The Lonely Dryad
The Lonely Dryad

elysandra and fayeElysandra wept as she remembered. When first she opened her eyes it had been to a sunny glade at the centre of a wood which extended as far as the eye could see and the ear could hear. She had been one dryad amongst many.

Happy with her family, at one with the universe. She had enjoyed the rare occasions when humans entered the glade. She had watched their merry games and happy picnics. And one little girl had been her special friend. Alone amongst the humans she had sensed the presence of the dryads.

On her very first visit to the wood she threw her arms around Elysandra's tree. "I know your in their she whispered, tell me your name so that we can be friends". And when Elysandra answered the girl heard the answer whispered in the wind. "Elysandra, what a pretty name. My name's Fay and I've come to live in the village at the edge of the wood".

Over the years Fay shared all of her her secrets, her joyys her fears with Elysandra. When Fay first fell in love Elysandra shared her rapture. When Fays hero turned out to have feet of clay Elysandra's heart broke with her. As they sat with their backs hard against the trees soft bark it was almost as if the girl and the dryad shared a soul.

They shared ten happy years untill the day Fay ran into the glade sobbing as if she would never stop. As she cried a river of wild tears she somehow managed to explain that her family were moving abroad and she had to go with them so they would never see Elysandra again.

That day marked for Elysandra the beginning of the change. The wood grew smaller and smaller as the houses crawled closer and closer. The summer picnics stopped t be replace by thoughtless boys who carved upon her bark and broke her branches. Elysandra endured the ruin by dreaming that she could break free of her tree and fly to Fays side. But she knew that cound not be. She and the tree that was her home were intricately bound. She was it's life, and it was hers, they could not survive without each other.

Elysandra's tree was now the only tree left. She shuddered as she remembered the death screams of the other dryads. Their souls rendered apart as the tres were hewn from the ground. One lonely silver birch on a tiny patch of straggly grass.

She knew that the yellow tapes around the area she stood upon. signalled that her tree was soon to be uprooted and that she would be no more. She almost looked forward to it at least she wouldn't be lonely anymore.

But wait, who was that middle aged woman running towatds her shouting her name. "I made it" Fay shispered, "I was so afraid I wouldn't be in time". "Fay" Elysandra sighed "I missed you so much" but Fay did not seem to hear her and she lost all hope. Elysandra realised that with adulthood Fay had stopped believing in magic and faeries, and dryads called Elysandra. Without belief she couldnt hear her anymore. Her heart shattered and Elysandra no longer cared what happened to her.

When the men approached with their picks and spades Elysandra knew her time had come and having lost all hope welcomed it. She was a little surprised that they seemed to have decide to kill her tree by hand rather than using the machines they had for the other trees. As the final root tore from the ground Elysandra did not scream, just gave one last lonely sigh as everything went black.

Slowly Elysandra became aware of the sound of joyful singing and dryads voices whispering a welcome. For a moment she thought she was in the summer lands, the dryads heaven. But then like a crystal bell sounding on the air she heard Fays voice "This is the tree that started my love for nature. Without this tree I would never have started the nature park. When I heard that there was just one tree left in Shady Glade Wood I knew it would be this one and had to save it and bring it here".

As Elysandra opened her eyes she found that she was in a sunny glade at the centre of a wood, which extended as far as the eye could see and the hear could hear. Right next to Elysandra's tree was a ragged rock engraved with words, though Elysandra could nor read for no dryad needed to read she knew they were words of power and magic. Had she been able to read, she would have known that Though she no longer believed Fay remembered her dryad friend for the plaque read "Dryads Wood. Nature Park and Educational Trust".

elysandra and sandyScattered around the glade were many wooden benches. On one of them sat Faye with a group of eager children huddled at her feet listening intently to every word she uttered.

One little girl had wandered away from the group and stood gazing intently at Elysandra and her tree. "My Mummy may be a teacher but sometimes she's very silly" whispered the little girl. "She thinks your just a tree, but I can see you in there. Tell me your name so that we can be friends. And when Elysandra answere the girl heard the answer whispered in the wind. "Elysandra what a pretty name" she said throwing her arms around Elysandra's tree. "My name is Sandy and I'm glad you've come to live in my wood. With a sigh of complete happiness Elysandra knew she would never be lonely again.

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