The Legend of Oakwood

The Legend of Oakwood

In the heart of Oakwood, in the middle of the river, stands The Mighty Oak. The Mighty Oak has been around longer than the people of Oakwood, longer than the buildings, longer than the wildlife, and some say, longer than The River itself.

When I was young, my grandmother would tell me the story of when her grandmother's grandmother, Ariel, had first discovered the mighty tree. Back then, my grandmother had said, Watermelon wasn't so kind to her people. Ariel had fled a dangerous life from a land far away, and with her she brought a frightened group just as determined as she to start a new life. In her pocket, Ariel carried just four melon seeds. She was determined, the legend goes, to plant a Mother plant for each of the four Elemelons, but Watermelon wanted none of it! No sooner had the group got a day's walk away from their home, Watermelon brought forth a terrible, terrible storm that rained for as many days as the group could remember. Watermelon was bound and determined for Ariel to lose three of her seeds.

But Ariel's faith stayed strong, and she kept on moving. The rain had never done her people wrong before, and she wasn't afraid of it now.

A few more days went by, and Ariel noticed something strange. When she gazed upon the horizon behind her, she saw a river in the distance. There hadn't been a river there before, when they passed it -- had there? Afraid she was losing her mind, Ariel gave her seeds to her right-hand man, Priest Elrick, who promised to hold them and keep them safe.

The days went on, and the rain kept following. The wrath of Watermelon drenched their clothes and wrinkled their skin. The water soaked the branches of nearby trees, and their supply of wood was getting low. Priest Elrick's determination to hold onto the seeds was even greater than Ariel's.

A night came where the group was using the last of the firewood they had. They cooked some food by it and used it as warmth, frightened they may never get to do so again. Not long after the group laid down for bed, they heard a howl in the distance. At first they only heard howling from one direction, but minute by minute, it began to spread. Before long, the group was surrounded by wolf howls. In a panic, Ariel rushed to Priest Elrick's tent to discuss moving on for the night. Upon entering his tent, she discovered one lone wolf in his tent, gnawing at his shirt. She slew the beast with one fell swoop of her knife to his neck. The Priest was okay, but his belongings were not. In a panic, he checked his shirt pocket. Sure enough, the wolf had eaten three of the seeds. One melon seed remained. Ariel knew this was a sign from Watermelon that there shall be only one Mother plant when she reaches her destination.

When they awoke the next day, the sun was up and bright as ever. The river that had followed them, Ariel thought, was still in the distance behind. Having been taught growing up to not be wasteful of anything she kills, Ariel skinned the wolf and used his hide to make Priest Elrick a new leather shirt. The shirt stood as a painful reminder of the loss of her seeds, but Ariel was determined to make due with what she had. She used the meat from the wolf's bones to feed her people that day, but they had to eat the meat raw because they were out of firewood, and all the trees were still soaked. She took the bones with her, determined to use them in the future.

They continued walking a couple more days, and the sun were bright as ever. The group was as cheerful as could be, singing songs about sunshine and happiness. Despite the newfound joy and sunshine, there were no trees. Ariel knew it was only a matter of time before they caught a disease from eating raw meat, and that would be the end of it. She looked behind her. Was the river STILL following them? It wasn't even raining. Surely not. She turned back ahead. Then she saw it. Off in the distance was an enormous forest. Trees! Wood! Finally! But at least a couple of kilometers before the forest was an enormous lone oak tree, not too far from where the group was now. It was about time to set up camp for the night, and this was the perfect place. After setting up camp, Ariel cut a few limbs from the tree to use as firewood. She only cut what she needed. She was not wasteful. To thank it for providing them with fresh, dry firewood, she buried the bones of the wolf near the tree.

Ariel awoke in the middle of the night startled. She had heard a scream. Priest Elrik! Worried that there might be danger, she rushed over to the Priest's tent. He sat on the ground, shirtless. His shirt was gone! Ariel lit a torch from the oak tree, and then she saw what either confirmed or denied she was crazy. Plain as day, in the distance, she saw the oak tree -- surrounded by water. The River that had followed them had flown through the night, surrounded the tree, and moved out into the distance. Completely baffled by the whole ordeal, and refusing to believe she was crazy, Ariel ran off towards the tree, then swam through the river. As her gown got soaked, she realized it was real. And laying at the base of the tree, above the wolf's grave, was Priest Elrick's shirt.

Ariel was certain now. The Wolf, The Tree, The River. Surely, this was the place that Watermelon intended for them to call home. When morning came, it was clear that the river had ran on into the distance, further than the eye could see. With her entire group around her, Ariel planted the single melon seed outside her tent.

"Melonists," Ariel said, "Welcome to Oakwood."

10/10/2016 2:52:31 AM #1

What a ripe story. I enjoyed it from start to finish!

May Melon be with you.

10/10/2016 8:27:45 AM #2

The Oakwood tree, the river, the Melon, and the wolves. Perfect story for our county and dutchy. You did a great job!

Everyone wants to be a beast, until it's time to do what beasts do.

2/3/2019 2:11:24 AM #3

the video for this story is here:

Everyone wants to be a beast, until it's time to do what beasts do.

5/10/2019 3:13:31 PM #4

Neat story

-Wayland Ade'Braeden, Judicator of IronCall, Tritea Duchy of the High Seas.

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"The wave returns to the ocean..."

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