The Dryad: Part 1 of 2, (maybe 3 tops)
There was a beautiful rare tree in a far away forest. She wasn’t musty and covered in stringy moss, nor bald and stripped of leaves. She was a vibrant dryad. She lived in a community with lots of similar trees. She grew on a river bank where the fish nibbled her roots.
She was taught to love nature and the earth, but it was always the stones that she liked best, most other trees didn’t like them. The older trees complained that the rocks hid in the earth and the trees always stubbed their toes.
One day near the end of summer, when the stream was low and more rocks spoke above the water than below it, she heard their rumblings and whispers. The sand that came in the stream told stories to the rocks. It’s funny, often as things get older and wiser, they seem to get bigger and stronger, like trees, but rocks weren’t like that. The older they grew the smaller they became, refined into small bits of softness that squished between your roots.
The sand told stories of a different kind of forest. It was made out of stone. The dryad was enchanted at the dream of such a place.
“Sand, is that real? The forest of stone.” The dryad said.
The sand whispered and the stones rumbled out in answer, “Of course it is real.”
“Can you tell me how to get there?” The dryad’s roots swelled in the soil and her leaves rustled with hope.
“It’s a perilous journey. The stream goes there every day, but you are not as fast as the stream.”
The dryad cried because she could not see the forest of stone. Soon the autumn rain rose the waters of the stream. The dryad could not hear the stories from the sand. Winter came and chilled her, but she kept warm with dreams of a forest of stone. When winter began to fade, but before spring awakened the forest, the Dryad had a beautiful idea.
One rainy day in the last days of winter she began to pull away from her newest branches, wishing them well in spring, but knowing they would not be the same without her. She pulled away from the older branches that had been so familiar for decades. Finally, she pulled herself away from the trunk, shrinking and condensing as she went. At last she pulled all of herself into a single seed that would drop into the stream and be carried to the forest of stone.
Spring came and the tree’s flowers opened, but the flower that held the dryad held on longer than the other flowers. Giving her a deep hug of parting ways.
Goodbye, old friend. I’ll miss you too. She thought to herself (because she would not be able to speak again until she grew another tree and it grew for at least two and a half decades.
Then the tree opened the flower and dropped the dryad seed onto the surface of the stream.
The water was always cold in early spring, but there was no soil to soften the cold. She shivered on the surface of the water as it began to seep into her skin. She had known that it was a risk, seeds are destroyed so much easier than trees, but it would be worth it if she might get to see the forest of stones.
Water was heavier for her to hold in the little seed, much moreso than in a root. She began to worry that there would be too much water and she might sink. The little dryad seed took a deep breath and tried to keep the water out.
Sorry for the cliffhanger! this story got too big to fit into one post. I need to go take my kiddos somewhere so that's what I got today! See you next week with Part 2! Like, share or leave a comment! ;-* Catch you next week!
If you want to keep reading you can check out some of my other short stories in this series: