(I want it read to me)
Her father spoke slower now. "Someone among us must go and meet with these people and then convince them to come and meet with Harry. Harry will reveal himself to these City People. Then, their eyes will open.”
“So the question is, who?" The Grandmother Elder interjected into the conversation. “Who will go and speak to these humans?” She looked from cat to cat until she brought her eyes back to Estella.
Estella looked around. No one stepped forward. Of course not, she thought. This was her mission. She was born to do this. She and Harry were bonded from the moment she opened her eyes. Her life was like a branch of another tree growing entwined in his branch. She and Harry were now one branch. One life.
She was born with a purpose. Everything she had ever known had brought her to this moment.
She suddenly stood up and heard her voice speak before she realized it was hers. “I will go and meet with these City People.”
Her father turned in the beam of sunlight and looked at her. He smiled and slowly nodded his head in agreement. She looked around the circle of Elders. Everyone in the council was also nodding.
In that moment her thoughts began to realize what she had just said. Then unspoken thoughts sprung up everywhere. She observed them like sparks of lightning striking the canyon from the dark clouds in the sky. How can I change these strange City People’s minds? I have never seen not even one of these people. Her mind went into orbit then. She knew nothing about them. Then there was the small matter of not understanding their language, nor they hers. And oh, what was that other thing…oh, yeah, she was a cat! They were people! How will they trust me? Maybe they will want to chase me away, or worse, eat me for dinner!
Her thoughts were yelling at her. She began to breathe very fast and hard. Her vision began to spin. Her dad saw all this and walked over to where she stood as though her body was frozen stiff. He looked into her worried eyes. He tilted his head to hers. When their foreheads touched she felt her breathing slow down and grow deeper. She became calm under the touch of his forehead.
He spoke. But this time it was entirely for the benefit of the Circle of Elders. She could read his thoughts, and he could see hers. “Estella, I know someone who can help you.”
He paused and looked at the eldest of grandfathers and grandmothers, the wisest, who sat at the far end of the circle. They nodded in agreement to what he was about to say.
“This one who can tell you how to accomplish this task, she is a human. She is a woman who is a friend to the trees and the cats. She lives near the people who want to cut Harry down. She will know what to do. Go visit her. Ask for her counsel .”
When Estella asked who this person was, and how she could help, her father just said that the woman would tell her everything.
Then he said, "Take the river till it ends as it travels toward the setting sun, then go north toward the mountains for a half day. You will find the woman's forest home in the grove of oaks. The oaks are near another forest river in the foothills of those mountains. If you leave at sunrise, you will be in the oaks by sunset. You must move quickly. Tomorrow is the evening of the dark moon. You must arrive in the oaks before the moon rises.” She lifted her eyebrows in question marks at his mention of the dark moon. What did the moon have to do with this journey? She was about to ask, when he said, "You will need to travel fast at first morning light. But first, you will need to rest for the long journey."
She looked into her father's eyes, but they revealed nothing. She nodded, touched his head with hers, turned and walked back to the edge of the cave where she jumped into Harry’s branches.
She climbed to the highest limb and curled into his arm. The moon was just a sliver of light. Like her father had said, tomorrow the sliver of light would be it's thinnest. The Dark Moon.
She lay in his arm, staring into the starlight. Harry felt her thoughts and saw her plans before she spoke them.
Because he enjoyed the sound of her voice, and because he knew she would feel stronger if she could speak what was in her thoughts, he asked, “Do you want to talk about it?”