The Woods

By Grace McKernan, Photo Editor

Darkness shrouds my vision and where ever I search for light I find a deeper darkness. My head whipping around violently, I long for even the slightest ray of light to reach my face. I slow my breath, trying to calm down and observe my dimly lit surroundings. I begin to sluggishly recall that I am burrowed in a hole, though I cannot remember why or how I got here. Cautiously, I begin to wiggle my way backwards in attempts to find the outlet of the fissure.

As I break the surface light eclipses my vision and pierces my mind, leaving me squinting and shaking my head to get the feeling out. Once I am free to view the world again I survey my surroundings; Trees with trunks as thick as cars are everywhere, with luscious lumps of green moss mounting on and around them. Rocks and fallen trees are scattered here and there, also teeming with moss. Light filters down through the array of leaves and branches from above, casting a beautiful golden haze upon everything the beams touch. A gentle breeze glides through, caressing the forest as it goes. The sight is so breathtaking that I can’t help but sit and stare in amazement at God’s work of art that is surrounding me.

“Hey! Who are you?” an obnoxious voice chirps from behind me. Startled, I whip my head around to see who the voice belonged to. I am confronted by a puff of bushy auburn hair which decorates the voice’s scrawny, food-deprived body.

“Yoo-hoo, big fella! What’s your name?” the creature trills at me. I look down in disgust at his grubby face, annoyed already by his earsplitting voice and over eager demeanor.

“Edgar, I grumble, not at all excited to have this type of company. “And, uhm, you are?”

“The name’s Felix! Pleased to meet you Mister Edgar! Whatcha doin’ out here in the woods? Lost? You seem like a city boy, Mister Edgar! Need to find your way back to the city? I got ya–”

“Please, Felix, stop with the ‘Mister Edgar’ and no I don’t need help getting back to the city, I am perfectly capable of doing so myself. Thank you,” I interrupt.

Felix looks at me, stunned that I cut him off so soon and begins babbling about how he knows the way to all the nearby roads and paths, but I am already done listening. Without a second thought I tromp off into the weeds, eager to be as far as possible from Felix and his perky assertiveness. I’m not really paying attention to where I am going until a large pricker bush jabs its way into my leg. I gasp in surprise more so than in pain and angrily stomp the bush into the ground, sending more of the prickers up into my feet. A giggle and the sound of scampering come from behind me as I finally detach myself from the bush.

“Who’s there?” I bark impatiently towards the mass of crimson trees around me. I hear the sound of scampering and the thrashing of a bush, when suddenly Felix is standing in front of me yet again. “Felix?” I yelp. “Whatcha following me for? I said it once and I’ll say it again: I don’t need your help. Just get lost, okay?”

Felix looks up at me with large, pleading eyes and begs, “Oh please, Edgar, let me come with you? I haven’t got any friends here in the forest…You know what friends are right? Buddies? Pals? Chums?”

“Yes, Felix, I know what friends are, but I’m not in the mood to make any right this second.”

“Edgar, buddy, c’mon, you know you won’t get out of here by yourself! It’s a redwood forest! These things go on for ages!” I contemplate Felix’s statement. It is true that redwood forests tend to be very expansive and I could easily get myself more lost at any turn, thus making a guide helpful. However, a guide as annoying as Felix would be one-hundred percent intolerable.

“Fine. You know what Felix? You get to show me the way out of here, but as soon as we get to the edge of the forest, I’m through with you.”

Felix becomes erect with excitement, then darts around the clearing, shrieking in excitement. “Oh thank you Edgar! Thank you! I won’t let you down, you know that, Edgar? Oh yippee! This is gonna be an adventure!”

I shoot Felix a look like daggers and he pipes down instantaneously. “Listen, if you’re leading the way, I’m making some rules. One, no excessive talking.” Felix nods his head as if determined to not utter a word as I continue to explain my rules. “Two, no unnecessary stopping. Three–”

“These seem like enough rules, let’s get going!” Felix exclaims in a squirrely voice. He dashes off in the opposite direction I had originally been traveling and shouts back over his shoulder, “Keep up slow poke! Remember the rules! No stopping!”

Knowing that Felix probably is the only person who can help me back to the city, I unhappily trudge after him, hoping he won’t get too far ahead without me.


It’s nearly dusk when I realize that Felix and I need to stop and find a place to rest for the night. He’s still bounding around without a care in the world, though his pace has slowed considerably. “Felix!” I bellow out to him. “Don’t you think we ought to find a place to sleep for the night?” Felix gives me a funny look as if you can sleep anywhere in a place like the forest.

“Trees are an excellent place to sleep!” Felix pipes enthusiastically. He starts scrambling up the trunk of one of the behemoth monsters nearby and tells me to pick a tree and follow suit.

“I don’t know about you, but I am way too chunky and clumsy to climb any of these mammoth trees,” I holler up to him. He has already managed to climb a good ten feet up, as if it were as easy as walking on the ground.

Felix looks down at me with a look of self-righteousness and gloats, “Even a scrawny ginger like me can do it, so why can’t you? Just…haul your fat-self up! It really can’t be too hard!”

I glare up at him menacingly, and he ducks out of sight behind a few branches. I look at the tree next to the one Felix has ascended and size it up. The first couple branches aren’t too high, and with some true effort I can probably find a way to climb them. I take a running start and leap towards the branches, but it is to no avail. They are just out of my grasp and I can’t catch hold on them. I make a few more pitiful attempts but all of the branches on the nearby trees are just out of reach. Exhausted, I flop on the ground under the tree Felix climbed much earlier and drift into sleep.


The next morning I awaken to the sound of familiar voices hovering above me.

“It’s Edgar! We’ve found him!”

“Edgar! Oh I’m so glad he’s not lost! Edgar, come here darling!”

“It’s a miracle!”

My eyes snap open and at once I recognize my family standing around me, all overjoyed to see me. I leap up with excitement and embrace every single one of them, speechless at their presence.

“Come on Edgar, let’s go home!” my family cheers. We march through the trees with exhilaration and beaming smiles. Eventually we come to a road where out car is pulled off to the side. Everyone clambers in, and I eagerly leap in behind them, anxious to be home. The thought of Felix alone in the woods never crosses my mind. Instead I sit happily on someone’s lap as she pets me, murmuring, “Good dog, Edgar. I’m glad you’re safe.”