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 there is a demon 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 dig up the bottle and uncork it. I know it isn’t very kind of me to wish that someone would do just that, 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.

You might wonder where the demon comes from. I know I do.

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

Ancient Oak