The Bridge

Milo woke first, alert and ready for an active day. Daisy’s story had made him realise that they both had things which they needed to face and overcome. This awareness brought with it a need for direction.

He decided to let Daisy rest and made his way upstream to a place where he had always been able to find some clarity; a wooden bridge. Something about this bridge had always uplifted Milo, just by being near it. It made him consider Daisy and the connection he felt with her. Surely there must be some reason for their chance meeting.

Deep in thought, he looked up and there, etched into the grain of one of the bridge’s posts, he was convinced that he saw the words ‘Decide now’. Milo blinked and then looked again, but they were gone. Two thoughts flooded into his mind: that fate must have played a part in yesterday’s meeting with Daisy and that a change in his thinking was needed.

Suddenly he knew where he would go. After weeks of indecision, he decided on something that would change his life. Excited by the idea, he returned to the shelter to find Daisy awake and finishing her breakfast. She appeared pleased to see him and greeted him with a beautiful smile. Milo could hardly contain himself and the words tumbled out.

“I think fate may have brought us together, but I am not sure what to do next. I need some guidance.” He motioned toward the exit with his snout, “There is a squirrel that lives over the bridge in a huge oak. She is well known for passing on guidance to creatures like us. Would you like to visit her today to see if she can help?”

Daisy agreed, secretly pleased because she wanted to stay with Milo and yet curious as to where the encounter with this squirrel might lead.

As they approached the bridge, Milo considered those words he thought he had seen on the bridge. He thought they were a sign, a possibility that was there, but one he had not noticed until the moment he was ready to choose to cross the bridge.

Scampering across the bridge he felt a strange mixture of feelings; the memory of those happy childhood days downstream, leaving his beloved river behind and the possibilities and uncertainties of what was to come.

As he led them through the field, he explained what he knew of their advisor. She was called Tilly and he supposed that she was a ‘psychic squirrel’. For many years she had been dubbed ‘Fortune Teller Tilly’, but as time passed, because of her kind, caring manner and wisdom, plus the white hair around her temples, she had become affectionately known as Grandma Tilly.

“She’s not as old as she looks,” he added with a smile, before continuing, “It is said that one day Tilly ventured just a bit too far from her tree and was seized by a dog. She escaped by playing dead and when the shock of the attack passed, she noticed that she had the ability to sense things that would happen. She built a reputation for warning animals of danger.

Soon she started receiving guidance about the future and problems in the present, which she passed on. However, her legs and back never healed properly after the attack and had become arthritic as she aged. She struggled for food and so the animals brought her food in exchange for guidance.”

By late afternoon, Milo and Daisy had collected some acorns and taken them to the base of the oak tree. They had no idea how long they might have to wait. Luckily, no one else had visited that day. Almost immediately, a regal looking squirrel climbed stiffly down the tree and greeted them with a friendly smile. She asked them to roll the acorns and let them settle. Regarding her visitors, Grandma Tilly, in her soft and melodious voice, began.

“I see that you two have just met. It wasn’t a chance meeting. You have met to help each other. I sense a lot of restlessness in both of you and a certain melancholy in you, Daisy.” She paused, “You are about to make a long journey together and on the way you will finda place with your treasure inside. But you may not recognise it when you see it. You feel weighed down by your situation, as if there is a huge obstacle in the way.

Go to the path at the far edge of this field and take the right fork through the gate. Seek out the old tree by an enormous stone wall, a day’s journey from here. There is a heart shape at the base of this tree. Look under the heart. Your journey is on the other side of the wall. Wait until after the full moon. Follow the streams and the bridges, listen within and you will know which way to go.”

Chapter 3. Milo’s Story