Carvings on a Tree

Centuries ago, a little cold girl from a little cold orphanage went out to visit a long cold winter night. She took with herself one sharp cold blade in her shivering cold hands and her numb cold thoughts in her little cold mind. She wandered around the vast cold orchard and looked longingly at the pale cold moon enveloped in dark cold clouds...


She watched as the leaves nudged and hugged each other to keep away the chills that the night was subjecting them to. She listened to the cries of the waves at the sea, trying to blanket their beaches from the invincible cold.


The winters always tried to compete with the chills inside her. And she smiled because she always knew who would win. Time had taught her that nothing – absolutely nothing could compare to the eternal winter of a child’s heart. She was certain. She didn’t know if what she felt was pain. But if it wasn’t, she never wanted to face ‘pain’ ever in her life.


She sighed and sat down under her favorite tree in the orchard. The clouds saw her and took pity. “Let her not be the only one without a blanket tonight,” they remarked and removed themselves from the moon. They wanted the moon to keep her company. And the silver moon happily bathed her in the silver light till she was drenched. The little girl looked up and wondered why she preferred the moonlight over the daylight. The daylight always seemed to shine a little too bright to her – as if teasing her, mocking the darkness that had been her home since she had arrived on this planet, showing her glimpses of the things that she could never have…


She admired the way the unassuming moonlight bounced off her skin, showing her the mounts and falls, goosebumps on a cold night, the little textural details, the color – the little things that the sunlight had failed to show in all its brightness, the little things that the moonlight had accentuated.

Before she left, she took her blade and carved on the tree, “Do your homework. Eat the sprouts. Bathe everyday. Comb your hair. Tie your shoelaces. Learn the multiplication tables. Be good to your parents. They hug you when you are cold. Once they leave, you stay cold…”


Suddenly, there came a huge gust of wind and a light branch fell off the tree and landed right next to her.


She smiled, “Trees try to hug you when you’re cold too,” she added.


And years later, a lumberjack returned home early, teary-eyed.


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