Chapter Five

The high Priestess

In the morning after all the celebrating things started to quiet down and the elves and fairies went about their duties. Now the young elves Herbs and mushroom were in trouble for going off when they were told not to, so they had to stay home and behave themselves.

Thoak, Redberry, Nettle, Beetle, Bramble all went to the High Priestess to see how Cobweb and Grubs were doing. “Good news” said the High Priestess “they are healing well and should be up and about in a couple of days, but will still need to take things easy for a week or two”. With that they thanked the High Priestess and asked if they could see their friends. They were all delighted to see how well they were doing and wished them a speedy recovery then left their friends to rest.

Later that morning Fragrance the loveliest elf of all came to see Thoak. She said “the water fairies are all very excited to hear that you have the morning mist”. As soon as Thoak saw her he knew in his heart that he loved her, but did not know what to say. After a long silence Thoak said “I need to see the Lord High Elf to find out what to do to put the mist back on the lake”. Fragrance said that she would take Thoak to see him.

The Lord High Elf was sitting under the largest and oldest tree in all the forest, he was reading a very old book of spells and enchantments. Fragrance wished him good morning and said that Thoak needed to talk to him. The Lord High Elf was delighted to see him. “Well done Thoak” said The Lord High Elf “you did it, Mortrid can do no more harm to the forest or the folk that live here, well done”.

Then Thoak showed The Lord High Elf the jar of mist and asked him what he should do with it. “Oh thats simple” said The Lord High Elf “at midnight on a full harvest moon you must swim out to the middle of the great lake and break the jar open with a large oak club that has the secret carvings on it”. With that he stroked his long white beard and laughed.

He then went on to say “only trouble is I don’t know what the secret carvings are, never seen them in any of the old books”. Then Thoak said “there’s one more problem, I don’t know how to swim”. “Well” said The Lord High Elf “you have three days to find the answer and learn to swim, because thats when the next full harvest moon is”.

The Lord High Elf under a very old tree

So Thoak and Fragrance said good bye to the The Lord High Elf and went to find the others. They were both a little glum as they left, not knowing what to do about Thoak not being able to swim and the secret carvings. They soon found Redberry, Nettle, Beetle and Bramble sat round a camp fire telling their story again to some of the young elves.

Why so glum Thoak” said Bramble. So Thoak and Fragrance told them what The Lord High Elf had said. Then Nettle jumped up and said “Swimming is easy we can teach you in no time”. And the others agreed that they could teach him and said it was great fun and he would enjoy it.

With that Thoak cheered up and said that he would enjoy learning how to swim, and went on to say “but that is only one problem solved no one knows what the secret carvings are”. “Okay one thing at a time” said Redberry “lets go to the lake for a swimming lesson, we can solve the problem of the secret carvings after we teach you how to swim”.

Off they went to the lake, on the way Thoak was getting a bit nervous about learning to swim but he knew it would be a good thing to do. They arrived at the lake it was a warm day just right for a swim. They took off their coats and in they jumped all except Thoak.

After some encouragement from his friends he walked into the water till it came up to his waste and then they all started to splash about and have a lot of fun in the water. Thoak soon learned to swim a few strokes in the shallow water where it was safe and he could just stand up if he needed to.

Some time passed and they were all feeling a bit worn out from the swimming and playing in the lake. So they went back to the encampment for a rest and something to eat. Fragrance left them to go and tell the water fairies what was happening and that if they could find out what the secret carvings are then they would soon be able to fly again.

When they had a rest and something to eat it was time to find an oak branch that could be made into a club. The elves knew where all the big old oak trees grew and set off to find a suitable old branch that had fallen from the tree. They did not want to harm a tree by cutting off a living branch. It was late in the day when they found one that was just right, a good size and shape to make a large club out of.

Old Branches to Make a Club From

Back at the encampment everyone wanted to know what was happening about the jar of morning mist. So they explained what they had to do and that Thoak could almost swim, they had the club but no one knew what the secret carvings are to put on it.

That night they all slept well after such a busy day. The next day they went swimming again and an old elf called Splinter who was very skilled at working with wood was asked to shape the branch into a club with a big knobbly bit at one end.

While they were all swimming in the lake Stardancer Joined them and started giggling at the sight of everyone splashing about and swimming with Thoak. After a while they came on shore for a rest and Stardancer came and sat on Thoaks shoulder.

She whispered to him “how is the friend of all the forest today” then giggled.

At that Thoak jumped up “that’s it” he said “I know what the secret carving is”. “What is it” asked Redberry, Thoak Replied “friend to all the forest” then sat back down and started laughing.

Yes thats it” they all said with Bramble adding “its the unicorn blessing”. And Redberry said “and the sign of the star like the one on Thoaks chest”. Again they all said “yes thats it”. And with that they all ran back to find Splinter and asked him to carve ‘Friend to all the Forest’ and a star onto the club.

It would take Splinter some time to carve and finish the club so they left him to do his work and went to the High Priestess to see how their friends Cobweb and Grubs were doing.

The two injured elves have been healing well and were up and about, but still a little bit weak. Everyone was delighted to see how well they were recovering, gave them gentle hugs and told them about all that had been happening.

Now it was the end of the second day and the full harvest moon would be tomorrow night. The club would need to be ready in time and Thoak had to prepare himself for the long swim to the middle of the lake. The elves will make a small raft to put the jar of morning mist and club on then Thoak can swim along and push the raft in front of him.

The Full Harvest Moon

In the morning everyone was very busy getting things ready for the full harvest moon which is a time of year that the elves and fairies like to celebrate. Thoak went to see how Splinter was getting on and the others went about making the raft.

The day came to an end and the celebrating began. There was a large camp fire that the elves danced around and sang songs about the harvest moon and all the good things that the forest provides them with. The evening passed quickly and Midnight was getting near, so it was soon time to get ready.

Everyone gathered on the shore of the great lake, the raft was ready, Splinter had finished the club and it looked splendid with a big knobbly bit at one end. The jar of morning mist and the club were put on the raft and everything was ready.

Thoak was very nervous about the long swim to the middle of the lake and the water would be cold. But in he went up to his waste then stopped he turned and said “I’m not sure I can do this”. With that his friends jumped in with him and Nettle said “you don’t have to do it on your own we are your friends and we do things together”.

With that Thoak felt a lot better smiled and said “come on then lets do this”. So off they went Redberry, Nettle, Beetle, Bramble and Thoak together swam out into the lake. It was a beautiful night with the moon light shinning on the water. Everyone on the shore cheering and shouting encouragement to them as on they swam.

Some time passed and they were getting cold and tired but were now at the middle of the lake. They stopped swimming and Thoak took the club in his hand and hit the jar with it as hard as he could and it shattered into a thousand pieces.

Then nothing happened. They could not see the mist on the lake, Bramble said “where is the mist”? Then they all thought the same thing perhaps the carving on the club was wrong. They all felt very disappointed no one spoke as they started the long swim back to the shore.

Morning Mist on the Lake

Then suddenly Beetle said “its the morning mist we only see it in the morning”. “Yes” they all said “we will not see it till the morning”. With that they all felt a lot happier and carried on swimming.

At last they all got safely back to land and laid on the shore completely worn out. The other elves brought them blankets and helped them to get to the fire to warm up. They all sat around the fire getting warm and feeling happy that the task had been done hoping that the carvings were right.

Only time would tell if the carvings were right and so they will have to wait till morning to see what would happen. Just before dawn Fragrance and some of her friends brought the water fairies down to the lake shore, and there they stood waiting to see if the morning mist would appear.

Everyone was there Grubs and Cobweb joined their friends and the Lord High Elf along with the High Priestess all stood and watched the lake waiting for the mist to appear. It seemed like an age that they waited but there was nothing anyone could do except wait to see what would happen.

Just as the first light of dawn started to lighten the sky there on the lake the most beautiful sight. The morning mist was back, gently moving in the lightest of breezes and covering the whole of the lake. Everyone let out a great cheer and started to dance about.

The water fairies wings started to come back to life and after a few minuets they could move their wings then after a few more minuets they started to flutter their wings and then fly off over the lake. Flying all about and skipping on the water. It was the most beautiful sight Thoak had ever seen, and one by one they flew up to him and whispered thank you and kissed him on the cheek.

All morning they flew over the lake so happy that they could fly again and everyone was happy to see them flying. Thoak and his friends were happy that they been able to do a good thing. And everyone lived happily ever after.

Oh and Stardancer giggled the whole time.