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An adventure with Princess Aspen and Happy-Go-Lucky the Leprechaun

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This is a very true story of a hike that my wife and I went on a few years ago. It was my wife's idea to turn it into a fairy tale by naming her Princess Aspen and me Happy-go-lucky. I chose to write this in hopes that others could learn important life lessons and to inspire a love for God's good Earth.

Fantasy / Children
Age Rating:

A hike to Lily Pad Pond

Within the heavenly land of Angelica lives a young fairy princess named Aspen and her best friend ever in the whole wide world for a lifetime, whom she can’t bear to live without, Happy-Go-Lucky the Leprechaun.

One day, the inseparable two decided to plan an adventure to their favorite area of Angelica called Empyrean. Empyrean is the land where the most wonderful lives of nature thrive to be alive. A land free from all of the destructive decisions made by the many generations of the past. Untouched by the materialistic madness of its rulers, this land provides the heartbeat of life itself. Only the pure and simplistic minds are welcome to explore its true wonders.

Empyrean was just a short distance away from where Aspen and Happy lived out their lives. Their plan was to arrive in Empyrean early enough in the day to find the most pleasant and comfortable place to rest for the night, then set out the next morning on a hike to find the majestic waters of Lily Pad Pond. Princess Aspen had heard from her sweet little Grandma Breezee that, “when you soak in the water, the abundance of zeal in the lake fuels your soul with knowledge, truth, and healing for your well-being. But it only TRULY works on the purest of heart and mind.”

On this warm late summer day, when they had finally found their way to the wonders of Empyrean, the overwhelming abundance of joy was met by a heavenly scene of all-natural beauty. The calm breeze that blew through the wise old trees provided a welcoming hello with the waving leaves all around. There was a lake in the distance that guided their destination as they felt the need to be near it for the night. As their journey got them closer to the lake, they were pleased to see that there were many other good souls scattered about wandering the land and enjoying its fruits. It was comforting for them to know that there ARE others out there that still care for this sacred realm.

Early to rise, the sun came up and peaked the tips of the mountain range. The sounds of wildlife begin to awake. It’s a bright new day for the life in the land of Empyrean! Before their morning journey was to begin, Happy-go-lucky had gathered some wood and built a campfire for morning warmth while Princess Aspen prepared breakfast sandwiches made of eggs, avocado, peppers, and kale. This was Happy’s FAVORITE!

After packing a light snack and filling their containers with water, Aspen and Happy made sure to put out their small campfire by completely soaking it with the water from the lake. Then off they went to begin their journey through this natural environment created by God himself to bring peace and healing into life’s existence. Lily Pad Pond had been Aspen’s dream destination ever since her Grandma Breezee would tell stories of the enchanted Empyrean to her as a child.

When they reached the trailhead, they noticed a roughly drawn map on display that detailed the area. It showed many trails that lead many directions, depending on which way you’d like to explore. Lily Pad Pond was a highlighted destination and was noted to be a 10-mile hike roundtrip. Aspen joyously expressed to Happy, (while actually thinking and truly talking to her grandmother), “Here we are Happy! On our way to Lily Pad Pond!”

There were a few others on the trail wandering about, enjoying the gifts of mother nature. Pleasantly, all of the sounds and smells of the environment that encompassed their spirit were purely picturesque. It was an uphill winding climb that presented a new majestic setting with each turn in the trail. There was a stunning sea of blossoming flowers on every hillside, each patch lit up with a variety of brilliant colors from your favorite crayon box! The two hiked the beauteous path with an uncontrollable abundance of jubilation as the mountainous peaks and rock formations along the way were simply breathtaking.

Aspen paused her stride to take a good look around. With her arms stretched out wide, her head tilted back, eyes closed, and her fingers grasping at the air, Aspen expresses to Happy, “Feeeeel the vibration, Happy! The aura of life that surrounds us breathes mother nature’s energy into our own being! I can feel it! Can YOU feel it Happy??”

As Happy-go-lucky begins to imitate Aspens every motion, he takes a deep breath in, inflating his lungs to its fullest, then slowly exhales. This exercise warms his heart with an abundance of love as he can now feel the genuine blessings of having the best time wandering the woods with his most special friend in this world on this glorious day, then responds, “In every way, my love!”

Time was of no essence. The day was surely blessed to be. As the morning turned to afternoon, Aspen and Happy decided to take a rest to refuel their bodies with the nuts, berries, and cracker bars that they had brought along. As they sit off-trail within the voluptuous terrain, Aspen begins to ponder if they may have missed the left turn in the trail that leads to the pond. She then says to her best friend ever, “You know Happy, we sure have been walking for a long while. Do you think we could have passed the turn?” Happy was thinking the same thought as he nodded in agreement. Aspen then expressed, “Let’s just go a little bit farther.” So, they carried on their merry way around the next bend in the path.

“Happy, do you hear that?” In the distance, they could hear the sounds of other voices talking on the trail. A little farther ahead, they came upon a group of men taking a break from riding their motorized speed demons that also traveled the plethora of trails that encompassed the land. Happy didn’t like the speed demons. They were loud, obnoxious, and always disrupted his peace of mind. But regardless, he was very thankful to see other souls that might know the area. The men were very welcoming and friendly as Aspen told them that they were looking for Lily Pad Pond. The elder, that the others called Zay, explained to us that, yes, we had passed the turn just about 2 miles back. We needed to circle around to where we came from and look for a wooden sign that marks the turn.

Aspen’s dejected face looked at Happy and sadly uttered, “Whoops Happy, we DID miss the turn.”

With a big accepting smile, Happy responded, “That’s ok Aspen, I’m enjoying every moment just being with you!”

Aspen and Happy were very thankful for the men who were there that day to turn them around. After a gracious “Thank you and good day!“, the two merry souls were back on the right track!

Aspen sarcastically expresses to her best friend, “Be sure to keep your eyes open for the wooden sign Happy!”

Smiling with a heart full of joy, Happy begins to sing, “OHHHH, hidey, hidey, ho, to Lily Pad Pond we go! Around the bend, then up the hill, to Lily Pad Pond we go! OHHHHH, hidey, hidey, ho, to Lily Pad Pond we go! Sing along with me Aspen!” Aspen then chimes along with a laughing grin, as they continue their journey meandering the backwoods of Empyrean, “OHHHH, hidey, hidey, ho, to Lily Pad Pond we go...”.

After what seemed to be just a short distance down the path, Happy excitedly yells out, “There it is Aspen!! A SIGN!! I see it! It’s in the tree!” Sure enough, a very old wooden sign carved into the shape of an arrow, with the words “Lily Pad Pond” etched upon its surface, that must have been there for many a moon, was pointing towards another skinny trail heading to the south that both Aspen and Happy somehow passed without noticing.

They both glanced at each other with wide-eyed enthusiasm and then chimed in unison, “OHHHH, hidey, hidey, ho, to Lily Pad Pond we go!”, as they made their way on up the previously elusive trail.

It was just beginning to reach the midday sun as they had now already walked a long, long distance. Aspen and Happy knew the pond couldn’t be much farther, as the rough and rocky trail continued to climb uphill. Although they had both entirely enjoyed the roam through the forest up to this point, the extra couple of miles had them behind schedule and beginning to reach a state of fatigue. Not to mention the fact that Happy’s water container was beginning to run low. (Uh-oh)

As they slowly approach the top of the peak, a blueish/green landscape begins to emerge into their vision. Then gradually, with each next step, they now clearly see why the body of water is called “Lily Pad Pond”. While proudly now perched at the base of the pond, with the look of amazement in her gaze, Aspen calmly exclaims, “Wow Happy, It’s BE AU TI FUL! Have you ever seen such a site?” The pond, not so small as you might imagine, was completely covered in these large floating leaf shapes the size of a large placemat, with vibrant flowers of blue, pink, white and purple sitting atop of each one. The site itself was visually stunning! As much as Happy was pleased to finally have reached this heavenly destination, his thoughts had turned to concern for how they would return to their camp before the sun set. “Oh, my dear Aspen, the overwhelming beauty is nothing like I’ve ever witnessed before in my lifetime. But I’m afraid we have no time left in the day to relax in this incredibly pristine water. I suggest we splash our faces and soak our bandanas to cool down and be on our way.” Aspen, slightly saddened by the thought, responded in agreement, “Yes, Happy, you’re right. We’ll have to come back another day.”

While the two were refreshing themselves from the banks of the pond, Happy-go-lucky looked around and noticed a black 4-wheel motor-roller hidden by the overgrowth of cattails on the other side of the sparkling crystal blue water. “Aspen look. There is someone else up here. I see one of those monstrous 4-wheel motor-rollers over there! But I don’t see anyone anywhere around it, do you?” Aspen wiped the water from her eyes to look around. She spotted the motor-roller but agreed that there was not another soul to be seen in their site. Aspen then spots the 4-wheel motor-roller trail that the vehicle must have come up. Pointing to the East, which was the direction of their campsite, Aspen says, “It looks like it came from over there. Maybe if we continue down that path, instead of turning back around, we’ll reach our camp sooner than later.” Happy went along with the thought while thinking to himself, “There is no way that HUGE motor-roller came from the same skinny walking path that we just came up. It will surely have to return the same direction that it had arrived.” He continued to think in the back of his mind, “Maaaaybe we’ll be able to ask for a ride upon its return.” So, with that thought, he agreed with Aspen’s suggestion, as they prepared for their trek back down the mountain now feeling refreshed by the pond’s water created by the natural snowmelt flowing from the peaks above.

Her energy refueled, Aspen paused to take in the immaculate view with one last deep breath, (breath in, breath out), when her gaze was suddenly immersed with a mystical feeling of pure calm as Silverjack, “The Great Grandmaster Dragonfly”, took a hold of Aspens attention with the distinct sound of its fluttering wings as it gracefully hovered in front of Aspen’s face and stared entrancingly into her eyes. Fascinated by this beautifully mesmerizing behavior, Aspen’s pure and simplistic mind was able to tune in to the keen vibration on display as she all at once realized that she could now clearly hear and comprehend the word-like sounds coming from Silverjack’s illuminating wings. Her mind began to recognize the humming vibration as a message coming from this timeless fragile creature, whose lifeline dates back to the time before dinosaurs, as it’s wings fluttered, “L o v e....l o v e....l o v e is..all..around..you”. Then, just as quickly as The Great Grandmaster Dragonfly had mystically appeared, it swiftly whizzed off into the gentle breeze in which it had arrived. Aspen (snapping out of her daze) excitingly says to Happy, “Did you see that Happy? That dragonfly just spoke to me!” Happy, very intrigued, smiled and quizzically asked, “Please tell, what did it say”? Aspen’s face was a shine in delight, and with the biggest grin of mind-boggling amazement revealed, as she spread her arms open wide, “It said, “LOVE is all around us!". Happy, LOVE IS ALL AROUND US!!". Happy, laughing, charmed as sprinkles topping a cupcake, replied in pure joy, “OF COURSE IT IS, Aspen...and a long journey ahead of us still awaits!” as they both light up with glee, holding hands, and begin to meander their way back to the 4-wheel motor-roller trail.

This path was steep with large boulders that made the trail more difficult to maneuver. That’s what made the trail a challenge for these monster vehicles to climb. This was certainly not a walking trail. The long hike up the mountain had already exhausted Aspen and Happy’s legs which made going down this path even more difficult. The pleasure was found in listening to the singing river-flow that paralleled the rocky terrain.

This adventure was taking much longer than either of them had expected at the beginning of their day. By this time, Happy was gently sipping slowly on the end of his water bottle, mostly just to keep his mouth wet. Aspen’s container held more water than his did. Happy knew that she would surely need every last drop for the rest of this unforeseen trip back, so he didn’t bother to ask her to share.

As the brightness of the sun began to fade from their vision, complete exhaustion crept upon the two wandering out in the deep wilderness. Being surrounded by the giant forest trees on the zigzagging trail, they honestly didn’t even know if they were still heading in the right direction at all. Unfortunately, neither of them thought to pack a compass on this trip. Happy soon began to think that they might just have to find a comfortable area to lay their heads for the night and make the rest of the way back the next morning. But with no more food or extra water in their pack, it was definitely the last thing that he really wanted to do. So, before making that dire suggestion to his companion, Happy said a prayer to himself: “Dear heavenly father of all creation, please continue to watch over us as we may need your help to finish this journey. Please continue to protect us from the dangerous creatures of the night as we respect their presence. Thank you for walking with us on this day. We have surely enjoyed your gifts of nature’s pureness.” Then, before Happy could finish his prayer he paused. A sound that he recognized slowly began to fill the air. It was music! And it’s getting closer from behind!! Happy turned around to look. “ASPEN, I think it’s the 4-wheel motor-roller! It’s coming towards us!!” Soon, they could see the vehicle slowly crawling down the rocks with caution. As the sound of the music drew closer, Happy began to snap his fingers and dance. He instantly recognized the rhythm and sure enough...he had heard this old classic song from another time before! It was Johnny Cash! “Now pay attention little children. It’s somebody you outta know. It’s all about a man who walked on Earth 2000 years ago. Who is it everybody? Who is it everybody? Who is it everybody? It was Jesus Christ our Lord!” Princess Aspen and Happy looked at each other with an overwhelming enthusiastic feeling of surprise as they now were both dancing along!!

Not knowing how much farther they had left on their trek back to their camp, Happy knew this would be their only chance to possibly get a ride the rest of the way down this mountain trail. The two stepped to the side of the trail and admired what looked like the same shiny brand new 4-wheel motor roller from the pond inching it’s way closer with the music blasting from inside.

Happy could now see through the front window that it appeared to be just one older friendly looking gentleman with a black cowboy hat on driving without any other passengers. Happy raised his hand to say hello as he peered through the passenger’s window, then motioned for the man driving to stop. “Excuse me.” The 4-wheel motor-roller came to a pause, the music quieted, as the man in the black hat rolled down his window to hear what Happy had to say. Happy then expressed with his biggest smile, “Hello Sir. Thank you so kindly for stopping. My friend and I here have been walking all day long and somehow managed to take a wrong turn. Now we’re honestly feeling lost and exhausted in the middle of the forest.” Then politely with a look of concern in his eyes, “Please sir, would it be too much to ask for a ride the rest of the way down this mountain?”

The man in the black hat graciously grinned and said with a southern drawl, “Well now my friends, I’d be much obliged. Let me just make some room here in the back and you two can hop on in!“. As he got out of his vehicle to maneuver some of his camping gear in the back to make room, he greeted Aspen with a tip of his hat, “Howdy ma’am. I’m Michael.” Aspen then cheerfully responded, “Good to meet you, Michael. I’m Aspen and that’s my best friend in the world Happy-go-lucky the Leprechaun. We can’t thank you enough for your kindness, sir.” Michael then proclaims, “It’s all my pleasure, Miss Aspen.“, as he gently pats the seat, now ready for Aspen to step up and into the 4-wheel motor roller. Then he charmingly looks at Happy and says, “Happy is it? You can ride up front with me.” Overflowing with the warmth of being incredibly grateful, Happy enthusiastically expressed, “Thank you, thank you, thank you kind sir! Oh my goodness, you are SO kind!”

Slowly, but at least now comfortably, they easily crawled their way down the boulder filled rock-way with the overwhelming feeling of just being saved from an eerie night of who knows what in the woods. A joyous Happy quizzically asks their new friend, “So Michael, what brought you up here to Lilly Pad Pond on this incredibly beautiful day?” Michael then tells his story of recently retiring from his job of 50 years, and with his wife already past, he really didn’t know what to do with himself next. His son, who lives nearby Empyrean, encouraged him to buy this 4-wheel motor-roller and begin exploring some of the mountainous destinations that he’s never seen before. The very first place his son encouraged him to seek out was Lilly Pad Pond. “So that’s why I’m here. I also bought this really cool camera to take pictures!”, as he holds his new fancy camera up and smiles with delight.

Happy-go-lucky, fascinated by Michael’s story and realizing the miraculous coincidence of their crossing paths on this day, expresses in awe, “Michael, you sir, are a genuine angel. Heaven’s gift, on this unsuspecting day, sent to be our chaperon to finish this accidental long journey that has found us lost. There is absolutely no question in my mind.” Aspen excitedly chimes in, “Mine either! You’re our heavenly angel Michael! Here to save the day!”

Humbled, Michael happily smiles and states, “You guys are funny. I too am glad that my path has led this way. Now for seriously, we do still have a good distance to go to get you back to the lake my friends...do ya’ll like listening to Johnny Cash?” As Michael slowly raises the volume, Happy expresses, “OH YES! Keep playing that song!”

(The song on the stereo continues) “Who is it everybody? Who is it everybody? Who is it everybody? It’s Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Princess Aspen and Happy, while nodding in agreement, looked at each other with love and overwhelming relief in their eyes, smiled and began to sing along, "Who is it everybody?". During the joy-fueled bumpy ride down, feeling blessed as daisies in the morning dew, the two continued to reflect on all of the precious lessons learned in their unsuspecting day.

What lessons do you think they learned?

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