Once upon a time and forest
There lived a tree.
A tall silver birch. She was slender and gracious, and her branches were reaching for the sky. But her roots… oh her roots. They were delving deep in the earth, searching for the dark places where the little spirits of the stones are hiding. They are shy, you know. Quite and patient they are, sometimes short and wrinkled because they smile a lot. And from time to time they bring a shiny gem to gift the trees. So our birch was eager to have one of these gems. And she was whispering under the sky her song… long forgotten by men. And one winter morning a beautiful stone in the color of the bright red of blood, was caught in one of the smallest of roots. The birch was excited and slowly but steadily moved her roots in order to make the stone come to the light. Days passed and nights followed and one day just before dawn a lady walked into the woods to be alone and think of the next book she wished to write. She had long flowing hair in the colour of the vivid flames, and bright eyes playful as the sea.
«My goodness», she exclaimed. «A dancing birch». She laughed merrily. And started to sing. Her voice was warm and deep and honest, like the crackling fire of a hearth. And the birch was so happy. Finally a human who could see a tree as it really was. A true dancer of the woods. The lady touched the trunk and the birch felt her pulse and her heart that was full of joy and full of scars. Unseen but yet existing. The tree moved one last time before the first crack of dawn. A ray of sun shined and put fire on the hair of the woman. She bowed her head to the sun and her eyes caught the glimmering red of the stone. The beautiful Ruby that saw the light for the first time. «What is this? A gem», said the woman and picked it. «Is that a gift from a friend of yours?», laughed and bowed to put the gem back to the roots. But the birch with one sudden reaction shed her last three leaves on the head of the lady. The woman thanked the tree and put the Ruby back on the roots. «Three leaves from a birch is three wishes granted», she said. «Thank you». She took the leaves, placed them in her pouch and continued her morning walk. The birch danced a little more in the merry thought that some people could remember the song of the trees.