I started writing Tales of the Woods during Winter break in freshman year of my first time through college. In the mid 1990s I contributed a Tale each month to a New Age magazine. Sometimes I wonder if I should gather them together and publish them as a children’s book of some kind.
Let me know what you think.
The Little Flower
Once upon a time a beautiful flower rested in a Woods. All that came by stopped and wondered because few had seen a flower with petals so bright and stem and leaves so radiant. Many creatures stopped and sniffed the air as they passed, carrying with them the scent of her beauty. This flower, small and delicate and thirsting farther and farther, always reached for the rains and lights that brought her life.
One day as she sat and looked upon the hillside she noticed a lone elk wandering through the Woods. The elk walked strong and proud, his coat showing scars from the many contests he’d been in. Watching the else, she grew sad. “He is alone,” she said.
The elk didn’t come near the little flower at first. “Perhaps he can not see me,” she wondered. “Perhaps he is afraid.”
Each time she saw the elk she talked gently to him., each time the elk drew nearer to her. Finally he would come and sit beside the flower, telling her of things he’d done and things he’d do. The little flower listened and nodded. “We are not that different,” she thought. “We both have hopes and dreams.”
The elk came often and shared stories of the rest of the Woods and especially the things he had done, grateful for her listening and the time they had together.
One day the elk came bearing a long scar down his flank. He neither flinched nor stumbled as he moved but the little flower knew some horrible thing happened to him, something he would not share, something she could not understand.
But in all the Woods, the elk came to her for rest and comfort, for solace and quiet. Although only a small flower, she spread her leaves and stretched her petals as wide and as far over the elk as she could. And an amazing thing happened!
The little flower found that she wasn’t as little as she thought! Her leaves and flowers offered a shade the elk could find no where else in the woods; a place to rest and leave thoughts of conflict behind. She offered herself gladly to the elk, and the elk, unaware that the little flower had grown, slept quietly underneath.
Soon the elk awoke. He got to his feet and shook his mighty head, strengthened for the time he had beneath the flower’s leaves, the scent of her petals clinging to his coat.
The elk came and went many times thus. Each time the flower spread her leaves and petals. Each time her soft, flowery perfume rested upon his coat and gave him strength.
Each time the little flower thanked the Woods and all those in the Woods for her gifts. Many others came — small flurrying birds and scurrying little mice, wise old owls and ancient wizened oaks — to see the beauty of the little flower’s petals and leaves, and to heal their hurts with her gentle, fragrant scent.
But sometimes the love we give is not the love we receive.
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