"The further we went into the forest, the stronger that feeling became. It was as if the feelings that I had been sensing had grown stronger and stronger the more the forest closed around us. It had become almost like a physical touch on not only my mind, but also on my skin."

"It was almost like an electrical current now, ebbing and flowing around me, making the hairs on my arms stand up and sending tiny quivers of excitement along my nerve endings. Something was definitely happening."

"As we continued on, I could not shake the odd feeling that we were being watched. I even heard soft voices singing, but the moment I tried to focus on them, they vanished. The words had been strange, yet they had given me a feeling of comfort."

"I glanced sideways at my companions, there was no way I was going to tell them what I was experiencing. They would have laughed at me, especially Jeanne, who had a cruel streak in her nature."

I paused in the story to look at Bekka solemnly. "There is a saying that blood is thicker than water, and in the case of my companions that day, this was very definitely true. Even if Jane might have been willing to believe me, her sister wouldn't have been, and Jane always followed whatever her sister said or did."

My young listener looked at me, her head slightly tilted, her eyes curious. "What do you mean, 'blood is thicker than water, Grans?" She asked me solemnly.

I reached out to tenderly brush some hair from her eyes, then pulled her into a small hug. When I released her, my eyes were moist. This young child did not know just how very special she truly was.

I tapped her nose, making her giggle, then I spoke, my tone serious. "Sweetheart, that saying means that those who are related more often than not will stand together against someone not related to them."

When Bekka still looked a confused, I tried to explain in a way she could understand. "Even if the related ones argue amongst themselves this will still usually hold true. When faced with a possible threat from outside their blood bond, they will nearly always stand together to defeat that threat."

My granddaughter looked at me for several long moments. I could almost see the wheels turning. Then she spoke. 'You mean like the time Brandon whooped Anthony Johnson for calling me a cry baby last summer? I fell and skinned my knee , and it hurt so bad! Anthony started making fun of me.' she said, her voice indignant."

Bekka's eyes took on a bit of a militant look. 'Brandon whooped him good!' she said with satisfaction. Then her brows furrowed a bit as she looked up at me. 'That has always puzzled me--because Brandon had just gotten through calling me that himself. Yet Brandon got so very angry when Anthony said the very same thing. Is that what you meant?"

I had to turn away for a moment to hide the mist of tears. My granddaughter was very intelligent. The older she got, the more proud of her I became. Sometimes I wished that she could keep this age of innocence forever.

Turning back, I once more tapped her on the nose. "Yes, sweetheart, exactly like that. Now, are you ready for the rest of the story?"

She clapped her hands and bounced a little. "Yes! Please Grans!"


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