The Leshy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
A group of children gather around their grandfather as he tells them of the the slavic Leshy, a mythological monster of the forests.

Submitted: June 30, 2014

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Submitted: June 30, 2014

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Leshy 

The group of children sat around the old man who was wise in years and had a map of his life upon his face. “Tell us a story Grandpin!” the children all begged of the old man. 

“All right then, what sort of a story? Maybe dragons and dungeons? Or the high seas?” 

The children scrunched their faces up in thought. “I know!” the oldest one replied excitedly. “You can tell us about the Leshy!” 

The old man chuckled. “Now that is a fun story. Hmm... How shall I start?” 

The children all shouted in a chorus, as children are like to do, “Once upon a time!” The old man smiled and began his tale: 

??????? 

???????Once upon a time, in the Slavic country of Russia, there lived a Leshy. This Leshy was much like all of the others, mischievous and protective of the forest he called home. He was as tall as the trees and as small as a blade of grass when he needed to be, so he usually remained unseen. He dwelt in caves within his beloved forest, the Taiga. He was like a child, full of pranks, laughs and taunts, yet one did not want to upset him. The easiest way to upset the Leshy was to hurt the forest he called home. Leshy are tree spirits, and though they have the appearance of men, they lack eyebrows, eyelashes and their right ear. They do not wear hats or belts, and their heads are rather pointed. This Leshy was no exception. 

???????One day a logger strolled into our Leshy’s territory and cut down a tree. The Leshy was very upset and began the process of driving the logger mad. He sang, whistled, and whispered songs and tunes of death and mourning. He sang at night, and during the day, so that the logger had no rest or peace of mind. The Leshy’s lamentations over the loss of the tree, and the disturbance of the logger’s rest led the ill-fated logger to look for the spirit that was haunting him so relentlessly. So, he followed tracks and sounds that led to nowhere. When he wasn’t following phantom sounds and tracks, the logger was cutting down more trees, causing the Leshy’s anger to intensify substantially. 

After a week of harassment from the tree spirit, the logger fled the forest, leaving behind the logs that he had cut down. The logger returned the next week with another man, and each man chopped down a tree. The Leshy wailed as a ghost might and the two men glanced at each other in fear, “See? I told you the Taiga was haunted,” the logger whispered to his friend. 

His friend laughed and yelled out “Come out, come out, wherever ye are! I know yer out there! Come and get us!” 

The logger blanched and tried to shush his friend, “What are ye doin’? Ye trying to get us both killed?” 

The Leshy laughed heartily, and called out, “You do not want to challenge me! Leave this forest and never return or else you will lose much!” The two men glanced at each other sideways and the logger prepared to run off, but his friend grabbed his arm and restrained him. 

Then, they made camp and burned the wood from the logs for warmth. The Leshy watched them and as soon as the men fell asleep, he called out in the logger’s voice, “Hey! Wake up! Wolves!” 

Both men shot awake and started yelling. “Where?” The large man yelled. 

“Where what?” the logger yelled back. 

“The wolves, ye idiot! Ye just said there was wolves around!” The logger furrowed his brow. 

“I did not!” 

“Are ye callin’ me a lia’?” 

“No, I’m saying that I didn’t say anything! It was you!” 

“Me? Why the gall of ye! I oughta sock ye fer pullin’ this kinda joke on me.” 

Grumbling, the men laid back down and fell asleep, only to be woken up in the same manner an hour later. They repeated the same argument as before, and then fell back asleep. 

Two hours later, there really were wolves, but when the logger tried to wake his friend, the big man ignored him, and continued sleeping. The hungry wolves ate the man while the logger watched from a tree. The Leshy laughed and clapped his large hands, “HeeHee! Hee! Do not mess with wildlife young man! Hee! Hee! Hee!” 

The unlucky logger chased the phantom voice and found himself entering a cave. The Leshy shrank himself to the size of a blade of grass and, using a feather, tickled the logger’s ankle, causing him to fall. Then the Leshy tied the logger up and continued tickling him. He tickled and tickled the logger until the young man’s sides split and heart burst from laughing so hard. 

The Leshy buried the logger in the forest and very gravely said, “I warned you not cut the trees. Maybe the next man will listen.” The Leshy then placed a plaque over the fresh dug grave that read: “Here lies a logger who did not respect the forest, which then in all fury, laid him to rest as a warning to you all.” 

 
 
 

The old man looked at all the children surrounding him. “Now, do any of you know what lesson this story teaches us?” The children shouted out their guesses, “Don’t chop down trees? Don’t ignore warnings? Don’t destroy the environment? Be obedient or you will suffer the consequences?” 

The old man smiled, “Yes, you are all right, if that is what you have learned from the story, then that was the lesson taught. However, I was hoping that you would learn that it is very important to respect those who are stronger, and those who are weaker than you are, and to take care of the land God has given us to live on. Respect comes from admiration or love, and gratitude. Without these things, one has nothing worth living for. I hope you think seriously on what I have just told you, and learn to respect each other, the environment, and those who are in higher authority than yourselves.” 


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