The Heads of Others

 Once upon a time there was a little girl who couldn't sleep. So she got out of bed, pulled on her boots, and escaped into the forest. By day it was a forest of the usual kind. But by night it was, like all forests, enchanted. She had known this for some time. But she had yet to experience the enchantment for herself. 

    And the kind of enchantment she discovered was, to say the least, unusual.

    It happened, that in her particular enchanted forest, when the sun dropped so low that the night was nothing more than darkness under the thick branches, the animals gathered in circles around pools of stars that had fallen from the sky unseen during the day. And there they switched their heads.

    The badgers took on the heads of owls, the owls took on the heads of foxes, the rabbits took the heads of mice, and so on and so forth. 

    The little girl stared in wide-eyed wonder, as the animals calmly exchanged their heads and began to sip cups of tea. That was when the conversation began. A mingling. Like grown-ups at a party. Except, unlike the grown-ups, the animals all looked like they were enjoying themselves immensely.

    It must have been almost dawn when the animals, with as much calm as they had begun, exchanged back their heads and each went their way.

    The little girl crept back into bed and lay there for a long time.

    She had a lot to think about. After all it had been a very strange night. But then, maybe not so strange. Humans, she thought, could learn a lot from animals.

A Potent Curative

There was once a woman filled with all kinds of wondrous intentions. Her heart longed to be filled with pity and compassion and delight and joy. But she was tired.      And so, her story was a heart filled only with longing.      There was once a man who wanted nothing more than to be kind. His heart desired nothing less than altruistic endeavors where all of his selfish wants and desires would slip away like smoke. But he was tired.     And so, his story was a heart of only wants and desires.      There was once another woman who was granted grace. Her story was different.     There was once another man who was granted grace. His story was different, too.     The difference was this: from grace came rest, from rest came good hearts, from good hearts came noble deeds. And when the man and the woman gave grace to other tired people, the world, as if by magic, began a far better story.

The Curious Dichotomy of Dullness

 The girl had an edge. The trouble was, it took a great deal to find it. It was like rubbing up against a dull knife only to find the one sharp spot with the center of your thumb. She bit. And she was judged for it.     But she didn't care. She didn't mind mostly being dull. Mostly, because she couldn't have born her edge had it been all of her. She took to honing her edge with the greatest care, and letting the rest of the dullness blanket the rest of her in bits of rust.     It came in handy with enemies.       Seemingly dull people always have enemies. Strangely, jealousy is often involved. Enemies of dull people tend to have anxiety problems, which isn't true for mostly dull people. They wanted her calm. Not that her enemies ever realized what it was about her that tickled their envy.     The girl used her edge to a purpose. It was designed for precision. It wielded her mind and turned it into a razor. Her enemies were right to unknowingly long for her gift.      Be

Where the Ancients Go When No One is Looking

 The forest felt shiny, which was odd considering its age. It was the anticipation that came from a feeling in the wind that spoke of bold twists and gnarled turns. This, too, was unusual.     Especially because all that was coming for it was change.     But, as it happened, the forest relished something different. It had weathered differences like a nail weathers a sledgehammer - allowing hit after hit until suddenly it felt secure.      Now, it is very possible that security can breed discontentment, disillusion, even fear. Worse still, boredom. But this was not the forest's security. The forest dug into stasis, knowing that the wind always brought about something new. And with deep roots and reaching branches lay a balance. Shine. Oldness.      The forest let the wind whisper, let the change twist it's limbs, and the storms gnarl it's branches over and over again. Until it was perfect.     And then, of course, it disappeared. Nothing perfect stays for more than a moment

The Darkness

 Once upon a time there was a little girl who had the whole world at her fingertips. All was bright and merry, brimming with... everything. But as time went on and she and the world grew older, the world began to slip away.     After awhile it seemed that there was no world left for her to reach.     All grew dim. At last, all turned to empty darkness.     She gathered all her courage then, and every last ounce of strength. In the darkness, she made a new world.     And suddenly she was flame.