(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, Wild Bear Garlic, Crystal droplets and a new Magickal outfit.
OF SPRUCE and PORCUPINES
The forest canopy below was becoming thicker and a darker green. Buttons found himself descending until his feet were firmly planted on the ground once more. Shrugging the rucksack from his shoulders to rest his back, he surveyed the scenery that surrounded him. He was deep inside the forest. The trees were tall and sturdy, their fingers reaching high into the sky. Covered in a deep layer of moss of a kind he had never seen before, the ground was springy with clusters of wild flowers peeking shyly from behind the vegetation.
Cool and crisp, there was an earthy dampness in the air. Apart from the occasional chatter of birds, no other sound could be heard. An aura of expectation filled the air. It was so strong it was almost palpable.
Buttons crossed over to the nearest tree, a giant spruce, and leant his back against it. He could feel the tree’s life blood coursing through its trunk. Comforting and grounding in its familiarity, Buttons allowed himself to sink into the feeling. If he listened really carefully, he could hear a soft whispering. Stilling his own breath allowed him to focus more strongly on the sound. The tree was actually talking to him! Sighing on the breath of the wind stirring its leaves, the tree spoke thus, “I Am One of the Ancient Ones. This forest has been my home for many of your kind’s lifetimes. Those who have ventured so deep into this forest always come for a Higher Purpose than mere wanderlust. What be your reason?” Once again, Buttons found himself explaining his Very Important Mission. He read the fourth rhyme to the Ancient One. “Aaaah, the Purple Healer. Wondrous indeed are the powers she has to offer those who come to seek her aid with purest intent. I see you are such a one. Your journey is but half complete.Tap your boots with your Sceptre. It will make you fleet of foot and take you swiftly on your way. When the boots still, tap again. Times three on the ground. Fare thee well.”
Buttons picked up his rucksack and shrugged it on. He now knew to expect immediate results once he tapped each boot with his Sceptre. He was right. His feet flew so fast they were a blur! Strangely, given the speed he was running, he did not feel at all breathless or tired. In fact, it was quite exhilarating to be travelling at such a speed. Not sure how long this segment of his journey would last, he settled into the stride and enjoyed the blur of the passing scenery. At last the boots stopped. So suddenly in fact that the momentum kept his body going and he fell flat to the ground. Picking himself up and and dusting himself off, Buttons could at last have a closer look at his surroundings. The only difference here from there was that he was much deeper within the forest. As he did not know how much longer he had to travel, Buttons decided to have a bite to eat first before he tapped the ground with his Sceptre.
Preparing himself again for swift and perhaps unexpected outcomes, he tapped the ground three times as instructed. Nothing happened. Surprised, he was not quite sure what to do next. Best wait a while, he thought. He did not have long to wait. Marching in single file five of the smallest porcupines he had ever seen came into view. They stopped right in front of him and turned to face him. Intrigued, he waited to see what would happen next.
Looking at him intently, the one in the middle cleared his throat, not once, but three times. And was silent. “Hello, my name is Buttons. Who are you?” Buttons asked as way of opening up the conversation. The five little porcupines looked at each other, then at Buttons, and again at each other. As if coming to a consensus, the one on the far left said, “ Why, we thought you knew! We have been sent to fetch you. Follow us.” And with that they turned around and started marching off in the direction from which they had appeared. Buttons was none the wiser after this encounter, but thought it best to do as asked. They certainly seemed to know about him! The little porcupines moved surprisingly fast. Buttons was hard pressed to keep up with them. Should he lose sight of them he would not know what to do or where to go. Although he did think they would probably come looking for him as they were obviously meant to escort him somewhere.
Soon they entered a small clearing. At its centre was a conical hut. The porcupines marched to its entrance. Two stood on either side of the door. The other turned to look expectantly at Buttons. Then it turned around and disappeared inside the hut. Buttons supposed that he was expected to follow him inside. Stopping at the entrance, he coughed, and asked if he could enter. “Get on with it!” a gruff voice instructed from inside. With that Buttons stepped into the hut. It was dark. Once his eyes had adjusted, he saw the owner of the gruff voice seated in the middle of the hut. It was a big, old porcupine.
“Buttons ye be. I see the children found ye and managed to bring ye hither. ‘Tis no small miracle. Not that they found ye. That ye be here. We have been following the journey thus far. Much help has come from Creatures of the Great Forest. ‘Tis a Very Important Mission that ye be on. Help must be given as has been asked already afore ye started out. Well have ye done. Just as it ought to be to now. Not much further have ye to go afore the Purple Healer is in sight. Our task in this Mission is to guide thee on. Follow the five children ye must for they will lead thee there. The way is fraught with danger for Forces beyond thine ken would keep thee from reaching the Sacred Healer. Hidden ye must be. Cover thine self fully with the cloak. Before ye do this, tap it, and the boots with the Sceptre. This will make thee silent and invisible to all those who would stop thee. The children will not be stopped for they are of this land and known. We wish thee well.”
With no further ado, Buttons was dismissed. The little porcupine in the hut marched out nodding its head for Buttons to follow him. Once outside, Buttons tapped the cloak and his boots, then covered himself. His hat neatly folded itself into his rucksack before he had even had time to consider what to do with it!
You are invited to join Buttons on his Very Important Mission each Wednesday.
© Raili Tanska
Images – Pixabay