Little Pine wandered through the woods all day thinking about his friend, Red Leaf. What could he take home as a token of their friendship?
Of all the leaves he had befriended this year, Red Leaf held a special place in Little Pine’s heart. He had grown so close to the ground, right beside Little Pine’s branches. They had shared so many adventures.
“What could I find that would remind me of him?” Little Pine wondered. Red Leaf had loved everything and heard the song of the Great Yes in every sprig of moss, every blade of grass.
Little Pine remembered how Red Leaf would laugh out loud sometimes for no reason. And when Little Pine would ask him why he was laughing, he would say “Just because I’m so lucky to have come here.”
When late afternoon came, Little Pine stopped beneath the branches of a cousin pine. He and Red Leaf often rested here together in the afternoon. Red Leaf loved to watch the songbirds at play high in the elder pine’s boughs. They were one of his favorite things.
Little Pine sat down and leaned against the tree’s sturdy trunk. He would rest here, he thought, for just a little while.
As he closed his eyes, he imagined that he could hear the singing of summer birds and that Red Leaf was sitting beside him. The sound of softly fluttering wings caught his attention, and when he looked up, he saw a beautiful white dove with golden ribbon tied in a bow around her neck. The spirits of leaves danced all around her.
“I bring you greetings, Little Pine, from Red Leaf,” she cooed. “He sends you great waves of joy. He wants you to know that he hears the singing of your heart and that the two of you will be brothers in spirit always.”
Then the dove flew away. And when Little Pine opened his eyes, right in front of him he saw a soft, pure white feather. When he picked it up, he thought he heard the singing of summer birds, and mixed with their song, Red Leaf’s gentle laugh.
He laughed, too, and skipped happily home, the feather singing in his hands.