The hunter whistled as he walked through the forest. He was in a land far from home and in the morning would be heading back to his own hunting grounds where he had grown up. For now though, he was enjoying this different land with exotic animals, plants, and trees. He had found one wood that was remarkable and had made a new bow and several arrows and was eager to test them for the first time. He was an expert hunter and had an arrow half strung, his fingers itching to let fly at game for the first time.

As he walked he was unaware of a man in the shadows. The Trickster watched the hunter as he leaned back against a tree, the ever-present piece of grass in his mouth. He tested the winds, and adjusted his hat. He thought for a moment and knew that the time had come, it was time for a little thing. At that moment, the hunter spotted a rotten but upright tree. He was feeling well and young and strong and strung an arrow, pulling it taut to gauge the feel and aim. The Trickster grinned and with a twinkle in his eyes he blew the smallest puff of air at the hunter. The puff dislodged a drop of sweat into the hunter’s eye and the arrow slipped from his grasp.

The hunter stood there in shock a moment. He was an expert. He had never let an arrow loose without meaning. He looked at where it had gone, it was buried into the rotten tree. He sighed a breath of relief that at least it wasn’t lost and went to retrieve the arrow. 

When he went to pull it loose he saw that it had entered a burrow that had the entrance on the other side. The arrow had killed a strange little animal, a mother squirrel, her nine little kits huddled next to her dead body in fear. The hunter felt shame. He only killed for food and never killed a mother animal with young. He had never loosed an arrow accidentally and this with the death gave him the greatest of sorrow. 

So he did what he felt he had to do. He had taken a mother’s life without the proper care and in return he would raise her kits. He reached in gently and pulled out the kits and their bedding, putting everything into his bag. He sighed, he’d have to truly test his new bow later. As he turned and left the forest with his bundle of squirrel young the Trickster grinned and let out a soft sigh and a chuckle. Things were now on the path of as they should be.

He cared for those squirrels carefully all the long journey home. When he came to his land, the land given him by his father and given from his father’s father’s before them, he stopped at a tree just outside the house. It had a crevice between two branches that fit the nest perfectly. 

Time went by. He raised up the squirrel kits in this land foreign to them. No squirrels had been there before.  They grew to adolescence and became rambunctious. They still weren’t ready to be on their own though and often he would have to chase them down to bring them back to safety for the night. One lovely evening one of the kits ran further than usual. The kit ran to the river down the gully and cheekily hid in a basket. The hunter, while pulling the kit out, was surprised to find a woman coming up the trail. She had been picking berries by the river and was shocked to see a strange man with a strange animal in her basket. However, he was handsome and had a kind smile and she was lovely with sparkling eyes and that little meeting ended up in a wedding full of love and light. 

Later that year the squirrels had grown and moved on into the greater forest. What the hunter hadn’t noticed were several seeds buried in the nest. After the squirrels left the hunter took the nest and tossed it aside in a field. 

Years passed and the squirrels multiplied and became ready food for the locals. The seeds grew into trees, trees new to this area of the world. The hunter, now old but with several strong, healthy sons found the trees to have a wonderful wood that were perfect for making boats and other things. He decided to cultivate the trees and when he died his sons continued the tree farm.

The sons became wealthy. They had inherited the kindness and compassion of their father and were always kind to their servants and neighbors. They and their own son’s and their son’s son’s spread out through wealth and travel becoming wise leaders everywhere they went. The family became a legacy of wisdom and peace and all the while the Trickster grinned.

When you follow the path of ‘should be’ you will find that often it is the little things that are of the greatest import.

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