In the half-dark under the pine trees and the shrubs that clustered around the larger Douglas Firs, Megan and Munro waited for Thunderbird. Munro had persuaded Megan to join him on the ground in the ferns. He felt small beside Megan’s bulk but he knew the owl to be gentle and kind and he felt sorry for her loss. Friends come in all sizes, he thought.
Just as Megan was beginning to get restless and wanting to be out hunting as was her habit, they heard a whirring noise in the tree branches above them.
Thunderbird’s feathers glowed in changing colours as he landed with a swoosh in front of the owl and the dove. His huge wingspread startled Megan and she was about to take flight when Thunderbird spoke.
“Don’t be afraid, ma’am, “ he said, “I’m pleased to meet you. I have heard about your loss.”
His voice was tender and Megan settled down.
“And Munro, “ Thunderbird went on, “Sparrow-Girl thinks very highly of you. She says you have potential and I agree. At least now I do. At first, well I wasn’t so sure...”
“Sparrow-Girl has a plan,” began Munro. “She didn’t tell me what it was, but I’m sure you know. Is it a good one?”
Thunderbird folded his wings. It was like a door closing quickly. Megan and Munro were slightly blown over.
“Ha! Ha!” chuckled Thunderbird,” it’s very clever indeed. I didn’t know humans could be so clever!”
“What is it?” Munro was curious.
“You’ll see, “ was all Thunderbird would say. “Now what have you learned?”
“That the big trees are important as collectors of carbon dioxide,” put in Munro, like a schoolboy reciting his lesson. “And they make oxygen for all of us to breathe! And that spotted owls need big trees to nest in.”
“Very good!” said Thunderbird.
“Is it too late?” asked Munro.
Thunderbird sighed. His breath ruffled Munro’s feathers.
“I’m glad to say that most of the logging companies are now being careful not to take too many trees in one place, only to take the mature trees and to plant seedlings. But we’ll never have the forest like it was thousands of years ago,” said Thunderbird.
Suddenly, he gave himself a shake and bright sparks flew around.
“But with young people like Sparrow-Girl, there’s hope. Be of good cheer, my friends!”
Megan and Munro watched the bright streaks of light flash in and out of the branches as Thunderbird circled up and disappeared.
“Oh my,”breathed Megan, “He IS wonderful!”