The Oak Tree
An old oak tree sat in the middle of town, swaying in the breeze. My mother told me it had been there since before the town was built, that it was a sacred tree. Trails of water ran down from the branches, pooling into a pond at its roots. Frogs and salamanders, owls, and squirrels called the tree home. If you listen closely, you can hear the faint chatter of the faeries that lived inside. Little windows and doors, balconies, and gardens spread around the tree. They only come out at night, when everyone was asleep. They brought flowers and honey to the windows of the children, leaving sparkling gifts and treasures for them to find. They never spoke, and avoided humans at all costs, but we know that they are here. We leave bread and milk out for them at night, in the morning it is gone. The Elders of the town say that the faeries are the reason we dream. When you’re tossing and turning in bed, they are the ones that help you rest. The only thing that they ask for in return is peace. Peace and quiet. There is harmony in the town, and the relationship between faeries and humans grows every night.
Lemon grass and catnip grow around the base of the tree. The faeries adore cats. They ride on their backs at night, delivering the sweets to the townspeople. My sister told me that she placed her favourite pendant on a branch of the tree, wished for a kitten, and the next day, there was one, perched on the end of her bed looking at her with big yellow eyes. The faeries are magical creatures, who value respect and tranquility. If anyone disrespected them or insulted them, they would find that their milk had gone sour and their bread rotten. Pillow feathers were replaced with stones and crops dried up. All of the joy of life could be sucked out with one foul word. It is best not to upset them, it is best to live in harmony instead. The tree came first, and it will stay long after the town is gone, forever playing home to faeries. Swaying in the breeze, changing with the seasons. Forever young and beautiful.
Eve Blacker is a 17 year old writer and animal lover.