The following is a small excerpt from an unnamed story that I am currently working on! This particular section is very much inspired by the works of Hans Christen Andersen, the fairy tale writer who wrote the Little Mermaid, the Snow Queen, the Ugly Duckling and many more.
“I used to go there with my brother a lot and we would make up stories for why the fire lilies only appeared in that one pond and no where else, to our knowledge anyway.”
“Do tell me the story!” Monarda chirped, a half smile spread across her face.
Soil smiled too, as he thought back to his younger days with his older brother, “Okay, So once upon a time there stood a willow tree in the forest and she stood alone and apart from the rest of the trees. For she was the only willow tree for miles. The other trees would laugh at her and call her names, for she was different from her tall proud brothers. The trees would comment on her slouching posture and mock her for the way her branches drooped and bent.
She was very sad, until a blue breasted twin tail rested upon her bark one day. “Why are you so sad?” The twin tail asked.
“The other trees keep calling me names for I am not like them. I am hunched and bent over and ugly.”
“You are not ugly!” The twin tail exclaimed, “Why I think you’re the most splendid tree in all of the forest.”
“You think so?!” The willow glowed with glee.
“Of course. I see a million trees like the ones that pick on you, but I only see a handful of willows like yourself. You are as beautiful and as precious as any shining gem stone.”
The willow and the twin tail became the closest of friends and spent the entirety of the summer together. However the leaves of the forest began to turn gold and bronze , and the twin tail had some heartbreaking news to tell the lonely willow.
“My friend, it hurts me to say this. But we must part.” The twin tail sung sorrowfully.
“Why?! Why must you go?!” The willow replied, sad that maybe the twin tail had grown tired of her company.
“This forests golden period is setting in, and it signals the coming of the icy winds and snow. If I stay here I shall surely die, for there will be no food for me to eat, and no shelter warm enough to protect me from the ice’s bite. I must depart to warmer lands till the spring rolls round again.”
“I shall see you when the spring comes back though won’t I?” The willow asked sadly.
“I wish that was the case my dear friend, but the woodland is so large and so vast I doubt I would be able to find you again.”
The pair of them wept as they spent their final days together. But on the day that the twin tail was due to leave the willow came up with a plan! “Twin tail!” She cried, “I have devised a way for you to find your way back to me when spring comes round once again.”
The willow tree dipped her branches into the cool pond water beside her, and the twin tail watched as an assortment of small green buds materialised out of the calm pond water.
“In the spring, these lilies will blossom bright yellow and orange, and it shall seem as if the pond is doused in a blanket of fire. This is my signal to you my friend, so we can be reunited when the icy chill as left this land.”
“Thank you my friend,” The twin tail exclaimed, “This is the most precious gift anyone has ever given me. I shall look out for the fire lilies when I return. Goodbye miss Willow.” With that the twin tail took to the skies and flew far away to warmer lands, whilst the willow waited in silence as coldness gripped the forest.
The twin tail would look out for that pond every time spring came back to the forest, and would spend the summer times with his fellow friend the willow tree. He did so till the end of his days. The willow tree looked at her lilies with sadness now that her friend was gone. However she decided to keep beautiful little flowers, as an ever lasting memory of their eternal friendship.”
“That was a lovely story Soil.” Monarda said cheerfully.
Soil humbly laughed to himself, “Thank you.” He replied graciously.