Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Sleeping Wood

Once, there was a girl named Sonia.  She had dark brown hair, amber eyes, and a love for trees.  She was walking in the wood to get some wildlife shots for her Earth Day collage, and had her camera in a campout bag.  Her parents didn’t normally let her go into the wood alone, but Sonia had argued that more than one person’s footsteps could scare away the wildlife.
 She went deeper in.  The wood had a lonely feeling to it, as though it had not been inhabited for years.  The trees’ branches drooped, as though they couldn’t hold on to the trees, and there were no animals in sight.  It made Sonia shiver.  “No wildlife in here,” she mumbled, and turned to leave.  Then she noticed two things.  One, there was strange moss green writing on the forest floor, and two, there was a leaf covered path leading deeper into the wood.  Sonia let curiosity take over, and, ignoring her brain’s better instincts, began to follow the path. 
It led to a tall tree, and at the top was a cabin.  Sonia decided to ask about the strange writing, and began to climb.  Many girls would have found it near impossible to climb the evergreen, but Sonia had been climbing trees since she could walk.  She was rather comforted by the familiar feel of rough bark under her well-trained fingers, and climbed with the agility of a squirrel.  She reached the top, and knocked rather nervously on the carved wooden door.  At first she thought no one would answer, and felt a bit relieved, but then an old voice answered “Come in.”  It sounded ancient and deep, yet regal, as an extremely old king.  Sonia, her hand trembling, opened he door and entered.  There was nobody there!  The voice spoke again.  “Why are you here?” It seemed to be coming from the walls themselves.  Sonia, in a shaky voice, answered the question with one of her own.  ‘Who are you?”
The ancient voice answered “I am the king of the trees, whom have slept for centuries.  My companion trees have slept for centuries under the enchantment.”    Sonia asked “What enchantment?” and heard a story of how, many centuries ago, trees had walked and talked and danced, and how, one day, an evil enchantress had cast a spell on them so that they could only move at the full moon.  The spell could only be broken when a human who cared about them found a very special acorn, one that could cause miracles, and planted it in the forest.  The words had been carved into the ground.  That explains the green writing, Sonia thought. Also, humans had cut down this king tree and built him into the cabin that Sonia now stood in.  “But,” the king tree went on sadly, “we need a particular acorn that can cause miracles, and what is the chance of a human planting it here?  They wouldn’t know the one.”  It was on that gloomy note that Sonia left the cabin in the tree, having completely forgotten her wildlife photos.
The next day, she searched for any acorn that looked remotely magical, but none seemed even slightly capable of causing a miracle, let alone bring a forest to life.   She tried the same thing after lunch, but went into trees, hoping to find the acorn still growing, but to no avail.  “It’s no use,” Sonia muttered, “the king tree was right.  I’ll never find it.” She sat sadly in the garage, and watched a spider spin its web.  The sun glinted off the beautifully spun creation, illuminating it-“Oh!” she gasped, and jumped up.
 She ran to the forest, grabbing an acorn off the sidewalk as she went.  She got there quickly, and bent down, digging a tiny hole with her hand.  She placed the acorn in, and then covered the tiny seed.  Instantly, the great pine tree she’d knelt next to brought a great branch to an opening in its trunk-a mouth, Sonia realized, -and yawned, opening a huge pair of hazel eyes.  A weeping willow shook back its drooping leaves daintily, and all around Sonia, the forest was coming to life!
 Finally, with a great crash, the cabin broke apart and reformed into a magnificent fir tree, a crown of branches on his head.  The other trees bowed, and the great king asked “How did you do this, human?”  Sonia, not at all afraid now, explained “You see, I realized that it’s a miracle that a tiny acorn can turn into a huge tree.  That means that all acorns are miraculous, but the enchantress didn’t think we’d realize that.”  The king then ordered a celebration, and all sorts of birds and animals flooded the forest.  Sonia’s camera started clicking.  Now, about that Earth Day collage…

                                                The End 

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Julia! This is beautiful! I love the ending. What a wonderful story!