FWF prompt: http://kellieelmore.com/2014/10/24/fwf-free-write-friday-fable-prompt/
“Well, little one,” said a Tree to a Reed that was growing at its foot, “why do you not plant your feet deeply in the ground, and raise your head boldly in the air as I do?”
“I am contented with my lot,” said the Reed. “I may not be so grand, but I think I am safer.”
“Safe!” sneered the Tree. “Who shall pluck me up by the roots or bow my head to the ground?” But it soon had to repent of its boasting, for a hurricane arose which tore it up from its roots, and cast it a useless log on the ground, while the little Reed,
bending to the force of the wind, soon stood upright again when the storm had passed over.
Moral of Aesops Fable: Obscurity often brings safety
Image: Kristy Mitchell Fairy tale prompt: http://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/fairytale-prompt-31/
Obscuranti believed that hiding out in the roots of the willow tree was the safest place in the whole wide world. She had the evidence to prove it. For millennia she’d clung there – through floods and pouring rain, through droughts, extreme weather events and such unpredictable occurrences such as the construction of the housing estate on the river flats and the building of the six lane freeway overpass just a stone’s throw up the river.
Through these events and more she wrapped her legs tighter around the tree roots and hung on for dear life- so inoffensive and quiet even the willow tree above had forgotten she was there. To its own detriment it might be added for what is a tree without its protective spirit – nothing more than a collection of wood and leaves – a sad drooping excuse for a tree – a poor bedraggled specimen with no vitality at all – a very sad specimen indeed.
People were beginning to notice. They wrote letters to the Council. ‘That tree,’ they said, ‘that willow tree down near the overpass, it’s a disgrace – an eyesore. It should be gotten rid of.’ The Council Tree Inspector had been down to take a look and he had to agree. The thing was ugly, nearly dead. Perhaps it was time to fill out the forms for tree removal in triplicate. It would cause an outcry of course, tree removal always did but there seemed no other course of action to take.
In due course and with due process events proceeded to proceed. In time, the imminent removal of the tree hit the front page of the local paper. People, not the ones who’d first written to Council but another bunch – the tree lovers – banded together and formed an action group. They sought second and third opinions on the health of the tree. Experts were found who felt the tree could be saved – what it would take was a massive injection of love.
The call went out – If you love trees come – come now – there’s a tree that needs saving. Tree lovers from across the nation heeded the call. Even international tree lovers arrived. A camp was set up and people took it in turns to hug the tree and whisper loving words into the leaves. Deep down below Obscuranti stirred. She had felt the illness in her tree but had been powerless to help it. Just as her tree had withered, so had she. Now she felt the love pouring down the trunk into the roots and from there into her very being.
Slowly Obscuranti grew stronger. That was what she’d needed all along. Love. All those droughts and flooding rains, the building of the housing estate with the hammering and the noise of excavators and that ugly Freeway Overpass – it had all depressed her. Her urge to hide from the ugliness and the violence of life on earth had been overwhelming.
Now, as the tree lovers poured the pure love in their hearts into the tree Obscuranti heard the voice of her Over Soul: ‘You must find the strength to show yourself Obscuranti,’it whispered. ‘You have a job to do. You have been entrusted with the sacred duty to care and protect this tree. To do that you must be brave. You must show the world your beauty. Life on Earth isn’t about staying safe – it’s about being true to yourself – it’s about fulfilling your potential.’
Obscuranti listened. The words were true she knew. It was her sacred duty to live and to live well. Letting go of the roots she shapeshifted into a beautiful white dove. ‘Look,’ said the tree lovers. ‘It’s the dove of peace and of hope.’ They raised their eyes in wonder as the dove flittered around the tree and alighted on the top branch. The tree responded with a shiver of joy – new green shoots appeared on the topmost branches then spread down through the tree in a curtain of beauty that veiled the hard edges of the housing estate and gave it a lived in, homely atmosphere. Children put aside their iPads and came out to play. Husbands pulled barbeques out of garages and phoned the relies to come over. Even the in-laws were invited. Wives emerged from their work stations and their kitchens. They put aside their schedules and their duties and laughed with their neighbours. In the background the freeway overpass mellowed and took on the ambiance of a graceful Japanese bridge. The tree lovers hugged each other and another dove, a male this time, flew down to join Obscuranti. ‘I’m so glad you decided to show yourself,’ he tweeted. ‘You are my one true love.’
Obscuranti’s white feathers glowed. ‘I think I’ll change my name,’ she thought.
Moral: Being obscure and staying safe isn’t always the best course of action.