting with Joseph and what Joseph had said about finding her own sun.

Baba and Mata quietly listened to Habu tell her story. They also had heard of Joseph from some of the older villagers, who said that a strange man lived somewhere in the Great Forest and that he had some amazing powers.

That night, before Habu went to bed, Baba held her on his lap and began a story of his own.

"Once I met a woman while traveling through the Purple Mountains beyond the Great Forest. Her name was Eva and she lived in a secret cave on Zafu Mountain, the highest of the Purple Mountains. She told me that she had been living in the cave for twenty years, and that she was always very happy when anyone came to visit. For her cave is not easy to find.

I stayed with her several days. We would sit together gazing into the inner darkness and feel the wonderful joy within our hearts. It was during one of these times together, that within the darkness of my inner sky, a beautiful golden light appeared. It was truly wonderful to see."

Baba was silent for a few moments, his eyes closed and slowly a smile came over his face.

"Do you think Eva is still living in her cave?" Habu asked.

Baba opened his eyes. "I don't know Habu, that was almost ten years ago. And I have never been back to the Purple Mountains since then. But I do know one thing for sure. It's long past your bed time."

After Baba had left the room and the light was out, Habu looked out the window into the dark sky filled with stars. She wished that one day she might go to the Purple Mountains and find Eva.

It was many nights later, when the moon was round and bright, that Habu got out of bed and put some bananas and rice cakes into her backpack. And for this very special occasion she put on her magic turquoise necklace that she always kept in a small oak box near her bed. She also took her orange wool blanket, just in case she got cold at night.

Just as the sky was starting to get light over the Purple Mountains, Habu quietly opened the door and stepped out into the cool, early morning air. The birds had not yet begun their songs to the sun, and the earth was very still.

As Habu drew near the forest path she whistled and called for Asha. For the two of them would be traveling on their longest journey together; a journey she hoped would end at Eva's cave somewhere in the Purple Mountains.

Almost as if by magic, there was Asha standing in the forest path some distance ahead, his round shinning eyes flashing. Together Habu and Asha skipped down the narrow little path enjoying the crisp morning air. Several birds had now begun their morning songs, and Habu joined them with a little song of her own.

"All the doors do open themselves

All the lights do light themselves.

Darkness, like a dark bird

Flies away, oh flies away."

After singing and walking for some time, the sun was now above the distant mountains, and they could see they still had a long way to go. The Great Forest was indeed very big, and Habu had never before been all the way to the other side. But she felt confident that if she just kept walking toward the Purple Mountains she wouldn’t get lost.

The two travelers continued on until the sun was high over head. At about this time they came to a swift little stream. Lying across the stream was a huge tree that had fallen ages ago. It was completely covered with a green carpet of moss, and had a number of large sword ferns growing out from its sides. The tree made a most wonderful bridge. Right in the middle of this bridge, the two travelers sat and rested, listening to the stream below rushing and bubbling as it ran over the rocks.

From her backpack, Habu took out some rice cakes and gave one to Asha, who liked it so much, that he ate every little crumb.

"We have to be going now Asha," Habu said, for we still have a long way to go."

And so off they went down the narrow forest path. Now everything looked so new. For they were in the part of the forest that neither one had ever seen before. And there was so much to see: new and different kinds of plants everywhere; and even different kinds of birds that sang strange new songs. Habu even saw several deer running away, their white tails bobbing up and down as they ran.

The sun was getting to be low in the sky, and the trees began to cast long shadows. Suddenly the forest ended. There in front of them was a large hill. The hill was covered with rocks that were taller than Habu and a few scraggly old pine trees here and there.

But just behind this hill, loomed the Purple Mountains, their peaks reaching into the clouds. Habu had never seen anything so big in her life. For just an instant, she wondered how anyone could possibly climb so high. But then she quickly told Asha, "We will climb all the way to the top if we need to, to find Eva."

Habu took a few deep breaths of the fresh mountain air, which now had the smell of pine trees, and then said to Asha, "Well Asha, I know you are getting tired like I am, but let's try to get to the mountains before darkness comes. Then we can get a good night's rest, and we will look for Eva in the morning."

Asha looked up at Habu for a moment, sneezed, and then together they started up the steep rocky hill that lay before them.

While climbing up this steep hill, Habu lost her balance and fell. It was not a very big fall, but she cut her left leg just above the ankle on a jagged piece of rock. And it was bleeding now. She lay on the ground holding her leg. Asha came up and licked her cheek.

"Oh Asha, my leg feels like it’s on fire! I wish Mata or Baba were here. What am I going to do, I can't walk any further!"

Asha licked her cheek again. Habu sat up and looked down at her injured leg. It was all covered with bright red blood.

"I better stop this bleeding," she said to Asha who was also looking at her leg. With one hand she pressed on the cut as hard as she could. With her eyes closed, she told her body to send healing energy down to her leg and into the torn flesh.

After some time, she opened her eyes again. The pain was definitely less than it used to be, and the bleeding had indeed stopped.

Not too far from where she sat there was a large comfrey plant growing. She did not know its name but she did remember now that this was a medicine plant that Mata had used many times before. Still holding her leg tightly, Habu managed to crawl over to the comfrey. And tearing off one of its large green leaves she put of it in her mouth and chewed it until it was a big juicy ball. She then spit it out and put it on her cut. To hold the juicy comfrey in place, she tore a few small strips of cloth from her pants and tied them around her leg. With her leg now feeling much better, Habu got out her orange wool blanket from her backpack to cover herself. For the sun had long ago disappeared, and the air was definitely getting colder now. Darkness soon came as a blanket to cover the earth, and Habu closed her tired eyes and fell into a deep sleep. Asha lay curled up right beside her, his little black nose tucked beneath his two front paws.

The sun had risen well above the Purple Mountains and all the birds had already finished their morning songs when Habu awoke. She quickly opened her eyes because she heard someone singing. At first, she thought she was still dreaming. But now she clearly heard it again, and this time she knew for sure she was awake.

"Night has flown,

Dawn has come

Wake my children,

Wake my children, wake."

"Where was the singing coming from?" she asked herself. Habu looked all around, and all that she could see were big rocks. Then she tried to stand up, and a sharp pain shot through her leg. Instantly she remembered the cut. So she sat back down on her orange blanket and called, "Is anybody there?"

After a few moments out from behind a nearby rock, stepped a woman. She had long reddish brown hair. And her dark eyes seemed to be smiling when she said, "Good morning little sister, I hope you’ve had a nice rest."

Habu was so surprised to see someone way out here among these rocks that she couldn't even answer. The woman came a little closer and continued to speak.

"I see you’ve hurt your leg, but it will be alright now. Please try to stand on it."

Without saying a word Habu stood up. This time however there was no pain! Somewhat amazed, she immediately took off the comfrey bandage. The cut was still there, but the pain was completely gone! It wasn't even sore to touch it. She looked up at the woman who was standing beside her now, smiling.

The woman then spoke with a soft voice, "I see your leg is almost well now, that is good. But the pain in the hearts of your Mata and Baba isn’t so easily healed."

Habu looked down at the ground in sadness. For it was true, she had not told them where she was going. And by now, they must be feeling very bad that she was gone.

"Don't worry little sister." The woman seemed to answer her thoughts before she could even speak them. "Last night I appeared in their dreams and told them that you were now safe with me. But you must remember to be more thoughtful next time, for they love you very much."

Habu looked up again into the woman's dark eyes. "Who are you?" she asked the woman. "And how do you know so much about me?"

"Some people," she began, "know me by the name of Eva. Your Baba and I met sometime ago in these mountains. I believe he told you about me. Well, you and I have also met before, but you were wearing a different body then. You were a young boy with black skin and we used to play together along the big river until your family moved away. Don't you remember? You used to bring me delicious peaches to eat. You picked them from the big tree in your yard."

"No," Habu slowly said. "No, I don't remember that. But I think I remember seeing you in one of my dreams not long ago.

"That is true," answered Eva, "how good of you to remember. It is always good to remember your dreams, for we meet many old friends that way."

Eva sat down on Habu's blanket. Asha immediately jumped into her lap and licked her on the cheek.

"Don't you have some nice ripe bananas in your backpack?" she asked with a big smile. "We don't want to miss breakfast."

The three of them sat together on the orange blanket eating bananas. Asha finished first, and began cleaning his little paws with his pink tongue.

"Now then," she said, "why don't you and Asha come and visit my cave, which is not too far from here? I am sure you’ll find it much better than sitting out here in this hot sun all day long."

Habu didn't have to think very long. She immediately started to roll up the orange wool blanket and put it into the backpack.

The sun was high overhead, and the air was very hot when they first stepped into the cool darkness of Eva's cave. How refreshing it felt. The floor of the cave was covered by a green carpet of moss, which was delightfully cool for hot tired feet. A little further back in the cave was a large pool of water that came from a spring somewhere underneath the ground. Asha was the first to take a drink. Eva motioned to Habu to go ahead and drink.

"The water here is fresh and clean as melting snow," said Eva. "I will go and start a fire to cook some dinner."

In no time at all, she was cooking a large pot of brown rice to which she added wild mustard greens and some onion grass to give it a special flavor. Habu had finished drinking and was now splashing the cool water into her hot face. Asha was amusing himself by running around the pool first one way and then the other, as if pretending to chase grasshoppers or butterflies.

Dinner was soon ready. Eva and Habu sat cross-legged around the glowing coals of the fire. Just before they started to eat Habu noticed that Eva took a small pinch of rice from her bowl and placed it on the ground.

"That's strange," Habu thought to herself, "I wonder why she did that?"

They ate their dinner in silence. When they had finished the last spoonful Eva turned to Habu and said, "I always take a little bit of food that my Mother Earth is so good to give me and return it to Her, so that other creatures might come and share in Her blessing also. For if it were not for Her gracious abundance, none could live in these physical bodies."

Habu nodded her head in agreement. She always liked to share her food with animals, just as she had now shared some of her rice with Asha.

Eva was looking at her necklace rather intently. "That is certainly a beautiful necklace you are wearing," she said. "Is there any special reason why you wear it?"

"It is a magic necklace," Habu replied, "It’s made of turquoise and it comes from a country far from here across the ocean. My Baba got it for me when he was traveling there."

"A magic necklace you say?" questioned Eva. "But don't you know that the real magic comes from within your own heart? That is the source of all magic. Whatever you truly wish for with all your heart will come to pass. You would have found me whether or not you wore the necklace."

"I also want to find my own sun," Habu said with excitement. "Do you think I can find it?"

"Yes," Eva said, "you surely can find your own light if you know how to look. For that is important."

"Will you please show me how," Habu asked? "I know you can help me, because Baba said you showed him the golden light long ago. Can you show me also?"

"Well, not exactly," Eva slowly replied. "Yes, I can show you how to look, that much is possible, but whether or not you will actually find it, depends on how much you want to find it."

"Oh, I want to find my own sun with all my heart," Habu said.

Eva looked deeply into Habu's eyes: "with such a determination, there is nothing to prevent you from finding what you seek."

"Here," she then motioned to the orange blanket that Habu had earlier spread out on the ground, "let's sit together for awhile."

After they got comfortable on the blanket, Eva began: "Now, with your back held very straight and your eyes closed, look up into the cave of darkness within your forehead. Breathe in and out, long and slow. In and out, slowly. In and out. Now when you breathe in, try to feel energy rise up your back. And then let it rest there for just a moment in the darkness of your cave. When you breathe out long and slow, try to feel the energy slowly slide down your back. That is all you have to do, over and over, until your breathing becomes very soft and quiet, and you can feel energy spreading all over your body."

"I can feel the energy already," Habu softly whispered.

"That is very good little sister, Now let us go deep within, and sail in the heavenly sky. For it is there that your sun will be found."

Asha had curled up on a small patch of moss near the fire, which was now almost out. Outside the cave, the sun had long ago disappeared and thousands of stars were twinkling in the cool mountain air.

Habu however did not notice all those stars outside. She did not even notice her body or her breathing. For a beautiful golden light had appeared within her inner sky. And the longer she looked at it, the more beautiful it became. She seemed to be now floating in an ocean of light and peace. So calm, so wonderful it was. Then, coming out from the light, she heard a voice. A voice filled with loving kindness said: "I was with you always. Always, I will be with you."

How happy these words made her heart feel! She felt so full of love and joy she could hardly stand it. She felt like her whole body was singing a song.

After a long while, she opened her eyes. The outside sky was now full of light too. It was morning. And the birds were already singing their songs to the sun.

Habu looked around the cave, "Where was Eva?" she thought. "And Asha is gone too!"

Just then, she heard something at the cave's entrance. It was Eva and Asha following close behind.

"Good morning," Eva said with a smile. "I went to get you a few things for your trip home."

"Oh Eva!" Habu jumped up in excitement. "I saw the golden light! And it told me that it will always be with me!"

Eva's eyes were glowing. "You are most fortunate Habu, to have experienced the Loving Light. For you are a very special part of All That Is, just as we all are. Whenever the dark clouds of fear and sadness come, remember your inner sun. Close your eyes and feel its warm glow melting those clouds away. If you remember this, you will always live your days in sunshine and song."

Asha had just jumped into the pool of water with a loud splash. He was trying to catch a fish that had come to the surface for a gulp of air.

"Come," Eva said, "let us eat some breakfast that I've gathered for us and then we can prepare for your long journey back."

"But I don't want to go," Habu replied sternly. "I want to stay here with you."

"Yes, that would be nice little sister, if you could stay. But this kind of life is not for you this time. Your Mata and Baba are waiting for you. And they will need your help, just as you still need their help. And then, when you are a little older, many people will come into your life that will need your help. However, first things first. Let's start with these big peaches.

"Where did you get those? "Habu asked in surprise. "I didn't see any peaches growing around here."

"Well, it's a secret place," replied Eva. "Here, I got enough to put some in your backpack, and I also got some fresh figs, which I know you will like."

When the three of them finished eating their breakfast, Eva helped roll up Habu's orange wool blanket and carefully packed it into her backpack, along with the rest of the peaches and figs.

The sun was already high overhead, when they left the cool shelter of the cave. The air outside was very hot and it felt as if they had just walked into an oven. But after some time a little breeze began to blow, making their walk somewhat more pleasant.

They walked together in silence. Habu now began to feel a wonderful joy within her heart, as she remembered the golden light.

"I wish everyone could feel this happiness," she thought to herself. "Then everyone would be like the birds in the morning singing their songs to the sun."

Just then, Eva, who was walking some distance ahead, began to softly sing:

"Oh Thou Sun of The Infinite,

I behold Thee in my heart.

In joy, in love

We're always together and never apart."

Asha was running circles around Eva as she sang, making funny little noises as if trying to sing along. Then, all at once she stopped singing, and stood still in the path looking back at Habu.

"We are now back to the place where you hurt your leg," she said.

And so it was. Habu had not even noticed all the big rocks that now surrounded them on all sides.

"This is as far as I will go with you," Eva continued. "If you stay on this path you won't have any trouble finding your way back to the Great Forest."

Habu's eyes filled with tears. She was sad to be leaving her new friend, who now seemed more like a sister. She wanted to give her something as a present before they left, but all she could think of was her magic necklace. Slowly she took the beautiful blue stones from around her neck, and held them out to Eva.

"Please take this necklace as a gift," Habu said softly. "You have been so kind to me, and now I would like to give you this before we go."

"Thank you very much, Habu," said Eva smiling. "Your generosity is far more beautiful than this necklace. If you always remember that the most powerful magic is within your own heart, then you will always be protected whether you have a necklace or not."

Slowly, Habu turned to go. "Come on Asha," Habu called as she walked. But Asha just stood there beside Eva not making a move.

"Asha, come on," Habu repeated louder. But still Asha did not move. She then looked at Eva as if to ask her to do something.

Eva said, "It appears that this raccoon has a strong mind of his own. What can I do?" They both stood there for awhile looking at Asha, and he looking up at them. After sometime Eva broke the silence: "Asha can stay with me for a couple of days and then he will return to you. Please do not worry about him. He will be safe."

Reluctantly Habu said goodbye to Eva and Asha, and then started alone down the path to the Great Forest. She had not gone very far when Eva called out to her: "Remember to look for me in your dreams."

 

THE RETURN HOME

 

Habu walked very carefully this time among the big rocks. It was very hot to be walking without any shade. For there was only one or two pine trees here and there, not like the Great Forest that had plants everywhere. Habu felt lonely now that she was all by herself. She missed Eva and she certainly missed Asha.

"Why didn't Asha want to come back with me?" she kept asking herself. "That isn't fair; I have to go back all by myself."

When Habu finally arrived back at the Great Forest, the sun was just slipping below the treetops. Habu was very tired. Her hair was all in tangles and dripping with sweat. Her pants were pretty much a mess too, with blotches of dirt and dried blood on them. And her feet hurt. She knew that she had better find a good place to sleep soon, because she just couldn't go much further.

Now that she was back in the Great Forest, she felt a little better. At least there was plenty of shade, and there were familiar plants to look at, and a few birds had already started their evening songs.

Once again she thought of Asha, and what a wonderful traveling companion he was. He was always watching for snakes, and that made her feel safe whenever she was with him. Just as she took her next step, she glanced to the right of the path. Suddenly Habu stopped with a jerk! Her eyes got big and her mouth dropped open in fear. For there, crawling out onto the path right in front of her was the biggest snake she had ever seen. He was rattling his tail and ready to strike at the slightest movement. Habu was so scared, she didn't even want to breathe. Certainly, she didn't dare make a move. She just stood there in the path, as if she was a statue carved out of stone.

"If only Asha were here then I'd be safe," she thought. "I wish I had my magic necklace."

Habu quickly closed her eyes. She peered into the darkness searching for the inner light of her sun. She didn’t see any light, but she heard Eva's voice saying: "The most powerful magic is within your own heart."

A warm glow of peace spread all over her body and she knew that there was nothing to do now but wait. Habu waited for a very long time. Then slowly, ever so slowly, she opened her eyes. The last half of the snake's body was sliding away under the nearby bushes.

With a big sigh, Habu let out all the air that she had been holding in her lungs. It was safe to breathe again. It was safe to move and walk. And now, more than anything else, she wanted to go home and see her Mata and Baba.

She took a couple of deep breaths, and once again started down the forest path. It wasn't long before Habu came to the old moss covered tree that made a bridge across the swift little stream. It was here beside the little stream, that she unpacked her backpack and crawled under the orange wool blanket. For it was almost completely dark now and the stars one by one were appearing in the sky.

Habu closed her tired eyes. And for just a moment she felt within her heart a wonderful joy, as she remembered the words: "Always, I will be with you."

Slowly she drifted into a peaceful sleep. The big round moon rose over the treetops, and cast her light like a silvery blanket over the Great Forest.

Habu woke up early the next morning. The sun was just barely peeking over the Purple Mountains and the birds were starting their morning songs. After eating a couple of delicious peaches and a handful of figs, she was off once more down the forest path.

Her body felt so light and strong, she thought she could walk forever. She wasn't lonely anymore either. In fact, she felt happy to be by herself and she began to skip along the path singing Eva's little song:

"Oh Thou Sun of The Infinite

I behold Thee in my heart.

In joy, in love,

We're always together and never apart."

The sun was high in the sky when Habu arrived at the colorful meadow filled with bluebells and buttercups and daisies, where she first met Joseph.

She decided that it might be a good idea to go over to the ancient Oak tree and rest awhile, and maybe have something to eat.

Comfortably she rested her back against the trunk of the old tree while eating a peach. Habu was suddenly startled to hear a voice: "I see our little wildflower has returned."

It was Joseph! His eyes sparkling as he sat down beside her. "Well, you certainly are an adventurous one for your age. Did you find your inner sun?" he asked with a mischievous smile.

Habu offered Joseph the last of her peaches. And while they were enjoying the delicious fruit, she told him how she had found Eva and stayed in her cave. And how she had seen the wonderful golden light.

Joseph listened quietly. And then for a moment he became very serious. Looking deep into Habu's eyes, he asked: "Who are you?"

At first Habu was a little puzzled by the suddenness of such a strange question, but then she slowly replied. "I am a part of the Great Loving Light that shines in all things."

Joseph held out his hand and touched her foot and said, "I am so very happy. In my life I have traveled all over this large earth, and met and talked with many people. But no one has ever answered my question as well as you have. Truly, you have come to know, while others only believe."

In his happiness for just a moment Joseph forgot everything. "Would you like to come with me?" he asked. "We could travel together where no one has ever been before."

"No I can't just now," replied Habu rather abruptly. "For I am on my way back home to be with my Mata and Baba."

"Oh yes," Joseph said looking a little foolish, as he suddenly remembered he was still talking to a girl of only seven years of age. "Yes, you are quite right, please forgive me," he quickly added.

"Maybe when I'm older, I can live like you, roaming the forests and mountains without any cares," Habu said.

Joseph was staring off into the sky towards the Purple Mountains. It seemed he didn't even hear what she had just said. Then, after some time, he slowly replied:

"This time my little wildflower, you have chosen to live among a great many people; so that you can help them remember how to be happy. For this is a very troubled time on the earth, when human beings have forgotten who they are, and how to laugh and sing with their hearts. You, my little one can help them remember these things."

They sat there a long while under the old tree listening to the wind playing with the leaves. Habu then noticed that the tree was casting a long shadow now. For the sun was beginning to get much lower in the sky.

"I better be going," she said. "So I can be home before it gets dark. My Mata and Baba have been waiting for me a long time."

"Yes, Joseph agreed, "you should return home as soon as possible for they love you very much. Myself, I am going far, far away from the Great Forest."

He thought for a moment and then asked, "Do you think I'11 ever see you again?"

Habu replied, "If you really want to in your heart."

Joseph smiled. And touching her foot again with his hand, he said, "Then I shall see you again."

With that he slowly rose to his feet and started walking across the colorful meadow. When he was just about to disappear into the green wall of trees and bushes, he turned around and called to Habu, "Remember to look for me in your dreams."

"I will," Habu called back. For just a few moments she sat there alone under the ancient tree in the middle of the meadow, smiling. The sunlight was now falling all around like golden honey. The wildflowers were all dancing with a playful breeze, and the sweet smell of cottonwood was everywhere. The birds had begun their familiar songs to the sun, and Habu could feel a wonderful joy in her heart.

"If only people could come and sit with me under this old tree, they could see how beautiful this world really is," she thought to herself. "But most of the time, I guess they are just too busy with other things."

She put on her backpack, and said goodbye to the ancient Oak tree. For it now seemed, as if they had become good friends.

It was beginning to get dark and the first bright star of the evening appeared in the southern sky, when Habu walked out of the Great Forest and into her own backyard. Through the windows she could see the light inside the house.

"Mata! Baba!" she called with excitement. "I'm home!"

 
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