The oak leaf swayed in the breeze. It was a pleasant spring breeze and the tree was enjoying the slow back and forth swinging the breeze gave her. She was waiting because it was almost time for her yearly spring visit from the Druids that lived nearby her.
Every spring the Druids gathered and circled her. She was loaded with mistletoe and couldn’t wait for them to harvest it and have it gone. Most of the time she didn’t mind sharing her branches with the mistletoe but when it got heavier and heavier to hold up and when it started to steal too much of her water and food she was glad to be rid of it.
She had heard the Druids talking among themselves at the harvest about the uses they would have for the mistletoe. She was glad it was useful to someone. It didn’t communicate with her much. She heard the Druids talk about using it to help the people who came with breathing problems or problems with their sap.
She was anxious for them to come and take the mistletoe away. It had gotten very, very heavy on one branch and she was afraid it was going to break if they didn’t come soon.
From a distance she heard singing and the chiming of soft bells. They were coming! It was funny because some of the Druids addressed her directly and told her what they were going to do but there were other Druids that seemed to not know that she could see and hear. She wondered if they were blind to all plants and trees or just her. She sensed it made them uncomfortable when she tried to communicate. She wondered why that was so.
The Chief Druid stood before her in his trews and long grey tunic. She normally saw him in his long robes but this day he always came dressed to work.
“Darach, we come to ask you to grant us the pleasure of removing the mistletoe from your branches.”
The oak tree said, “Yes!” with all her might. The Chief Druid nodded and ladders were put all around her and the youngest in the group swarmed up into her branches and started carefully removing the great masses of mistletoe that had grown during the year. She felt lighter and lighter as they removed more and more.
She got so excited she dropped the last of the acorns that were left from last year. One bounced off the head of one of the smallest and youngest druids.
“OW!” The tree started to giggle and then the small Druid did too.
“You can hear me?” The tree asked. This made the tree very excited.
“Yes,” whispered the small Druid. “Can’t everybody?”
“No, only a few can hear me. I think the Chief Druid can but I’m not sure who else can. He is the only one that comes to talk to me besides when you are harvesting. I get lonely sometimes standing here.”
The little Druid moved down the branch she was sitting on toward the trunk. “Is is alright if I come talk to you? I will if you want me to.”
“That would be so nice. I’d really like to hear what you are studying and what you see in the other parts of the forest. Squirrels don’t tell me much and the birds never stay long enough.”
“I’d love to talk to you. Sometimes I get lonely too and the sheep don’t want to listen because they are too busy watching their lambs. Do you know any stories?”
“I know many stories. I can tell you about every thing and everyone that lives in the wood. I can tell you about all the people that have lived around here. I can even tell you were the best mushrooms grow and where the nearest honey tree is if you are brave enough.”
The tree and the little Druid heard her being called from far below. They wanted to begin the ceremony thanking the tree and the earth for providing healing and magic plants.
“I have to go but I’ll visit you soon.” And the little Druid slid down the ladder to the ground and joined the circle of bigger Druids around the tree. They sang the trees favourite song and she swayed with the breeze. That was as close as she could come to dancing with the Druids. The Druids circled around the tree singing and ringing their bells and soon they were on the way back to their village loaded with the mistletoe they had harvested. The last one in line was the little redhaired Druid who waved at the tree shyly when no one was looking.
It was going to be a good summer.