Tiny stopped to read the words on the poster taped to the trunk of the young oak tree. “Golden Oak Storytime. Before dusk. All beings welcome.”
Tiny’s body filled with sunshine as a smile stretched across her face. “Storytime. My favorite!” She scanned the sky for the sun which looked ready to melt over Treetops. “And it’s happening soon. Come on Penny-dog, let’s tell the others.”
Penny-dog twirled to land in a downward dog and waited for Tiny to clamber onto her back before racing back to the village to share the news.
It wasn’t long before Woodmint, Liesel, Dana Bear, and Mary Margaret arrived at the tree like a cloud of happy bees and joined Tiny and Penny-dog on the soft carpet of pine needles.
The sun’s about to set,” announced Dana-bear as he passed leaf-cups of elderberry cordial around the circle.
“It’s almost time!” squeaked Mary Margaret, dishing out handfuls of toasted cobnuts.
Tiny looked from the tree to the sky and felt the fidgets wriggle through her fingers. As the sun slipped through the trees, a single sunbeam escaped through the branches and opened a window of gold light on the trunk.
“Something is happening,” Tiny gasped, and swiftly took her seat.
The young oak spoke in a quiet rumble. “Welcome friends. Today, I share a poem.” He groaned as though clearing his throat then began.
“Each day we wake and stretch our limbs, bow to the sun, and hum Earth’s hymn,
Dance with the wind, and drink the light, cleanse air by day then dream by night,
Store C02 inside our cores, spread our seeds through flying spores,
Send signals through our leaves and shoots, whisper secrets through our roots,
We heal, give shelter, food, and shade; the silent monarchs of this glade.”
Tiny jumped to her feet, clapping wildly as a wave of joy swelled through her chest. “Oh, that was wonderful, thank you tree!” The others joined her in standing ovation. Suddenly, the sun fell beneath the horizon. The window of light closed, and the tree fell silent.
“Can you hear that?” whispered Woodmint.
They listened to the snores which sounded like wind rustling through leaves.
“I think he’s asleep,” Tiny chuckled, and the friends gathered their things and tiptoed out of the woods, careful not to wake the dreaming tree.