The Garden and The Woods

Please read first page for warning.

A few hours later Amelia woke up. At first, Amelia was groggy and thought that she was in her bed, but when her senses awoke she realized that she was in the forest.

I wonder what time it is, she thought while she saw that the sun was lowering itself in the sky. I must have slept longer than I meant too. Her stomach growled. I'm hungry. I wonder what mommy is cooking for super tonight.

She stood up and brushed the dirt and grass off her yellow cotton play dress.

I better go home now, but which way is home.

Amelia began to walk towards the left which was the opposite direction from where she was coming from. While she was walking a few of the night animals were coming out including a skunk who was nibbling on some wild flowers, and a raccoon who had a small fruit in his hands. She turned left and continued to walk for about ten minutes when she came to the part of the forest she did not recognize.

"I'm lost. I don't remember this part of the forest," she said to herself.

She continued to walk and try to find her way back but the more she walked the more lost she got. She was getting scared and frustrated.

"How am I ever going to get out of this forest!" she yelled. "The sun is going down and soon it will be night. Then I won't be able to see anything!"

"I wish I had never come here," she said regretfully.

Jack and his 17 year old son Steven walked into the house and saw his wife with disheveled clothes, wisps of light brown hair, lose from her bun and traces of tears on her face. When she saw her husband and son she ran to them and hugged them.

"Thank God you are here, my love," she said to Jack. "And you to Steven."

"What's wrong mama?" Steven asked with a concerned look in his eyes.

"What's upsetting you honey?" Jack asked.

"Amelia is missing. We can't find her anywhere?"

"When did you begin to notice her missing?" Jack asked.

"A few hours ago. She was supposed to take piano lessons 2:00 but she did not show up for it. I called her to come inside, and when she did not come in I realized that she might be missing; so I asked the servants to help me find her."

"Did her piano tutor come over?" Jack asked.

"Her piano tutor came over for a little while but when we couldn't find her we sent him home. I think he was a little disappointed."

"Did you and the servants check the whole house and yard?" her husband asked.

"Of course we did," she said a little annoyed at her husband for asking that question. "We looked everywhere for her. Now all of our servants and maids are looking outside the grounds, even the cook."

"Did any of them go in the woods?" Jack asked.

"Two of them did," she answered.

"We need more than two people to look for her in the woods because the woods is so large that it could days go through it," Jack said fearfully. He had a worried look in his face because he loved his daughter as much as wife did. She meant so much to them both.

"I hope she didn't go into the woods," Cathy said with frustration in her voice. "She knows better not to go in there."

"I hope she's not in there either," said Jack. "I'm going to look for her in the woods."

"I'm going to look for her in the woods too, papa," said Steven.

"It's dangerous in the woods, my son," said Jack.

"I know, but I can't sit at home waiting for Amelia to return. She's my little sister and I love her. Besides I can take care of myself in there. I am a good hunter and tracker."

"I know you are son," said Jack.

Cathy gave both her son and her husband a kiss on the cheek.

"Be careful, both of you," she said before they left the house.

As soon as they walked out of the door Cathy slumped on the couch and tears began to pour out of her eyes again. "Oh Lord, please keep them safe, and help them find my little girl."

Jack and his son walked into the woods.

"Which way should we go papa, left or right?"

"Maybe we should go in opposite directions; I will go towards the left and you can go towards the right," said Jack.

"Maybe we should have a meeting point and leave a trail," Steven suggested.

"That's a good idea, son. Let's leave a trail of pebbles."

Jack and his son Steven picked up as many pebbles as possible and began to leave trails while they walked in opposite directions.

Amelia continued to walk for another 30 minutes when her legs began to ache a little and sleepiness was starting to creep back into her. She wanted to sit down and rest, but she knew she needed to get home.

Oh, the piano lessons, I've missed my piano lesson: mommy is going to be so mad, she thought worriedly.

Amelia continued to walk getting more and more tired. Finally after 20 more minutes of walking, she was too tired to take another step. So she sat down on the ground underneath a birch tree while tears of frustration filled her eyes.

"I'm never going to get out of here never. Mommy and daddy were right when they told me not come in here!" she shouted angrily.

"I hope somebody finds me here," she said quietly.

She said a little prayer to God before she covered her face with her hands and began to let the tears fall. Amelia was sobbing for about five minutes in her arms when she heard a growl. She took her wet face out of her arms to see where that growl was coming from.

Meanwhile Steven was searching for Amelia in the woods. Steven began to look for some signs and tracks of where she might have been because he knew that they would lead him to her. He was as good at tracking as he was at hunting because his father taught him to do both since he was twelve years Old. He looked down at the ground hoping to find some of her footprints or other signs that she was there. He soon came upon some small foot prints. Guessing that it was Amelia's he began to follow it, but soon the footprints of squirrels and other animals ruined the trail and made it hard for him to see where she went.

"Amelia? Amelia, are you here?" Steven shouted hoping that his sister was close enough to hear him.

There was no answer. The forest was silent except for the sounds of some squirrels, birds, and other animals.

He continued to walk until he was almost in the middle of the woods. He wasn't afraid of getting lost in it because he has been in the woods plenty of times before, and he recognized some of the trees. Besides the pebbles he was leaving on the ground made getting lost impossible. He continued to drop the pebbles on the ground while he was looking for her, and calling her name from time to time.

"Amelia, where are you? Amelia? Amelia!"

Again there was no answer. Steven hoped he would be able find her soon because he was getting nervous; he knew that there were dangers in the woods, quick sand, hidden holes, and not to mention dangerous animals. He feared that she might be in danger and he hoped that he would find her before it was too late. Steven continued to look for Amelia hoping that he was going the right way for there were no more signs of her being there. He hoped that he would pick up her trail again very soon. He heard something moving through the tall grass and plants. He walked quietly towards the sound hoping that it was Amelia, but to his disappointment, it was only a raccoon that decided to come out a little early.

"Please Lord, help me find her trail again, so that it will lead me to her," he prayed quietly.

He continued to walk in that direction and a few minutes later came upon an oak tree. When he saw flowers and flower petals strewn all over the place he realized that his sister was there. He also saw her footprints and a trail of petals falling on the ground. He thanked the Lord for leading him there, and began to follow her trail again. He followed her trail for about ten minutes but the foot prints of deer destroyed her footprints, and the flower petals and leaves were strewn all over the place so he no longer knew which way she went.

Which way did you go? he thought frustratingly. Oh, Amelia, why is it so hard to find you?

Tears of frustration and fear formed in his eyes, but he pushed him back. He was determined to find his little sister, and it wasn't the right time for him to give in to his emotions.

He prayed to the Lord again. "Dear Lord, please help me find my little sister before it is too late? She is a little girl and doesn't understand the dangers of the woods. Please, Lord I cannot do it by myself."

A few seconds later he heard a scream rip through the air.

That sounds like Amelia, he thought.

He ran towards the sound of her scream hoping that he would get to her on time. While he was running his heart was beating fast in fear that he might be too late. He was also scaring some woodland animals away. Three minutes later he saw a horrifying sight. There was his sister standing near a birch tree with eyes wide with fear. He wondered what the source of her fear was. Then he saw it. A female bear was standing on her legs getting ready to attack her. She wanted to kill her so that she could give her cubs something to eat. Steven knew he had to act fast before the bear leapt on his sister. He took out his riffle and aimed it at the bear. The bullet went straight through her heart and she slumped on the ground, never to wake up again. Amelia began to cry in relief. Steven ran towards his sister and picked her up. Tears of relief were also falling down on his face because he was happy that he found her and saved her. He sat down on the ground with her in his lap and they held on to each other for a few seconds not able to say a word to each other before he let go of her.

"It was horrible," said Amelia. "At first I was having lots of fun in the woods, but when I decided to go home, I got lost, and then this big bear…"

"It's alright now," said Steven. "Don't say anything more."

"But it's not alright! Mommy and daddy told me never to come here and I did. I should have listened to them!"

"You should have, but it's over with, and you're safe now," he said to her. "Let's go home."

They began to walk home holding each other's hands and when she got too tired again he picked her up and carried her rest of the way.

As soon as they came out of the woods they saw their parents with worried looks in their eyes. Jack returned a few minutes before his children did. Jack and Cathy took their children in their arms and hugged them. None of them said a word for a few seconds. When they finished hugging each other Steven told them what happened in the woods. Jack and Cathy looked relieved and thanked God that Steven was able to save Amelia from the bear. Then they looked sternly at their daughter.

"You knew what you did was very naughty," Cathy scolded Amelia. "We were searching all over for you because we were worried. We decided not to punish you, because we realized that you're getting lost and almost killed by a bear is enough punishment."

"But Jack added. "If you ever go into to the woods again we will punish you."

"I won't go in there for a very long time," she answered them.

Jack looked at his son. "Thank you for finding her."

"I couldn't find her without God's help," said Steven.

The End

Epilogue: Amelia obeyed her parents and stayed out of the woods. When she got older she began to explore the woods again with family members and trusted friend. As for the bear cubs another female bear found them and cared for them.