The Tree People had a reputation for being peaceful. Even the townspeople who did not agree with their lifestyle were the first to admit that The Tree People were not aggressive in any way and that their tree houses were, in fact, quite beautiful. What they did not agree with, however, were the laws stating that any tree already claimed by a tree person or a family of tree people, could not be used in any way whatsoever by the townspeople. In the eyes of the law, a tree where people chose to live was now officially a home and was therefore treated accordingly. This meant entire forests, once worth great fortunes, were now worthless to the builders, carpenters and businesspeople of the town of Greenvale, and this fact filled them with resentment for The Tree People. As in all situations where desires, beliefs and passions collide, a disagreement arose and, due to their peaceful nature, most of The Tree People’s homes were destroyed, leaving only one home remaining towards the end of it all: The House of Jett and Fia.
Unlike many of The Tree People, Jett and Fia had never been Ground Dwellers. All they had ever known was a life in the trees and had consequently collected knowledge about many tricks and traps to keep their house out of sight of any Ground Dwellers. Camouflage was their most widely used trick and Jett was consistently surprised by how easily the Ground Dwellers were bamboozled by a few strategically placed branches, sticks and leaves.
“YOU are the naive one if you think for a moment that fools aren’t easily fooled!” Fia said to him on more than one occasion.
One night, as they watched their neighbour’s home fall to the ground with the most ear-piercing of crashes, they realised they were now the last of The Tree People.
“Are we both about to become fools, Fia?” Jett asked nervously.
Fia gave her brother a loving smile. “The only fools, are the ones who think you and I haven’t already thought of everything.” Jett chuckled as Fia lay on the panels of the hardwood floor to their home, listening to the sounds of the angry mob below taper off into the distance. Jett watched from the window as the last glow of the flames from the Ground Dweller’s torches disappeared into the night, allowing the extraordinary sounds of the forest to fill the night sky before lying down next to his snoring sister and drifting off to sleep.
Jett woke up to the sounds of heavy machinery and dashed to the window of their treehouse. At the edge of the forest, four machines were knocking over trees as easily as he might have snapped a twig or a branch. He dashed over to his sister, waking her up so as not to panic her too much with the news that the machines were coming. Fia rushed to gather her thoughts and the two of them looked out over the increasing amount of dust and dirt filling the air. She turned and dashed towards her rucksack, opening the front compartment and taking out The Horn of Arbre. She offered the horn to Jett who shook his head telling Fia that she had earned this right. There was no time for pleasantries, so Fia lifted the bell of the horn, pointing the bell out of the window and blowing as loudly as she could.
Fia played the horn well, emitting a serious yet hopeful tone in a single, long note that echoed through the forest and over the distant horizons. At once, leaves, twigs and branches fell to the forest floor and the Ground Dwellers turned their machines off as the sight of thousands of undocumented treehouses rendered them speechless. Further, the sight of hundreds of Tree People bellowing at the top of their lungs from the windows and rooftops of their treehouses was enough to make them turn their machines around and retreat back to Greenvale. Jett and Fia looked out at the ocean of Tree People, proudly holding their ground. Jett took Fia’s hand and he looked up at her.
“They’ll be back, won’t they?” he asked his sister timidly.
Fia looked back at him with hope in her eyes and nodded gently. “But, they will forever continue to underestimate us, Jett, which means that we are forever poised to win.”
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
Illustrations by Alisha Towers: FACEBOOK
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