“Are you ready then?” Pata-Pikki asked. “You have your important things and food?
Have you planned where you are going? Hoopy and I will go eastward to another forest. We hope to see you again.”
The animals nodded, they were ready. They looked very sad at having to leave their homes and friends behind.
“Remember to break into smaller groups as you leave the forest. You will pass unnoticed in this way,” Pata-Pikki reminded them.
They looked at the cage. The Wilding lay directly in the center. “Poor thing.” Hoopy said.
The Wilding was all trussed up in a blue plastic tube which they had put on him and could hardly move. Still Pata-Pikki could see him breathing, in and out. He paused and his mind sunk down into his heart and he asked the One. Guide us to find the laying place of the Wilding. We will not have much time after we have broken through. Turning back to the Forest-Beings, he gave a low bark and said, “You should go now you know. If you start in advance you will be well gone before there is a warning to the Narflbots. Dear friends, we hope to meet again!” Pata-Pikki woofed. “Bar-Thur and Hoopy and I will be enough.”
“I will stay too if I can be of help,” said a beautiful brown Scruffling in the back of the group of Forest-Beings. Flur-Ella had a lovely soft brown mustache and dark lashes over her sparkling eyes and wore a jacket of woven marsh flower. She was a cousin of Pata-Pikki.
“Flur-Ella is good at little things,” gruffled Pata-Pikki aloud. “Yes, this is good, she will be of use in freeing the Wilding.”
The Forest-Beings nodded in consent, with sad eyes at their departure, they melted into the forest, glancing behind them occasionally until they were out of sight.
Pata-Pikki motioned to Hoopy and together they entered the deep underground tunnel that the Gophers, Rabbits, Fox, Hoopy and Bar-Thur had created. Soon they stood in the darkness at the end of the tunnel. Pata-Pikki, asking the One for discernment, reached up and made a secret sign on the dirt ceiling with his front paw.
“This is the place Hoopy, carefully, see if you can make a hole, remember the Cold Burning Light is above it.
Hoopy began to claw gently at the dirt ceiling above them as dirt fell to the floor.
“I feel something here Pata-Pikki. There is a buzzing like angry bees!”
“We are underneath him them! It is the Cold Burning Light! We will let him fall through, there is no other way. Remove the dirt from under the him. If you feel any pain at all, you are too close.”
“I will start in this direction.” Pata-Pikki indicated the opposite direction that Hoopy had taken. “By the One, may the Wilding fall through on its own as the dirt below him becomes thin.”
They began taking soft swipes with their paws and knocking away the dirt celling. Crumbles of dirt began to rain down.
Hoopy motioned for Pata-Pikki to stand back. Pata-Pikki stepped back, when suddenly with a crash what looked like a long blue wrapped something tumbled through the ceiling.
Hoopy and Pata-Pikki reached for it and pulled with all their might, dragging the creature towards the opening of the hole in the forest. They whined as they ran, for the Cold Burning Light burned them also and was connected to the creature.
The pain suddenly left them, and they knew they had him now. They set him down panting.
Stooping over they examined the thick blue plastic case.
Hoopy shook his head in disbelief, “How will we get him out of that?”
“There has to be a way!” Pata-Pikki whined.
They reached the opening of the tunnel and pulled the Wilding out into the forest.
Bar-Thur and Flur-Ella came close and looked at the blue plastic-coated Wilding.
“How will this come off?” Bar-Thur growled. “I have never seen a Wilding before.”
“That is a good question,” sighed Pata-Pikki.
“I can chew it off at the foot and maybe it will peel?” gruffed Hoopy.
“What is this?” Flur-Ella pushed a small pink button on the back of the heel.
Suddenly the blue case began to move in different directions and then folded itself up into a small package spitting out the Wilding that had been inside. “Don’t touch the package,” Pata-Pikki cautioned as Hoopy bent to pick it up.
“Look,” said Flur-Ella, “It is a her, not a him!”
TO BE CONTINUED…