In the great deep forest there lived a great owl with lime eyes, black feathers and a beak just as black as the night sky. His duty was to protect the forest from anything that would harm it. He sat night after night, searching the great forest to keep it safe. He was excellent at his craft and not one creature had been harmed since he had set watch.
One night a scavenger walked into the forest. He was looking for some fossils to take home to his children, Little James and Big John. He walked along the path, all the while picking up stones and checking them to see if any fossils were there. Stone after stone he kept checking until late into the evening. Little did he know he was being watched by the great black owl.
When the Scavenger reached the end of the path he was troubled. None of the stones he checked had any fossils in them and it was late into the night. How would he get some fossils for Little James and Big John? As he scratched his head he heard a sound.
“Whooo are you” the Great Owl asked?
The Scavenger turned around and to his surprise he saw the great owl. The owl was towering over him, looking at him intently with inquisitive eyes. The Scavenger looked at him, the giant black feathers, the beak just as sharp as a razor and black as the night sky. He couldn’t help but be afraid.
“I am a scavenger,” he trembled. “I am looking for fossils for my children.”
The Great Owl starred with his lime eyes. “Why?” he asked.
“Little James is turning seven, and Big John is turning 11. They have the same birthday and they love the outdoors. I thought I would get them each a fossil for their birthday.” The Scavenger explained.
The Great Owl nodded and turned around. He spread his massive wings and turned his head to the Scavenger, “Get on” he said.
The Scavenger didn’t dare question the owl, so he climbed onto his giant back.
The Great Owl took off; the Scavenger clung on. They passed over rivers, valleys, hills and into the mountains. They came across a stone cave and the Great Owl lead the Scavenger in.
The Scavenger thought “I am following an owl into a cave, surely I must be dreaming,” and once he entered the cave he thought it even more so.
The cave was lined with lanterns peeking out of rocks. Once they passed a lantern it would go out, only lighting the way into the cave. Doors lined the cave walls. As the Scavenger observed the cave he notice sparkling diamonds of all shapes and sizes all along the walls, and gold plates over doors as if they were labels. He couldn’t read them because they were in some other script he couldn’t recognize. He wondered what could possibly be behind all of those doors.
The Owl turned his head but kept walking forward “The doors lead the way into everlasting life,” he said. “Each door is a whole eternity. Enter one and you won’t come back to this world. You will be wondering doors forever, unless you know which door to enter into first.”
The Scavenger was shocked that the Great Owl knew what he was thinking, but being so intrigued by what he just said he only asked, “How do I know which door to enter first?”
“That is not the reason we came,” said the Great Owl. And he kept walking forward as his head turned.
Finally after passing what seemed like an endless amount of doors they came to a stop. In front of them stood a centaur holding two stones. He looked at the Scavenger. “This is what you are looking for,” he said as he handed the Scavenger the stones. The Scavenger turned them over in his hands and there he saw two fossils! One of a fish and one of a leaf. “But how did you know…” he started to say, but the centaur had already disappeared. The Scavenger put the fossils into his bag.
“Get on” the Great Owl said to the Scavenger, and the Scavenger climbed again onto the Great Owl’s back, thinking of the fossils he had been given by the centaur.
The owl and the scavenger returned to the great deep forest where they had first met. “You have what you were looking for, now it is time for you to go home,” the Great Owl said.
The next morning in Odenville, Jimmy woke up from his sleep. In his hands were two fossils; one of a fish and one of a leaf. He marveled at the thought of what he thought he had dreamed. “How did I get these,” he thought, but he knew that he already knew it.
To be continued……