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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Keepers of the Great Forest

     There in the distance stood the great forest of Irwin. This forest looked like any other forest with its tall thick trees, its ground blooming with Spring flowers and the many forest creatures that live and thrive inside of it. A man has never been inside this great forest due to myths and tales of the mysterious creatures that protect it. Some say it is giant owls or hawks that will peck out your eyes for entering, while others say there are mystical creatures that are the keepers of the great forest. These tales are what keep men from exploring within its realm.
     There have been sightings of strange things and creatures from men who stand at its edge. The forest is so dense with tree life that every now and then you might spot a forest animal romping through it. No man dares to enter for fear of being hexed by unknown creatures. Who can blame them? A forest is a scary place at night when one can hear all of the creepy noises that creatures make. It is enough to frighten most away. Some have seen evil sets of eyes staring from within the great forest. Watchers who protect all that live within.
     One day a man named Thrombus made his way into the nearby village for food and drink. He was a husky built man with a long brownish beard that was braided and hung down to his chest. He was a brute of a man, a hunter if you will in search of mythical creatures to obtain. He was dressed in burlap clothing with a belly that hung over his animal hide belt. Thrombus made his way to the village tavern to satisfy his hunger craving. He ordered food which consisted of a large quantity of meat and bread, and a tall stein of ale.
     While feasting on his meal he overheard locals whispering and talking of the great forest and how men have been devoured by mystical creatures. It peaked his curiosity for the hunt and turned to make his way over to their table. Thrombus sat down with his plate of food and ale and began questioning these men of the great forest. They were hesitant at first to speak of its tales but began telling him the stories that have circulated for centuries and of the last man who entered the forest that never returned.
     Thrombus sat stuffing food into his mouth as he looked on with interest. His only thought at that moment was the hunt for these creatures. He replied with his stories of his great battles with creatures taller than huts and homes they lived in. His stories made him look to be a great warrior but the locals thought he was no match for what lies in the forest. They watched as he devoured carelessly the food from his plate. His demeanor becoming intoxicated as he put away stein after stein of ale until drunk.
     Once drunk, his stories became unheard of and intolerant as his ego became bigger. The locals started to disbelieve what fell from his lips as his words became slurred. It was time for him to sleep now that his belly was engorged with food. He asked the barmaid if there was an inn or place of rest within the village. She sold him a room for the night for him to rest. He made his way to this old uninhabited room where there wasn't much inside but a cot and a wash basin. Thrombus fell onto the cot as it creaked from the brute weight of his body where he fell into a drunken sleep.
     The night seemed to linger as he tossed and turned with visions of mythical battles and the creatures he defeated. His mind was full of thoughts of what lies inside this great forest the locals speak of. He finally fell into a deep sleep and arose the next morning feeling fresh and ready for his next battle. He stumbled over to the wash basin and flooding his face with water before searching answers to his questions. He wanted to search out this great forest everyone spoke of the previous night so that he might find a good hunt for sport.
     The locals were a bit confused as to why he would go somewhere that everyone was in fear of. but his questions were answered and he stocked up on food and had one more stein of ale before leaving their presence for the hunt. After gulping down his ale, Thrombus grabbed his gear and began the journey to the great forest.
     He followed their directions along the path that would lead him to this forbidden forest. His journey led him along a dirt path until he could see the great trees in the skyline. He saw the tall green thick trees while walking towards them. He could see the dense forest on his approach. Everything looked clear of any mythical beasts the closer his walk had gotten nearer to the forest. Once he arrives at its outer edge, Thrombus looked around and down the edge of the forest hoping to find some creature to battle. None was found to exist.
     He entered the forest by way of a dirt path that led into its dark brush. He began walking along the path with his ax in hand ready to be pounced on by a fearless beast. He so longed for a good hunt and to win a battle against any beast. He walked deeper in and the light of day seemed to grow dimmer. The height of the trees hid the light of the sun as he searched out beasts for sport.
    Along the path, he would catch glimpses of butterflies, squirrels, and the occasional frog. He had not seen any creatures that would be good for the hunt while he walked, but he continues until it was almost impossible to see anything before he started hearing strange noises in the distance. Once he stopped to listen, they were noises he had never heard before. His hands gripped the ax handle more tightly as he continued to walk slowly. The noises were getting louder as if he was walking up on some huge beast.
     Up ahead, he could barely see through the trees that there was a clearing in front of him. He approached it slowly ready for the attack. Once he pushed past some large dark green leafed shrubs he found himself in the clearing. To him it was beautiful. It was as if he stepped into another world. There was a beautiful pond with brightly colored flowers surrounding it and he could see a few birds in flight and also some perched on nearby branches.
     Thrombus rubbed his eyes in disbelief as he saw standing right in front of him drinking from the pond a huge but glorious looking creature that stood as high as a house with claws that could rip a man's throat out with one swipe. He was careful to not spook the animal as he approached closer. It was covered in fur like a bear with stripes like that of a tiger, and a tail of a scorpion. It was a magnificent looking creature and it brought excitement to Thrombus' mind of a very good battle.
     Before he could take a step closer, out of the corner of his eye he saw something fly by him. Once he got a good view of what flew by, he again rubbed his eyes in disbelief. What he thought to be a flying bug was actually that of a tiny person. It looked like a human, was about three inches tall, and had wings like a butterfly. He could not believe what he was seeing. Before he realized it, there were many of them flying around and some even sitting on tree limbs. It was like a magical realm he stepped into.
     When he looked towards the beast, it had looked up and in his direction. He began to worry that the beast was going to charge him and his hand nervously gripped harder on the ax handle. One of the wee little flying people came close to him and looked on as if in amazement of how big Thrombus was. Thrombus could see its tiny little face as it smiled back at him. It almost warmed his heart to see such a tiny creature other than the pesky mosquitos and flies he is used to. Before he knew it there were many of these tiny creatures coming close to him and they spanned the whole clearing where the beast was.
     Thrombus was starting to see things with different eyes. Where did all of these tiny creatures come from? Then, he saw that they wanted him to follow them. He walked behind them through the clearing coming closer to the beast he was about to battle. It didn't even seem to pay him any mind. He walked closer to it as it made strange noises as it was content being in that clearing. He watched with amazement as it drank from the pond. The tiny creatures took him right up to the creature and he was able to look directly into its eyes. He saw that it was a gentle giant. One of the tiny creatures took his hand and placed it on the head of the humongous creature and began petting it like it was a family pet.
     Thrombus saw how the giant creature enjoyed his touch and acknowledged him. This was something new to him and that beasts like this could be so gentle. He rather enjoyed feeling its soft fur and the way it nudged him wanting more attention. Once he spent a few minutes with the beast it was time to follow the tiny creatures somewhere else. They made their way through the thick brush and he could hear the tiny voices speaking to him. They took him to where the forest was very thick and hidden from the world.
     It was there that he saw the tiny little community these little people lived in. Their leader came forward and begin speaking to Thrombus. It was hard to hear this tiny creature so he had the leader perch on his shoulder and speak directly into his ear. He told Thrombus of their community and how they came to be. They were the keepers of the great forest. They did not want mankind to come in and destroy something so beautiful and wonderful. They frighten those who enter the forest just so humans would stay out. The leader also stated how Thrombus was not supposed to get in as far as he did and those who slipped up will be reprimanded accordingly.
     Thrombus was told that he must not tell anyone of what he has seen in this forest to which Thrombus agreed. He was told that there are many creatures here that man has never laid eyes on and that is what makes this forest so special. If man were to find out, they would come in and destroy all that is within the forest starting with cutting down the trees which have been here for centuries. Thrombus was intrigued so much that he dropped his ax and offered his services of protecting the great forest. This made the tiny leader so pleased that he announced to his people that Thrombus would be another protector of the great forest. Everyone shouted good tidings and jumped for joy. After speaking with the leader, Thrombus was shown around the forest and wondered at the sights of the new beasts he saw. There were many and it seemed as if the forest went on forever.
     When it was time for him to rest, the tiny people helped him make a tree hut for him to sleep and be sheltered from the rain. He was pleased with his new friends and vowed to protect this forest with his life. Every morning the tiny humans would wake him with nuts and fruits for him to eat. After having his fill of food, he would walk around the forest looking for intruders to which he would scare off with his ax. Thrombus now found a place for him to live and be happy and now he too was a keeper of the great forest.


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