08/11/2018

TREE DANCE - a story in 100 words

TREE  DANCE

When the Council declared the old tree was dangerous, the town mourned. Generations had swung from its branches and eaten picnics in its shade.
By popular vote, Hal was selected to carve the remaining trunk, and Running Bear supervised progress from his folding chair.
“Be careful what spirits you awaken, boy – trees have long memories.”
Hal laughed, but when he surveyed his work that evening, shapes had appeared that he didn’t recognize. Shivering, he hurried home.

In the morning there was a track in the grass, as if many feet had danced around the tree all night.
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I had to resist the temptation to write a story about my elder son, who is in the process of carving the trunk of a tree which was felled beside his house. We also have a tree-carving artist who has made woodland creatures to delight the children - and adults - out of felled trees around our village. So much better than reducing a grand old tree to firewood and wood-pulp.
Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers and to J S Brand for this week's photograph.

43 comments:

  1. It's always a shame when something which has been there for generations is deemed dangerous.
    It's even worse when someone awakens something best left undisturbed :-)

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    1. A tree was felled only this week in a garden two doors from ours - I claimed three logs to use as garden seats, I hope the tree doesn't mind!

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  2. Where had those footprints come from, and where did they go? Magical and eerie tale Liz.

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    1. First Nation? Native Americans? Who knows?

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  3. Replies
    1. I think any tree over a certain age must have secrets.

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  4. Perfect take on this wonderful tree and its future.

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  5. Fantastically mystical, love it :-)

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  6. Dear Liz,

    I loved the mystical aspect of this story. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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  7. He was warned to be careful... I liked this, Liz!

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  8. who knows, the track could just be from leafcutter ants displaced when the tree was cut. :)

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    1. I suppose it could, but spirit dancers are much more likely!

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  9. Tree is alive and kicking. May be it remembers Hal's face. So be careful, very careful when you venture out at night.

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    1. Hal will be alright - others felled the tree, he released its soul.

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  10. Eerily good. I wonder whether the spirit dancers were pleased or angry.

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    1. We could always camp out one night and find out?

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  11. This is a delightful little fable. Loved it!

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  12. Maybe Hal should have heeded Running Bear's warning. Chilling tale! I agree, turning trees that are dead into art is a lovely thing to do.

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  13. I wonder if there will be more things than dancing at night... I would keep my door closed and some garlic handy.

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    1. Wouldn't a peace pipe an some tobacco bea better idea?

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  14. Lovely story. And I liked your post-story comments, too.

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  15. Beware the spirits for sure. Having worked with Native Americans for many years, I "know" the belief they have in ancestors and spirits. Nicely captured.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Alicia, your approval means a lot.

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  16. What fun it must be to be around these artists.

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    1. Just watching them at work is enjoyment in itself.

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