Seven year old Heart Aino happily walked along side her mother and her father as they hiked through the woods. She wore pink overalls with a light pink T-shirt and dark pink walking shoes. And to top it all off she had a pink and purple backpack on; all because she absolutely loved the color pink.
Her parents Lucille and Allen Aino were very active and outdoorsy parents. They did not believe in being cooped up in a house losing brain cells in front of a TV screen. So they decided to go for a family hike.
"Mom, are we gonna see lots and lotsa animals?"
Her mom smiled down at her. "I certainly hope so dear."
Heart grinned from ear to ear. "Well what kinds of animals are we gonna see?"
"Well sometimes there are deer and rabbits in the woods. Or maybe a big grizzly bear!" Her father said in a gruff voice as he tickled.
Heart laughed and smiled. "I'm not afraid of a big grizzly bear."
Her mom smiled down at her. "Of course not you're our brave girl, aren't you?"
Heart nodded enthusiastically.
Her mom smiled to herself. 'She reminds me so much of me at that age, fearless'. Lucille had been considered fearless and daring all her life and that all changed seven years ago, when she was pregnant with Heart. She realized that her daughter and husband relied on her. She no longer had room to be carefree.
The sun was no longer as high as it was when they had set out.
"Allen, I think we better call it quits and go back to the campsite before it gets dark." Lucile did not want to take any chances.
"I think your right honey."
Heart groaned a little bit. "But I didn't even see any animals. It's not fair."
Heart mother looked at. "Well we can't anything in the dark and besides we can get an earlier start tomorrow. So turn that frown upside down!"
Heart loved when her mother said that to her. She flashed her mom a beaming smile.
"That's the Heart I know and love. Now let's head back to the camp."
As they walk back toward the campsite Heart suddenly loses her footing a goes tumbling down a steep hill.
"Heart!" Her mother screamed in terror.
Allen looked at horrified. "What happened Lucille?"
She simply shook her head. "I don't know. One minute her hand was in mine and then the next, she's falling down the hill! We have to look for her Allen! It getting dark and she's by herself!"
By this time Allen had his cell phone in his hand. "I'm calling the ranger. He can help us look for her.
Lucille stared down the path that Heart had fallen and there was no sign of her. I hope my baby is alright.
Heart ached all over. There were scratches all over her body. "That wasn't fun at all." She said to no one. Sitting upright was even a pain. She moaned and groaned and finally managed to sit up.
I'm so, so sore. I don't even know where I am or where my parents are. I'm lost!
She looked around frantically. She saw her backpack lying near her. The straps were completely broken.
Oh no that was my favorite backpack. Then she had another thought. Be glad that's not your neck.
Heart tried to stand up to walk over to her book bag. As soon as she put pressure on her left leg she collapsed in pain. She looked down at her ankle and it was swollen and bruised.
Aw man I can't even walk. What am I gonna do?
Heart heard a little chirp coming from nearby. She looked and saw a small bird lying not too far from her. It looked as if the bird's wing was hurt it could not fly.
Heart felt so sad for the bird. I know exactly how you feel. I gotta do something to help.
Heart winced as she scooted over to her backpack. Grabbing hold of her backpack she scooted as near the bird as she could get. She reached in her bag and pulled out some ointment.
I need to put a little bit of this on the wing so it doesn't get infected.
She leaned over and reached for the bird. It flailed and squawked in fear.
"It's okay little bird. I just wanna help you that's all. Shh, come on sweetie".
When Heart touched the bird it stopped squawking. She rubbed the ointment on the bird's wing. She then removed her favorite ribbon from her hair and wrapped it around the damaged wing.
"You'll have better use for it than me. Now you are all better."
The bird chirped happily.
Suddenly there was a soft light shining near Heart. She looked up and saw what looked like an angel.
"Who are you?"
The angel came closer to her. "I saw the immense love and compassion you have for living creatures. You are one of a kind Heart."
Heart stared at the glowing figure. "How do you know my name?"
The figure did not respond. It leaned closer and touched Heart's ankle. She felt warmth and calmness rush over her body. She looked at her ankle and it was completely healed.
The angelic being looked down at her. "I will watch over you, child. I feel a connection to your spirit."
Heart sat in awe and confusion. "What?"
With no further words the being began to shine so bright Heart had to shield her eyes. When she opened them the figure was gone. She looked at her right arm to see a bright red ribbon tied to her wrist.
"Heart? Honey are you alright?" She heard her father's voice call out as he and her mom and the park ranger ran down the hill.
Her father wrapped his arms tightly around her as did her mother.
"Oh honey we were so afraid we had lost you." Her mother hugged her even harder.
"I'm fine mom, really. I did happen to rescue a birdie though. Can I keep it?"
Her parents smiled. "Yes Heart of course you can. Now come on and let's get out of these dark woods."
As they left the area Heart looked back.
I can't wait to tell Saki what happened to me.
She then realized how outrageous and farfetched her story was.
On the other hand I guess this is a secret I can keep to myself.