Dream Catcher

A Fairy Tale

Sometimes I don't know what comes first, the painting or the painter...

One day, while in my forest painting, I realized the painting was painting me... So I stepped back and let it speak to me. It was telling me a story...

Dream Catcher

Part One

Once upon a time...

...there was a Woodsman and his wife who lived in a tidy, little cottage in the woods.

One dark, winter day a baby daughter was born to the Woodsman and his wife, and they named her Rose.

But the Woodsman's wife was not a strong woman and after the birth of their child she became ill and shortly thereafter she died.

The grieving Woodsman cried out in distress...

Just then there was a knock at the cottage door. The Woodsman opened the door and an Old Woman entered.

She was as ancient as the trees with her leathery skin, and stood just three feet tall. As she came into the room her dark, green cloak trailed bits of branches and tree roots behind her. She smelled of earth and moss and had a long, dirty tail...

The old woman gazed about the cottage with her small, beady eyes. "The forest folk will watch over Rose, but on one condition. You must promise me your daughter when she turns thirteen," said the Old Woman.

The Woodsman was at a loss without his wife and in his anguish he agreed.

With that the Old Woman disappeared into the forest as quickly as she came...

Soon it was Spring. The Woodsman went off to the forest every day to do his work, while the fairies and forest folk minded the baby and tended to the cottage and garden.

The Woodsman and his daughter lived happily in their cottage in the woods and the years passed by until one day Rose turned thirteen...

There was a loud, 'TAP, TAP, TAP' at the door and in came the Old Woman of the forest looking even more ancient and dirtier than before. "I've come to collect," said the Old Woman with a glint in her eye...

"A deal is a deal,"said the Woodsman with heavy heart. Then he gathered up a cloth bag he had hidden behind the stove and gave it to Rose.

"Enough!" croaked the Old Woman, and grabbing Rose by the arm, disappeared into the dark forest leaving nothing but a trail of dirt behind them...

The Old Woman took Rose deep into the forest where there stood an enormous tree.

Under the tree, beneath the roots, was a door to a long, deep tunnel. In they went and down, down, down until they came to a small clearing on the earthen floor...

Read Part Two

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