Once upon a time there was a little girl. She loved to be outside when all her friends wanted to watch the television. She didn’t care at all. She, in fact, preferred it. She preferred to be alone in the wild wild woods. She proclaimed the woods her realm. She walked those woods like she did actually own it. She was the Empress of the Woods. She would lay on the ground so she could see what was between the blades of grass and she could then also imagine being very tiny and living between the blades of these grasses. She would look at the wild and untouchable mushrooms. She would smell the wild flowers. And pick the flowers of the wild weeds to put in her hair. She felt sorry for the wild weeds as people always overlooked their beauty.
She loved to lay on her back a watch the clouds go by, making shapes as all children do and some adults too if they have retained some of their childhood skills. She would wait for the flocks of birds to fly over head and try to count them, knowing full well that she couldn’t possible count them all. Once while trying to count the latest flock, one of them pooped on her. Which she wiped off with the skirt of her white dress. Her Mother washes everyday and she always expects extra washing from her little Empress.
In the woods is where she has made her Palace. A majestic throne…a rock. A table to hold her royal crown…a tree stump and long grass plated to make a crown. A dance floor for regal balls…a bare patch of earth. The animals of the woods would come to visit. Like in most fairy tales the young girl is friends with all of the animals. A young bear would come for morning tea on a Saturday. On Mondays a family of rabbits would stop by. The children rabbits would play in the palace and the Mum and Dad rabbits would have a audience with the Empress. A beautiful white deer would visit to share a snack and a chat on Tuesdays. But her best friend in the woods, and her best friend in the world was a moose. The old moose would wander into the palace when ever he felt like it, when you get as old as Old Moose you can pretty much do anything and say anything you want…and he does. They sit and exchange stories from the week. He tells her stories about the “before” times. The before times are the times that happened before her Father’s family owned the woods. He told her about the first time he saw flying things that weren’t birds, about the noisy tin carts that travelled on the black roads. She loved his tales and him so very much. One day she asked him how old he was, his answer was…I don’t know, because we animals don’t care how old we are, every sunrise is a new and exciting day, and the little woods Empress agreed wholeheartedly.
One day the Empress of the Woods declared that the image of herself with moose antlers would be her coat of arms, in honor of her dearest and oldest friend. They had many many good times together and were life long friends. They were best friends who always stood together and laughed together.
Oh and by the way, Old Moose must be almost 120 years old and moose don’t live that long, but in these woods anything is possible.
Ruby Canoe. xx