Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Goodwill is ready
Gramercy Park North is ready
Really Ready
East 20th Street is Ready
and I'm Ready too.

(A short-short Story I have previously Posted)
(Yakovs Magic Feather)
by Michelle Slater

Yakov always listened to the wind. It spoke to him. It spoke to his fox companion, Anatole, as well. One night they thought they heard it say "Come to the forest", so Yakov put on his boots and cap, remembering to fix the magic feather in it's headband. His feather was like a compass--he could 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 sit 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 among themselves the way leaves talk when the wind blows. He held his breath and hid.

They seemed happy. Some were laughing.They hadn't even noticed him, so he walked among them ever so quietly, listening and he learned many things--things about the forests history, things about the movement of stars, what snow felt like to them and  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 so many of 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 saw 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 had become easier in the world and was hardly ever afraid again.

Eventually, he grew into a fine man, and was even rather famous for his stone huts, an excellent builder, well known all over his district. 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. On another full moon night it was, he simply lay down among 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 beautiful spot. If you are still and lucky too, you might hear the trees sing.


Marti said...

Your story is such a treat; to pass by becoming a mound of lichen and moss is a very fine thing. I've always said that when I leave my human form, I want to become compost.

Going into the forest to simply breathe and feel the magic that dwells there and listen to wind song and I did this weekend. We've just spent the weekend with our daughter and her partner up in Taos: woods, forests, crisp air, music from the winds blowing amongst the golden Aspen trees. To me, Taos is one of the most beautiful places in New Mexico. We were treated to an overnight at a very old historic inn and to our chagrin it turned out to be the night of their Halloween party, costumes and live music and I have to say, we stayed, danced and were spirit uplifted much as your story did as well.

jude said...

wasn't ready for that awful attack... called my son to make sure he wasn't on his bike. which he often is down there.

Judy Martin said...

thank you for sharing your ghost story - it was uplifting. xoxo