The Tree of Wisdom

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Someone needs advise, NOW! --- But from a tree, Really?

Submitted: November 15, 2016

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Submitted: November 15, 2016



Along the King's road and into the forest rode a rather dignified looking man. His horse was a beauty, a black stallion with eyes so striking they seemed to pierce shadowy places.

The man wore clothes best suited for a nobleman and carried a sword, with sheath at his side.

On his back and at his shoulder was a finely crafted quiver that held eight feathered arrows. A Cross-bow was neatly housed in a holstered harness that was part of and just behind the horses saddle; both made of the finest materials.

The man rode along the pathway to a clearing, which was near the river's edge. The clearing held a spreading Olive Tree, its branches so wide that they stretched over the entire clearing and over areas of the river itself.

The man stopped the horse, "Woo, Sable," and tied it to a small crab-apple tree. "Don't eat too much, my friend, or you will sour your stomach."

The horse seemed to answer as it whinnied in a timely reply.

The man turned and walked toward the river until he drew near the trunk of the olive tree. As he stopped walking he called out, "Are You the Tree of Wisdom?"

There was no answer.

"Are You The Tree of Wisdom?" The man questioned in an even loader voice.

Still, there was no answer.

The man pulled from its sheath the sword. With a striking motion he cut off one of the tree's smaller branches, then he repeated the question, "Are You The Tree of Wisdom?"

Again the man received no answer, so he made ready to cut a bigger limb.

"Yes, I am," The Tree exclaimed. "And I would advise that there is no need for violence to receive an answer, patience is not just a virtue, and it is an asset as well. Now if you do not mind I too would like an answer. Who are you?"

"I am King Rikel of Quentin, Regent of Lamer, and First General of the combined armies of two nations."

The tree replied, "Well, please know good King that I am at your service for all my days. So please tell me what brings you to my humble dwelling place?" 

The King replied, "I have need of counsel regarding a pressing matter.

King Gourd, from the lands of Lucinda, Gamin, and Welting, has demanded a tribute to be paid to him, the sum of which our kingdoms do not have.

King Gourd's army is twice that of our combined armies, so we would be hard pressed to win any battle against him.

My question is this, "What course of action might I take to avoid a war without complete surrender, or is there such an option available?"

The Tree replied, "My wisdom does not branch out into the dealings of war and strategy, for those things one needs logic and luck."

"Nonsense," yelled the King, "I need answers and I need them now. I have heard of your wisdom and if you do not help me then I shall hack you to pieces right where you stand."

"Woo, that is not necessary," said the frightened tree, "I simply meant that I needed more information before giving you a course of action to follow."


The tree asked the King to make himself comfortable while it considered all the possibilities.

"Does your castle have access all around and is the roadway wide?" questioned the tree.

"Yes, very wide and surrounding the castle is woodlands," said the King.

The tree discussed the castle's surroundings at great length and then explained to the King what he should do; the king promptly left upon his trusty steed.

When King Rikel of Quentin arrived at his castle he ordered his Captains to assemble the legions before the Main gates of the castle.

After they had assembled he saw the great mass of them, for they filled the clearings and hillsides in front of the castle.

So King Rikel ordered that they walk in a single line around the castle, they were to do that until the first man in the line met the last man interning the line, then they were to start a new line next to the first line. By the time that the last warrior walked into the line there was a line of five warriors, side by side. Side by side, five warriors walked in a continuous line all around the castle.

Then the King sent word that he wanted the lines adjusted so that no-one could see, from the castle gates, that the line was actually a circle.

When the King had finished fine-tuning his parade of warriors, it appeared that the warriors were five abreast and in a continuous line that never seemed to end.

With that accomplished the king ordered that the warriors practice this maneuver until they could assemble, out of sight of the castle, and start filing passed the gates in a continuous and seemingly never ending pattern. Working on this day and night, it was done within the week.

King Rikel sent an invitation to King Gourd, inviting him to their celebration of two-moon, which included a great feast and a grand parade. In the invitation King Rikel hinted at a discussion regarding the tribute.


On the morning of the festivities, King Gourd arrived fashionably late with his entourage in tow, including his personnel guards.

Yes, there was much celebration and it seems King Gourd had more to drink that he should, a common and well known practice of his. So by the time the parade was to start his eyesight was a tad on the blurred side and his reasoning in disarray.

Both Kings took their official positions in their respective chairs, side by side on a viewing platform constructed in front of the castle gates. And as the parade began, even more wine was served.

First the jugglers passed by, then the clowns, men on stilts and tumblers galore. Ah, then came dancing girls holding moon banners and children tossing rose-peddles all about.

Then the bugles blew and trumpets sounded, and the warriors began filing by. Drum beat after drum beat, warrior after warrior, they marched. Five warriors, shoulder to shoulder, cannon carts rolled, archers, swordsman, and lancers, all in what looked like a never ending army. The warriors filed by for such a long time that King Gourd looked puzzled and somewhat alarmed.

King Gourd complained that it was growing late and asked when the parade would be over.

"Tomorrow, my friend," replied King Rikel "Sometime tomorrow."


It was not long after that King Gourd excused himself and his people. He said something about a tummy ache and the Mutton must have been spoiled.

King Gourd and his armies took-up camp and soon headed east towards the fertile valleys of the Her-non peoples. Within the year, tinkers and other travelers brought word that King Gourd and his armies were defeated in a horrendous battle with the Five Legions of Saltron. King Gourd and more than half his army fell to the sword.


Now there is not a lot that you can do to reward a tree for good advice, but King Rikel of Quentin, Regent of Lamer, and First General of the combined armies of two nations, tried.

He named the Olive Tree as the Official Tree of the Realm and had many trees planted all around the kingdom.

One of the offspring of The Tree of Wisdom was planted within the castle gardens, and the likeness of The Tree of Wisdom was added to the Kings Family's Coat Of Arms.

Now those are some real accomplishments for a tree that just made a wild guess and used some logic to avoid being cut to pieces. Not bad at all.


D. Thurmond / JEF --- 11-13-2016








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