Eric the Elephant boy

Eric was not like the other children. His head was really big and his legs extremely short. His back was a bit crooked.

He was a little boy with the sunlight in his eyes. His loving parents worried that life would be hard for their son, since he looked so different.

Eric didn’t feel different than the other kids, but already some of his classmates had started calling him elephant boy when the teacher wasn’t around. He didn’t understand why, but decided to find out.

He asked his parents to take him to the zoo so he could visit the elephants. Once there, Eric was mesmerized by the giants. He could only just peek into the elephant garden, as usual he was too short to see things properly.

Eric spotted a baby amongst the adult elephants. It looked sad. Wasn’t playing. Hung with its head and trunk and looked around nervously. Eric was wondering why the little one looked sad and the minute he thought it, the baby elephant came stumbling over.

– Hi little elephant. Are you ok? You look like you’re sad.

The little one looked at Eric with the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen.

– I can’t remember things. You know, elephants are supposed to be able to remember EVERYTHING. But I can’t even remember the way down to the swimming hole. I’m worried I will never become a real elephant.

– But you look like a real elephant.

– Well, it’s a problem on the inside. And you are not a real elephant if you can’t remember stuff.

– Are you sure?

– Pretty much. It’s the way it has always been.

– Well you look like a beautiful elephant to me. You’re kind and you can talk to me so that seems really special to me.

– Thank you.

A tear fell from the little one’s eye.

– I think it’s easier for you, you are a prefect little human boy, so I think it might be hard for you to understand.

Eric took in what his new friend had just said. Something important shifted in his heart.

– You know…I don’t know much, but I know this…I think we should meet every week and just hang out and talk, like now. I think there might be something magic about hanging out together. And it would be so much fun.

– You don’t care about me not remembering stuff?

– Do you care about me being short?

Little elephant looked surprised.

– You humans are all short.

Eric reached through the bars to pat little elephant on his soft trunk.

– I just know we will be good friends.

 

And for all the thirty-seven years that Eric lived, they were. They were the best of friends and they taught their families a lot about elephants and boys.


The Starling and the Berries

Once upon a time in the mountains of a warm and sunny country, a Starling was busy harvesting the red berries he loved so much.

He had already picked seven of them from the tree and now he wanted to bring them to his nest. He flew away with one but then heard a sound behind him and immediately returned. He didn’t want anyone else to eat his berries.

He was wondering how to do this. Could he put all seven berries in his beak? He tried but could not fit more than three. He tried to grasp all seven berries with his feet but succeeded only with four and then accidentally squashed one.

Now, if you know anything about Starlings, you know that they move as one body, even in flocks of hundreds. They are like dancing clouds of dust, they bounce and swirl as if they are one with the mystic heart of everything.

Starling asked his friends to help him. They came in hundreds and they all brought one berry straight from the tree to their brother’s nest. It overflowed with red berries. Under it grew a shiny red hill of deliciousness.

When seeing all the abundance and the flowing movement of his own kin, Starling woke up.

He did not need to struggle and sit on more berries than he could eat in a day.

He asked his friends to all enjoy the berries they themselves had brought.

Then he set off to dance with the wind together with his flock.


The Magic of the Cuckoo

 

Are you listening?

 

Are you listening?

 

The night brings truth, wrapped up in ugly looking wrapping paper of fear and resentment. Everything that is not authentic has rough edges that are not softened by daylight or conventions.

 

Sorrow unwrapped. Doubt.

Can I do this?

Do I want to do this?

Would it not be better to leave this mess and allow myself to fly freely, to live the love I know, unburdened by other people’s doubt and fear?

 

Like a knock that slowly enters my consciousness, the cuckoo sings

 

Cuckoo

 

Cuckoo

 

Cuckoo

 

What is he saying?

 

– Are you listening?

 

– Are you listening?

 

– Are you really listening to me?

 

 

Once I really hear his message and sense my being forming a YES, he stops singing.

 

He is the reminder that magic is forever present. That love wants to become form.

 

That fear wants to be unwrapped.

 

Love wants to be wrapped. In intentions, words and actions.

 

 

Are you listening?

…are you really listening?

 

 

 

 


Willow, the talking Tree

Her long, slender branches had finally grown back.

She had been trimmed down to the point of being just a naked trunk, awkward and ugly, but now the long swaying vines made her beautiful again.

People who came to sit down at the shore could catch her shade and be soothed by her long billowing hair.

The gardener who trimmed her down every fourth year was loving but strict. He knew that we all need that sometimes. To be stripped of too long, thick, hardening branches. To be naked for a while. Dwell inside and save up spring energy and then explode in streams of new life and stories.

Luisa was down at the shore today, sitting on one of the thick, calcified roots, her bones aching but not so much as you would expect from someone who was way over seventy. She was thinking about the small things, like what to cook for dinner and when her grandchildren would come by, but also about the big things, like how to live a full, sparkling life even when your hair is white and the animal of your body slows down.

She remembered something her grandmother Alicia had told her once about the trees.

“They are living beings, with spirits, like us baby girl. If you have questions, all you have to do is choose a tree you like and then knock on the trunk and ask. The answer will always be given, in some form. A voice, a sign, a song on the radio.”

Luisa turned her stiff back and knocked on the trunk of the Willow tree she loved so much. Her voice was sandy and hoarse when she put words on her ponderings.

“Tell me Willow…how do I grow older with lots of laughter and pride?”

She listened but heard nothing. Just the water and playing children somewhere close. She patted the bark anyway, thanked the tree for shadow and beauty and got up to do her daily errands.

When she walked up to the road she ran into the gardener who was busy, as always, with the soil and leaves and blossoms.

– She is a beauty, isn’t she? He smiled and nodded in the direction of the Willow.

– It’s the best place to sit in the whole village.

– You know, some people get mad when I prune the trees. It looks awful for a while, that is true for sure. But if you don’t do that, they grow out of control and the branches become too heavy for the trunk. You really need to help those trees by trimming away the old and make room for the new.

He was talking even though she hadn’t asked anything and he didn’t seem to wait for a reaction from her. He was still muttering when he walked back to his little truck.

Luisa’s knees went weak.

It couldn’t be.

The gardener brought the answer to her question.

Luisa went home that day and cleared out all of her closet and the spair rooms.

Then she welcomed the awkward emptiness, keeping the long, slender, light green branches of the Willow in mind.


Glimgluff, the sad Troll

Fabian walked in the woods every morning, just before sunrise.

His grandmother’s little house was just at the foot of the mountain and miles of woods lay between them and their closest neighbours.

He followed the rim of the mountain. The birds sang as if they knew that the first sunrays need to be sung into this realm, otherwise it will remain dark.

This morning another sound broke through the melodies and the chirps. Someone was crying loudly and hopelessly. Fabian looked around and saw the shadow of something huge leaned against the mountain wall.

Gigantic.

Round.

Wild-looking.

Troll.

 

Fabian could not believe what he saw. Round-eyed. Curly-haired. Big-boned.

– Can I help you?

Fabian’s light voice cut right through the convulsions and the troll looked up, startled, his eyes now even bigger and rounder.

– Who…who are you?

– I am Fabian. I live in the white house down there. Who are you?

– I am Glimgluff. I am the youngest in the troll family living in this mountain.

Fabian tried to conceive of this idea. It seemed to make sense. If someone should live in a mountain, it should be a troll.

– Why are you crying?

– Nobody likes us. Nobody likes ME. I am too big, too ugly, too scary. People think that we are all bad. That we keep children captured in the mountain.

– I have heard those stories. Are they not true?

– Well…there have been a few bad trolls in the family, who did bad things. But that was then. I am not them. I love children. I just want to play. But I am so big and heavy, I can’t fit into any building. And it is making me feel really lonely.

Fabian felt really sorry for Glimgluff. He seemed to be a boy just like him but caught in the body of a giant.

– What should I do?

Glimgluff looked at Fabian with round button eyes that never seemed to blink.

– I don’t know.

Fabian sat down next to him.

– Do you want to come fishing with me?

Glimgluff looked like he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He nodded so intensely that his moss covered curls flung back and forth.

All morning they were down at the river, fishing with Fabian’s rod. It looked like a toothpick in Glimgluff’s hands. He was much too strong indeed and pulled the fish so hard out of the water that the line snapped every time. Or he accidentally squeezed the fish when he wanted to remove the hook, leaving only a wet stain between his thumb and his index finger. They were laughing until they couldn’t stand up anymore and the mountain trembled just a little every time.

They hurried back before the sun was too high in the sky, trolls were not supposed to be out in broad daylight.

Just before saying goodbye, Fabian looked at Glimgluff and said:

– Ask me again.

– What do you mean?

– The question you asked me this morning. Ask me again.

Glimgluff had to think really long and hard.

– What should I do?

– You are trying to fit into a tiny, human world. Why don’t you pull other people into your world instead? There is so much space and fun in your world. I could play with you forever.

Glimgluff was thinking is his slow troll fashion and suddenly his brown, apple-cheeked face shone like the sun.

Since then, Gliffgluff has invited loads of children into his magic world. He has many friends and even though he still cries sometimes, he never has to cry alone anymore.

 

 

 


Great Grandmother Spider

She was misunderstood.

The weaver of wisdom and protection. Such a calm guardian. Kind, loving, fierce.

Yet she scared most people. Their fear wrote stories about her character and hers was a life that could be taken. Not a loss. She was a creepy being anyway.

In the ancient stories she was loved and praised because of the silky patterns she could weave. Only visible to the eye in the sunlight. And yes she could catch what she needed to feed her family. Why shouldn’t she? Everyone knew back then that she was a sacred guardian.

But people forgot. And now they seemed to want to kill her most of the time.

She was wondering if it was time to return to the unseen world, but she loved the world too much to leave it unwoven and unprotected.

Now and then there were beings even in the human world who could feel her presence and honour her role, her thread in the big fabric. That made it easier.

One day the ancient stories would be remembered, told, restored and rewoven. They were too magic and loving to disappear. She knew that nothing is ever really lost.

If Great Grandmother Spider greets you today…try greeting her as the guardian that she is.

 

 


Blackbird and little pig

Once upon a time in a country filled with the most beautiful forests, lived the blackbird who had forgotten how to sing.

She had been one of the Winged Ones who painted the forest with the most beautiful melodies anyone had ever heard. Such a transparent resonance it made everyone who came close feel at peace.

One day, when Blackbird wanted to call in the sunrise, she discovered that she did not remember how to sing anymore. She slapped her wings and flew rounds to shake up what must be a temporary blackout. She rested on her favourite oak tree branch and waited. Nothing. She splashed rainbows of water in the creek, dipping her head in the cold, clear water. Not a tune. Not even a click. She remembered the clicking sound that is the Winged Ones’ signature, she just couldn’t remember how to make the sound.

So she waited. And the forest turned silent.

One early morning when she felt extra sad she couldn’t greet the sun anymore, the bushes under her tree started moving back and forth. When she flew closer to examine the swaying branches she found herself standing in front of a small, wild pig.

He looked really scared, just panted and said nothing. She wanted to ask why he was afraid but since she couldn’t sing, the only thing she could do was to stay close and show him that he was welcome. He was still trembling but seemed to calm down a little bit so Blackbird decided to get some food for the furry little guy. She got some nuts from her stash and put them in front of him.

He ate, snorted and chewed – with a lot of noise. He was funny.

Little pig saw the creek and now dived right in. Rolling, coughing and squealing with joy. You would think he had never seen water! Blackbird couldn’t help but to laugh. Who was this funny creature?

When he finally lay down between the thick oak roots, exhausted from playing and swimming and running, Blackbird decided to stay close and keep an eye on him.

For days, little pig and Blackbird hung out together, eating, playing and sleeping really close. The pig was so clumsy and happy, every time he fell and got up again with a big smile, Blackbird was laughing until she almost fell out of the tree.

The morning she woke up and found that little pig had disappeared, she was devastated. Little pig! Her friend! She combed through the whole part of the forest that was familiar to her, looking for that endearing, grunting laugh.

He was gone.

She flew up to the highest top of the biggest pine tree and thought about all the fun they had had together. He was the most special friend she had ever had.

Before she knew it, harmonies and angelic clicks were painting the story of the unlikely friends. Notes cutting through the evening light sang water, moss, friendship and laughter to life, more beautifully than ever.

The forest sighed and welcomed the song it so had missed. Flowers opened, trees stretched out and branches trembled lightly.

Little pig never came back. But Blackbird never stopped hoping that he could hear her song.