Artwork by Aaron Pocock
Well, well! Good heavens! You are here! Hello again, Amanita! It’s wonderful to see you once more after so long a time! You haven’t changed a bit, little one. How many years has it been? ~ What’s that you say? ~ Oh, my! That many years, eh? How quickly they have passed. That makes me feel old, dear friend. ~ Why, thank you! You are too kind. Your gracious presence alone brings back the vigor of my youth. ~ Yes, I’ve missed you, Amanita. It was just the other day when the thought of you came to mind, and then I saw you in my dream last night, so I came here on a hunch.
I’ve often wondered why you chose to appear to me in the first place, and now I can’t help but wonder why you’ve come back after so many years. Do you have something to tell me? ~ Oh, my word! So this will be the last time we get to be together? ~ Well, that’s too bad. I awoke from my dream thinking that might be the case. It saddens me to know that it has to be this way, but as you say, “It’s all for the best,” and I believe you. Your word has always been true.
Your people, they were dwindling in number, how many remain at this point? ~ Oh, no! So you’re on your own. I was afraid of that. Whatever will you do now? ~ Ah, c’mon! You can tell me, can’t you? ~ Alright, alright. I’ll let it slide. Still, I fear for you, little one. Being alone isn’t easy. Are you sure you’ll be okay? ~ I can’t blame you for feeling that way. Man no longer needs your kind of help. This is The Age Of Reason. We have science and logic on our side. You, grand relic of yesteryear, you and your time have passed. You, dainty thing, you and your delicate wings need to remain unseen. You, pure-hearted one, simply do not fit into the equation. You belong to the time when the Earth was flat and straightforward. Our world is round, whole and complete. The Tree of Knowledge sustains us. ~ Perhaps, you are correct, my dear. Some day, we may know better.
The sun is now beginning to rise, and I am off to greet it. It’s time for you to disappear back into the ether. I can’t afford to be seen with you here like this. People would think I’m crazy. It is that season, and the nearby folk will soon be out to hunt these woods. You best be on your way, wherever that way may lead. I wish I had an inkling as to what that place is like. ~ Oh, really? Imagine that. Who’d have guessed? Lovely forest lady, I sure miss the days of my youth! The games we played in these trees are now but treasured memories. You’ll never know how much you meant to this mere human being. You’ve given me an unworldly joy known only to a few.
~ Yes, there is a tear in my eye, but that’s quite normal at a time like this. ~ No, I do not have to stop believing in you, because I know. ~ Yes, I promise. The secret of you shall forever stay hidden in the everlasting memories of my heart. I long to linger here, but now we must part. Be gone, faery queen! Take flight that I might see thy beauty grace the sky once more. ~ Yes, I know you do. I am infinitely grateful for that truth. ~ I also wish you well, little one, and pray you live a long and fruitful life! ~ Goodbye, my dear. It’s been absolutely great to be with you again!
There you go, that’s it! Yes, that’s it. Up, up and away with thee! Fly free, butterfly! Yes, that’s it! That’s it! Go on now! Go on! Goodbye! So long! Take care! Bye-bye, Amanita! I love you…
© Keith Alan Watson