The forest stood there, greens of all shades, shadowed from the morning dawn. High on the mountain peak a small girl, only ten years old, walked, leading her pony slowly behind her. She stopped to gaze over the vast horizon that lay silently at the foot of the mountain. There was a dense fog caressing the cliffs just before the last rise of the peaks. It looked as though there was a feathered blanket wrapped around it. She was lost in her thoughts of beauty and the sounds of natures' songs as she stood there.
The pony remained calm, eyes half closed, catching a rest before the little girl began her trails into the paths of the forest. The morning air was crisp and cold enough to see your breath as it escaped. The child blew circles into the air, watching as it faded away. The sun was pushing its way up from behind the forest, etching the treeline in bright golds and making the greens look almost black. She turned and started into the density. Walking still in front of her pony, she wondered about what the day would bring, though really not caring.
The path she walked on was familiar only to her. She had used it many times in the past. There was nothing for her or the pony to fear. Many trees away, there was a canyon that was dear to her, and that is where she would lead her pony and turn him loose, even though he never would go far from her side. There was a deep sense of loyalty in him that the little girl knew was there and she respected him for that and let him have his freedom in the canyon as often as she came. As she neared it, she felt the pony's anticipation, and decided to unbridle him early and let him run. The last buckle was unhooked and the pony waiting patiently, danced with the thoughts of rolling in the fresh mountain grasses... but he waited until little girl gave the final whistle, and then he pranced off gingerly, slinging his head from side to side, his tail held high in the air, his feet pulled unnaturally with his first few steps. The child could feel the happiness that the pony felt as he unleashed all his wildness in just a few strides, until he ran with the wind. She felt everything that the horse was enjoying, and she loved giving him this time.
Little girl wandered off further down the trail to a small falls there and sat on a rock and watched as the water cascaded smoothly to the lake below. The sunlight that streaked the forest in straight long rays passed over the falls and made rainbows in the mist. There were ferns of all kinds growing on the edge of the lake. Tiny yellow flowers were sprinkled throughout the mosses that blanketed the slippery rocks at the waters walls. The falls were high on the mountain, and the cliffs that it fell from were smooth and not jagged, from years of the water carving into the boulders. The trees were all straight and thick and there was hardly any undergrowth between them from the density. The elk and deer would come to this pool to drink the fresh water before descending down the mountain to the other side. They were not afraid of the little blonde girl, she was as much part of the natural scenery as the trees, and the water and the squirrels.
This day, she sat quietly and just watched as the animals came and went, and the morning turned into the afternoon. The sounds and the smells were surrounding her and she lay back on the trunk of the huge fir that stood next to the lake. She picked a piece of the mint and slipped it between her soft, pink lips, and untied her hat string. The warmth of the sun had worked its way over her, and she lay full in its rays... and drifted off to sleep, her boots kicked off beside her and her toes barely in the cool water. Dreams fell upon her.
A horse riding up, and its hoof sounds stopping just behind the path, so she had to get up to see if it was her pony back. This in a dream, she could feel herself rise and walk slowly to the bend. There beyond the path, standing in the trees, was a white horse, dappled and perfect, waiting for something. She could feel herself move toward him. Then she whistled, and he came to her. She grabbed his long mane hair and pulled herself up, half expecting the stallion to rear and run with fear. But he didn't. He stood there calmly until she was seated and firm on his back and he began to walk away from the lake. She was not leading him with her actions, he was just going, and she was ecstatic just to be one with him for this ride. He raced through the forest at speeds that she had never known before in her short life, and he knew where each branch and each hole was. He was more than familiar with this terrain, and yet in all the times she had been here, she wondered why she had not seen him... she was living still within the dream.
The horse had gone miles, and came up to a dropoff and stopped as quick as he had started. He whinneyed and shook his head violently, so the little girl jumped off. The white dappled stallion ran away so fast she hardly saw where he went. She knew for sure she was lost in the forest, and too far away for her pony to hear her whistle. She stood there, and then tried to figure out where she was. She heard hoofs pounding the the ground again, and looked in the direction where they were coming from. They closed in on her, and she saw a man in the distance come riding up on the white dappled stallion. He was like her, riding, fast and free, and then the horse stopped, and threw his head again, side to side, until the man jumped off just as she had done. And the stallion disappeared just as abruptly.
There she was. And there he was. Both not knowing what the other might be thinking, and both not knowing what to do. The little girl shied away, and stood halfway behind a tree, trying not to make herself known, but that was not an easy thing to do with the man watching her every move. Finally he held out his hand, and without saying a word, smiled and walked to her, and took her small hand. She was not afraid. Her inner being was warmed the minute he touched her soft hand. His smile gentled her nine-year-old heart, and his touch brought out desires in her she had forgotten in lives lost miseries. There was no apprehensions, no reservations, no guilty feelings anywhere, just this warm serene passion flowing softly and sweetly.
He led her to a small blanket of mosses, that was surrounded by the views of the adjacent mountains on three sides and some trunks and ferns on the other. There stood the tiny yellow flowers, all bright in the green that she loved so. They were everywhere, leaving their fragrance circling the mossy area like a mist of perfume. The smell entranced the child like nothing she had ever known. He took her hand and kissed her tiny fingers, softly and tenderly, making something inside her tummy come alive with a desire that began to burn within her small body.
He smiled, when she let her big green eyes meet his. Each time she did this, she grew stronger and stronger in her desire to let him continue his caress. He kissed her little arms and softly placed his lips on her bare neck.. She shivered, so small in his big arms, and bit her lower lip to hold back the sounds that might escape her. He ran his fingers down her long blonde wavy braids, and undid the yellow ribbons. She could not smile, she was burning on her skin with each tiny contact he made with her skin.
Gently, he unwrapped the tresses, and ran his fingers down her soft waves. When he was satisfied that it was untangled and smooth, he put his hands under her hair and pulled it to his face, drinking in her sweet scents, and kissing it, smiling each time he passed her beautiful eyes. She was lost in his magic. She had no more control over her desires any longer. He could feel this and moved his lips ever so gently to hers, kissing her in small circles around her little mouth, always just a tiny kiss off from touching his lips directly on hers. He kissed her eyes and her cheeks, and cupped her small face in his hands like a piece of fine crystal.
There were too many feelings in her little body to know which to give in to first. She was on fire everywhere, it was as if she were in a trance, and no way to move, and yet she had no desire to move. All the dreams she had ever dreamed were here, now, in his kisses... in his gentleness, in his smiles.
The white stallion crossed her inner visions quickly, but the man's touches dulled the image and soon it was gone.
Little girl was again within his magic. She moved her tiny hand up to his face, and tenderly touched his lips with her fragrant fingers. He smiled again.... sensuous and kind, and inviting... she could feel herself have the need to give more to him. She touched his lips, until she knew each part of them and closed her eyes and touched them again, over and over until he took her hand and kissed her small soft fingers, letting his tongue outline them... against his mouth, letting his lips with the finger there against them, touch hers... pressing them together, his with hers... all entwined and belonging in the kiss.
The nine-year-old girl had tears welling in her eyes, the feelings were overwhelming for her tender age, and he could sense this. He kissed them away, and held her, one small hand still folded in his. She was overcome with joy and love and all the things she had lived without, until now.
She looked into his eyes. That smile, still hers, he hugged her tightly for one last time. Then he whistled and the Stallion came bolting back with fire under his hoofs... he skidded to a stop. The stranger kissed his little lover one last time, then mounted the Stallion, and in an instant he was gone.
The little girl was there, standing alone, silently and calmly. Her tiny body was filled with an intensity that could never be matched in a lifetime. She was new, and fresh and alive. She was free and filled and she had the desires of her dreams with her, in her, all with no more than passionate kisses, that magically overtook her wounded heart and healed it like a lost pearl in the forest.
The Stallion returned and stood in front of her, she walked up to him and patted his neck, hugged him and jumped on his back. He galloped with the fury of thunder until he returned the child to the lake. He reared and she slipped off, and he turned and ran into the forest, but before he was out of sight, he turned again to her and stopped and whinneyed. She smiled and he was gone with the wind, leaving her only the memories.
The little girl woke to the whinney of her pony licking her cheek. The sun was setting and he knew it was time to make his way through the forest before dark fell over them. He nudged her, just as the dappled stallion had done, and she got up and climbed on his back.
As little girl sat there, she looked down where she was lying in the moss and saw something sparkling in the almost faded afternoon sun. She jumped off. Walking to the place where she had seen the shine, she bent over and felt for something in the moss, and she ran her fingers over something smooth and round. She picked it up and there in her palm was an emerald pearl. She folded it carefully in her hand and jumped back on the horse and let him take her home.
All she could do was wonder, was this a dream, was this real? Only her heart would know... but she would always have the emerald pearl to touch her childhood dream.... forever.
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