Last episode of The spring dance and first post of 2016. Thank you for reading these posts and offering your thoughts and encouragement. I appreciate it more than I can say.
Wishing you all a beautiful, peaceful and fruitful 2016.
Reluctantly the little girl left the dancing place. She looked over her shoulder at the blue black fox, sitting in the hazel thicket watching her.
Heal the wound, said the rose.
Take care, said the wolf.
Come back to us, said all the trees and birds and animals in the forest. She waved and plucked a yellow kingcup to remember them by.
The little girl grew and took her promise seriously. She did what she could to speak up for the forest and the things that lived there. The cart track disappeared, first beneath the bulldozers and diggers, then the builders came and piled house bricks on the turned earth, and new roads trickled everywhere like black worms.
The little girl grew older and still her voice was heard in meetings and committees and councils. Property developers came to see her.
“But why do you need so much garden?” they asked. “Why does anyone need nearly two acres? That’s valuable building land, that is.”
Her children, then her grandchildren tried to get her to leave the old house.
“I like it here,” she said. “It used to be peaceful.”
Her garden was peaceful and was always filled with birds. Foxes knew they could hide up there when the vermin hunters came round. Stray cats and dogs always found a welcome. But she was tiring. Tiring of the animosity of the neighbours who didn’t like the strays and the foxes, and the drifting leaves from her trees, and because their children liked to play in her garden rather than at home in front of the playstation where it was safe. She was tired of the angry traffic on the road and the feeling that beyond her gate was enemy territory.
One morning, so early only the foxes were about, she decided it was time.
Goodbye, she said to those who could hear.
Goodbye, they replied. We’ll miss you.
She found the road that led to where the track had been and followed its mysterious meandering between garden fences and garage walls until she came to the forest wall of smooth, shiny stone. She knew when she found the place because a wolf’s face smiled at her, straight into her eyes because she was taller now.
Come in and join the dance, the wolf said.
We’ve been waiting for you, said the rose.
And the little girl in her heart skipped over the gnarly, curly roots of the big tree. Beneath a hazel thicket she could see a blue black fox waiting. With a sigh, her heart brimmed over and she smiled through tears. She slipped through the gap in the wall and followed the fox to where the dancing forest stretched on forever and ever.
If you enjoyed this story, you might like to dip into The Green Woman. The first volume is still free, just for today.