Once upon a time there was a tree named Little Tree and her roots were anchored deep, deep in the mystery from which all possibility arises. Little Tree, aware of her anchor, knew her roots went all the way down to the source of life - The Mystery. Every day, golden sap arose from the source and it flowed up her roots, into her trunk and up to the very tips of her branches, giving her life and filling her with possibility. Her leaves fed on the sap and they sparkled in the sunshine, scattering little bits of magic all around. Seasons came and went and her leaves changed and dropped, but new ones would always grow, and she loved them all.
Little Tree was small but she dreamed of bigger things. Oh how she dreamed of having great branches that reached far, far up into the skies and swept down to the land and people around her. She dreamed of reaching far and allowing her golden sap to create magnificent leaves that would in turn feed and nurture the life around it. She dreamed of opening her trunk and becoming a portal for others to enter The Mystery. She dreamed of the magic that could flow into the world from The Mystery. Little Tree dreamed of growing so big and stretching so wide that more and more people could enter and receive from The Mystery. She longed to show them that The Mystery needed them as much as they needed it and that they too could bring magic into this world.
Little Tree dreamed big, but she was prevented from growing into a big tree. An ugly green hag kept her small. Not every day, but on many, many days the hag came and fed off the tree. She had teeth like fangs and she bit into the tree and sucked up the golden sap and made Little Tree very sad. As the hag fed she would pause and look up at the tree and the sap would drip off her teeth and fall to the ground. The sap flowed into her and transformed into something twisted, something not full of life and magic, it became mundane. As the sap dripped off her teeth and fell to the earth under Little Tree’s canopy, noxious stinky weeds sprouted. The ugly green hag would suck up so much sap that she left only enough for the Little Tree to grow a little bit and so Little Tree stayed small.
The hag kept all the sap for herself and she grew bloated. She hoarded the sap, surrounding it with her dense iron belly and draining the life from it. In her twisted mind, she imagined she was keeping it safe. She told stories to Little Tree, telling her she must not be allowed to grow big because she would attract attention, and all trees that attracted attention were cut down.
Little Tree suffered and her branches were not allowed to grow into all they could be. She needed the sap to nurture her growth and the hag was keeping it all in her iron belly. Things went on this way for a very, very long time and Little Tree was very disillusioned.
One day, Little Tree found out about a magical helper named Wia and went to see her. Wia asked many riddles and required her to pass many trials before she would help her. Finally one day, after Little Tree passed the trials, Wia granted her a gift which magically allowed the tree to develop a thicker trunk. After that, the hag had a much harder time sucking away Little Tree’s sap and she began to grow. The hag realized Little Tree was growing stronger and her trunk was getting thicker and she was troubled. As she fed, she stopped many times to look at the tree, puzzling over the change. Soon she was frantic and in her panic, she swung her head this way and that. The sap on her lips and chin dropped all over the place, creating more noxious weeds which sprouted everywhere. They grew like vines around the Little Tree's trunk and restricted and choked her. But every day Little Tree stretched and burst the vines and they fell to the ground around her trunk, and everyday more vines came up. It was exhausting and some days Little Tree just wanted to shrink back down and let the hag have her way.
The gift from Wia was magical and it showed Little Tree how she could use her wisdom to combat the weeds. Wia’s gift also brought many fierce and gentle beings that came to help remove the noxious vines. These fiercely compassionate beings, a Phoenix and a spirit of the Half Dome asked many powerful questions and sprinkled love and encouragement all around the tree. With magical mirrors they showed Little Tree the enormous magical tree she would become, and seeing that reflection made her stronger. In this way Little Tree was encouraged to grow in larger bursts and the vines became much smaller in comparison, therefore less able to strangle her.
One day the Half Dome Spirit looked at the green hag through the eyes of compassion and convinced Little Tree to have compassion for her too. She guided Little Tree, told her to ask the hag what she needed. So Little Tree asked the hag what she needed. Surprised by the question the hag stopped sucking up sap for a moment. Nobody had ever asked her what she needed! This magical question transformed the hag. She shrank and became a baby girl with pink skin and a loud wailing cry. Little Tree realized the baby needed a safe place and made of bower from her branches and rocked the baby, soothing her and all was well for a time.
You may wonder if Little Tree and the Hag Baby lived happily ever after, but it is unknown. There are new chapters waiting to be written. What we do know is that Little Tree has new freedom to grow into what she is meant to be.
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