by Florence W. Deems

Over the next several days, my parents cleared out Gram's things, her clothes and books, and other personal effects. Dad and I tended the veggie garden she'd started. It was fairly small, so we could easily do what needed doing in an hour or so. An appraiser came out and went through the rest of her furniture and put a dollar value on that, the house and the property. Then my folks had to spend some time with a lawyer to file Gram's will. They decided to rent the place, so they had to see a real estate agent.

Since these matters were all stuff I couldn't help with, I've had a lot of time to myself. So I've spent it here talking to Gram's story tree. In fact, I'm sitting here right now on one of its branches, talking to it and Tikker.

The funny little roly-poly feller told me I can call him that. His real name he tells to no one! He claims that if I knew his REAL name, then I'd have power over him and could make him do anything! Well, if Tikker wants to believe that, I won't argue with him. I sure don't believe it! He says it's okay that he knows MY name, because white folks' names have lost their magical power. Whatever THAT means!

"Tikker," I ask, "What about the others you said Gram chased away? Why don't they come back like you did?"

He cackles all over the place and almost falls off the branch. "Some of 'em did come back, but they went away again. 'Cuz YOU were scared of 'em!"

"WHAT?" I exclaim. And then I remember! "Oh, you mean those funny little folks that sat on my bed one night?"

"The same!" he chuckles. "So now you want 'em to come back, huh?"

"Well, yeah, sure. Gee whiz, Tikker, they startled me outa a sound sleep! What was I s'posed to think? I wake up in the middle of the night--and THERE they ARE! Just like that! It's freaky when you get visitors in the middle of the night just waltzin' into your bedroom like that!"

"Oh, so you don't want 'em doing it like that, zat so?" He cackles.

"Course not!" I snort. "Why can't they show up in the daytime, like you do?"

Suddenly I hear all sorts of tiny tinklings! Sounds almost like something laughing. I look over in the direction of the sounds--and there they are! All lined up, this time on another branch. All of 'em hee-heeing and tee-heeing away, like the silliest little kids I've ever seen! But I don't see any glows around them this time, like I did in the night.

They sure are a strange lot. A couple of them have wings that look like cellophane the way they catch the light along their veins. All sort of look like they have a basic human body form--but with strange variations, like the wings. Some have long tails and others have foxy little faces. Some are furry all over; some have scales on their legs and claws for feet!

Tikker cackles, "Okay, you asked for 'em and here they be!"

I gulp and stammer, "H-hello, little f-folks." Suddenly I feel really silly, sitting here talking to a bunch of these lively little beings who look like cartoon characters from some kid's book of fairy tales! But I continue, "I'm happy to see you here--out in this tree. But you really spooked me when you showed up at night on my bed!"

On hearing this, they titter away and some of them start leaping up and around. Gee, they must think it's great sport to go around at night scaring folks.

Tikker, though, decides to stand up for me. "Stop it now, ye ninnies! If'n ya want to be 'round humans, ya gotta cut 'em some slack. They do sumpin called sleeping, and many of 'em do it at night, see. They git grumpy when they git waked up inna night. So ye doan go 'round 'em at NIGHT, ya hear me?"

One by one the little beings stop cavorting and settle down peaceable-like along a nearby branch.

"Okay now!" Tikker says. "NOW we kin git sumpin done!"

"Whaddaya mean, get something done? I didn't know we had work to do!"

The tree's leaves suddenly rustle. "Tikker means now we can all discuss how we're going to relate to each other. Charlie, I don't think you'll be staying here much longer, do you?"

"Oh shucks, I'd sorta forgotten that we--me and my folks--we gotta go back home. Guess that'll be fairly soon, since my folks have Gram's place up for rent now."

"What's zat mean?" Tikker asks.

"It means my folks are hunting for some other folks who might want to live here and take care of the place. Dad doesn't want to sell it. He'd like to keep it in our family. So these new people just pay us money to live here."

"Oh," says the tree. "Since we don't want humans coming to live here who don't believe in us, maybe we'd better work on this."

As Tikker and the little folks jump up and down in great enthusiasm, now I'm the one who's confused. "How? We can't just ask everyone who comes here to look at the house, if they believe in story trees and little folk!"

"True," the tree concedes, "but we CAN send out an order to the Universe! And then we'd attract the kind of humans we want to live here."

"How the heck do we do that?" Frankly, this sounds pretty crazy to me!

"Well, Charlie, a lot is going to depend on YOU!" the tree responds.

The tree's words shock me! "ME? But I don't know how to order stuff from the Universe!"

"So then we'll teach you." The tree's leaves rustle, brisk-like.

I sigh. "Okay. Whatever."

"Since we do know what kinds of humans we want to come here, Charlie, all you have to do is to close your eyes and come to a calm part of yourself. So do that now, and let us know when you're there," the tree instructs.

So I close my eyes and take three long, deep breaths in through my nose and out through my mouth. as the tree had taught me to do several years ago, to calm myself. I then get into the feeling of how it is when I sit out under my own story tree. Just sort of being there with the tree, lazing around, not doing anything in particular. Okay, now I'm into it. "Okay," I tell the tree.

"Now just picture in your mind a family living here. They have one or two children who can actually hear and see us. Picture the children talking to me, the story tree. Then see Tikker show up and talk to them. Let me know when you have this picture firmly in your mind."

I imagine a boy and girl, about five and six, maybe. I see them running around the yard, coming over to the tree, and looking up into its branches. I pretend that the tree speaks to them and the kids get all excited that they can actually hear and speak to the tree. Now Tikker appears on the lowest branches and speaks to them. The kids jump up and down, they're so happy about this. "Okay," I tell the tree.

"Now," says the tree, "see the children running to tell their parents. And, this is VERY important--see the parents BELIEVE them, and come out to me to see and hear for themselves. Actually, see and hear the parents talking to me and Tikker. Tell me when you're ready."

I do see and hear the parents actually doing this! I'm amazed at how EASY this is! "I'm ready."

"Now, keeping these pictures in mind, tell the Universe that this is what you want to happen here for us. I will do this also. And Tikker, too. So we'll take a few quiet minutes while we do this."

I put all my heart and soul into this request. Silently, I think,"Please, Universe, send send us some people to live here who're just like this, what I've imagined them to be. We need to keep this story tree telling stories. Tikker and the little folk need someone here who sees and hears and can talk to them, who BELIEVE in their existence!"

"Now," says the tree, "we'll shrink all our pictures down into the size of a small ball of intense light--and then release this light ball into the care of the Universe. We'll take a few moments to do this."

I actually see my pictures wrap themselves up, become a ball of really bright light, and then I send this ball out into the Universe, blowing the ball away with my breath. I watch as it drifts out into space and becomes like one of the stars out there in the night sky!

Taking a deep breath, I open my eyes. "Okay, now that's done. Now what?"

"Now we simply wait," the tree rustles its leaves, as if it's satisfied. "But one thing we MUST keep doing. We must BELIEVE at ALL times that our order HAS BEEN FILLED! No doubting it, or we may sabotage our order! Charlie, do you understand this?"

"Well, not exactly," I confess.

"When we act as if our order has ALREADY been filled, then this helps it get filled quicker. But, if we DOUBT, then the Universe will wonder if we really want our order filled!"

"Oh, well, that does make sense, I guess."

The tree's leaves rustle very loudly! "Not 'I guess,' Charlie! Instead, say 'I KNOW!'"

"Okay, yeah," I laugh. "I KNOW! That DOES make a difference! I can actually FEEL it!"

"Right!" says the tree. "Now we just simply hold the faith AND belief that our order is filled. But it will take some time for it to manifest HERE where we are, on this earth. So we must wait."

"Waiting's always hard!" I grump.

"Yes. White humans often feel impatient. The Native Americans learned how to wait for long, long times. The whites could learn a lot of useful things from them." The tree's leaves rattle slightly.


The Story Trees
1 ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4 ~ 5 ~ 6 ~ 7
8 ~ 9 ~ 10 ~ 11 ~ 12 ~ 13

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