THE FOREST’S LEGENDS
High in the mountains, in a dense forest, away from human eyes the lake with healing water is hidden. These places kept the legends of which birds sang at the dawn and drifted strange dream-vision to all who heard them at the same time. I heard the story of the emergence of a magnificent lake in one of these ghostly dreams.
Once, in the darkest morning time, a bright star fell to the ground. It fell and seemed to be faded. In place of its fall, among scorched trees, a wasteland was formed. And for a long time there grew neither grass nor a blade of grass. But the penetrating wind learned about that quiet place and drove together a flock of white clouds there for the night. Among these playful friend clouds, there was one gloomy cloud.
— She is so strange! — the friends whispered — she could cry, if it is too hard for her!
— Indeed, it is impossible to accumulate emotions all the time — whispered friend clouds but strange cloud was not going to protect herself and kept aside.
It was the night and all was quiet. The morning breeze could lift only light clouds in the sky. Playful and obedient, they rushed afield joyfully and even didn’t care about the fate of sad friend. And the wind rushed to seek and he did not immediately realize that the sad cloud turned into… the quiet forest lake.
— You will not be able to travel with us in the sky! — the wind concerned.
— I want to stay alone. Do not worry! Recently I have failed to fly carelessly and foolishly in the sky and I did not want to cry. So I turned into a lake.
— You are variable! — the wind remarked happily.
— Yes, but my attitude toward you hasn’t changed. Fly to me sometimes, I’ll be waiting!
The wind feasted his eyes with remarkable changes of the cloud and being full of joy, felt such a thirst for adventure that promised the cloud (or rather, not the cloud but the crystal lake) to come back with tales of his long journeys. Once he flew away, all was quiet again. This silence was so solemn and beautiful that even the stones would like to speak to utter their delight, but they didn’t dare to break the silence and they were silent.
Since then, the beautiful and mysterious pond became the heart of fabulous mountain forest. The lake-cloud slept and his dream was clear and clean. It was so unusual, deep and initially clear that everything became silent next to it. The lake was giving nourishing moisture not only to the residents of the forest, but the magic tree on which wonderful fruit grew. (And about this secret, I will tell a bit later.) So for the unusual lake it became completely normal to help fantasy creatures to quench thirst.
And then, one night when the moon shone everything around with pearl luster that reached the sight of its sad look, the beautiful unicorn reflected on the surface of the lake. He was as if wreathed with silver threads of lunar rays, stars shine and water reflections.
— Good night! — so the unicorn welcomed the fairy forest environment. His voice was so quiet that only those could hear it which had clear intentions and peace in the heart.
Suddenly two shining diamonds broke out in the blue depth. It was the eyes of his faithful friend, eagle owl Yarok.
— Uh-hu! — forest keeper Yarok responded who bore a night watch. — We welcome you, MirrEl!
Yarok came down to a tree branch like a quiet shadow to be closer to the friend that appeared so rarely in the forest. They were silent as only true friends could be. They felt the same when they were looking at usual things and both enjoyed such a tacit understanding.
And the night was fabulously fantastic! It opened its secret knowledge of the infinity for those who could respect it. The sky was like a thin shining cloth in the hands of a good Storyteller that covered a long-awaited surprise with it. Everything was the evidence of the appearance of a miracle, even more than the surprising emergence of the lake. But no one knew what would really happen.
Big dreams of tiny inhabitants
The morning of a new day was clear and cloudless. Unattractive in appearance nightingales were the first who sang praise to it. But one more voice sounded in their party. They would be so happy to hear their fellow mockingbird in the morning! After returning from long trips, he always brought the melodies of splendid, unusual and oddish songs with him that tell about unseen birds.
The eagle owl Yarok nested in that predawn time as usual preparing for a nap but even he listened to the traveller’s stories with interest who returned to his native forest. Rather, not stories but songs. A mockingbird was called Khahai and he was the best singer of the forest after nightingales, of course.
It was the perfect start of the day. The forest was filling with sun rays, joy and chirping of other small birds. Khahai was singing as if no typical day had been beginning but some great holiday. It was rumoured that in one weird language from a far country his name actually meant «holiday».
Khahai was choosing the highest branches of the magic tree. Two little mice were running around the roots of the tree that amazing songs were sounding from the top of it. They were squeaking and jumping from the joy and their Mother-mouse whispered softly:
— Hush-Hush! Do not lose your vigilance! There is every reason for mice to be afraid even at the roots of the magic tree.
— Mo-ther, are you now about the eagle owl Yarok? I know that for mice there are no enemy more terrible than owls and eagle owls.
— No, our wisest guard Yarok is not frightening for us — the Mother-mouse explained calmly. — He is just like MirrEl does not eat ordinary food because he was eating fruit of magic tree!
— Mother, tell us about the magical fruit! How do we get them? — younger daughter-mouse began to squeak eagerly.
— Yes, it would be nice to try them and do not waste time looking for food — the mouse mumbled smiling.
— And what would you like to spend time on? — the Mother-mouse asked.
— I do not know yet…
— Who do we have to fear then? — mouse-baby didn’t restrain.
— I will tell you everything! Now let’s gather some more dried leaves and seeds! Perhaps we are lucky and we will find the fallen seed or leaf from magic tree.
— What are they? — baby asked.
— The most unusual — the Mother-mouse smiled. — Let us run home and I will tell you all about the magic tree before going to bed.
On the way home and a mouse hole was a bit far from the magic tree mice were always naughty. But today the Mother-mouse was particularly silent and pensive. She loved the songs of distant countries so much that she always sang Khahai’s new tunes. She was mentally practicing musical phrases while she was drawing the pictures where she sang. Oh, how great it is — to be free like a bird! Fly! Her dream was to fly and sing. The thought of it gave her extraordinary delight but instead she somehow became a little uncomfortable. Somehow it was scary for her to share her feelings and dreams with someone and she hid it from everyone — from Khahai and nightingales, from mice and even from herself. But when the Mother-mouse looked at her babies, all obscurities were gone and her heart was filled with cheerful melody that was consonant with the little mice’s laughter.
Baby-mouse Dili was jumping carelessly with joy because she also loved songs but she liked all sorts of secrets even more. Especially when it was about treasures or at least such tasty things as sweet fruit. But the secret of the magic tree contained both treasures and sweets! If only it can be done that the mouse pantry were filled with sweet nuts from those distant countries, from where Khahai brought his songs then Baby-mouse would also sing with joy. So, little Dili’s dreams were about sweets and other treasures that could be found in the pantries of the palace as Khahai sang.
And what did baby Tili dream about? He was very strange and his dreams were strange too. When the baby was admiring the full moon, he dreamed of cheese planet where it could be lived in. And it was not just about food! He dreamed of his planet — the own world where a special order could always rule. The aroma of yellow cheese always filled him with joy but after that he wanted to despond a little. The fact was that he felt sad even from food’s excess when there was no one to treat with it. So, he also dreamed of a friend or even a friendly company. And he would like to become big and fearless.
So, in dreams and thoughts, mouse family came home to a cozy hole which covered with dry grass. The rest of the Mother-mouse’s day passed in household chores and in the evening she barely managed to put mice in the bed only providing that she finally told them about the magic tree. Those moments were quiet, the most beautiful and a true happiness for the Mother-mouse.
The story of the Mother-mouse
— When I was little and was unconsciously listening to the songs of different birds then I made an amazing discovery for myself. Night birds and those who sing during the day often never meet but they sometimes sing about the same events as if they continue telling a story. Like one by one they reveal fragments of a picture. So it was with a song about the tree. Birds which flew with the wind of change began singing it. The wind really liked our forest lake which, according to legend, once flew with him in the sky.
— How can the lake fly? — Dili asked in surprise.
— Lake is a water and the water can fly if it is converted to steam and gathers together in the cloud — the Mother- mouse explained calmly. — This cloud was so great and gloomy that closed the sun and frightened everybody. When it became a lake then it got an ability to reflect the night sky. So a cloud-lake was filled with the healing power and gave hope to all who surrounded it. Once the wind that came back from distant travels, gave her a seed, from which our magic tree had grown. The seed was tiny and the tree grew huge and now it always bears fruit.
— Why didn’t I see any fruit? — Dili asked.
— Because the tree gives fruit to someone who is ready for the challenge from the wind changes.
— What challenge?
— The challenge to follow your dream!
— Does a dream have footprints? Maybe, sweet scent leads to the dream?
— Maybe the sign of your dream is just the same. No one knows it. However, the fruit of the magic tree acts the way that you begin to see the tracks that will lead you to your dream. In addition, the one that combines your heart with heaven, with the wildest dream!
— The wildest dream is already in my heart.
— Then, keep it as the dearest in your life! Let you dream about that wonderful time when this dream will become a reality.
— Mo-ther, mo-ther, and what is this seed of the magic tree? — the mouse remembered.
— It looks like a toughie but it is very small. And the symbol of the heart can be seen on it. The birds were singing so. The nutshell has the ability to change in anything that you want! This charming seed gives a solid self-confidence in yourself and a faith in your dreams that can destroy the stone wall.
— How could it be that a huge tree had grown from such a small seed? — the mouse asked again. — Can I grow and become big too, if I find such a seed? — the mouse was very concerned about this question.
— You will be able to become big if you learn to do good things — the Mother-mouse was trying to calm down her son and gently looked into his eyes.
— And when will it happen?
— Everything in its own time. By the way, now it’s high time to sleep. Your time will come for good great deeds.
«Time… What is time? It constantly moves in a given pace. Sometimes it seems that it flows like a river of wisdom, and sometimes vice versa — it stood, especially when you are waiting for something, some gift. For example, it is not possible to borrow or return the time but you can waste it ridiculously and this is the biggest loss. Time is not a figure but a certain sequence of events in motion. Who is the master of the time? And what does the phrase «Everything in its own time, mean» like mother said? "- the strange mouse fell asleep with such thoughts.
The little forester Tili, who was always different from ordinary mice which lived nearby, asked too deep questions. The curious mouse thought that the one who truly understood him was yellow moon that looked like a cheese. Especially at that time when the moon was rising again in the sky and changed its colour from orange to silver and the forest was getting more mysterious.
A wonderful dance
A white unicorn MirrEl seemed silver in the moonlight. His silent figure, his power and greatness, beauty and beauteousness made him the most amazing of all fantasy creatures. The appearance of a unicorn was always surprising. Both MirrEl and his friend Yarok, kept an eye on the manner, the laws and the natural phenomena. Both served faithfully and devotedly to others, although they were the wisest among these mountains. They understood every whisper of the forest and all halftones of the sky symbols well.
And suddenly both felt that something should have happened now. Perhaps that idea occurred because of the fact that birds suddenly became silent, or perhaps because of dump cold air and fog that unexpectedly shielded the part of the lake.
— I think we have an uninvited guest — Yarok grumbled and his feathers bristled.
— Yes, it seems that — MirrEl said quietly. — The cold fog is loyal companion of Sytr-Akhr *.
— I would not like to deal with this evil sorcerer. He’d better sit on his swamps!
— Who is hiding behind this fog? Whoever it is, come out! — MirrEl said powerfully and at the same time quietly.
The watchful eagle owl peered intensely into the fog for a few seconds trying to identify the intruder according to the characteristic contours but only the black water could be seen. The crystal water’s azure became blue-black under the willow plant. Suddenly it was covered with small ripples and the reflection became completely blurred. Yarok strained like a warrior who is ready to throw himself into battle with an enemy. A moment later a black swan came out of the fog that disarmed the guard with her grandeur and pompousness.
— Wow! — it was the one thing that Yarok could only breathe in amazement.
His eyes were perfectly round and swan’s amazing dance reflected in them like in a mirror. The circle patterns spread on the surface of the lake that looked like the black lace. She approached slowly and her dance was like precise movements of the brush in the hands of an artist who paints in watercolours. But the artist could display only a moment but the swan was like a soft melody… Can the words describe a dance?! It is beyond the words!
— Who are you? Tell us your name — MirrEl broke the silence gently.
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