Legend of the Red Elves (part one)

print pen and ink red elf ridge jim

Rolando sat high above the river which twisted and turned like a snake through the valley. It jogged this way and that all the way from the far off hills where the sun came up. Beyond those far off hills it did the same thing all the way to its headwaters far north and inland. Behind the red elf in the morning sky, there were wisps of cloudlettes that were always in the same spot along the northern ridge. Those wisps were always there on the cool mornings lit by the rising sun when there wasn’t marine layer haze or downright ground cloud fog. Those wisps sometimes looked like plumes with tops like osprey feather down. Behind him and on his left shoulder was the ever brightning sky, the color of spring wildflowers and drifts of smoke. Rolando knew the haze would break up by mid day in all the meandering finger ridges pockets and they’d get that deep green glow. It would be a good day for a jaunt to the lazy waiting waterway below. He sat there until firs and pines filled the warming air with pungent essences of the surrounding wide dense forests. Rolando reminded himself that this was one of those days to remember during the dark wet gray months when the rains came down and came down and came down. This would be one of those days to conjur up in the dancing flames of the fireplace.

“Time to get dancing”, he chuckled to himself. Time to hike back to the comfy little knollhouse, round things up for an adventure and then make the rounds and see who might want to come along. He could already hear the rivers little lapping liquid sounds in the places of the tall trees. Heck, if he was lucky, Althanna might come along although she;s said something yesterday about knitting and sewing things before “winter sneaks up on us”.

He traversed the ridge that rose and fell many times on the way home. Osprey and Redtails were sailing around in their territorial pockets and delighting him with thier high energy calls. Pursing his lips, he imitated the call and laughed as the nearest of the osprey looked and then called back in his direction. Maybe today one of the high flyers would do a fly by and leave him one of their wonderful feathers. Rolando smiled as he moved quickly through the trees and brush and would be on the homestretch in no time. Now that Rolando was passing through the woods under their canopy he could hear steller jays, robins, woodpeckers, ravens, blackbirds all weaving their songs along the way. He bobbed over the final rise and felt that old warm feeling that filled him from foot to forehead. Home Sweet Home the little knollhouse shimmered in it’s hillside perch. Maybe Althanna wouldn’t go knit with the girls today and would accompany him on a trek along the moving waters. Heck, all the chores were done except sweeping, dishes and gathering kindling. As Rolando caught the first view of their round front door he was thinking, “we can be down in the emerald valley in an hour. Since it’s warm enough we can take a swim at the riversong rock. What a glorious day it would be!” In a few minutes he’d gathered an armful of kindling and walked the last few steps home.

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