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Ghost Of The Forest

Ghost Of The Forest
Author: Khadija Hammond Language: English
ISBN: Item No: 00000000771

Data Disc (CD) $5.50

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Ghost of the Forest is a young adult, adult fictional account of the plight of the wildlife in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. It is packed with facts and moves swiftly through the lives of a bobcat, her cub and a magnificent Cougar. Their adventures tug at your heart and leave you happy when the climax of the story, leaves you with a great surprise and renewed hope for humanity.

Sample Chapter:

 She opened her eyes upon a sky so blue it hurt. The first sensation she felt was the rough tongue of mother, cleaning and nuzzling softly. Her entire body vibrated from her mother’s purring. She looked around. The cave was cool and smelled damp but it was a safe place to hide. Mother had used it many times in the past to hide her little ones. They had grown up and were long gone to other areas of the forest. Mother’s cave was part of a series of caverns that sat below a steep cliff. There was an area outside where Mother could lie and watch the valley below.
 Beneath their haven, thousands of pine, hemlock, and cedar as well as fragrant balsam trees hugged the slopes of the mountain. The air was perfumed with their scent. Between their mighty trunks wild honeysuckle and azaleas bloomed, filling the air with perfume. Three miles down, a huge lake sparkled in the sunlight from thousands of diamond-like waves that danced and leaped in the air. It was early spring and the dogwoods were shrouded in delicate shades of pink and white. The whole earth had awakened from the deep sleep of winter and was singing.
 She was not the only one nesting there. Harriet the black bear had been snoozing in an adjoining cavern. She was also awake and stretching. During her winter sleep, she had produced a cub that was rolling and tumbling on the floor. Harriet was skinny from the winter months of fasting. She’d come out during a warm spell in December and nothing was available to eat. She almost got herself killed one morning as she shambled down the mountain to look for anything to satisfy her hunger.
 “I just don’t understand these humans,” she’d said to Mother. “They toss out such wonderful things. I have a hard time getting into the cans, but when I do, sister, it is a feast!”
 Mother turned her nose up. “You risk your life if you go anywhere near where the humans live in those strange caves.”
 “Tell me about it!” Harriet sighed. “One of them saw me and screamed. Then one of the males held out a thunder stick and it spat out a rock that landed near me. I was terrified and tore into the forest as fast as my legs could carry me!”
 “You’d best stay away from them!” Mother warned, lifting her beautiful tufted ears high with alarm. “I was walking across one of their yards the other day, on my way to the forest. It was stupid of me to do so but my ancestors have used this trail for many years. In my memory it was a thick forest that covered the entire hill. Then one day, the humans came and brought orange monsters that tore out the trees and ate them! Then they build a complex cave, like a bee hive where the forest once stood. The strange thing is, they are sometimes there and sometimes not! They are swallowed up by monsters of various colors, go away for a while and then return, whereupon the monster spits them out.”
 “That is strange!” Harriet exclaimed, scratching at her glossy fur with her paw.
 “Well, as I was minding my own business I heard a strange, soft voice calling to me. I looked up and one of them was standing high above on a ledge. It was a female with fur as red as the sunset upon her skull. Why, it looked like her head was on fire! She was speaking to me very softly. I paused to look at her. These humans are so well fed. She could hibernate for at least a year with no problem.”
 “Do tell!” Harriet snorted.
 “It was very distasteful! They have taken over our mountains and hunt us with thunder sticks. I put my nose in the air and disappeared into the forest. For all I know, one of the males could have rushed out and thrown a rock at me. And it’s not like you can get away with anything these days either. Bernie and his flock were badmouthing me to the entire neighborhood. As soon as they saw me, they flocked into the trees and screamed to high heaven. It’s a good thing I was just out walking and not hunting! The black devils have a screech that would awaken the dead!”
 “Remember Jake, my son from last year?” Harriet said.
 “Of course,” Mother said.
 “Well, Jake was so hungry he lost all fear of humans for a second. One night he snuck close to the beehive of the humans, there below in the valley. It was a full moon and he thought the humans must be asleep. They hang out these large things, filled with the most delicious seeds. We thought they did that for us. But we were in for a surprise. Jake clawed his way up to the second floor and was reaching for the container when an awful shriek nearly gave him a heart attack. He fell off the pole and rolled across the yard. He was so shook up that he left the area and went deeply into the forest where no humans live. He was deeply hurt and embarrassed when he discovered that the seeds were some sort of sacrifice to the flocks. Then Bernie was following him and cawing for miles about how stupid he was.”
 “Poor Jake,” Mother purred. “Is he safe now?’
 “Oh yes,” Harriet beamed. “He is king of the mountains of the West. There are so many steep cliffs there, humans cannot build.”
 “I am glad there is some place we can go where there are no humans with their terrible thunder sticks.”
 “Is that your new daughter?” Harriett mused. “She is lovely. What is her name?”
 “I named her Solara” Mother beamed. “She has a golden sheen like the sun.”
 Solara picked up her tufted ears. She had never heard her name before. Mother licked her head gently. Solara rolled upon her back and gnawed at her paw. Her claws were growing in and they annoyed her.
 “Come little one,” Mother purred. “Let us go exploring. There is much I must teach you.”
 The hill was steep as they made their way down to a steam at the bottom. Solara drank deeply then shook her shining fur, slinging droplets of water in every direction like tiny diamonds glistening in the light.
 She heard a low buzzing sound and glanced up. High above in the old rotten trunk, a hive of bees swarmed, humming their warning. She’d never seen bees before and started to climb up to get a better look.
 “Don’t go up there!” Mother warned, leaping up and grabbing her by the scruff of the neck. “They will attack!”
 “But Mother, I want to see!” Solara whimpered.
 “All right, but you must climb this nearby tree and look down upon the hive. Don’t get too close.”
 Solara was enchanted by the millions of bees darting in and out of the hive.
 “See that worker bee?” Mother said. “He is coming to tell the others where the flowers are blooming nearby. He will dance to them the direction as well as the type of flower. Bees are very organized and each hive has a queen who is busy bringing in the next generation of bees. When the time is right, the queen will have to fight a new queen for dominance of the hive. One queen only can rule. The loser will take hundreds of workers with her and fly away to form a new hive.”
 “What happens then?” Solara asked.
 “Well, when a new queen is needed, the workers feed a special type of jelly, called Royal jelly to the baby bee, which transforms it into a queen. Meanwhile, several scouts are flying out to select a new location. Each scout returns and dances the location, height and measurements of the new hive to the group. Then, more scouts go out to investigate each site. Then they return

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