Susanna Hill’s holiday contest has arrived–the festivities may officially begin! Complete rules are here but the gist is that it cannot exceed 250 words (mine’s at 243, whew!) and must have an act of heroism. Mine is a quiet sort of heroism, so we’ll see if it works. It’s my love letter to old-growth forests, the sacred Earth, and Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree which I’m unable to read without tears.
Thank you, Ms. Hill, for hosting these contests that exercise our writing muscles.
I hope y’all enjoy!
In a deep forest, the wind whispered adventures that made a little oak tremble with excitement.
Little Oak wanted a big adventure too. But his roots went deep into the earth.
One night a storm blew in on the daring wind.
Lightning struck the tallest tree. Squirrels fled to Little Oak’s branches.
“You’re so little that we should be safe here,” chittered one.
“I’m glad my smallness is good for something,” said Little Oak.
“This is a forest,” the squirrel reminded him. “Everything has a purpose.”
The next morning sunlight streamed where the other tree once stood.
“This could be my adventure!” Little Oak reached his limbs as high as he could.
Time wheeled by. Forest creatures used his growing branches for shelter. Gathered his acorns for food. Collected his leaves for warmth.
Oak knew that he would never have the adventures he had dreamed of.
“I hear something,” Squirrel whispered to Oak one day.
But Oak had stopped looking for adventure.
A child paused in front of Oak. “This is the one.”
“Good choice for our Yule log,” the father said.
“It needs an adventure,” the child whispered.
Startled, Oak’s limbs twitched and snow fell on the child’s head. The giggles sent joy through his bark.
“I have a purpose now” said Oak. “To be a light on cold, dark nights.”
“Oh, Oak. You’ve always had a purpose. You give so much for so many.”
What a grand adventure, thought Oak.