Deep in the sleepy hollow and quiet stream that bubbles by the willow tree. The tree has a secret; the tree shared a bond with a woman who wept for a man that she truly loved but never got love in return. The woman's name has changed from telling to telling but it was always one that talked of nature and beauty, but the most common name of which the woman was given was Naturia.
On the island of Sardinia, the land of riches and the land of beauty around every tree and place, but there was only one woman that was fought over because she was the most beautiful and the most caring, she was Naturia. There was only one man, by the name of Aurelius, which did not share the view of the other men, by which Aurelius did not wish to seek out this Naturia because he was in love with another. Naturia was in fact the opposite of everything that Aurelius was. She first saw him in the main square, noble and proud a man of war, with thick lustrous golden locks that shone like gold thread in the sun light. She loved him from then on, always trying to change his ways to love her in return but yet he still love another and not Naturia.
Naturia was said to be born of the gods but in fact that she was not but was still in favor of the gods that she was gifted with her beauty and charm. For; Saturn the god of time made it so that she never aged and always stayed in perfect beauty, from Apollo the god of the sun made her skin as bronzed as a golden vase. Flora the goddess of flowers and Venus the goddess of love both worked together along with the other gods to make her smell as sweet as a mid summers rose and loved like a mother would of a new born child. Naturia was a beauty the most beautiful in the entire island but she only loved one, one whom did not love her in return.
Aurelius was the son of a warrior the man who was at the side of Alexander the Great as he conquered the known world of today. He was not a noble but he was greatly accepted among the nobles of the time. Mars the god of war was very fond of Aurelius and wished him the best, making sure that he was seen for the noble man that he was and the strength that he possessed could take down a full grown bull by the horns in one mighty swing of his arm. He was the envy of all the women in the island but he only had eyes for one, that one was Titiana. She was the noble the daughter of Alexander, they experienced one another grow up and live life. Aurelius only had eyes for her but she was destined for another, and forgot about Aurelius and the past they had with one another.
There was one tree in the middle of the hollow that was on the island. This tree, a willow, was the place of sanctuary for Naturia. The tree was her friend and knew her deepest secrets of how she longed for Aurelius to take her hand in marriage and how she never liked any of the other men that pawed after her like little puppies after their mother. She would be in the trees embrace as she poured her soul sitting on the branches hugging the slender leaves to her face as she wiped her tears. But Naturia was not the only one who knew about this willow. Aurelius was a hunter and knew of the creatures that hide in the hollow and had stumbled upon the willow in surprise to see the peacefulness that it brought over him.
Naturia, nestled in the higher branches was unseen by Aurelius and remained silent as he came forth to the main roots that spread along the ground like the silk of a spiders web.
"Oh drooping tree with your branches and vines look of peace and sincerity. Oh how I yearn for Titiana and for her love in return of mine but yet that shall never happen." Aurelius sighed and slumped to the ground patting the tree.
Naturia, startled by the new being that was with her, smiled and thought that she would be helpful and give her love some advice. She spoke in a wistful voice and called below the Aurelius, "oh gentle man you will seek your love and she will love you. If you will return on the marrow I will have something that will help her return the love you feel for her."
Startled he jumped from his place and said, "Do you really wish to help a soul like mine at love and divine pleasure?"
"Yes certainly, just return on the marrow at this time and I shall have something to help you."
"Oh, blessed tree I am ever so grateful I have not one thing but this and you have given it to me, thank you ever so much." He answered and broke off at a run back towards his home.
He seemed to fly, his feet never touching the ground as though the love and happiness he felt was making him fly. He could never wait for the marrow to come any faster soon he will have his Titiana; soon she will love him as he had for all these lonely years.
Naturia cackled with glee, "I did it! I will get him to love me for sure I will produce a potion, but not one of love but one of transformation. Once one drop of the liquid graces her lips she will turn into a dying tree with scaly branches and sickly leaves that no one not even Aurelius will want to be around that silly tree." And thus she started her work. She gathered plants and created a potion that would turn the drinker into a tree of ugly sight. She worked well into the night then finally as the morning rays appeared her was done and place the potion in easy sight.
Soon Aurelius came and shouted, "I am here oh peaceful glorious tree I am here. Now where is the help I seek?" He frantically looks around the ground and up in the tree.
"Look at the place where I meet the ground and you will find the help you seek." Naturia answered calmly even though just below the surface she was gleeful and more giddy then a child in a sweets shop. "In the vile is a potion that will make her return your love to the fullest that you have given her."
"Oh thank you sweet tree, I am ever in your debt most grateful tree. You have all the thanks that I can give. I cannot express the happiness that I feel with your help." He smiled and strode off as giddy as a young boy.
When he was fully out of sight she scampered down to the ground. She sighed and smiled happily. She was going to finally get her love and live the life of happiness that she desired most. She could not wait for him to return to have him fall in love with her, since Titiana will be the ugly worthless tree. No one would love her then.
But little does Naturia know that the potion was not what is seemed. Minerva the goddess of wisdom saw what was going on and did not approve. Love is love and should not be tampered with no matter who wants to or what one thinks should happen. So the goddess gave the ingredients for a different potion than one that Naturia originally wanted to make. One that would turn not the drinker but the giver into a nasty scaly tree, thus showing the wise decision that was not made in the beginning. Minerva smiled to herself as she watched Aurelius go off the give his love the potion not knowing what would happen. But it would soon all unfold.
Aurelius was just so gleeful that he could not wait to see Titiana, so straight from the meadow he went to see Titiana. It was a pleasant day, clouds were scarce and the sky was as blue as the ocean, the birds were singing as to share in Aurelius' happiness. Titiana, since she was daughter to Alexander the Great, she lived like she was the queen in a luxurious house made of ivory white marble. Climbing up the steps Aurelius strode into the atrium to find Titiana resting on one of the many settees's enjoying the cool breeze that ruffled her bronze hair; he stopped to admire her but then continued to approach.
"Hello Titiana, you look as lovely as a rose." He said as he came closer
"Oh hello Aurelius, why thank you. This is quite an unexpected visit, to what do I own thee." She returned shifting to bring full attention to him.
"Would you care to share a glass of wine with me? It is one of the warmer days and I am quite parched." Aurelius started to walk over to the jug of wine sitting on the table. Pouring first the potion, that he got from Naturia in the meadow, into one goblet and pouring wine over it he returned to where she sat with a goblet for himself. "Here you are love. A toast to the wonderful day may it be marked and celebrated for years to come."
They both sat and drank several glasses of wine and talked about the day and how, indeed, it was glorious. Finally the sun was setting and Aurelius returned to his own dwelling, soon he will have his love, soon she will love him like he has since the first time they met, but how soon? That was what he did not ask, he would go back tomorrow and ask the mysterious willow when he will have his love.
Naturia danced and danced the all night. She cackled with glee and screamed into the night, "He's mine, he's mine, my love will soon be mine in a short time, oh I love Aurelius and Aurelius will love me!"
Morning soon arose and Naturia went to wait by the willow. She didn't have to wait long for Aurelius to come around he soon strode toward the willow.
"Oh wonderful willow, Titiana will be mine but there is one thing that I do not know is that when she will be mine, how long before Titiana will love me?" he paced in front of the tree waiting for an answer.
"Aurelius, the thing you seek will soon be here, just wait a moment longer and your Titiana will return your love that you give her so much."
"But how long…." Aurelius was going to ask again, but he never got to finish his question because he started so grow taller, his already bronze skin growing darker and darker till almost as black as the night before. His feet began to furrow into the ground below, his arms stretching for the sky, "what is happening?" He continued to grow and become tree like. He screamed and then it was silent in the meadow.
Naturia came out from behind the willow tree to find a gruesome sight. Black scaly bark and sickly looking leaves, it was a sight of pure horror. Naturia could not believe the scene before her eyes, Aurelius once a strong handsome man was now a sickly burnt looking tree. Then inscribed in the bark was a brief message, "No one can change love."
Naturia; most beautiful woman of the island with bronzed skin by Apollo, endless beauty by Saturn, always loved by Venus, and as sweet as a summers rose by Flora, the woman that was wanted most out of the entire island, wept. She sank to the ground at the base of the willow and wept. She wept for days and days never stopping day or night, until finally she could weep no longer and she died. At the base of the willow tree, the weeping willow tree.