“The forest will provide,” Bear had promised.
Sure enough, Denis carried a sack full of nuts, berries, mushrooms, greens and edible flowers. But he was also hopelessly lost and night was falling.
“Be still,” Bear had taught him. “The forest is not lost. It will find you.” Denis sat quietly, eyes closed, matching his breath to the rhythmic breathing around him. Finally he heard very faint splashing, hints of Katya’s laughter. His companions, camped by the waterfall!
He walked confidently toward the half-real, half-imagined light. The forest wrapped around him like a velvety green cloak, protecting him, setting him free.