Guardians of the Children’s Forest
A story by Asha Harvey – Age 11
Lavender was distressed. She had been hearing whispers through the trees and the deer that walk by her house every so often. Lavender’s house was in a little hole in a tree that Row made for her. Row was a woodpecker. He was very fine builder but he was in a bad mood most of the time. Lavender sat puzzled staring at the wall. She didn’t know what to think about what she had been hearing, of all of the monstrous machines and big men that crushed everything in their path.
Cedar was a tall tree and she could see everything that was happening in what the humans called, The Children’s Forest, but all the faeries, deer and wood spirits called it Aroofia. Cedar said she saw humans with big tools that cut straight through the trees and made loud noises. Cedar also told Lavender that what they were doing was going to bring chaos to their sweet and peaceful forest. Lavender was deep in thought when Erlon came in. He was a messenger and Lavender’s best friend. He was a small faerie boy with dark brown eyes and wore a little bag over his shoulder to carry the messages. When Erlon jumped through the door, it was wide open, because it was sunny, hot day. Lavender shrieked because she was just thinking about the big machine cutting down the fir tree that she lived in.
“Oh good, it’s you” said Lavender as Erlon fluttered back up, as he’d jumped backwards when Lavender screamed. Lavender asked if there was news from Anastasia, the Queen of the faeries. Anastasia had kind blue eyes, and brown hair and usually wore a green leaf dress with a gold sash. She was very beautiful and wise. Lavender was anxious about what she had to say regarding what was happening in the forest. Erlon gave her a letter. Lavender took it and quickly opened it up and read it out loud.
“Dear Woodland Creatures,
It has come to my attention that humans are destroying our forest home and it is not safe here any longer. We must evacuate and move to the forest across the bay, where the yellow and blue plastic tape has not been placed. I am very sorry.
Signed, Anastasia, your Queen.”
Lavender dropped the letter with her mouth hanging open.
“What? We can’t leave our home, everything I’ve ever known is here,” cried Lavender.
“We’re too small, we can’t stop them, we are not even allowed to reveal ourselves to the humans” Erlon replied.
“We must try,” said Lavender, “to help the trees, they will all die, they can’t move away from the machines.”
“Wait” continued Lavender as she looked out from her window. Just then she saw the children who walked through the forest every Sunday. The faeries didn’t mind the children walking there. They were careful not to crush the plants underneath their feet and they would often hug the trees and lie softly on the moss staring up at the canopy.
“We could ask one of the children to help us, I bet they would” said Lavender.
“No way” said Erlon “we can’t reveal ourselves that has been a rule for hundreds of years. No faerie has ever done it, on purpose”
“Yes” said Lavender “but the trees have been here for hundreds of years. Either we reveal our secret or our home will be destroyed, all the trees and plants will be gone”
Then in the next moment, Lavender said, “I need to save my home” and quickly fluttered out the door. Erlon flew immediately after her. “Ok fine, I’ll help you, but if we get into trouble, you get the blame”.
“Oh thank you” said Lavender and gave Erlon a big hug, which was really hard to do in the air.
They quickly fluttered down to their friend Cedar tree and told her to spread the message to the trees to tell the children, that they needed their help. In the meantime Lavender and Erlon hid behind branches and watched the children walking towards them. They waited until one of the children was alone and finally a young girl was. They followed her, being careful to not reveal themselves yet. She sat down against a tree and the tree heard the message to tell the children and so the tree whispered to her, “Help us”.
She gasped and put her ear closer to the tree. The tree repeated the message. Just then Lavender swooped down right in front of her face. The girl cried out in fear and then delight. She was surprised, scared and amazed.
“Who are you…..wh.. What are you?” said the little girl
“I’m a faerie obviously” Lavender said feeling scared herself. She had never talked to a human before, they were very big and had really loud voices especially when they yelled.
“Please help us,” Lavender franticly asked. Erlon was still hiding behind a tree, unable to believe that Lavender had done it and revealed herself to a human. Slowly and cautiously Erlon flew down to flutter beside Lavender.
The girl gasped again and said, “There are two of you?” She rubbed her eyes and pinched herself.
“Listen” said Lavender “we need your help. This forest is going to be destroyed and the humans are coming with their big machines. The faerie queen told us we all have to go live across the bay, but we don’t want to. We want to stay in our home. You must help us if you want to ever be able to walk in this forest again.”
The little girl sat wide-eyed with her mouth hanging open.
“There is a faerie queen, does that mean there is more of you?”
“Yes, yes,” said Lavender “Now what is your name?”
“My name is Amy” the girl replied.
“You have to tell the rest of your group about helping us, because the forest is going to be destroyed” Lavender explained
“Can I show you to the rest of the group?” Amy asked hopefully.
Erlon fiercely said “No” and explained that it was against their most ancient laws to show themselves to even one person.
Just then her group called Amy and Lavender said quickly “come back here tomorrow at this same time and spot”. “Wait” said Amy “I’m just a little girl, how can I save this whole forest.”
“You may be small on the outside, but you can be as big as you want on the inside,” said Lavender.
Erlon added “Just spread the word, tell everybody you know”.
Then Lavender and Erlon flew away with the little girl behind them rubbing her eyes.
Lavender and Erlon flew back to her house to talk.
“I can’t believe we revealed ourselves, we could be in so much trouble” said Erlon
“Not if we don’t tell anybody” said Lavender as she pretended to lock her mouth and throw away the key.
They talked for a few hours, until it became evening. Erlon had to go back to his home. Lavender waved goodbye from her window and called out “I think we’ve made a good plan Erlon – thank you!”
“Good bye” Erlon replied.
The next morning Lavender got up early and quickly slipped into some clothes, packed some food and flew to Erlon’s, waking him up on her arrival.
“Erlon get up,” she said as she pushed him out of bed.
Soon Lavender and Erlon were flying out the door. They were hopeful the girl would help them and tell her friends and family. They found Amy there with five other friends. Erlon wasn’t excited to reveal their secret to more humans, but Lavender told him “if we are going to save this forest, we have to do whatever we can”.
They flew down to Amy and her friends. All of them gasped in surprise with big smiles on their faces. They fluttered down and Amy greeted them smiling and watching her friends surprised faces.
“Thanks for coming again” said Amy “these are five of my best friends, I hope we can share the secret with them too. We came up with an idea, we are protesting. We convinced our parents to help and they called everyone they knew, they are blockading where the logging is happening right now.”
One of Amy’s friends spoke next, she had dark hair and blue eyes “We want to make a play and do performances to raise money to buy this forest.” All of the children nodded in agreement.
This news brought tears to Lavender’s eyes. The humans cared for them. They were trying to protect their home. Lavender was so happy, she suddenly believed it could be saved; she wouldn’t have to go across the Bay!
“We only have two more days until all the woodland creatures move across the Bay. We are going to have to tell Anastasia the Queen that the humans are going to help us and that it just might work,” said Lavender.
Erlon and Lavender nervously waited for their audience with the Queen. Finally Anastasia stepped out and greeted them warmly wearing her green dress, gold sash and delicate crown. Anastasia was very kind and polite. “So what can I help you with?” said Anastasia.
They explained to Anastasia that the children were going to help them and that the parents of the children had made a blockade that had stopped the machines. They didn’t tell her they revealed themselves, they made it sound like mental telepathy. Anastasia agreed to allow the woodland creatures to stay longer because the machines had stopped.
“Extreme situations do require extreme measures,” Anastasia said, hinting that she knew they had revealed themselves.
“Well we better be going,” said Erlon nervously.
“Thank you so much for understanding” said Lavender.
They continued to meet the group of children in the forest. The children always told them what they had been doing. They told them of the plays they made up, containing their best experiences in the forest that brought tears to audience’s eyes.
They continued to raise money and spread awareness of protecting the forest.
The faeries were so grateful; they brought the children gifts every time they came.
On one very special day they raised enough money to buy the whole forest. All the faeries, deer, birds and trees were overjoyed. The oldest grandmother trees could live on. The children and their parents were very happy too. They could continue their walks in the forest each week and knew all the creatures were safe there. Amy and her friends talked to the faeries, Lavender and Erlon, each time they went to the forest, even though they couldn’t see them anymore. All the woodland creatures began to call it the Children’s Forest too.
The day they purchased the Children’s Forest, Lavender appeared to Amy for the last time. Lavender reminded Amy of the day she and Erlon asked for help.
“Do you remember what I told you?” Lavender asked, “You may be small on the outside, but you can be as big as you want on the inside.”