The Dryad: Part 2 (of 3)
The dryad turned and squirmed and tried to make for the river bank. But how is a dryad seed supposed to swim? She should have asked a fish before she gave up her voice.
A deer came to that stream most mornings to drink; and, this was one such morning.
The deer lowered its head to the stream then lapped up the water. The dryad leaned in the current. With a little luck and all her might, she clung to the fur of its cheek. The deer finished drinking and walked along the stream. Grateful to be safe from the river, the dryad warmed herself in the breezy sun. They travelled like that for a time.
Time and sunshine dried her skin. It was nearly time for her to be in the ground, but she had not yet reached the forest of stone. If she fell into the soil now, it would be many years before she could try again. She needed a faster way to the forest of stone.
Everyone knew that the wind’s favorite dance partner was the river. She grew a spindle of silks, kissed the deer goodbye, and let go to be blown by the wind.
The forest ribboned beneath her; she had never been so far from the soil. Even when she was at her tallest, her roots still snuggled into the soil. She closed her eyes.
The wind found the river as it always will. They danced all the way into the forest of stone. One of them carried something tiny and precious along.
The dryad had never seen anything so strange and beautiful yet frightening as a forest that had no trees. It was nothing like what she expected. She thought it would be massive like mountains, or soft like sand. It was shimmery and frightening like the river had been. Rocks stood taller than trees but more narrow than mountains. They touched the sky. But by far, her favorite parts were the men that most of the rocks kept within them.
She could barely take in the beauty of the forest before the wind found her a patch of soil behind one of the smaller stones. She dropped into the dirt and watched the sun drop down behind the forest. The night did not get quite as dark in this forest. The stones glowed.
Before long, nasty tasting water splashed over her and covered her in darkness. She was buried in soil and it was a terrifying thing. She waited in the soil for what seemed like an old growth’s story. Then she sprouted.
The sun was bright and warm. She looked across the forest made of stone and was delighted at its strangeness. All around her she saw structures like the bastard of a mountain and a tree. It was made of squarish rock that shined brightly. She could barely remember what her forest smelled like, but it didn’t smell like this.
The man from the closest stone came out to where she stood. He pushed a machine that cut the grass that grew all around her. Soon he pushed the machine right over the top of her. The machine passed over her without harm, but it frightened her very much.
The Dryad spent her days watching the sunlight move across the stone. She noticed the people moving from one stone to the next. Some moved like squirrels, others moved like deer. Others moved in a way she found very strange indeed.
The man from her stone returned again and again. Sometimes he cut her, other times he missed. But still, she grew. Eventually, her person decided to build a fence around her. He stopped cutting her down and let her grow. He sat beside her sometimes, sometimes he gave her water.
Day after day he came to enjoy her. He sat in her shade and sang while he leaned against her feet.
One day she sang along.