The tree stared back at her. After Maggy’s slurry of questions, it seemed to be unable to process any of them. She prayed it wouldn’t talk to her again. At least then she could continue with her hike in silence and ignorance.
The tree was firmly rooted in the soil next to the hiking trail. If Maggy could just get her feet to move, to propel herself backwards and away from it, she would be safe. Curiosity got the better of her, though, and she stayed firmly planted on the spot.
“I need you to gather timber supplies. Cheltenham is your home, yes?” The tree spoke again. There was an odd manner to the way that it spoke, aside from the fact that its bark cracked with every word. Its sentences felt… oddly structured. As though it was forming words in a language that it barely knew.
It had decided to ignore her previous enquiries for the time being. Maybe it was better she didn’t repeat them. She wasn’t sure that she wanted to know the answers.
“I guess,” she replied.
She thought it best not to tell the strange creature that she actually lived on the border between the suburb and Hampton. Hardware store locations were, hopefully, the reason it was asking the question; she didn’t fancy the idea that the tree simply wanted to know where she lived.
Another question crossed her mind. “Why do you need planks?”
Given the fact that the tree was made of wood, it seemed almost creepy that it would ask for them. If the thought had ever crossed her mind (which it hadn’t), she would have thought that a tree would shiver at the idea of treated wood, hammers and nails.
The wind picked up as she waited for a response, creating a symphony as it rushed past the towering giant’s leaves. It was beautiful. She wondered if the creature minded the breeze. Did trees feel cold?
Finally, the tree spoke again. “I want to build a birdhouse,” it said, almost sheepishly.