The actual gnome tree. About 9′ around.
A Haibun/tanka for Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday challenge. We had to use synonyms for Spring (newborn) and Song (squawk). Okay, maybe a stretch, but here goes:
The Return of the Gnome King
(A True Story)
The Dragon Wood awakens with the returning light. Our meadow greens beneath winter’s withered grass, and spears of horsetail stand at attention, stalwart sentinels lining our path. They await the guardian snails whose slimy pilgrimage to the gnome tree is a slow one. Deer twitch their ears, alert for the gnome king’s return.
We fear not the witch in her uprooted stump. Rusty barbed wire holds her captive, and her mosquito hordes still slumber. Instead, we pause in awe to listen to newborn dragons skritch and squawk from the hollow stumps of ancient firs, this year’s fledglings still too young to fly. We’ll seek them among the moss-wrapped alders when spring’s marsh has dried, but now, other duties demand our attention. With our magic sticks, we must dig for treasure around the gnome tree’s roots.
I stand on the summoning-rock at the edge of the bog. An orange salamander gazes up, eager for my call. “Oh, mighty gnomes,” my voice soars into the forest. “Spring is upon us, and the gnome king has returned. Emerge from your winter home with gold and gems. For many months, the king has protected you and the creatures of the forest. His promise was kept. It is time to pay him tribute. Oh, mighty gnomes, heed my call.”
The gnome king nods his approval. “That was a good one, Grammy.”
“Thank you, my King.”
Dream, my little child
Of dragons, gnomes, and kingdoms
Treasure and witches
Forgive your silly grownups’