Yule cards and a winter story
My yule/Christmas cards inspired me to write this story! Gather round and enjoy this magical Yuletide tale.
The evenings were drawing in and the whispers said that there was a hard winter coming. It was hard to believe after the lazy summer, but fox could sense these things too and knew it to be true.
Blazing red and orange fox took the forest in search of company and food and instead found something that was neither and both at the same time. Fox snuffled round it because it looked familiar - after all it bore her colours - all red and white and mysterious.
With one decisive nip at its base, fox took the mushroom back to its den.
Feeling tired the fox snuggled down next to its find and dreamed big dreams. There was a storm coming and within the centre of a clearing was a fire that glowed unaffected by the winds that raged around it.
Fox moved closer to the fire and could then see the wind was made of horses and they raced around the forest with a strange magic. Their hooves dropping balls that glowed and formed roots that flowed and connected with each other.
‘Something is coming.’ The horses whispered and the sound of their hooves grew louder and their whispering turned to a shout.
Fox woke up startled and confused to see an owl flapping its wings just above him, talons outstretched, reaching for the mushroom.
‘This is not for you.’ Said Owl and he flew off clutching the mushroom.
Owl thought he was wise because he thought he saw all with his big round eyes. After all, he could fly and he watched everything that happened in the forest.
High above the trees owl flew silently with the hunters moon shining brightly above.
Down on the ground Hare was watching the moon and calling to herself the silvery energy of the night.
She liked to talk to the moon and occasionally the moon told her secrets.
Of course all the other creatures thought she was crazy, but she knew what she knew and wouldn’t have it any other way.
The moon actually did speak to the hare and on this occasion it said ‘run!’ This spooked hare so much however that instead of running she twitched and jumped high into the sky, in turn surprising Owl, who dropped his stolen goods.
Deer felt unusually drawn to a village and in particular to a young girl who left out little morsels of food and who talked to the plants and fae spirits.
The girl lived on the edge of the forest and her garden was colourful and rich. She would sing in such a way that the deer felt entranced in spite of herself and often ended closer than she intended.
Deer was just enjoying the last bits of a particularly lovely song when the girl’s father broke the spell and called her in for dinner.
Deer ran for her life. She didn’t like loud noises and so she bolted for what seemed like forever until she came to a clearing with an unexpected gathering of animals who seemed to be in the middle of an argument.
‘It’s mine!’ Said fox who had followed the owl.
‘It’s mine!’ Said Hare and by way of reasoning said ‘The moon told me so!’
‘Crazy hare and crazy fox!’ Said the owl. ‘I simply dropped it, but by rights all knowledge belongs to me!’
And then they all fell silent because something was coming and it was something large.
They saw the light before they saw the animal. So white was the bear that it reflected the moon and deer dropped her head in a reverent curtsey.
The others looked on astonished and were about to continue their argument when the bear roared at them.
‘You would dare continue your petty bickering in front of your king!’ Said the bear forcefully.
Owl fluttered a little uncomfortably and hare twitched as though considering running away.
Fox was braver than the rest and said ‘Apologies your majesty - we did not expect your company tonight.’
Bear nodded. You are all here because I have summoned you and it is time that you saw clearly.
Bear took the mushroom and divided it into five equal parts.
‘Eat!’ He said and they all ate not wanting to upset the bear king further.
One by one they sank sleepily to the ground and then something happened that not even Owl’s usually keen eyes would have seen.
Their spirits rose from their bodies in silvery light and they stretched into whatever form their mind wanted.
Hare sprouted wings and antlers and somersaulted gleefully in the air. Fox blazed like a shimmering fire and whooshed around them all while deer pranced gently creating flowers and mushrooms in her path.
It was a magical gathering and they all danced together creating a dream of light that went beyond the clearing and into the night.
In the morning the young girl that had entranced the deer awoke to find her garden transformed by a crystalline frost. She explored with delight the shapes and whiteness that turned everything pure and fresh.
There was one thing however that caught her eye, so bright and red in a landscape of white.
Cautiously she picked it up and sang to it as it began to sing to her and told her the story of a fox, an owl, a hare, a deer and a bear.