The Tree Pixie’s House

You may know I love walking my dog, Moe, and that I also like to take my camera on walks! It is not unusual that something will pop out at me, a set of tree roots, a flower, some sort of formation in a rock, and a story begins to seed itself in my head. I have been using some of these seeds for part of Story Story Podcast when I co-host, but I am also putting them into a ‘proper’ story format, and recording them. This one is called the “Tree Pixie’s House.” During the winter (which seemed a week ago), when I was taking Moe over one of the frozen lakes here, we found a small abandoned house in the woods, and then the other day I saw this wonderful hole in the trunk of a tree. Not big enough to climb in, but big enough to start a story!
I hope you like it!

Once, Upon A Handkerchief

As I change the format of this podcast, I will be sharing original stories, and classic tales and rhymes. This will be a children’s show for all ages.

Once Upon A Handkerchief is a story which grew from the title sentence all by itself like a flower. Imagine a handkerchief with an embroidered butterfly, sitting covered in dust in an antique shop. Almost lost, almost hidden, it’s waiting for someone to come along and find it.

The story was written for Elizabeth Peterson, a friend of mine. Another version, told in the first person, appeared on Story Story Podcast 17th February, 2021 episode.

“Once, Upon A Handkerchief” (an original story). Copyright and performance rights, Simon Brooks ℗ © 2021

#storytelling #magic #butterflies #antiqueshops #fairytales

Say What?! – two

It’s been a while since I have posted here, and I have a few more irreverent captions to beautiful artwork from around the Golden Age of illustration. These come from the latter years. All but for one are done by N.C. Wyeth from the book “Drums” by James Boyd, 1925 (apologies ot Boyd, Wyeth and Charles Scribner’s Sons. The other is Maxfield Parrish’s “Shuffle-Shoom and Amber Locks”, 1920. Apologies to Maxfield Parrish.

18, 19, and 20 are my favourites. The others can be found here: Sat What?!

The Rootweiler

The rootweiler ducked under the log of fallen green tree trunk. It bared it’s teeth, hissing and snarling. It’s root-like antlers waved as if they were supple and not the steel hardness they were. Although the thin arms seemed to be only used for eating and balance, it’s thick, strong legs could outpace many animals at full run.
“This is not the way.” The words came out slowly as the creature spoke as it stood stiff rising to its full height, just inches taller than the man. These words were it’s own, but this language, the language of the man it now spoke was foreign to it. “Head east. Whats you are searching is there.”
The Hunter stood his ground, turning slightly to one side, bending his knees and resting in a low stance. The creature grinned at the man and seemed to chuckle.
“But it’s trail leads this way. How do I know I can trust you?” The Hunter stared into the creatures eyes.
“You don’t. But I knows you are on the sides of the forest. It has leads you astray. It heads for the Stones.”
“There are terrible stories about what your kind have done to humans, and other creatures.”
“And you thinks the stories of your peoples are filled with loves and peace, and tells of care for others?”
“Fair point.”
“Come. I will escorts you to the Stones. I will earns your trust. I know of you, for your likeness is well knowns to us, so you have my trusts.” The creature stepped closer to the Hunter. “Let you not loses it.” The creature bowed before the Hunter. The root horns cracked and clicked. The Hunter couldn’t help noticing some spit falling from its jaws. “Follow mes.” The rootweiler stepped around the Hunter and walked off. The pace it took was not slow.

When water rises

When the water falls from the sky to the dry ground river beds rush and roar with its sound. The wind sings along, as torrents push passed me as I walk higher and higher up stream until I reach the seemingly gentle, serene pond where it all begins. And I look up to the sky and the rain.

It was a two hour hike there and back. It seemed like short minutes coming down and Moe, wet through, still playful and jumping when we got to the car! Snacks for both of us when we got home!

Photos and writing copyright Simon Brooks 2016 ©
Do not copy or redistribute without written permission. It is illegal after all!
If you want prints, shoot me an email!

When a Walk Becomes A Hike

Today I took Moe on a walk. She did not have a good long walk yesterday, so I thought a romp in the woods would be fun for both of us, even if it was chilly and sprinkling a little rain.

Because I had plans later in the day I thought maybe an hour or a bit more, so we headed to a favourite place of ours, but took a trail we had not taken before. It appeared flat which was good. Moe could really run between the trees, and would return. It was a short trail that led to another which, I thought, we had taken before, only from the other  side. So we followed it. The trail went from flat to straight up. Imagine Quebec City, or San Francisco,  only wooded, with no downhill, just up, up, up. Between trees, over exposed roots, through pine groves and birch crofts, passed rocks which stood aloof from the forest rising 10 to 20 feet high. Ferns tall, coming up higher than my knees, covering, hiding Moe. She would stop and stretch up so her head popped above the green foliage to see where I was.

There were huge trees surrounded by much smaller, spindly trees. This was once sheep country. The smaller trees are ‘young’, sheep farming long abandoned, like the stone walls falling down, and cellar holes filled with plant life. Some of the stone walls were feet thick, standing like a raised road coming out of the forest floor, now with trees fallen over them, lying along the length of the wall, shattered; or broken backed having crashed over the wall. Some gaps between the rocks were small enough so only rodents could crawl through, others almost large enough for a lamb to be able to get its head stuck. In other places the wall was down and scattered like a giant marble game, played by some unknown forest creature.

We were not lost. We knew the area we were in, we were merely exploring it more than we had anticipated! Without a map, without a compass, and without water or snacks. Neither Moe nor I had eaten much before the hike. It was going to be a fairly short walk, where water flowed down streams for Moe to drink from. I could wait until we got home.

About two hours later, after an hour and 50 minutes of walking, no, some pretty intense hiking up hill, and up and up, then steep, twisting trails down, and down; tired, wet and sweaty, dehydrated and hungry, we were home. A late lunch and a large cup of tea for me, fresh food and drink for Moe, we had had a lot of fun seeing the things we saw, and imagining what it might have been like to walk these woods when they weren’t woods regularly to tend sheep. Or to live there a thousand years ago, hunting for a meal, or trying not to be hunted yourself!


Images and words, copyright 2016, Simon Brooks