(I like it read to me)
Ascentia continued. “I was able to transform into a cat because I too was driven by love. My love was for my father. When the City People declared war on my people we fought back. Our bows and arrows were no match for their thunder guns. To protect the children, our warriors led our people deeper into the forests. My father stayed because he was wounded. I remained to care for him."
“Before his spirit left his body, my father gave me a mission: To end the war with the City People. The only way to do that, he said, was by convincing them to lay down their guns. How could I achieve such a thing? I told him. I was just one person. How could I convince them to stop fighting.”
“My father told me not to worry. The trees would tell me how. They know everything. For such an important quest, he asked me to go not just to any trees. He asked me to go to the oldest and most powerful of the trees. The ancient trees. Harry and his family.”
“I was just a young woman I told my father. Why would the trees listen to me? He agreed, and then said I would need to become a cat.”
“What! Why a cat?” I asked him.
“Because,” he said, “trees like cats. They play in trees. When they are tired, they take naps in the branches. Trees and cats speak the same language. WThe language of dreams. Cats can see the dreams of trees.”
Estella nodded. This was true. Her tribe had always loved the trees. And she could see what Harry was thinking. She saw his thoughts in the same way she could remember her dreams when waking from sleep.
Ascentia continued. “This was all happening way too fast, I told my father. How can I become a cat? That is when my father told me about this magical pool. He said that the wisest among our people could change into any life form they could imagine. As long as the desire to change came from love. Love is a power that connects individuals. It removes all feelings of separation. Not just for humans. Also animals, birds, trees, mountains, and rivers. They are all alive. They all think. Moreover, they all feel a connection with others. When we love our spirits touch another spirit. That connection so that we become stronger.” Ascentia paused to allow the words to sink in. “Do you understand this?”
Estella nodded. “Yes, sometimes I feel as though Harry and I are two branches interwoven. When I feel tired, I think about him, and my wariness fades.”
“Yes,” Ascentia continued, “love feels strong like that. Why the pool? I asked my father. What power did the spring waters have? He told me that this water comes from the heart of the Earth. It is pure. It carries her best intentions. The waters don’t change us, he said. They purify our intentions. The cool crystal water removes our doubts.”
Ascentia looked up into the black starlit sky. The moon was already falling behind the line of trees. Stella’s eyes looked up into that sliver of white light.
“We have to hurry. The power of the pool is strongest when the moon is changing. Like now. It is time for you to step into the waters. And Estella, remember why you are here. You want to save Harry?” Ascentia asked.
Estella's eyes looked back at Ascentia at the mention of his name. She nodded.
“Did he tell you about love?”
‘Do you know why he loves you?”
Estella just stared and tilted her head.
“Because when you leave Harry, there is a part of you that is still with him. Right now, with him. He can feel your thoughts, see your image. He can feel your fur on his branch that holds you. He doesn’t sense that you have left him. He can see what you see and feel what you feel. Right now. That love you feel for him gives you the same ability. Right now you can feel him all around you, holding you, just like when you were in his arms. That is the power of shape changing.”
"And it is the only power that can disarm the City People's weapon."
Ascentia paused. "Did Harry tell you about contempt?"