My favourite time of year is of course in the spring when it is time for
Apple wassailing to bring good health to the apple trees and to bless them
But I also love Yule, and I wanted to come up with a special present to give
my friends in Temuair. Sadly I am only a peasant girl and what can I give to
such noble Aislings that would be of any use to them. So I sat down and I
thought and I decided that the only thing I could give is a story. So here
it is, a story for all the people I have met in Temuair and who have been so
nice to me, even those I have only met once or twice...
Moonglade and the Yule tree
Moonglade lived in a little wooden shack on the edge of the woods. It was
small but that just made it warmer when the winter came or on colder nights.
This particular night was both cold and winter so Moonglade was very happy to
be safe in the warmth of her little wooden home. She had a small fire
burning and she was arranging some nice driftwood and beautiful pebbles she
had found while beachcombing earlier that day. "There!" she thought "that's
nice, but then maybe it would look more pretty over there?" (Sometimes
Moonglade can be a little indecisive) Eventually she found the most
beautiful arrangement of all and went over to huddle in her blankets and
admire her decorating.
Moonglade smiled to herself and sang a little as the fire crackled.
It was certainly getting colder she thought and it is nearly Yule time,
tomorrow she had better look for a tree for her little shack, so that the
wood spirits could come and share the warmth with her.
The next morning she went out into the woods, keeping a close eye out for
dangerous beasties that might lurk in there as she searched high and low for
a little tree that she might bring into her home, but it seemed Moonglade
had been taking care of the trees too much for they all seemed quite big and
strong and certainly far too big to fit in Moonglade's little shack which was
already decorated with her things she had found. There were some beautiful
trees but Moonglade feared, that while the WoodSpirits might indeed come in
to her home,
there would be no room left for Moonglade herself! Moonglade sighed, someone
else would have to take care of the WoodSpirits this year, and she would
have to be all alone in her shack. She felt very sad because it would not be
the same without a Yule tree but it was too dangerous to venture deep into
the woods to look for one.
Well I hope you won't think too badly of Moonglade, sometimes her ways can
be a little strange, but one of the things that Moonglade would do was to
wander up to the more noble housing of Mileth and Abel and to look amongst
the rubbish there to see what she might find.
Sometimes she would find something quite special, and she always found it
amazing the things that people would throw away! Often she would find
perfectly good things in amongst the rubbish, but today was not one of those
days. The best she found was a big pot, but it had quite a crack in it and
Moonglade was not the least bit sure what she would put in it! It would not
hold water, that was for sure. Still it would be better after Yule she
thought, when people rearranged their homes for the new year. Moonglade
searched and searched but found little else, she was definitely having a bad
day. She sat down amongst the rubbish and cried a little and then pulled
herself together and got up to go home.
As she turned around to go, something seemed to sparkle out of the corner of
her eye. She rubbed her eyes to make sure there were no tears left sparkling
in the sunlight, there it was again, under a pile of rubbish. She hadn't
looked through that particular pile because it looked so messy and yukky and
like there couldn't possible be anything of value in it. She found the thing
that had been sparkling and pulled it out from beneath the rubble. What a
strange thing it was! She cleaned it up a bit. It looked just like it used
to be a tree, except that it was made from dead wood and held together by
some strange magic. It had little ornate carvings on it, definitely magical
stuff, thought Moonglade. Moonglade liked magical stuff.
What a strange thing, a pretend tree made from bits of wood and all held
together with magic. Who would want such a thing, surely the wood spirits
would not come and stay within it's branches? And surely a real tree was
magical enough in itself? Really! people were quite obsessed with magical
things she thought. Magic for the sake of magic, when so often you only need
just a little for something. Well whatever secret it had held, it was broken
Still Moonglade liked magic things and she was sure it sparkled when she
wasn't looking at it. She leant it against a fence and admired it. It was
obviously once a really big magical pretend tree thing, and now it was just
a little stumpy thing, all bent and with a bit missing from the top (and a
lot missing from the bottom!). It was a bit of a sorry sight to be honest,
all droopy and bent over. It sparkled slightly and fell to the ground.
Moonglade decided she liked it.
Moonglade got her strange tree thing back home and found a spot for it. It
was good that it was so damaged because it was now just the right size to
fit into her shack. However, try as she might to make it stand up or lean it
against things, it always keeled over in a quite pitiful manner.
"Now if it was a real tree I would plant it in a pot..." Moonglade sighed.
Well maybe that was it. She did have that big old cracked pot, she could
just pretend that it was a real tree and put soil in the pot and plant it
inside it. She filled the pot with soil from outside and even found some
little cones and other tree things to make it look like a real tree (except
she could only find cones from different kinds of trees so it looked even
more strange really).
She planted the tree in its pot and decorated it with her cones and little
treats for the wood spirits and a pentagram for the top of the tree which
helped hide the fact there was some tree missing, well, at least a little
bit. She even hung the little bells in its limbs that chime when the wood
spirits are there, she wanted it to be like the normal Yule tree she would
have this time of year although of course the wood spirits would not come to
such a strange dead pretend tree, especially a broken one.
There it was finished. She was quite sure that most people might think it a
sorry sight, for it was still droopy and very strange, but Moonglade kind of
liked it that way and anyway, there was only Moonglade to see it, so if
Moonglade liked it that was good enough, and Moonglade did like it, it was
her special magical tree.
As the night drew on and things became darker, Moonglade's Yule tree seemed
to glow more and more, perhaps it liked to be in the soil in the pot, it was
still made from tree bits, even if it wasn't a real tree, after all!
The fire burned lower and lower and the wind howled outside, she huddled in
her blankets. Suddenly she realized that with all her tree preparations, she
had completely forgotten to bring some wood in from outside, she opened the
door to go outside and grabbed some twigs, but the wind was so cold and
dramatic, that she was forced back into her shack. She put the twigs back on
the fire and what little wood she had, (except for her Yule log of course).
It was going to be a cold night. Now the wood spirits were sure not to come,
not only was it a strange pretend tree but it was going to be a cold shack
A funny thing happened though, as the tree glowed and sparkled, it seemed
that Moonglade felt warmer and warmer. Surely this is good magic thought
Moonglade. Soon the shack was so warm that Moonglade did not even need her
blanket. She danced and danced around and around the tree thing.
So everyone in Temuair, big or small, had their own Yule celebration in
their own way, even Moonglade... and the winds blew, and the little bells in
a special tree chimed gently and someone was singing softly in a little
shack, near the woods, in the snow.