A Blessing

The last of the winter’s snow had been melted away by a smiling spring Sun. Warmth once again filled the land, being gratefully absorbed by everything under the Sun’s gaze. The Eldest Tree watched over all of this, providing a huge circle of shade under its green skirt.
On a sprouting branch deep amid the Eldest Tree’s tangle of leaves, a tiny pod began to tremble. Sensing this movement, the Eldest Tree gathered wind to bend the nearby leaves and tapped gently on the pod’s smooth surface. There was a moment’s hesitation, then the Being inside the pod felt the cooling breeze summoning it to life and began to shake once more, realigning itself gradually with the world.
A tiny knocking could be heard from inside the pod, and the Eldest Tree listened eagerly. For many minutes the knocking continued, until finally an expectant silence fell. The Eldest Tree was not concerned. Calling softly with its breathy voice, it once again tapped on the pod. This time the result was immediate: encouraged to continue, the Being within the pod beat strongly on its prison walls.
A line of warm spring Sun burst suddenly through the pod’s split wall. The Being hesitated, feeling its first touch of Sun since childhood so long ago. Then slowly, with great anticipation, the Being eased itself out of the pod which had been its safe home for so long. Freedom felt so wonderful. The Eldest Tree whispered sweet nothings to its newest godchild, welcoming it back from its exile.
For a long time, the newly reborn Being clung wearily to the steadily drying pod. It slipped in and out of lethargic sleep as the Eldest Tree sang ancient lullabies, and the green leaves provided shelter from unfriendly animals.
Drifting out of a warm dream, the Being opened its eyes to a beautiful sight visible through a drop of water on one of the Eldest Tree’s leaves: gorgeous orange, black and yellow velvet wings clung to a fragilely slim frame. A graceful black face was peering back at the Being from the droplet, its long and tubelike mouth curved neatly away under its neck. The Being considered this newcomer curiously for a moment, then asked the Eldest Tree, “Who is that which lies yonder, and from whence has it come?”
The Eldest Tree laughed then; a large, forceful laugh, as breathy as its voice and yet stronger than the Sun. “It is you, fair one,” the Eldest Tree crooned. “And it has come from the land of our forefathers. It is a blessing!”
The Being regarded its reflection once more, then smiled and whispered to the Tree. “It is.”
Then the Being sprung from its hanging perch and with a conclusive flutter of wings, vanished into the daytime. The Eldest Tree waved its leaves lazily in a final farewell, and in a sheltered green cave nearby its trunk another tiny pod began to tremble.

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