The little bird in Tiny’s heart had been asleep for days. Tiny pursed her lips and frowned, trying to remember the reason why. Sometime when her heart-bird wept and curled up into a ball to sleep, it was because the corners of Miss Rose’s mouth drooped, or Woodmint was anxious about his winter wood-pile. But neither of those things felt right.

She gave her heart-cage a gentle rat-a-tat-tat. Tiny felt a stirring. She knocked louder. “Are you ok in there? Remember I love you.” The bird rolled over and turned its back. Tiny sighed. She would need some stronger medicine. She slipped through the window, ducked under the garden gate, and headed for the Wild Briar Wood.

As she passed each maple, oak, and silver birch, she bowed her head and waved. And in return, they swayed and swooshed and rustled their leaves, dusting the air with their silvery tree mist. Sunbeams squeezed through twisted limbs to light her path, and the air was sweet with the taste of birdsong. But still her heart-bird slept.

As she neared the Silent Creek, Tiny spotted an unfamiliar tree. It had thin, spidery branches that flowed like a waterfall of tears. She remembered its name from Miss Rose’s Book of Trees. It was called the Weeping Willow.
Tiny’s eyes welled in an instant. “Oh, poor tree! You’re upset!” she cried, and sat cross-legged against its trunk, placing her small hands upon its roots.
Soon she felt a prickle, and her palms grew warm. Tiny whipped around to see the branches flutter, then shake. She gasped as the slender limbs lifted from the earth with grace—weaving and twisting and carving the air as though a conductor of a great forest orchestra. Finally they curled around her small body, to create a perfect nest.  

Tiny flushed with gratitude. She lay in the soft warm bed, and watched the clouds drift over Treetops. In the silence of the moment, she could hear a single sound, a muffled rat-a-tat-tat. She smiled, sat up, and placed her hand across her chest. Her heart-bird was finally awake.

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