Winter hit with a bang! She had been going to go back to that farm yesterday, but the snowstorm had prevented her from getting a good early start. Now she had fashioned some crude snowshoes and she had her backpack ready along with the over the shoulder bag and her small baby bob/fanny pack. The backpack and shoulder bag was stuffed with the goods she had for baby Victoria and Katie. But she had her grandpa’s knife its sheath at her side and her baby bob had everything she would need. She had come to the conclusion that the cave was really no place for a baby so she was going to ask if Victoria could stay at the farm. Even with the fire going, it was simply too cold in the cave. Coon hoped that Melanie would not think that she was abandoning Victoria; but she really had to do what was the safest for her.
She knew she probably looked ridiculous with her buckskins and knee high moccasins on with a more modern parka, but she did not want to freeze and she knew that with the parka she could pull the hood up if her ski mask wasn’t warm enough. But she didn’t like the idea of having her vision even more impaired with the hood. She also had on the scarf and mittens that her granny had made. The mittens top came off and there were half gloves underneath. There were really neat because if she pulled the top part back, she could shoot her bow easier and she wouldn't have to actually take the mittens off and possibly lose them.
She set off early on the fourth day after leaving Victoria at the farm on her snowshoes and made good time. She was careful as she approached the farm taking a more circular route that took her pretty close to some of the houses that were in town. She noticed that many of them were now occupied and it looked like they were burning young wood with a lot of tar still in it. The smoke was that weird color it gets when the wood has too much tar in it….they must be burning pine. It also looked like they were doing a lot of digging around some of the houses. She began to wonder if there might be some connection with the water pipes freezing and then thought about how her grandparent’s pipes never froze. Her granny would let the water run slightly on those really cold nights and her grandfather always seemed to make sure that granny’s herb beds had plenty of manure and hay on them for the winter. Now she wondered if their water pipes had been under granny’s herb beds. That would seem to provide extra insulation for them.
She swung back deeper into the woods more towards that farm and really started to get nervous. She had no idea how or even if she would be welcomed. What if they wouldn’t let her see Victoria? What if they didn’t want to keep her? What if they had already gotten rid of her? She pushed that thought firmly away. What if Katie thought she was weird or something? After all, she knew she had a far from normal upbringing. So many uncertainties ran through her head. She didn’t even know if she would be able to stand being around SO many people! And she didn’t want everyone to stare at her. If she kept this up, she would talk herself out of going. Somehow she dug deep inside of her and saying a quick prayer for strength and courage, she stepped out of the woods and into the yard of that farm.
“Poppy, what’s courage?” I asked.
“Well now, where did that question come from?” returned Poppy. Did I mention how he always seemed to answer my questions with other questions?
“I was watching the Wizard of Oz, and the lion said he didn’t have any courage and that was what he wanted from the Wizard. But at the end of the movie, the Wizard said that the lion already had courage. But I didn’t see it. So I’m wondering just what is courage.”
“Courage is when you reach deep down inside of yourself and with a good hearty prayer to God; you do what you know you must; even if you are afraid, or don’t want to do something. It’s doing what is right despite whatever hardship you face.”
“But how do I know that I have courage? And if I don’t, how can I get some? Because it sounds like something I might be needin’”
Now Poppy just started laughing, and I got just a tad mad because I was serious. This courage stuff sounded really important and I didn’t want to go through life without it! I think Poppy knew I was getting upset because he quickly got serious –even though I could still see that twinkle in his eye.
“Coon honey, I don’t think you will ever have to worry about not having courage. Aren’t you the one who chased after that coyote who was trying to get to Granny’s chickens? And aren’t you the one who stood up for her little brother at Wal-mart two Saturday’s ago when those three boys were making fun of him for being so smart? No, you have plenty of courage and I don’t see you getting rid of any it anytime soon.”
Poppy had given me a lot to think about. And somehow I felt real good knowing I had courage. Maybe I was like that lion.