Abigail Furman

Prof. Black

April 14, 2008

Eng. Comp. Skills Final

I met Tristan Blackburn when he was very young, just a babe. His parents had been killed by an old black bear because they had gotten close to her cubs. I told the angry bear to let the child live; to take her cubs and leave. So there little Tristan sat crying at my feet, tears streaming across rosy cheeks wetting the ground. I tried to soothe the weeping child, whispering a song my mother had sung to me. Then I glanced down to see wide, glistening eyes of such a vibrant green I'd never beheld before. Dark blonde curls in a mess upon his head, mud smudged on his face, clothes, and hands he curled up at my side and was lulled to sleep by the song of my people.

The Lady of the Night Sky rose and set while I kept my watch till the sweet dawn arose and into my home came poor Tristan's grandparents. It had been many seasons since I'd last seen Dante Blackburn, and I did not know if he could still hear me so I waited to call out to him. Although time had changed him, his spirit was still as strong as ever. I watched as he and his wife found their son and daughter-in-law; then I called his name.

"Dante," my voice carried on the wind and again, "Dante."

His head snapped up and he turned to look at me then; he had not forgotten his old companion.

"Hello, my friend," Dante's voice crackled with emotion as he spoke, "you didn't happen to see a small child recently did you?"

The young Tristan awoke at the sound of a familiar voice and rustled the bed of grass he had made. I could practically hear Dante's heart skip as a tiny, sleepy voice broke the silence.

"Gam-pa?"

Dante let out a cry and I can't recall a time when I'd seen a man shed so many tears. It was then that I heard once more the beautiful song of his soul.

Forty-eight seasons had passed and every week Tristan would come to my home and listen to tales of days before his time, stories passed to me from my mother and hers before her. We did not dwell on the concerns of the past and dreadful memories, the beauty of the forest and those who had passed through it. We would spend hours enjoying the sound of the wild, the songs of the birds, and I, teaching Tristan the names of all the animals. Although Tristan learned many things from me he had an insatiable need for knowledge of the past; so he spent the majority of his childhood in the South Boss' Grove learning as much as he could, from all of my people who would talk to him.

Over the years the little town edged closer to my forest and the land of my ancestors; this saddened both Tristan and I. He had tried to get the town Mayor to come speak with me about the damage being done to my home many times, but most of the town's inhabitants thought Tristan wasn't right in the head. We just wanted to preserve all the nature present in its original habitat. For several months the townspeople tried to keep Tristan or anyone else from entering the forest; they believed it to be a mystical place filled with danger and they simply couldn't understand why Tristan, of all people, didn't grasp the concept.

The next time Tristan was to visit me was the night of the Aurora Borealis. I had told Tristan many stories of the spectacular site. He came to sit beside me as the dusk was coming to an end, but he was not alone. He had brought a young lady with straight raven hair in stark contrast to Tristan's wavy ash blonde and she looked at him in search of an answer to her unspoken question.

"Caoimhe, I'd like you to meet my girlfriend, Reyna Holmes," Tristan introduced the girl beside him bringing her forward so she was illuminated by the lingering sunlight.

"It's a pleasure to meet you," she spoke with a light hesitancy in her voice, blue-green eyes looking back at Tristan as she gave a little bow.

"You have no need to bow to me, child," I said as her eyes widened in shock, "come, now, sit beside me, for the Northern Lights will soon be visible."

Tristan dropped his pack on the ground and pulled a caramel colored blanket from it, which he unraveled and laid down for Reyna and himself to sit upon. There, along the banks of Frog's Helm Lake, the three of us sat together and watched as the amazing phenomena took hold of the sky. Midnight blue transformed into wisps of cerulean melting into azure light that swam with lime and aqua upon the clear starry backdrop while reflections of teal and olive danced across the lake drawing the outline of blooming lily pads.

"Listen, do you hear their song?" Tristan whispered in Reyna's ear while still looking across the water.

"Hear whose song?" she replied in confusion, "Caoimhe's?"

"There is a way nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story," he sighed as he ran his hand through his hair.

"Close your eyes and clear your mind; just relax."

The wind whistled past her ear and upon it was a quiet melody, so she listened harder. She could feel her heart quicken in anticipation as the chorus of the forest sang out to her. Still her eyes remained closed, but even in the dark I could see the smile spread across her face; the quirk of a slender eyebrow as she began to sway in time to the music, completely entranced by the glorious arrangement. Slowly she stood beginning to twirl, her eyes now shining to the sky, her voice adding to the harmony of the birds. I began to sing with the rest while Tristan chose to enjoy the ballet before him.

He had chosen well.