This is an excerpt from the children’s book that I’m working on, from time-to-time. Hope you enjoy. Again, I don’t edit or proof-read so there will be mistakes. Just comment and let me know. 🙂 Also, this is mid-book… so just keep that in mind. The book doesn’t begin this way.
The Cave Part I
They went hand-in-hand (or in some cases, hand-in-hoof) further down into the cave until it got so dark that Tessa and Levi could not see anything at all. “I’m scared,” whispered Levi.
“I am, too,” Tessa whispered back. They took another few careful steps before Mama Tucka said, “Stop.” And, even though Tessa couldn’t see Mama Tucka at all she could feel the piggish creature turn toward her.
“My child,” said Mama Tucka in a kind voice, “I heard what you and your little friend said. We, Tuckas, have very good hearing, very good indeed. We hear all sorts of things. We hear things that other creatures could not imagine. But, rest assured, there is nothing to be scared of. You are safe.”
“But, Mama Tucka, we can’t see anything. I don’t even know where I am walking,” replied Tessa.
Then Mama Tucka let our a long sigh and said, “Oh, my poor child, you have much to learn. You humans are so scared of things you cannot see, so terribly frightened by not knowing. And, it’s a terrible path you walk that only leads you to doubt.”
Tessa protested, “But, mother always told me to trust only what I can see!”
Mama Tucka squealed loudly in laughter, “EEEMMMHHHH! EEEMMMHHH! Why, my child, until just this very day you never would have believed in me! And, yet here I am. If someone would have told you before about the Mollywumps, or the Screeching Lions, or even us Tuckas you would have accused them of lying. But, now you know we exist because you have seen us.” Then Tessa could feel Mama Tucka move in close. She could feel the warmth of the creature’s body close to her own.
Through the darkness Mama Tucka reached out and brought Levi close into them and then she said in a soft motherly voice, “I’ll let you in on a little secret. We existed before you saw us with your own eyes. There are several constants in both of our worlds, and one of them is that things don’t only exist if you can see or touch them. They exist because they simply Are. If you do not see me it does not make me any less real. And, it goes the other way, too. Some things have to be believed before they can exist. But, that is a lesson for another time. For now, we must continue.” And, then the creature turned away and started leading the group further down into the cave, further down into the darkness, further down into the Unknown.
They continued on, slowly shuffling their way down through the dark cave, Tessa and Levi blind and unsure of their footing and way; however, the Tuckas seemed to know exactly where they were going and guided the two children with ease. After what seemed to the children as an eternity, but in all actuality was merely about fifteen minutes or so, they began to see the flickering of light up ahead.
Mama Tucka came to a stop causing the whole group to stand still. “Ah,” said Mama Tucka, “Home sweet home. Tyre, be a dear and go ahead of us and tell everyone to prepare a feast for our honoured guests. Tonight is a special night and we must give it all the respect that it deserves!”
“Your wish is my command,” bellowed a deep gruff voice behind the children. It was so deep and so booming that it startled the children and both jumped a little at the sound of it, for until that very moment not one of the Tuckas, save Mama Tucka, had spoken since their arrival. And, while Mama Tucka’s voice was kind and soft, this voice carried weight and gravity. The children felt the broken air and could feel the largeness of the creature as it moved past them and made it’s way ahead of them towards the flickering lights.
“That was the big one from the back, wasn’t it?” asked Levi of Tessa, but before she could answer Mama Tucka answered for her.
“Yes, it was, dear one. His name is Tyre and he is a great warrior, the greatest warrior that we have among us. He provides protection for us all whenever one of us has to go outside the cave to gather food or in times, like tonight, when special needs arise.”
“He seems awfully scary to me,” Tessa said.
Mama Tucka lightly giggled and said, “Oh, he’s all rough on the outside, but when it comes to those he loves he’s all truffle and brandy in his insides. (I shan’t go into all of it just now, but truffles soaked in brandy and then lightly grilled is probably the tastiest food that the Tuckas eat and it is held in high regard.) He’s been protecting us ever since he became of age, just like his father had done before him and his father’s father before that.” Then she paused and then added, “He’s been more like a personal bodyguard to me, although I’m rarely, if ever, in any danger. Let us continue. We are but a short way from the warmth of the fires and the deliciousness of fine food, fine food indeed.”
They pushed onward and after a few moments Levis asked, “Why is that?”
“Why is what, my dear?” replied the elderly Tucka.
Levi responded softly, “Why is…” his voice trailing off at the end as if he didn’t know exactly what he wanted to say, or maybe because he did know what to say, but was frightened to ask.
“Why is he my bodyguard, or why am I hardly ever in any danger? Which are you asking?” inquired the motherly creature.
“Well, both, I guess.” Levi responded almost shyly.
Mama Tucka said, “He will never speak of it to anyone other than myself, but Tyre lost his mother when he was quite young, and so I’ve been more like a mother to him than anyone else. I guess he sees me as such and is, therefore, protective of me, sometimes overly so. As to why am I hardly ever in any danger? Well, that’s easy. My dear child,” and she giggled again, “Why it’s because I hardly ever leave the sanctuary of the cave! The Screeching Lions and the Swooping Jaguarundi won’t come down here as they are more frightened of the darkness than you are, and even if they did summon up the courage to venture into our cave, we are more than prepared for them.”
“But, you came out tonight. Weren’t you in danger then?” asked Tessa earnestly.
Even through the darkness Tess could feel the piggish creature smile as Mama Tucka continued, “My dear little ones, through all my many years I have learned that there are certain things worth going out of the cave for, like food, water, supplies and, yes, even just for the feel of the sun on my face. But, most importantly I have learned that some of the most important things in life can only be found on the other side of Danger.”