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The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

Story finder - Curly

Click the image above to fetch a new random story.

Ancient Oak

I am hundreds of years old, and so gnarled and twisted that you will think I am monstrous. I am not a monster but beware the demon who is buried under my tree roots. He is trapped in a bottle, and whenever someone approaches, he starts crying, “Let me out! Let me out!”

He’ll strangle you if you’re fool enough to free him. I know it isn’t very kind of me to wish that someone would uncork the bottle, but I am old, and I deserve to have my peace. There are very few oaks in the world as old as me, and fewer still who know the kind of peace that is possible in the absence of demons.

Yet for all my wishful thinking, I am resolved to hold my own.

Ancient Oak in The Spirit in the Bottle, Grimms. Illustrator unknown.

Ancient Oak