Once upon a time, in a land far far away…
Part two of this plagiarised story goes like this:
On an unremarkable day like this, Quackling expected to come to the woods and find it as it had always been. But alas, it was not so. Everything under the sun has a beginning and an end. Ye Olde Woods stood before her as a ghost of what it once was. It was difficult to explain what had changed.
The air was cold and the branches were stark, but this was no different to any other winter day. A layer of dust had settled on her indoor wooden furnishings but if that was all, the solution would be a simple one. You could say that the atmosphere changed because several trunks had fallen and few creatures remained – but that alone could not explain the utter hollowness of this place.
You see, not long before Quackling arrived, a faceless villain invaded the woods. He came deep one night, accompanied by an army of termites to clean out the trees from the inside out. That is, he came to steal the golden sap from every living plant and animal. His motivation? A hunger for gold. World domination. Or forging a stone of immortality? The villain quickly moved onto bigger and better projects and was out of the picture. But without the sap, life at Ye Olde Woods ebbed away and it would only a matter of time before the trees all dried up, fell, became chopped up and burnt to rubble.
Just when all seemed lost, the Elven brothers, the appointed guardians of the woods, came to the rescue! What took you so long and where were you when we needed you, the residents complained. The pair did not answer but began to sing a slow, melodious, beautiful Elvish ballad with echoes that reverberated and stirred a now silent wood. To every creature’s delight, with each verse the dry wood began to rattle and green, broken branches started to come together with an invisible running subcuticular suture, and golden drops of dew began to form – or was it guttation on the leaves?
They watched in gladness and wonder as one tree after another was filled with life again. Quackling waited in eager anticipation for her ancestral tree to be restored. Yet as the Elves exited the woods, repeating the last line of the chorus one last time, some trees remained dead. The trees that were chosen were neither the tallest nor the oldest. And insult upon insult, that sturdy old tree, the one that once stood tall and grand, the only thing in Ye Olde Woods that Quackling loved and cared about, now appeared more dead than when their song started. In fact, its dry trunk began to creak and came down slowly, forever coming to rest on the forest floor with a soft thud.
Hey wait, come back, you haven’t finished your work and this is not fair! Quackling was exceedingly upset, waddling and chasing after the Elves. Hush little one, said the older creatures who held her back. We don’t know why but the Elves have their reasons and have tended to these woods with perfect wisdom for centuries. What do you know about reforestation projects compared to them?
“Some there are among us who sing that the Shadow will draw back, and peace shall come again. Yet I do not believe that the world will ever again be as it was of old, or the light of the sun as it was aforetime.”
That’s all folks. The end.