-They are coming! Squeak! Coming! The bird looked towards the castle far away on the other side of the fields.
-They are coming, they are coming! The other birds echoed through the woods. A war was about to begin.
The squirrel ran through the woods, wanting to get a good spot.
The soldiers marched. They were many, and heavily armed. The trees shivered as they passed by.
On the other side of the forest there was another land, vast, beautiful and fertile. A king ruled, better than most. According to the plan, he was not to rule much longer.
-Some battle, wasn’t it? The squirrel jumped back and forth between the branches. Blood was flowing, people were screaming. It was over.
-Some battle! Some battle! The bird flew off, over the battle field.
Perkel was lying under a pile of bodies. Some friends, other foes, all dead or dying. He was unhurt, but he didn’t move. Mercy would not be granted for anyone who was caught, and the army he had fought for was destroyed. The attack had been demolished.
Men started carrying the bodies away, putting them in piles further down. Perkel crawled down a ditch, reached the river. He let himself in, drifted away from the horrors he had been a part of.
A bird circled above him, watching him with interest. Further down he reached the forest. He pulled himself up, crawled in between the bushes. Lay on the ground, rested. Tried to get his mind back in place. It felt splintered, destroyed. Images of violence rushed through his inner eye, fear tormented his soul.
Perkel jumped around. There was no one there. He grabbed a rock from the ground.
-Up here, silly! Squeak!
He looked up in the trees. The bird was looking down at him. A squirrel was watching from another tree.
-You escaped, didn’t you? The battle! You deserted! Deserted!
-I did. Perkel looked down, moving the grass with his foot. -I didn’t want to die.
-Well, you didn’t, did you? The squirrel jumped down a few branches, to get a better look. It seemed uprightly happy for him. -Now what you going to do?
-I have no idea… I can’t go home, that’s for sure. I’d be killed for deserting. And I can’t go back to the land we were attacking, My kind won’t be welcome there now.
The squirrel looked at him with its head on the chess. -There’s not many choices left, then, is there?.
-No choices! No choices! Squeak!
Perkel looked around. The forest was dense and wild, and he had no idea how to survive there. -How would I even find food? he said out loud, expecting no answer.
-There are nuts everywhere at this time of year, wouldn’t you know? The squirrel jumped up to a higher branch, threw him a cluster of acorns. -You’ll be fine, don’t you think?
-And bugs! Bugs all over! We’ll teach you! Squeak!
Perkel lived in the forest for years. When winter came closer, food was getting scarce, and he missed home, his family. His wife and child. He didn’t know how they were, let alone the worry he felt for them believing he was dead. Still, he stayed. There would be no pardon from the king if he returned.
His beard grew long and wild, so did his hair. The third year he made a decision.
-I’m going back home, he told the squirrel. -I need to see my family.
-You’ll have luck, don’t you think? I sure hope they will treat you right…
-I sure hope so. Thank you, my friend, for everything.
He walked through the forest, the way he had come long ago. He walked through the fields, hoping no one would see him. He reached his little farm in the country side.
There was no one there… (more)