The icy winter wind was flying throughout the forest, telling all the inhabitants to fall asleep. The old oak was telling the young oak of this.
" Fall asleep. Do not be afraid. The spring wind shall wake you up when the sun shines. "
" Will I not be cold in winter's reign? "
" The snow will blanket you. Do not fear. "
" Tell me a story. "
The old oak was quiet for a moment.
" Many seasons ago.
I wasn't taller than a sapling. The sky above my leaves wasn't blue, nor black. Trees around me were falling asleep in the cold, still air. I hadn't, yet.
Two figures were before me.
This wasn't the first time that I had seen them. Many moons before was the first time.
I'd seen them often, the boy with the shy face, and honest eyes, and the faerie girl with the kind eyes and laughing face.
In spring they would sit under the flowering trees. The boy would walk, or climb, to collect every flower that the girl said was pretty, and he'd pile them up around her, that she almost couldn't be seen for all the blooms. She'd smile, and tell the names of every flower. They each had two names. One that would be the same for each flower of the same seed, ( the boy knew many of these ), and one that was different for every blossom.
In summer, they'd walk under the blue sky. To nowhere, or to everywhere. The boy would bring loaves of bread, cheese or preserves, milk or cream. He'd always say that food tasted better outdoors, and would ask the girl why. The girl would only laugh in response.
Once she brought food of her own. Fruit that the boy said was brighter than the jewels he once saw. Mushrooms that he traced his finger upon, and said were softer than the silk he'd once felt. She put it before him, and he shook his head.
In Autumn, they lay under the many-hued trees. They'd sit in one another's presence for so long, that the falling leaves would cover them whole by the end. The boy would make things of moss, fallen bark, leaves, stems. Animals, pictures, names, faces.
The girl asked, how he'd become so accustomed to crafting nature. The boy told her that his siblings and the village children loved to see it. The girl listened.
The girl would tell tales of the mountain, and stories of the river. She'd tell him how riding the wind, and hearing the stars felt.
The boy listened.
In winter, they came before me, as the trees fell asleep.
The girl, held two pieces of silk.
She held one up. She told him.
" This one has my name on it. "
She held up another.
She asked the boy.
" Will you write your name in the other?
Will we exchange them? "
She asked him,
" Will you come with me? Will you come, be wed in my land? Will you be with me, as yours grows old?"
He asked her, " My family. Could they come? "
He asked her, but he knew.
" They can come, they can farm the grain that never spoils, under the rain that ever nourishes, they can dance the songs that never end. "
" But they won't. They won't leave my village."
" They'll understand? If you do ? "
" Yes they will, but will I ? "
" The land here, it grows older faster. I spend two sunrises at home, and you asked me why I didn't come for two weeks. I will show you the sea. It's not the way mortals paint it. "
" I will show you my siblings as they play. You will laugh. I will show you the cottage, and you will eat with us. "
She laughed. She knew he wanted her to.
But it was a sad laugh.
She would not come with him.
" Will we exchange names? Will I see you again? Will you come with me ? "
The boy had come here, these many moons, walking quickly to, and walking slowly fro.
No matter how slowly fro, he'd always walk back.
However, he'd told her, that when he'd be in his cottage. Sometimes, he'd dream of the forest. And long to be there.
The one week. Where the girl wasn't to be found. The boy had come, and waited the day away. And walked dejectedly home.
Days later, he came again, but the sun was lower in the sky than it was when he usually came. He walked up, with stories on his lips, of how he'd spend the day in a harvest, and had forgotten the sun, while tossing and being tackled by his siblings, in the grain.
But he left again, sadly when he saw that she wasn't there.
And he came, twice again, and he sat under my leaves. When she came, after two weeks, and he asked why she stayed away, she replied that there had been a two day festival in her land. And the boy had asked many questions, that he may know, " What it was like. "
So. He told the girl, that he'd made his decision.
There the old oak was silent.
The young oak, waited for a moment, and asked, " What did he decide? "
The old oak was still silent, then said,
" It was then, that the winter wind came, and fell me asleep. "
The young oak was silent.
Then asked, " And you do not know what decision the boy made ? "
" I do not know. "
Then the icy winter wind flew up to the oaks. The wind swirled through their leaves.
When the winter wind left the old oak, and young oak, they were both asleep.
Listen to the trees.
They're whispering secrets.
You hear them with ease.
Listening takes more merits.
Look at them standing tall.
They lived longer than you ever will.
Wonders, that they can recall.
Your curiosity, will they fill?
The bark may be worn down.
The leaves may be blown away.
But stories they wear like a crown.
Tales from a long past day.