“That was close!” Hoopy said in a long drawn out whine.
Nonna, turned to her companions. “You have helped me so much. I apologize to you for not telling you the whole truth. I have behaved badly towards you. Please forgive me!” Tears began to fill her eyes.
Pata-Pikki turned to her, “Of course we forgive you. You did not know us. Your ways are different. In our way of being we tell all to the other no matter how long it may take, before we begin.” Bar-Thur, Hoopy and Flur-Ella nodded in understanding.
“Yes, we do struggle with fear which tries to win us with bad thoughts. I am responsible for my choices though and I was wrong to do that. I hear many more thoughts when I am away from my homeland,” Nonna sighed.
“We forgive you as the One would want us to do,” Pata-Pikki said. Again, the Scrufflings and Bar-Thur agreed.
“Thank you,” Nonna said hanging her head.
“Will you be able to see well enough in the dark to continue to the water?” Flur-Ella gruffled.
“There should be a lantern for light, here, somewhere. I don’t know where, as I have never been here before. I have only listened to others talking about it. I am so sad and tired and worn out. I can’t even think anymore. I don’t do things right sometimes and I feel sad and confused.”
Pata-Pikki retraced their steps to the slot in the mouth of the cave. Outside he could hear the Strange Contraptor landing. It sounded like it was directly above them. He thought they were safe, but suddenly he remembered their footprints in the sand as they crossed to the cave. As he stood in the opening looking into the daylight, he could see the prints clearly in front of him. Surely, the Narflbots would see them!
Staring at them he wondered how he was to erase them. To his surprise, a breeze had begun to blow. He saw it swirl in circles over their footprints and then follow the dry river bed away from him. The footprints were gone! He would like to run after the circle breeze and thank it, and talk to it, as he had never seen one, but it was too dangerous to go outside.
“There is a Strange Contraptor above us, Pata-Pikki yelped. “ I think we are safe here. I searched along the walls, all the way from the entrance, and saw no lanterns. It must be deeper in. Flur-Ella, take Nonna and lead her, until we find it.”
Again, they descended into the darkness, going deeper down into the bottom of the cave. Then suddenly Flur-Ella pointed to a carved-out niche in the rock where they saw a glass with a metal covering. Nearby was bottle of something golden and a box. Flur-Ella as usual was good about finding things.
“We do not have this lantern, as you call it Nonna. I see a glass with a metal covering, can you see it at all?” Pata-Pikki whined.
“No, I do not see it. It is too dark,” Nonna sighed.
Pata-Pikki took the glass out of the metal case. “It is filled with something oily. It does not smell like Narflbot oil. There is a string coming from the top held by a wire. What would I do with it?”
“There must be a striker there too.” Nonna sighed with relief.
Pata-Pikki motioned to Hoopy to hand Nonna the box. “Here, Nonna, can you understand this?” Hoopy gruffed.
“Yes, this is the striker.” By feeling she slid the box open and took out a long stick, with her finger Nonna found a rough place on the side of the box. “Is there a candle? It will be a wax stick with a string on the top?”
“Here” said Bar-Thur handing the candle that lay in the bottom of the niche to her.
Nonna ran the striker along the side of the box and it burst into flame. The whole cave was illumined. She quickly placed the striker to the candle, it also burst into flame. Blowing out the stick and lighting the lantern with the candle, Nonna glanced up at the cave. “Oh, how beautiful!” she exclaimed. Gazing around her at the walls of the cave, Nonna made a mysterious sign on her chest and said, “I thank you Blessed One!”
“Why yes!” said Nonna, “This is the sign of the High King.”
“Is the High King the One?” Pata-Pikki asked in surprise. “Perhaps He informs us both?” Is this true?
“Yes, I think that is right,” Nonna said, “the One who does the informing of you and me gives words of ultimate Truth and Love. He blows where He wills and is a Mystery.” She explained with a slight shrug, and her eyes were as bright as the lantern.
Pata-Pikki would have to ask the One about this. He furrowed his eyebrows thinking about it. He felt in his deep heart that indeed ultimate Truth and Love came with the words of the One.