Written by Jo Boyle, illustrated by Elisabeth Ek Solheim.

That night before bed, Josh stared at the framed picture of his puppy.

Billie looked so alive in the photo. His big, brown eyes were filled with joy

and his curly tail was a blur.

 

Realising, that it had been two weeks to the day since he died, Josh’s face

crumpled, “Miss you.” he whispered and placed the photo under his pillow.

Then cried himself to sleep.

meet-the-masters-kuthumi_clip_image002Samuel, watched all this from the shadows and when he was sure Josh was

fast asleep, he lifted him from his bed and enfolded him in his wings.

 

Gently waking, Josh sighed when he saw his angel’s face, “Are we meeting a

Master tonight?” he mumbled.

“We are.”  replied Samuel, as they flew through the candy-floss clouds, “It is time

you met Master Kuthumi.”

Josh stared at his angel and pulled his face, “Tooth-honey!” he said, “That’s a funny

name for a Master. Does he have a sweet tooth?”

Samuel burst out laughing, “No, you misheard me, Josh. The Master’s name is

K-U-T-H-U-M-I.” he said, very slowly.

 

Josh smiled, he liked making his angel laugh. The sound was like tinkly bells and

he smiled, as he snuggled into Samuel’s feathery wings.

 

On through the multi-coloured clouds the pair travelled and soon they landed in

a beautiful, forest. Bird filled trees, towered above them and a sparkly, waterfall

sprayed the pair with cool water.

 

Samuel couldn’t resist and shook his wings all over Josh, soaking him with a

surprise shower.

 

“Samuel, that’s not fair!” squealed Josh, as he tried in vain, to out run his

mischievous angel.

 

But Samuel, was already planning another drenching and before he could shake

his wings, his eyes were drawn to a point in the distance, “Look!” he said, as he

stared at a ball of light, pulsating within the waterfall.

 

Josh turned and his mouth fell open, “Wow! Do you think it’s the Master?”

 

Before Samuel could reply, a radiant, being of light emerged from the glowing

ball, and walked towards them.

 

“Welcome Josh,” a voice from the light said, “I AM Kuthumi.”

“Hello, Mister Ku..thu..mi.” replied Josh, trying hard to get his name right.

 

The Master was surrounded in golden light and his bright eyes, sparkled like

diamonds. He wore a long robe and even his beard, gleamed in the sunlight,

“Mister Ku..thu..mi, you look just like Sananda’s dad.” said Josh.

 

Josh’s honesty made the Master rock with laughter, “Yes, I’ve been told that

before. Come along, Josh. I have so much to show you.”

 

They strolled through the forest and Kuthumi, showed his guest all the many

flowers and birds. Josh noticed, that the Master would stop and gaze at a pretty

flower, or praise the beauty of an insect. And as they walked, Josh became aware of

a low humming noise all around him.

 

Josh tugged the Master’s robe, “Mister Kuthumi, what’s that noise?”

 

The Master smiled kindly at his young companion, “The humming, is the sound of

creation, Josh. Everything is alive, you see. Every tree, flower and blade of grass

is as alive, as you are. Listen, to them, Josh. What are they saying?”

 

Josh, crouched down next to a bunch of bright daisies and placing his ear next to the

soft petals, listened carefully. Josh’s eyes opened in amazement, “Wow! They’re

saying my name.”

 

meet-the-masters-kuthumi_clip_image004“But of course.” replied Kuthumi, as if it was the most natural thing in the world

to happen. The Master walked towards a large oak tree and Josh, skipped behind him,

keeping an eye out for anymore chatterbox flowers, “Mister Kuthumi,” he asked,

“what is it that you do?”

 

The Master stopped and gazed at Josh, “I suppose you could call me a teacher. A

world teacher.”

“Really!” said Josh, “Do you think you could get a job at my school?”

Kuthumi, smiled and shook his head, “That won’t be possible,” he said, “But, if

you visit me when you’re asleep, I shall be your personal tutor.”

 

Josh stared at the Master in dismay, “Then that will mean, I will be in school, all

day and all night!”

 

Kuthumi’s eyes twinkled, “But just imagine, what you will learn.” he said. Then

the Master stopped, whispered a prayer, and clapped his hands three times.

Suddenly, the silent forest was filled with the sounds of movement and rustling.

They were no longer alone. Every type of animal, from the smallest mouse to

the tallest giraffe, moved toward the radiant Master.

 

meet-the-masters-kuthumi_clip_image005Kuthumi opened his arms to his well behaved congregation and Josh, was amazed

to see that even the assorted cats and dogs, were peaceful in each other’s company.

They were like one big happy family, living in perfect harmony in the Master’s

magical forest.

 

Josh was so excited, he had to sit on his hands, “You didn’t tell me you were a

zoo-keeper, too, Mister Kuthumi. I’ve never seen so many animals!”

 

The Master smiled, and as he did rays of light shone from his eyes, “These are my

friends. I love them all dearly.” He stretched his arms out wide and with perfect

timing, two snowy white doves, landed on each one. But, when a third dove

landed directly on the Master’s head, Josh was unable to keep his face straight and

he burst into a fit of giggles.

meet-the-masters-kuthumi_clip_image006Luckily, the Master found this hilarious and laughed too, making the doves flutter

to a nearby tree.

 

But, something had caught the Master’s eyes and he stopped and stared at the

animals. A puzzled look crossed his face, something was obviously, wrong.

 

“My friends,” he said, addressing the animals, “have you seen our new arrival?”

 

One by one, every animal stopped what they were doing and turned to face the

Master.

 

Josh’s mouth fell open at the unbelievable sight, “They understand you…?”

 

The Master stared deeply into Josh’s eyes, “But, of course!” came his reply and

clapped his hands three more times.

 

Josh was lost for words and shook his head in disbelief. So, he sat down on the  

sparkly grass and made friends with a pair of cheeky chimps. Their playful games

were so funny, that he nearly missed the arrival of the late comer.

 

“Aaaahhh! There you are. I suppose you have been busy exploring your new home?”

said the Master, “Never mind little one, you are here now and there is someone

to see you.”

 

Hearing the Master’s words, Josh looked up to see who he was talking to. In front of

Kuthumi, was a playful puppy. Josh, glanced at the new arrival and smiled, he was

very cute. But something about the puppy made him take a second look. Josh blinked

and then frowned. The puppy looked exactly the same as Billie, except this one was

surrounded by a ball of golden light.

 

Josh heard the Master’s laughter, “Surely, you recognise your own puppy, Josh?”

 

“Billie?” whispered Josh, shaking his head.

 

No, it couldn’t be, he thought. That was impossible…

meet-the-masters-kuthumi_clip_image007He looked over at the puppy, barking and wagging his tail, and slowly, it dawned

on him and he grinned. The reason the puppy was so happy to see him was because it

was Billie. The puppy was Billie. It was Billie!

 

The puppy bounded over to Josh, through the long grass, barking joyfully and Josh

hugged him close. 

 

Josh looked up at the Master, “Is it, is this really Billie?”

“What does your heart say?” replied the Master.

 

Josh closed his eyes for a brief moment and felt the same feeling he had when he

listened to his angel’s laughter, and slowly smiled, “It says it’s Billie.”

 

The Master nodded and patted his own heart, before leaving the pair to be alone

together, in the beautiful forest.

Josh was so happy to be with his puppy, again. He felt like the luckiest boy in the

whole world and he held Billie close, never wanting to let him go. He looked

just the same and so alive, but at the back of Josh’s mind he knew that their

brief time together would soon be ending.

The sun was beginning to rise and Josh felt a presence behind him. Josh felt tears

begin to well in his eyes, he knew it was Samuel, waiting to take him back home.

Josh, bit his lip and with sad, pleading eyes begged his angel to let him stay, but

Samuel, just radiated love and light towards him. It was clear to Josh, that he  

would have to return to his home. And Billie would have to remain in his.

meet-the-masters-kuthumi_clip_image009In the distance, Josh heard the Master clap his hands and watched as rays of light,

began to spiral around him and every animal in sparkly light.

Billie knew it was time to go too. He licked Josh’s face goodbye and wriggled free

before racing off into the long grass. Then he turned once, tilted his head to one 

side and barked a final time before disappearing into a hazy, field of wild flowers, his

excited tail wagging for all its worth.

 

Josh stood still, searching for one last glimpse but Billie was gone.

 

“Remember Josh, no soul ever dies.” said the Master, “Return soon my friend. I AM

KUTHUMI. Billie and I, will be waiting for you.”

 

With all his strength, Josh willed himself to be brave and swallowed the hard lump

in his throat, “Thank you,” he whispered, and hugged the kind Master.

 

Then Josh, felt a tap on his shoulder. It was Samuel, “How about a hug for me, too?”

Josh grinned and wrapped himself around his angel. Gracefully, they floated up into

the sky, a magnificent sunset, bathing them in the most glorious colours.

 

Josh waved to the Master until he and the animals got smaller and smaller. And

he giggled as they weaved and jumped in and out of the long grass, “Look at them

Samuel, it’s like being on safari!”

 

Samuel smiled and as they soared higher into the sky, the elephants down below soon

looked as tiny as ants and the Master, no bigger than a speck of bright dust.

 

Kuthumi, watched them as they travelled and beamed a powerful, blue ray of light to

guide and protect them on their long journey home.