The Secret Of Lowland Forest – Part 2
The Secret Of Lowland Forest. is the first in a series of short stories about the ‘Lowland clan’ foxes. You may wish to read it before this so that you know the background.
When Neiva was born her mother looked into her eyes and knew straight away that she had inherited her healing powers. The look her tiny young fox cub gave her was so sure and confidant that it was obvious Neiva also had this gift. “You have a long road ahead of you my dear baby girl,” she sighed. Paradisia decided she would devote her whole being into teaching Neiva how to become a compassionate and powerful mystic, as her own mother did. It was a big responsibility, but if she taught her well the Lowland Clan would embrace her without question. She was a little saddened however as she new what a lonely life being a mystic could be.
Once Neiva was old enough, and that didn’t take long if you were born a mystic, the lessons began. Neiva was clever and learned the skills quickly and easily, so it wasn’t long until she had mastered enough to heal small ailments. As the lessons continued Paradisia knew within her heart that when the time came she would become an excellent mystic.
Sadly this time came sooner than expected when one evening a neighbourhood clan decided that they wanted to expand their territory. They launched an attack to try and claim it from the Lowland Clan. A bloody battle ensued in which there were many casualties either side. Paradisia realised that she had to get Nieva to safety, so took her to a hiding place. “You must remain here no matter what you hear or sense,” she whispered, “promise me.”
“I will mother.” Paradsia kissed her gently then went back to help with the sick and wounded. That was the last Neiva saw of her mother alive. Once she sensed the fighting had stopped Nieva went back to the clan. There she found her mother lying in a clearing . While she was trying to rescue a young fox from the fighting, her mother was killed by a member of the other clan. The Lowland Clan had won the battle, and retained their territory but paid a heavy price. Neiva was distraught with grief and cried pitifully so an older vixen brought her to her den while her mother was being laid to rest.
As was custom Paradisia was adorned with flowers, then the foxes began to pray for her including Nieva, who came to be with her mother for the last time. As they prayed Neiva saw her mothers’ spirit leave her and knew she had gone to the overworld, a place of beauty and tranquility. Pardisias’ body disappeared in a shimmer of light, leaving nothing. Neiva mourned her mother greatly, so Sarah the vixen who had loved her mother like a sister, took her in and cared for her. One evening Sarah said gently. “Nieva, this is a very sad time for you and for all of us, we loved your mother dearly, but you have to be strong now and take over her role. There are many of our clan who need your healing powers after this terrible attack and only you can do this.”
“I know,” said Neiva, “I would be letting my mother down if I didn’t fulfil my destiny.” With that she hugged Sarah. “I don’t think I could have coped without you,” she said. Then left.
As Nieva walked over to the home she had lived in since her birth, she stopped in the clearing. The box that held so many happy memories was shimmering, as it always did in the evening light. The glow seemed even brighter that night and Nieva felt comforted knowing her mother would always be near. As she entered Nieva felt wrapped in a loving warmth and exhausted she fell asleep.
So it came about that with her mother never far from her, Neiva became the strongest mystic ever known. It was as though her mother was working through her. Little did she realise at the time, but she would need all of the strength and powers she possessed in the years to come.