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First Insight

Life is Just a Game

First Insight

"A deep rumbling sound emanated from the tree and the leaves shook, it was the tree laughing, “Of course trees can talk.”

Sonya suddenly sat up, she was certain she was no longer dreaming. Goose pimples were slowly creeping up her spine.

She surveyed the trunk of the tree for some time, not daring to breathe. The willow tree, understanding her curiosity, allowed her to peer at him.

He drew himself up tall and majestic against the bright blue sky and swirled his cloak of branches around Sonya, saying nothing.

Eventually, slowly and deliberately, scrutinising the tree as she spoke, Sonya said, “I want to go to France.”

“But your mother has told you that she has no money and that is true.”

The voice, strong and resonant, was most insistent. Sonya sprang up & looked around, breathing loudly & feeling nervous.

She was now wide awake. Where was the voice coming from? There was definitely a voice from somewhere. Somebody was talking to her and it wasn’t someone inside her head.

“Why don’t you want to stay here with the brook?” The voice seemed to taunt her echoing her dream.

“But that’s not France,” Sonya challenged disgustedly.

“What about me?”

Sonya froze, “What about you? Who are you? Where are you? What are you?” she turned slowly as she spoke grabbing hold of a branch for comfort, very afraid of what she might find. Was she really not dreaming?

“I’m here,” replied the gentle voice, “you’re looking at me, you’re touching me.”

Sonya looked at her hands; she noticed that both her hands were tightly clutching a slender branch of the willow tree. She stared at the leaves within her grasp, all crushed, and she slowly took in the long supple branch as her eyes followed its length to the towering trunk, and up to the sky beyond. She gazed around her, and noticed Willowby’s cloak of leaves that shrouded her from the outside world. She was overcome by the sheer presence she felt encompassing her. Her spine prickled with excitement and she released the branches from her grasp.

“You could play with me!” The deep friendly voice resonated through her.

She did not reply but looked intently at the tree. Suddenly she gasped with delight. For a brief second the willow revealed his face to her.

“I can see your face, and I never knew that trees could talk.”

A deep rumbling sound emanated from the tree and the leaves shook, it was the tree laughing.

“Of course trees can talk, but hardly anyone ever listens.” As the quietly toned words drifted over the breeze to Sonya, she thought she detected a sad sigh sweeping through the willow’s boughs.

Deeply moved Sonya responded, “Would you like me to listen to you?”

“But you want to go to France.”

“Yes, but then if mummy really can’t afford it…”

“Then you could stay here and keep me company.”

The same excited goose pimples raced up and down Sonya’s spine. Suddenly the idea of not going away seemed strangely intriguing. Certainly, none of her friends going to France had a real magical tree for a friend. She felt very special.

“I’d like you to be my friend,” continued the tree, “I know all about you, I’ve watched you growing up, playing around me for years, and I want to be your friend.”

“Oh,” Sonya giggled a little shyly as she remembered all the times she had spent dancing and prancing in and out of the branches, thinking she was completely alone and unobserved. She hopped from one foot to the other and then declared, “Yes Willowby, I would like to be friends, too. Willowby, is that your name?” She shook her head in disbelief as she heard the words tumble out of her; she still could not quite believe what was actually happening.

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