Book 1: In the Jungle
In the Beginning We're All Kids
Once upon a time I was a child.
I lived with my parents and my elder sister in a big city.
I went to elementary school, played basketball, enjoyed reading and had started drawing silly cartoons when my dad started telling the stories.
The Owl, The Cat and the Explorer
I was in the jungles of Sabara. Unexplored, lush green, tall trees and mysterious. They say you see some things only in Sabara and that experience is for there and for once only. Even if you live to tell the tale, nobody can find the same place again, nobody can repeat the experience.
After days of walking, I was camping by the great river Nox that cut the jungle in half, rushed rapidly from the mountains down to the waterfalls beyond which men with two heads and no eyes rumored to live.
Greatest of the explorers I had made it this far all alone. It took time, a long time, actually I lost track of time and my helpers lost track of me but I was there in the middle of the jungle. Night crept in, tired from the journey and wary of the night-time cold, I built a fire by the river and walked to my tent to get some biscuit.
On my way back from the tent, I noticed something unusual by the fire. A figure that wasn't supposed to be there. Flames washed his face and cast shadows on the river whose currents carried the shadows to their demise over the eventual waterfalls. With each moment, robbing him of his shadow, the owl seemed unrushed, strangely calm as if our encounter was planned.
He was big, all feathers, very owl like, sitting by the fire and holding out a cup of tea for me. Beckoning me cordially, he said "please have some tea, I've just brewed some for us". Well I should say I was warned to be very careful with animals that seemed unusually friendly in the Sabara jungles. So I took cautious steps, avoided the tea and sat uneasily across the owl at the fire.
Sipping on his tea, the owl looked distracted with other thoughts but I saw through the disguise and felt the bad intention beneath. This is obviously a trick to fool me I thought and shouted "REVEAL YOURSELF! I know you're my grandfather in that costume. I demand you remove your costume at once."
I ran to my tent for a weapon to defend myself in case the owl staged an attack. Halfway there I felt a cold breeze and the smell of tea was gone. In its place a purring sound, louder than normal, couple of fish strewn around and a cat that has revealed itself from the owl costume. She hissed "good guess dear, the owl costume is no longer necessary, in fact nothing much is needed from this point on".
Moonlight washed over her as she moved towards me from the fire, it was certain death for me with this menacing predator. I longed for some conversation but decided that there was very little time for much words. Consequently I said only what was necessary "STOP! WAIT! If you let me run then you'll enjoy catching me as you're such a great cat indeed."
The cat stopped to think if my idea was good and I took the opportunity to run towards the river before it got to chase me. I barely made it in to the river with a large scratch and some bleeding on my right leg. But the river had stopped the feline and it stood by the riverside looking frustrated. Well the scene didn't last much long as the current carried me down to lands unknown and in to adventures many.
I still remember the cat's bright eyes. They looked comfortable, almost sure of a future date with me. I've breathed deeply and let the river take me.
So this was how it started with my dad. I guess he wanted to share these stories for so long but only now felt we were ready. Perhaps there was another reason for this beginning..