Board :Story Contest
Author :Archon Iyagi
Subject :"Into the wilderness' 1st - Zilch
Date :5/21
<B>      Into the Wilderness -----

As a young boy growing up, he was fascinated with wildlife. His dad first noticed this when he would take him on short walks. The boy always wanted to chase the squirrels or feed the deer. He was always asking questions - "Why do they have tails?" and ?Where do they sleep?". Valid questions that the father could not answer off the top of his head.

One evening after the boy had gone to bed, the father sat down with his wife to discuss what they should do for their son. It seemed he was passionate about the animals, but they couldn't answer any of his questions that he was so curious about. He nagged them for what seemed like days. It was decided that a few nights a week, they would take turns taking their son to the local library to browse the rows and rows of books that it had to offer. If anything caught his eye, they would reserve the book and read him to sleep with it.
 
They broke the idea to their son who was elated. He walked the stacks for hours. "Nocturnal animals and their environment" and "Introduction to Archery" were some books he selected on his first trip. He began reading to him ..night after night. The plan didn't work out so well. It didn't put him to sleep at ALL! The more he read, the more questions his son asked. This went on for weeks and weeks, until the dad finally thought of a better idea. He'd plan a trip to visit with an old acquaintance he used to talk with at the fishing hole. He lived in the wilderness, and thought there's no one better to contact about this.
 
The next day, his father made it a priority to go pay his friend a visit, hoping he was available. He wandered through the wilderness observing the lakes, animals, and trees. Smiling ear to ear, he knew his son would love it here. He stepped off the beaten trail to find a spot for lunch. He had just finished eating when he heard an abnormally loud *CRACK*! and caught a glimpse of someone coming up the path towards him.

"Specty?" he softly spoke. The man stopped in his tracks in the middle of the trail. "Is that you?? Confused, he looked over at the father speaking his name. "Why yes it is. Do I know you?". He replied "Yea! It's Sansei! Remember me? We had many conversations at the fishing hole." "Of course I remember you!" he said. "What are you doing way out here?" Smirking, Sansei explained his situation. "With that all being said.. I was hoping you would be able to help me out by helping him out." Beginning to laugh, the man replied "Of course I'll take him in! That's my new role anyway. I'm a guide now. It will require him to be out here full time, but it sounds like he'll fit right in. Tell ya what, I'm in town tomorrow. I'll stop by and talk to him to see if he's got what it takes for a potential candidate." Excited as ever, and knowing he had to go no farther, Sansei agreed. "Perfect! I will let him know that you're coming. We will be waiting for you!" Sansei returned home to break the news to his son.

There was a knock at the door.

"Manieo! He's here!" yelled Sansei. Manieo ran to the door. Specty looked down at Manieo and smiled. Manieo didn't know what to say, so he just stood there smiling, waiting for his next command. Sansei stood behind his son with his hands on his shoulders. "If you're ready to take him, he's ready to go." Knowing that the boy would be a perfect fit, Specty got down on one knee so that he was eye level with Manieo. "Manieo, your father has told me you have a passion for my lifestyle. He has mentioned to me all the questions you ask daily, and the books he has been reading you. It seems you are ready to walk with me. The wilderness will be your home should you accept. If this is something you wish you wish to do, take my hand." Realizing his opportunity of a lifetime is within a handshake, he turned to his father. "Go", said Sansei. The door closed behind him has the young boy ventured off with his new Guide into the wilderness.

- Zilch