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Small Things

 Once upon a time there was a woman who felt broken; for the days were long, the demands great, and the reception of her work filled with mockings and scoffers.

    Thus she sat on the floor of her home and wept.

    She knew that the age of wonders and mysteries had passedshe had heard it from the men who claimed wisdom and special knowledge from their elevated platforms. But somewhere in the depths of her the idea of their truth did not ring true. And so, under the weight that bowed her body, she sat still and asked.

    A knock sounded at the door.

    Her head lifted. A heady scent came through the air.

    She answered the door to a friendly face and a steaming meal of soup and bread.

    In a moment, nothing had changed, yet everything had changed.

    All the knowledge in her mind shifted.

    And she began to heal.

Three Old Women

 Once upon a time there were three old women who sat together and worried about the fate of the world.     'But what can we do about it?' pondered one.     'Little at our age,' said another.     'Are we so sure?' asked the third. 'There are things, perhaps...'     'Like what?' asked the first.     'Smiling?' put forward the third.     'Oh, that is very good,' said the other. 'And maybe serving tea?' she added carefully.     'Yes, and perhaps crafting a book filled with all the things we have learned in three lifetimes...' mused the first, with her fingers round her jaw.     They smiled at one another. They had tea. And in the next moment, when they started the plan to tell the stories of their lives, the world began to change.

A Village of Witches

 Once upon a time there was a small village of witches and a single carpenter.       The carpenter was known as the 'village carpenter' and went about doing all the building and repairs that the witches needed. One can easily imagine the pine tables soon to be scrubbed and covered in a wealth of potions, the oak pegs where herbs would be hung to dry, the humble rocking chair, the roof repairs, the fences...     It does beg the question, though: how did the village get by with only a carpenter and a bunch of witches?     The answer comes with a cocked head and a pitying gaze, the shake of the head, and a small saddened smile.     For it is true: they could have used a blacksmith.

An Epiphany

The day had been a long one, with hardly enough time to scratch the surface of the long list of tasks the woman had jotted down at the start of the day on an old piece of wrinkled parchment.             But this was par for the course.             And it was cold.             What was she to do, she thought, about the days coming to their end far too quickly?             So very quickly.             And too dark.             It was enough to wring the aliveness out of anyone.             The woman took a moment to train her mind. She tossed her task-filled parchment into the fire, then stole out into the darkness. She whispered to the trees; perhaps she could wake dryads. She let her boot-clad toe break the surface of the river, humming and willing water sprites to spring forth. Then she spread her arms and whirled about until snow began to fall in soft gentle flakes against her cheeks.             When the woman returned home, she made herself a cup of spiced tea.   

A Standing Tree

There was once a tree that had stood for a very long time looking out off the edge of a forest.     It was perhaps strange for it do so, for many of his brothers had been cut down for standing so boldly.     But, however the danger, it stood firmly at the edge.     For it was far better to take the risk and be able to see.