“You are forbidden from ever opening this box,” Matilda said, waving her pointer finger at her grandchildren.
Matilda looked at Mallory and sighed. “Never you mind. Never open this box. Do you understand.”
The two children nodded and watched as Matilda left the room.
“You’re not going to open it, are you?”
Mallory looked at James and smiled. “Of course I am stupid.”
“She said not to!”
“If Mom wasn’t so permissive, you wouldn’t even think about opening it.”
“Ooh, fancy talk for a baby!”
James stormed out of the room and Mallory’s attention turned to the box. As she opened it, a swirl of white mist engulfed her. All around her was white, as if she were in a cloud. Her grandmother’s laughter echoed. “Perhaps if you learn your lesson, I will let you out before your mother comes to collect you.”
Once upon a time, in a little hollow, woodland creatures of all shapes and sizes would gather to play on warm summer nights. Fairies and whisps lit the way with lanterns hanging from the trees.
There was music and dancing, drinking and chatting, but there were no humans. That was until Jessie Belle wandered into the hollow; her face wet from tears.
Now, as everyone knows, the woodland creatures could not abide seeing a little girl afraid, and so they wiped her tears and gave her a cup of warm honeysuckle tea. She curled up in Mama Deer’s embrace and fell fast asleep.
When morning came, she woke up in her bed, safe and sound. No matter how much she tried to convince them, her parents did not believe her tale of seeing a party in the woods by their house. She even began to doubt herself until one night, after the stars had woken up and her parents were fast asleep, lights appeared in the woods. She smiled and quietly ran outside to join the party.
If only the old rocking chair that sits in the corner of the Living History Museum. What would it say? Would it speak of Mary, who sat quietly by the fire waiting for her father to return from the war? Or of Elizabeth, who comforted her dying child until his last breath? Maybe it would speak of William who read the Bible and prayed for guidance when demons attacked the village. If only the old rocking chair could speak and tell us of its life.