Moondella and the Humrunners
Little Low came near, and whispered into her ear, "Lay quiet and still. Do not stray from this spot. I will send help. I will bring big folk to your side." Then he told her to sleep as long as she wished. To dream sweetly and peacefully. Moondella sighed in her slumber and curled up.
So with a fleeting glance back, Little Low ran faster than he had ever ran before! The sound of his hum even noticed by rabbits and other small creatures for the first time.
Qiuckly, oh so quickly, he came to his own village. He shouted in excitement for all the Humrunners to gather round. He told the tale of Moondella, alone and exactly where she was sleeping under the lilac bush. Plans were laid in haste to help the beloved little wanderer. A brigade set out immediately carring tiny pails of necture, honey, and water. Another brigade left at once with bundles of bread. Mere crumbs to you and me, but whole loaves to the Humrunners.
So as Moondella slept, to and fro the Humrunners came and went. Quickly, quickly bringing food, and drink. Lining the pails up within her reach. Placing the bundles of bread close by. And always, always as they came and went, and came and went, one or two stayed near by to watch for her safety, and to notice as soon as a big folk could be spotted coming to find her.
The devoted little Humrunner, Little Low, who had alerted his village, was soon at Moondella's home in the dell. He knew he must find a way to tell these big folk where Moondella was!
When the home was in sight, he heard Mama calling and calling for Moondella as she ran from the chicken coop to the red barn, through the garden, to the brook, and back again. Tears shown on her face.
Then Papa came into view, and Little Low heard him say he had found no sign of the child. Mama broke down and wept bitter tears.
Papa took Mama by the arm and lead her through the door of the home. Moments later he came back outside and hurried in the direction of the town.
Little Low quick as a wink was inside the home. He found Mama lieing on the bed with her head on a pillow. Tears flowed like rivers from her closed eyes. Oh the sadness of it all! Little Low was so sad! This poor Mama must hear his small voice! Carefully and bravely, Little Low did what no Humrunner had ever done before! He crawled upon to the bed, more near than a Humrunner would dare go to a grown up big folk. No never in the long history of the Humrunners had anyone ever thought to approch a grown up big folk, or to speak to one! But brave Little Low denied his fear, and came close to Mam's ear.
"Please", he said. "I am small and all alone with you." The mama's eyes opened through her tears. She had heard the wee voice close by. It came as if from a childhood memory. She became very still.
"Please", Little Low repeated. "The child lays slumbering".
Mama turned her head oh so slowly and saw the Humrunner! And in a instant she remembered her own very young years. She knew this tiny messenger brought the truth, and would help her find her daughter!
"Where?" Mama whispered.
On the very edge of the world. Safe under a lilac bush. But far too near to the Barren Land", Little Low said quickly, hands wringing again.
"Please show me", Mama whispered.
And so Mama gathered Little Low onto the palm of her hand, and followed as he pointed out the way to go. Then before the sun was low in the sky, Mama came upon the child, Moondella! She was sipping from tiny pails and eating tiny loaves, as a score of little Humrunners sang sweet songs to her, and danced to and fro. They had entertained her in this way, so she would not wander into the Barren Land to be lost, and to preish.
"Moondella!" Mama cried with joy as she ran toward her child. The sing and dancing stopped as tiny Humrunners scattered in all directions. Mama gently lowered Little Low to a rock before scooping up the child in her arms.
Moondella hugged Mama tightly as Mama kissed her cheeks over and over.
Finally Moondella said , "I want the pretty rainbow", and pointed toward the boundry of the Barren Land.
"What child?" Mama asked as she looked where the little girl pointed. And sure enough! She saw the colors of the rainbow bouncing from the ground.
Mama set Moondella on her feet, and slowly they walked together to the place from where the rainbow came. Moondella reached down and picked up a piece of quartz, held it up to show Mama, just as a ray of sunshine struck the quartz again. The rainbow danced across both their faces, and across their clothes!
"May I keep the rainbow?" Moondella asked.
"Yes you may" said Mama with wonder. "But promise you will never walk away from home alone again".
"I promise Mama", Moondella said solomely.
Little Low, watching and listening from the rock clasped his tiny hands under his small chin, tilted his little head to the side and smiled with much content.
And so Moondella, who was the great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Rockcarver, the finder of the quartz, had found quartz of her own!
After these events, it came to be that at the time of the Feast of Remembering the whole village of the Humrunners was invited to attend. And every year after that as well! They had tales to tell also. And always the brave Little Low, who had followed Moondella, who sent his kinsmen to her side with food, drink, and entertainment, he who was was fleet of foot and tireless, and brave enough to be the first Humrunner ever to speak to a grown up big folk, was a guest of honor. He along with his whole family were always seated at a tiny table right on top of the table Moondella sat at.
From that time onward the big folk and the Humrunners shared joy, songs, life and tales in the Land of Bloom.