Posted by Juliet Mueller on Tue, Mar 08, 22
It’s a beautiful, sunny day here at Camp Hollow, perfect for a long hike through the forest and up into the mountains. Join us as we explore this magical land and all the hidden beauty it possesses. Close your eyes and smell the aroma of wonder and magic in the air, hear the birdsongs and the rush of the wind. Allow yourself to be transported to this lush, lovely place. Are you there?
Among the trees exists a big, diverse, happy neighborhood full of animals and nature and magical creatures. These inhabitants are keen to welcome visitors and friends from all corners of the earth to revel in the natural beauty of their secret world. Lucky for you, here in Camp Hollow all of the animals are friendly and eager to meet you. There’s no need to watch from a distance, or to be afraid. Come along, and we’ll introduce you to a few of these amazing beings…
You spot the Ladybug first, but barely. She’s so tiny sitting there on her big green leaf, but don’t be fooled by her size. The positive energy and promise of good fortune she exudes is so large and present you won’t be able to miss it. She’ll be with us on the rest of our journey, even if you can’t see her. Her adventurous spirit will guide us through the rest of this wooded wonderland.
Look there! It’s the gentle, happy Fawn, striding along on her own. She loves to explore the grassy clearings and wooded corners of Camp Hollow, but now she’s emerging from the thicket to tell us something…
Do you want to see something wonderful? she asks. We won’t keep her waiting. We follow close behind, through the trees and up and down the hills, until we start to hear the quiet babble of the river in the distance. The little Fawn pauses, and retreats into the woods. The roaring river with its swirling whitecaps is what she wanted us to see.
Because look now-- the Bear King is taking a bath in the water, a magnificent sight to see. He has a gentle spirit and a friendly smile, but he likes to keep his privacy when relaxing in the river. His friend the Otter knows this, and out of the kindness of his heart and the warmth of their friendship he constructs a special dam for the Bear each week, to catch the water in a pool perfect for bathing. The bear can stretch out his arms and lay facing the sky as the calming waters rush through his fur. During this special time, all the animals know not to make too much noise. All stay quiet except the Barn Owl, who’s soothing coos and hoots are a welcome addition to the serenity of the scene. This is the Bear’s favorite time of the week, so we’ll back away slowly and let him enjoy it.
Let’s follow our Ladybug guide and head further up the river. Surely there are more Camp Hollow creatures to befriend!
And sure enough, just a few minutes after we leave the bathing Bear, something small and sweet scurries across our feet! It’s the Hedgehog, here to show us his zany tricks. You’ve never seen a cuter, more charismatic little being. He rolls and somersaults and shows off his spikes, his little nose twitching with glee. After his final flip he hustles away, leaving us to walk on.
The river flows into a waterfall that cascades and collects into the most perfect little lake. We sit near the water’s edge, and listen for the fabled croak of the Frog Prince. Here lives this regal creature, cursed to live the rest of his days in an amphibian’s world. But hold back your pity, because look at him now-- hoping and splashing and frolicking along, eager to greet all passers-by with a graceful ribbit. Anyone who sees the way he rules his tiny river kingdom can see that the frog life is treating him just right.
Let’s wade in now, the water’s fine! Under the surface is a whole new universe, where aquatic wonders thrive. The queen of this realm is the powerful Catfish, one of the most majestic creatures in all of Camp Hollow. You might be thinking of the catfish found in the rivers and streams of the normal world, but we ask you to forget the image you may have in your head. Because at Camp Hollow the Catfish is just as it sounds: part cat, part fish! Can you believe such a creature could even exist? It’s fast in the water and cuddly on the shore, speaking sometimes in bubbles and others in meows. What a wonder to behold.
The sun is setting now, orange and pink against the deep blue of the lake. Is there a better way to end our adventure than to sit on the shore, dip our toes in the cool water, and watch the unique and beautiful creatures of Camp Hollow wind down the day? As the Ladybug lands gently on your cheek, you vow to never forget the afternoon you spent in this vibrant new reality.