i hesitated to go with him, a scraggly little fellow wearing what appeared to be miner’s boots and overalls. i wondered where he might have come from. i had been wandering aimlessly, not knowing how long and needed to rest. i looked at my muddy feet and my torn dress and decided to follow him. it was indeed large and roomy inside the tree, almost cozy.
“make yourself comfortable. don’t worry i don’t bite” he said smiling. “go and take your rest. the foot soldiers will pass by any minute now, you’d best hide here with me ’til daylight or else we’ll both get our heads chopped off!”
and with that he turned to his side and fell asleep. i thought to myself i would stay awake, but the silence and the darkness that slowly enveloped the forest made my eyes grow heavy and the exhaustion from wandering the unfamiliar gave me enough reasons to give in to the beckoning of dreams. and without my noticing i fell asleep, completely forgetting the fears that have been bothering me. i woke up quite refreshed. it was already daylight and the little scraggly fellow was nowhere to be found. startled, i searched for him inside the tree but all i could find was a note written on a piece of leaf placed on top of a pile of raspberries.
he wrote “follow the trail behind the willow tree just beyond the spring brook and you’ll get to where you need to be.”
i wasn’t sure whether to take his advise but i had been lost in the forest for some time, so i hungrily devoured the pile of raspberries he left me and went about my way. following his directions i went past the spring brook and upon reaching the willow tree i breathed a sigh of relief. behind it i saw a rocky path and followed the same. my heart raced as i continued to take one step after another and after what seemed like forever i saw that familiar wind vane resting on top of that familiar turret. i ran as fast as i could as tears streamed down my face and reached the old familiar porch steps. i ran to the parlor where mum was taking her afternoon tea, and forgetting my manners i shot straight into her arms sobbing. i don’t know how long i was away, but that didn’t matter…i was home…