Wood Sprite

I twinkle in the twilight by this bend in the river. My name is Adelphi and I was born in the roots of this great old copper beech tree. When I say the magic words, a door appears in the wood. The squirrel hollowed out my little den filling it with thistle-down and moss for my bed. The best thing in the world is to rest in beech while she sways to the rhythm coming up through the soil. The sensation of swirling is always present. She is forever talking to the sky and loves brother sun. The tug of the moon eddy is best of all.

I live in a cove where the river turns in the shy shallow end. The water is calm here. In the warm afternoons, the water striders skate over the surface. Sometimes they let me ride on their backs and we go sliding along. The raccoon always stops here to wash before going to bed for the day. Last night, he got into a nest and had egg all between his toes. A mama bird is very sad now.

The forest always sings, night and day. The chirp of crickets, peep of birds and bustle of bees plays for me. The patter of deer hooves, foxes gentle tread and rabbits silent pass fill my heart with love. What do I do all day? I listen. The water writes new music every moment. It’s always in tune with the great spirit of the forest. Sometimes, I hop a ride on a branch flowing by. We ride the current all the way to the big rock that sits in the middle. I get a ride back from the dragonflies to my beech tree.

There is a water nymph named Xinx under the river bed. I am here to serve her. I’ve never seen her in the daylight. Splash, splash, splash, she wades out every night to tramp into the forest on her midnight rendezvous. The owl knows who she meets but he won’t talk, he just sits up there blinking at me and Hoots! Splash, splash, splash back she comes just before the first wood thrush calls in the dawn. She moves in the mists over the mossy stones. So many stories are here in the river.

Published in the Spencer New Leader, Spencer MA June 30, 2017