Abe Yoder had many thoughts crossing his mind during the past few days of his westward journey and now someone to talk to with little three year old Emily. There was many a time that he silently whispered a prayer for the three year old as she slept against his big shoulder and would call to her mommy or daddy in her dreams. Wild dogs and coyotes howled here and there and shining eyes peered out of the dark night at times but the two for the most part of the journey traveled unmolested. Abe wondered if there were any other humans left in the world. Just before entering the state of Colorado they happened upon the ruins of a large transport truck and found that it had been bound for a department store when the tragedy had struck. Abe was able to get into the trailer and find many changes of clothes for himself and little Emily. Now that she had consumed a few good meals the little girl talked constantly with Abe and a bond began to develop between the two. Abe knew in his heart that the Lord had set this little girl in his way for a reason and that he was now her new parent and he gladly accepted responsibility. They paused now by a nice spring fed pond on entering the mountains and they both toke a bath. They had just dried off when on the other side of the pond appeared a large bear. He sniffed the air while looking over at the two and the horse snorted and began to move about nervously. Abe quickly went to the horse and got him hitched to the buggy and then put Emily and their things into it while climbing in himself. The bear this whole time was wading across the pond towards them and was almost to the other side as they pulled away. They heard a loud scream as they moved away and looked back and could not believe their eyes as what appeared to be a little male cougar stood between themselves and the bear and would not let him pass or pursue the buggy.
“Thank God “, said Abe as they moved away out of site and on into the mountains.
The roads in the mountains were still pretty much intact and not much had seemed to have changed since his last visit to his uncle and aunt. There did however come a time when they had to leave the buggy and ride the horse and with the gathering gloom of dusk they stood in the forest looking down on the valley farm. The house was a glow with inner lights and a few people sat on the back porch talking. Before he could reach for his horses mouth it stamped loudly and blew out a loud whistling nicker bringing everyone on the porch to their feet.