gestation period


The tree appeared to be as pregnant as she. The woman reached out and traced the cracks of its bark with her finger. They felt like the cracks in her composure.

The tree listed a little in the wind. She touched her belly, then the tree’s, half-expecting to feel a kick and see a shadow of movement on the bark.

In a few months, she would have a baby in her arms. She wondered what the tree would have.

a creepy forest tale


The forest looked down the hill at the cabin. A curl of smoke wafted from the chimney.

“Legend has it,” said a sapling in a hushed voice, “that the human who lives there keeps a stack of CORPSES on his porch.”

The fir seedling listened, shivering with a delicious fear. “So that’s why there’s always ghosts coming out of the chimney!”


raising the moon


She climbed into the boughs of the tree, her heart hammering with each gust of  wind. “Don’t look down,” she said to herself, but she didn’t have to look to know how far away the ground must be. “I can do this.”

In time she reached the highest branch. She mustered the dregs of her courage and pointed her wand to the sky, whispering the words she’d been practicing for months.

At first nothing happened. The girl clenched her eyes closed and concentrated, whispering the words again.

One by one the stars came out and peered down at her. She opened her eyes and smiled when she saw them. With another flick of her wands, she drew the moon up from the horizon.

The night creatures breathed a sigh of relief, for a moonrise fairy had come at last.

memories of winter


The temperatures fell and the wind grew harsh. Trees shivered off their leaves, ready for their wintry slumber. Half-waking memories of thick, white blankets settling onto their boughs with a comforting weight returned. With them came dreams of doing things a rooted tree cannot: of traveling, hugging friends, and having dinner parties where the tables overflowed with bowls of liquid sunshine and pools of warmish water lapped at their feet.

Mapwick and Erstwhile


Mapwick struggled with a bashful nature. His camouflage made it easy for him to freeze and wait for others to pass by without noticing him, but after a while his loneliness got the better of him.

He made up his mind to befriend the next creature who happened by. A few hours passed and sure enough, a brownie wandered past, foraging for mushrooms.

Mapwick took a deep breath and tried to bury his panic. The strain of it caused a few cracks to appear on the outer layer of his wood-skin. The brownie heard the sound and peered at Mapwick with curiosity. “Hello?” he asked.

Another crack appeared. “Hi there,” Mapwick said. His voice sounded tinny and strange, but he managed to get the words out.

“I’m Erstwhile, I live over there, in the little hill. Didn’t know I had a neighbor. Would you care for a mushie?” The brownie held out a few skullcap mushrooms.

Mapwick shook his head. “No, thank you. I prefer to eat through my roots, but would you like a cup of tea?”

“Oh, yes,” said Erstwhile, grinning.

Mapwick smiled back. He hadn’t smiled in well over a decade, and it caused still more cracks, but he didn’t mind. He’d done it, he’d made a friend at last, and it only hurt a little.

who’s the crabbiest of them all?

Today’s post is an excerpt from my book The Incredibly Truthful Diary of Nature Girl. If you’d like to know more about it, you can click here or here. Enjoy!


I had the whole day to myself so I wandered near and far.  I discovered a gnarled old crab apple tree standing alone in a tiny clearing.  Her boughs were drooping heavily beneath the weight of her fruits, and the sun shone upon her like a halo.  It was all I could do to settle into the wild grasses and write of her.

A glow of happiness hangs about her and the birds have come from near and far to bathe in her ancient wisdom and sample her delicious fare.  She greets them stoically, lilting a little in cool breeze.  Her crab apples are almost ripe and I am tempted to gather a few to make jelly.

“What did you write?” she suddenly hissed as she sent a broken twig whirling at my diary.

I could only look at her aghast.  I should never have written that bit about the jelly.

“I know what it is!  I can hear it humming in the air while your scribble with your girl script.  You wrote me beautiful and kind!”

I nodded silently.

“I am not beautiful and kind!  I am terrible to behold, heartless, and cruel!”

“You don’t want to be beautiful and kind?”

“No,” her ancient boughs tossed about in indignation and perhaps a little bit of wind, sending the birds to wing.  “I must be terrible and vengeful or else these awful birds will eat all the fruit I’ve spent all summer bearing.  Greedy fools!  All they want is my fruit but my seeds need it to grow into good strong trees!  What good do they do me?”

“They do eat your fruit, but when they…um, excrete your seeds are scattered near and far, and many of them fall in excellent places to grow.”


“Well, they don’t eat sunlight like you, but they can’t store everything they’ve ever eaten either – they would explode!  So instead they keep what they need and excrete the rest,” I fumbled to explain.

“That’s disgusting.”

“Perhaps, but it offers as good a growing place as the fruit you’ve made for them, and they can travel within the bird a very long distance before they find the ground again.”

“Harrumph!  And I suppose you think that it’s a good thing that I don’t get to watch them grow, do you?”

“Well, I never thought of it that way,” I conceded.

She grew quiet and distraught.

“Would you like me to write you terrible and ferocious, then?” I asked gently.

“Yes, if you don’t mind.”

The crab apple tree grew into a twisted monstrosity out of the earth.  Her bark was thick and gnarly like something dead and dried up in the sun.  The fruits she offered were as sour and spiteful as humiliation and defeat.  Even the Wind was frightened to tickle her leaves, so they, too, grew bitter and lifeless in their stillness.  Sun-worshipping clouds shielded the sun from her ugliness day after day for fear that the sight of her would pain that glowing orb of life.

Only the most foolish of birds or deer would dare to eat her vengeful fruits, for as soon as they were in their gullets, the fruit would twist the stomach into terrible cramps of agony.  Not until the animal wished for death would they be well again.

Her early flowers were not the gay blossoms of spring, but rather a veil of tears from a funeral; full of the essence of despair.  In autumn her leaves did not turn into beautiful crimsons or yellows, but merely crumbled into ashy dust in the absence of the Wind.  A clearing lay about her in the forest, for no tree could find any peace as her neighbour and the forest itself drew back in horror of what they had discovered in her heart.  She threatened them with fire if their boughs got too close, and poisoned the soil for their offspring.  The whole of the forest was frightened of her, and no living creature ventured near.

“Is that better?” I asked her.

“Muchly, now be off with you before that song in your heart brings the chickadees along.”

The crabby apple now satisfied, I picked up my diary, but not before a sparrow lit upon her branches and helped himself to her fruit.  I could hear her grumbling long after she was out of sight, and I tried very hard not to smile.


etchings in the sand

tgb pkj

She walked along the beach, noticing at once the designs the waning tide etched upon the shore. Time and nature wrote their stories over everything. No one living long enough would be exempt. It’s not as if she expected to be, she just didn’t see why she must be confined to paper.

The wizard knelt by the sand, studying the image. The tides often drew these trees upon the sand as they ebbed. Never the same tree, but always an ancient, magical tree. The wizard lived his life by symbols and he could no more ignore these trees than he could understand them.

With a sigh, the tide began to withdraw, whispering out to her droplets to call them home. They balked, as children often do, lingering in the sunlight and delighting in the sand, until she pulled them, unwilling, out to sea. Their dragging fingertips left etches on the sand she did not have time to hide.

thoughts of the weeping willow


She liked to relax in the summer, branches slouched down, fingers of leaves catching the breeze and wafting to and fro. Her inspiration came from dusty cobwebs, discarded plastic bags, and the minnows which swam in the lake.

One day she noticed the tadpoles had all grown, the nights felt cooler, and the wildflowers started going to seed. She sighed, thinking autumn such a lot of work, winter too blustery, and spring too busy what with all the budding and the leafing out. She wished she could skip through them all and start with the first day of summer again.