Ancient Oak

I am hundreds of years old, and so gnarled and twisted that I might appear monstrous to you. 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 anyone who is 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.

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

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