(In human language this reads –
A Very Important Mission : Button Nose)
Buttons, the Woodland Elf, is on a special treasure hunt – so far he has found a small round, speckled, moss green stone under the Magick Old Man Oak.
GREAT BIG BROWN BEAR
Although he knew exactly what he needed to collect for the second item on his list, Buttons also knew to get there would be a long trek. Not wanting to waste precious time travelling by foot, he decided to call for help. As he waited for the woodlark to answer his call, he once again read the second set of instructions –
Fields awash with Wild Bear Garlic ripe and pungent
Yield a harvest rich and ready
Lullula, the woodlark, arrived with a flutter of wings and landed next to Buttons. On hearing about Button’s Very Important Mission , she was delighted to help. Lullula knew the whereabouts of the Wild Bear Garlic meadow, having visited there often. She told him it was the best place to find her favourite seeds and insects. She was happy to go there and forage for herself as well. What she didn’t tell him was that she had been expecting him.
Buttons clambered onto her back and settled at the back of her head, holding tightly to her neck feathers as she lifted off. Soon they were soaring high above the tree tops, with Lullula occasionally changing into a graceful undulating glide on gusts of breeze. It was her style of flight she told him, and also saved her energy especially now she was carrying a passenger on her back. Buttons had never flown before. Having recovered from his initial shock of being so high above the ground, he relaxed. It was exhilarating. The view was breath-taking. Below him the ground looked like a patchwork of nature at its best. He could see the forest canopy. Surrounding it were patches of green cut through by meandering ribbons of blue. The sky above was dotted with fluffy white clouds.
Lullula drew his attention to a large patch of green up ahead. As they drew nearer he could see the splashes of white where the flowers grew. Gently, Lullula descended to the ground bursting into a melodious song as she did so. Buttons jumped down, thanked her, and surveyed the meadow. He needed to select a bunch of the finest garlic, bulbs and flowers included. It was not long before he found it.
As he bent to pull it out of the ground, he heard a deep growl behind him. Jumping with fright, he turned around and bumped straight into a thick brown tree trunk covered with the strangest bark he had ever seen. Talking to himself he said “This is strange. I’m sure that wasn’t there before. It feels just like fur,” as he touched it. Looking up, and up, and up, he saw to his horror that what he was touching was the front leg of a huge brown bear. It glared at him. Opening it’s mouth, the bear let out an almighty roar. If Buttons was not glued to the spot in fear, he was sure he would have taken flight, wings or not! “Just what do you think you are doing? This is MY meadow, MY garlic. Who gave you permission to come waltzing in here like you owned it and help yourself?! ANSWER ME!!!”
Buttons could not stop trembling. Taking a deep breath, he explained who he was, what his mission was, how he had got there, and that he only needed this one little bunch. “Harumph,” said the bear. “How do I know you are telling the truth?” Buttons reached into his rucksack and drew out the second set of instructions to show the bear. Squinting hard at the tiny piece of parchment, the bear finally said “Tell me what it says!” With that, Buttons realised the bear could not read it. Which was fair enough really, given that it was written in Elvish. He read the rhyme to the bear, who thought for a very long moment. Then he said. “Hmmm, true enough it’s ripe and ready. I s’pose that itty bitty little bunch won’t be missed.” With that he ambled off. Buttons waited a while with bated breath just in case the bear changed his mind and came back. But it soon disappeared from view.
Weak in the knees and stunned with fright, Buttons sat down, garlic bunch in hand. He would have to find somewhere safe to settle down for the night. Rest and food was what he needed now. Both of which he would have to find. As he sat there deep in thought, he spotted movement from the corner of his eye. Turning his head, he realised with relief that Lullula had returned. “Are you alright Buttons,” she asked. “You look awfully pale.” He told her the story of his encounter with the Great Big Brown Bear. “Oh, that grumpy old bear! He’s just a big soft, teddy bear really. Never mind him, he’s just all talk. I’ll help you find some food. I know a good place where you can sleep for the night too. Hop on board!” Without further ado, Buttons gladly did as he was bid. True to her word, Lullula took Buttons to a glade in the forest where an Elf Traveller’s Hut was hidden inside the hollow of an old tree. It was nested in a substance Buttons had never seen before. Soft, and white, it looked and felt very cosy. (Humans know of it. They have something similar called cotton wool.) The hut was provisioned with everything he would need. Gratefully, Buttons thanked Lullula for her help. If she ever needed a favour in return, he said, all she had to do was send him a message. He would be glad to help. Bidding him goodnight, she flew away with a melodious trill. Buttons was famished. All his favourite foods were there! Having eaten so much he was full to bursting, he yawned and realised how tired he was. He slept very soundly.
You are invited to join Buttons on his Very Important Mission each Wednesday.
© Raili Tanska
Images – Pixabay