Becky's Gift

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic

The nine-year-old Becky has the gift to talk with trees. They are her friends. When her parents are kidnapped by a gang of murderers trees help her to release them.

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The nine-year-old Becky  lived happily with her family in a cosy small cottage near a green wood in the English  country. Her mother, Alison, took care of the house and the orchard and her father, Bob, was a woodsman. Their life was peaceful and serene.
Becky was a tall, slim and aerial girl with blue dreaming eyes and golden hair. She was  very kindhearted and loved  her parents so much, she would do anything for them.
She was a very special girl, she had a gift: she could understand plants and they talked to her.
She liked to go into the wood, sit down under a tree and talk with branches, flowers and leaves.
She used to have long conversations with them and spend there whole mornings and afternoons. Trees were her dear friends and wise teachers. Thanks to them she  had learnt the four seasons and how they affected  all the world around, the beauty of the country in Spring, the full splendor of colours in Summer, their marvellous changing in Autumn and the whiteness of Winter when nature sleeps waiting for Spring.
She could recognize plants and flowers without making mistakes and could prepare medical herb teas.
Like all children of her age  she liked to enjoy herself and her friends often played  music swaying  their leaves, their branches and their petals so that she could dance and sing. Sometimes they bent down their branches and let her walk from a tree to another up above giving her the sensation to touch the sky and the clouds. She was never afraid. She felt happy and safe with them, they protected her.
When a bad storm was arriving trees would warn Becky to run home and  tell her parents.
Alison always asked her daughter: “ Sweetheart, what do you do in the wood? Don’t you get bored to be there alone, without any friends? Sometimes you remain there for hours, I’m worried, you can touch toxic plants and  there are dangerous animals, too”.
Becky didn’t like to see her mother  anxious so she used to embrace her and caressing  her face gently she answered : “ You mustn’t worry, Mummy, I’ve plenty of friends in the wood, I’m safe there, you know,  they protect me. Do you remember yesterday when I came home and told you to close windows and doors as a frightening storm was coming? They had told me and sent me home. There’re toxic plants but my friends warn  me which ones not to touch. They have taught me their characteristics , so now I know which one to use  to help Daddy with his backache or you when your  hands hurt. If there’re dangerous animals they send them away with their branches. I feel safe there, Mummy, trees love me and I love them. They are my friends and my teachers. Ask Daddy, he told me to trust the wood”.
Alison didn’t have the gift shared by father and daughter, she couldn’t talk with trees, she was unable to hear their voices, but she didn’t care, she was happy because she knew that her marvellous daughter would never have been alone in her life.
One morning Becky was sitting under an oak tree chatting amiably and heartily with them when a redbreast flew on a birch and began to chirp more and more  agitated leaping from a branch  to another and moving its small head rapidly.
The  bird looked very upset and while chirping  the trees too, listening to what it was reporting, began to shake their branches as moved by a strong wind.
Becky was firstly  amazed and then frightened when the oldest tree bent down to her and said calmly: “ Dear, dear girl, my feathery friend is telling me a gang of thieves and murderers have destroyed your home and kidnapped your parents. Your father has been badly stabbed during the fighting to defend his wife, but he was alone against so many, a useless try. Two of them are still there waiting for you. Absolutely you mustn’t go home. Stay here, they can’t harm you  if you’re with us, you know.
Surely they’ll be fed up to wait for you,and they’ll reach the gang. Our feathery friend will inform us about their leaving  and you’ll be able to go back home”.
All of a sudden Becky felt weak and breathless. She was devastated hearing what the bird had reported. Her sure, safe, sweet world was suddenly shattered in pieces, destroyed by criminals, her parents could be dead,  killed by those horrible people. The old tree had told: ”You’ll be able to go back home”. Which home? She had no home without her loved parents.  She couldn’t say a word, she started to cry and sob silently.
The trees were surprised to see how miserable and desperate  the girl  looked. They didn’t  wholly understand her. After all the good and bad things they had seen in their long lives that one was simply an episode.
And then, abruptly, the girl reacted. She stopped crying, she felt furious, she wanted to run after the criminals in order to release her parents. Who could help them but her?
The trees were now flabbergasted watching the sudden change in the twiggy girl and tried to discourage her: “Little girl, you’re talking nonsenses. They’re criminals, you’re so young and without any help, you can’t  be serious. They’ll kill both you and your parents if they’re still alive, obviously!”
“Now you’re talking nonsenses, my dear old and wise friend” cried Becky” I’m young but, certainly, not alone. I’ve a secret weapon: you and all your world. You can tell all your friends to help me, you can convince them to spark off a war, if necessary, against those criminals. Please, do not leave me alone, don’t let my parents die, don’t abandon my beautiful mother in those criminals’ hands. Please, help us! You know my father, his respect and love for your world, don’t forget him.
You’ve seen so many tragedies in your centuries-old life, don’t let mine be one of those”.
The trees, the plants and the flowers listened to Becky attentively and then the oldest oak simply asked: ”What do you want us to do?”
The aerial but determined girl climbed on a rock and  shouting to make herself heard she began to give orders as a commander-in-chief .
“ Ask your friends where my parents are now and find three fast and strong  horses so I can reach them as soon  as possible. Tell them to block the criminals  in a wood so when I’m on the spot their branches will keep them still so that I can  release my parents and ride away with them. What do you think? Can you do this for me?”.
The trees were shocked by the astute plan devised by their little friend  in such a short time. They assured all their support. In a few minutes three superb black horses arrived and Becky jumped on one and started her race against the clock.
She didn’t know where to go , she simply followed the directions given by the trees and never stopped, she only changed  the horse not to tire the same one. She rode night and day avoiding villages, farmhouses, and streets preferring the dark, deep, lovely, familiar woods where friendly whispering voices gave her support, courage and news. She never felt alone, thousands of friends were with her. They told her how frightened her mother had been  on hearing her sweetie was following them. When the criminals had ravished their house, stabbed Bob and then kidnapped them her only consolation had been Becky was safe in the wood, but now she felt  her heart trembling with fear. They informed also the father was a little bit better thanks to some roots found in the gang’s camp.
Finally the trees warned Becky to slow down and to be silent as she was really close. She dismounted from the horse, left them behind and silently crawled towards the murderers’ gang.
At last she could see the loved parents under a tree, the father lying exhausted on the naked earth and the mother trying to give him something to drink. Becky could hear  the whispering voices of the trees telling Bob she was there  and that they had to move away from the trees as it was too dangerous to stay there. He  touched his wife’s hand  and, together,  very slowly, started creeping  away from the tree where they had been resting till then trying to get close to the place where Becky was waiting for them.
At the beginning nobody noticed their slow movements but then one of the criminals realized they were escaping and, grabbing a knife in his hands, threw himself against them shouting, but suddenly a branch of the tree bent and blocked him. The other criminals stood up to help him and other branches bent and hit them. In a few minutes they were entangled  and could not move. They shouted and cursed trying to free themselves but uselessly. The trees kept them strongly still so giving Bob and Alison the possibility to reach their child, to mount the horses and gallop away as quick as a flash. The trees blocked them for hours and  only when the murmurs told the family was far enough  they released the murderers.
They wanted to chase  Alison, Bob and Becky but the only directions they could take was the one opposite theirs. They tried and tried, but whatever they did the trees prevented them from doing it. They couldn’t believe it,  wherever they tried to go they found huge branches barring any track that could take them to the family.After days of vain efforts they realized how dangerous it was to insist and fearing for their own life at last they gave up and were obliged to forget the family.
They never, never told anybody that story otherwise people could think they were crazy. Warlike trees? Unbelievable!
What about Bob, Alison and Becky?
They found a cottage in a new place near a dark, deep, friendly wood where they continued their life protected by trees, plants, leaves and flowers.
Where was that place?
Ask the trees, if you understand them and you’re amiable, lovely and friendly as Becky was, perhaps they will tell you.

 


Submitted: November 09, 2014

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