Thursday, October 31, 2013


Story by Michelle Slater

Young Yakov always listened to the wind.  It spoke to him.  It spoke
to his friend Anatole the fox as well.  One night he thought he heard it
say "come to the forest", so he put on his boots and cap, remembering
to fix the magic feather in it's headband.  His feather was like a compass.
He could always count on it to turn him in the right direction if he got lost.
Shutting the door, and buttoning the latch he'd made from rope and wood
so it wouldn't blow open while he was gone, he headed off.  Anatole
walked a little way along side him, but then circled back to keep watch.
Feather was pointing toward the ghost glen, a place he never
went, since it was supposed to contain the spirits of all the trees
that were cut down for wood.  He felt a bit afraid.  Anatole had
told him that on full moon nights the ghost trees were friendly,
and it was a full moon night. Despite his fear, he set his feet on
the path again, and just kept going until he found them.....tall
shimmering things, they were, and talking amongst themselves
the way leaves talk when the wind blows.  He hid.
They seemed happy. Some were laughing. They hadn't even
notice him, so he walked amongst them, ever so quietly.
listening, and he learned many things--things about history, and
things about the movement of stars, and what snow felt like to
them, that their roots connect, and that they are one family that
stretches around the earth underground, but most important of
all, he learned that they did not hate the men who had cut them
down, that they understood why, and had forgiven them, that
each of them had left seeds to grow as soon as they'd heard the
ax fall that very first time.  

Just before dawn, they grew silent, as  one by one birds, and other
forest creatures woke..  With the sun rising, Yakov returned to his hut.
Then, although  he could barely keep his eyes open, he told Anatole
everything he had seen and heard. The little fox was very content
when they  curled into bed together.

From that day on Yakov was changed in the most wonderful way.
He became easier in the world, and  was hardly ever afraid again.
Eventually, he grew into a fine man, and became rather famous for
his  beautiful stone huts, an excellent builder, well known all over his

He visited the ghost trees often with Anatole, and when he was a
very, very old man, that's where he went to die, into the ghost glen.
It was on another full moon night, he simply lay down amongst them,
and fell into a deep sleep, from which he never woke. Moss and lichen
grew over the spot forming a huge mound.  You can see it there still.  It's a  
peacefull spot.  And, if you are lucky, you will hear the trees sing.

Inspired by Mo Boyles wonderful cloth work and posted with it here on 9.24.2912



Anonymous said...

this is the most wonderful story.
thank you. i will read it to my grandson when he is here.

yvette said...

singing trees...o yes!

yakov...a beautiful name

Velma Bolyard said...

a wonderful little story to go to work with me. thank you!