Saturday, September 20, 2014


In Germany there is a place called the Black Forest. Some think it's a mythical place, come think it's haunted. Many hear voices in the woods. Most can hear the whispering pines and the song of the quaking aspen.
            In medieval times woodsmen and hunters would search for woodspirits before entering the Black forest. A woodspirit is an imaginary face on a tree trunk. Like faces in the clouds. If the woodspirit was frowning, the woodsmen would go back home. It would be dangerous to go into the forest. If they were smiling, they'd continue into the woods.

            This is a story that took place near the Black Forest. It's called Ivy Queen.

            The Great King Elmer the Elm died and left no successor to the throne. After the funeral, Noble Fir set out to find a new ruler for the Plant Kingdom. The decree was: he must continue asking until he found someone.
            One morning, he left the castle and began his search. The first person he came across was Rosemary. She was a proud and stately lady. She was obsessed with her looks and today she was preparing for a social event. The fragrance of her perfume drifted across the breeze.
            Her poise captivated Noble Fir. He approached her, bowed the knee and asked, "Most regal Rosemary, the Plant Kingdom is without a ruler. You are a fine woman. You would be perfect as our new queen. Won't you come back to the castle with me and rule?"
            She looked down her nose and replied, "You must be mistaken. I am already a beauty queen. I can't leave my position in the herb garden."
            Noble Fir couldn't believe his ears. Rosemary turned down the opportunity to be the Queen. He shrugged and headed down the highway. The next person he met was the Rose. Her ruby-red flowers captivated him but he knew she was obsessed with passion and romance.
            He bowed the knee and asked, "Most romantic Rose, you are so beautiful. The Plant Kingdom is without a ruler. Won't you come to the castle and be our queen?"
            She replied, "Can't you tell, I'm already the Goddess of Love. I can't leave my place in the rose garden."
            Noble Fir shrugged and went down the highway He walked past a stadium and noticed an athletic girl playing soccer. He thought to himself: It would do the Plant Kingdom well to have an energetic Queen. But everyone knew she was a pleasure seeker.
            After the game he approached her. "Most Active Myrtle, the king died and we're searching for a ruler. You have so much energy. You would be perfect to be our new queen."
            She told him, "I would love to, but I'm already a Sports Star. I just can't leave my place in the park."
            Somewhat discouraged, Noble Fir continued down the highway and met Olive. Her boughs were laden with olive berries. She was rich and spent all her time pursuing prosperity. He thought to himself. The Plant Kingdom would prosper with such a shrewd Queen.
            He approached her, bowed the knee and asked, "Most Bountiful Olive, won't you to come to the castle and rule?"
            She replied: I am honored by your request, but I'm already the wealthiest woman in the world. I can't leave my place in the orchard."
            Noble Fir stopped searching for the day and headed back to the castle. He passed by the the Black Forest and noticed an exceptionally tall tree. It was Douglas Fir and he knew he was power hungry man. Noble Fir thought the Plant Kingdom could use such a strong person for a King.
            He bowed the knee and asked, "Most Mighty Douglas, will you come to the castle and be the king?"
            Douglas looked down from his lofty height, flexed his limbs and replied, "I'm already mightier than a hundred kings. I'd never leave my position in the forest."
            Discouraged, Noble Fir continued on to the castle. On the way he saw Ivy sitting beside the road. Now, everyone knew in the past she was a pirate lady and plunderer.
            Since she was the only one left, he asked, "Ivy, the Plant Kingdom needs a new ruler, you don't suppose…"
            Ivy rubbed her hands together and said, "I might consider. But if I'm your queen then everyone will do exactly as I command."
             Noble Fir reluctantly agreed and took her back to the castle.
            There was a great ceremony and Ivy was crowned Queen. Not very long after she took the throne, her tendrils began to wind around everyone in the Plant Kingdom. Her foliage covered Rosemary, but Ivy let her fragrance flow out. It wound around Rose and Myrtle, but she let their flowers bloom. It grew up Olive's trunk, but Ivy left the branches to bear olives. The tendrils also wound up Douglas Fir's trunk, but Ivy allowed his strong limbs to show. All the citizens were too obsessed with themselves to care.
            Ivy bragged and gloated about her wonderful qualities. People came from all around and admired her beautiful fragrance (Which was really Rosemary). They gazed at her beautiful flowers (Which was really Rose and Myrtle). They purchased her abundant olives (Which was really Olive). And, they were amazed at her strength (Which was really Douglas Fir).
            It wasn't long before the citizens of the Plant Kingdom woke up and realized Ivy deceived them They were in bondage. They wept and wailed.
            One day, Sir Concord, the Purple Knight from Grapeland heard their cry as he rode past on his horse named Chestnut. He stopped and asked, "Why weepest thou?"
            They replied with one accord, "Queen Ivy has deceived us. She's stolen everything we own. Please save us and become our king.
            He said, "On one condition. I will be your king and serve you but you must to promise to change your ways.
            They all promised, so he spoke to each one individually.
            "Rosemary you need to stay pure.
            "Rose, you will need to have peace.
            "Myrtle will need to be prudent.
            "Olive you will need to be patient.
            "And, Douglas you will have to put on piety."
            They all agreed with Sir Concord, the purple knight from Grapeland. He mounted his horse named Chestnut, and pulled out his magic sword fern. He charged into battle and fought the wicked Ivy Queen. The battle was fierce. Foliage flew. But, he finally won and cut her to the ground.
            The citizens of the Plant Kingdom cheered. There was a great ceremony and they crowned him King Concord.
            After he took the throne, he proclaimed liberty and equality to all—even Ivy. He pruned back all the government excess. He was productive and kept all the food banks filled with grapes. He protected the citizens under the shelter of his arbor. And he promised he'd take care of everyone in the Plant Kingdom as long as he lived and they lived happily ever after.