The Trees Gift
A girl's journey into the words bringing her to money, and a mysterious little black book.
It wasn’t out of the ordinary for me to explore the woods by myself. There were thousands of trees and lots to discover behind my house. It was just after dinner when I ran past my parents with my backpack and flashlight running towards the woods. “Please be careful, sweetie!” My mother hollered as the back porch screen door slammed. I had been doing this for as long as I can remember, indulging myself into the world’s creations, discovering the untouched, and making the unknown known. The woods were calm, musky, and damp. My favourite thing.
Almost every day, I found something new to explore. The woods seemed endless. With each turn, there was a new path, which created some of my most amazing memories. It was something I liked doing alone, sometimes my father would join me as he likes hikes, but he would let me trail off and find my way back to him. I was always good at finding my way back home. I never had to leave a trail or anything of the sort because the wind was different the closer I got to home.
In the woods, you need to have practice and patience. Some of the best things were finding gifts the woods left out for me. I had a collection of items stored in a box under my bed of everything I’ve found worth keeping. Today I decided to head west of my home, to a path that was unknown to me. It was the end of summer around mid-september and dark came earlier, but my parents never worried about me. They always knew I’d be home safely with new stories to tell them. My mother’s favourite stories were the whispering trees. If you sat quietly and let the roots and the leaves of the trees dance and shake in the wind, they told you a story of their past. Which always helped me navigate my way through the woods, steering clear of any danger. The trees were my guides, my protectors.
As I made my way down a new path, I crunched leaves and twigs under my boots, hoping to find something new today. As I hummed a melody quietly, I held onto branches as I was climbing on unsteady rocks. I noticed something in a very lonely white oak tree. The trees in the woods were big, tall, and powerful. This tree was the complete opposite. Carefully making my way over, the closer I got, the better I could make out what was being held up by the tree’s arms.
It was a small plastic case. I grabbed it and nestled myself against the tree, crossing my fingers that inside would be something worthwhile. My jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There inside this plastic case was money rolled up, tied with elastic bands. “What do I do?” I asked myself. I sat there a few extra moments, trying to take in what I just discovered. It was a back and forth game of turning in the money to the police or keep it for my family and me. My best option right now was to go home and sleep on the thought, and hopefully, a new day would shed some light on my situation. After securely putting the case into my backpack, I switched on my flashlight as it was now dark and made my way home, carefully but quickly.
I reached home in no longer than twenty minutes and then made my way inside. The house was quiet. My father was sitting by the fire, going over his work, my mother was sewing in the back room, and my older brother was not home yet. The quietness in the house made it easier to get into my room and decide what to do with my new findings. I tossed my backpack onto my bed then quickly unzipped it, eager to find out how much money there was. Counting the money took me quite some time, but it started to rain outside and the trees howled with the wind making me feel calm, making the time move faster.
All over again, shock and amazement ran through my body. There was twenty thousand dollars altogether in the small plastic case. “I have to return this,” I mumbled to myself, reaching for my backpack. Before I could put the case back inside, I noticed something at the bottom of my bag that was not there before. “Huh?” I questioned.
It was a little black book. I took it out, feeling its smoothly textured cover. I opened it, not understanding where it came from, but came to see it was completely blank. “Odd,” I said to myself but decided to keep it. I threw it onto my desk and the book seemed to open itself. My head snapped towards its direction as the winds grew strong, causing the pages to turn vigorously. Suddenly, the wind stopped and so did the pages. Taken back by this, I hesitantly leaned towards my desk, looking at the book. “It’s yours.” the once blank book now had writing on it. My fear, suspicion, and curiosity grew. With the minute it took to question what I just witnessed, the winds picked up again.
The trees howled, almost screaming. I did not take my eyes off the little black mysterious book that stood still amongst everything. The pages did not turn and the book didn't move in the slightest. The words began to vanish right before my eyes, making the page clear again. “Gift from the trees.” it wrote. My heart raced but I began to feel at ease. The trees protected me. They guided me. I couldn’t help but smile as the sound of the wind played a melody I hummed earlier in the woods.