A few years ago I was using a writing prompt for creative writing. I feel it’s time to resurrect it. I wrote this story several years ago.
I quote Kasey Mathews from the WANA group “Write to heal” for this writing prompt:
“With paper and pen, or computer handy, lean back in your chair, or against the wall, or a sofa etc., close your eyes and imagine you are sitting under a large tree with your back resting against the trunk. On the other side of the tree, a Storyteller has come to sit down and also rest against the tree trunk. With eyes still closed, just listen. Wait for the storyteller to begin his or her story. When you hear it begin, simply write down all that you hear. “
This is what the storyteller is telling me today:
Today I guide you to a far-away land where a girl patiently waited for her mother to come home. She had gone to get water from the well a little away, but today she needed much longer than usual.
The girl was afraid as her father had died a few months ago. They were living on a little farmstead away from the hustle and bustle of the city that ruled over the land. The girl desperately wished for her mother to come home and make breakfast. But mother would not come.
“Oh, what shall I do?” the girl asked the lonely fig tree they were nurturing carefully, giving it water every day. The little family’s farmstead was situated right in the middle of an approaching desert, and their only income was this fig tree and the goats which roamed the landscape for food. It was the girl’s task every evening to go and fetch the goats and bring them home to stay the night in the little barn her father had build.
The fig tree rustled its leaves and played with its fruit. After a little while, it whispered:” Give me some water, little one”. The girl who had waited under the tree for her mother looked up. “But I only have a little left and mother has not come home yet. I won’t have anything left if I give it to you and she won’t come back.” The fig tree considered this for a little while and then whispered again:” Give me some water, little one.”
The girl looked out over the deserted plain towards the city, which already gleamed in the morning sun. She turned her head a little and looked towards the oasis where her mother had gone to get water. The rocks strewn all over the plain shivered in the heat, and she could see a little point quivering in between.
“I have asked the fig tree for advice. It gave it to me, so I better follow it” the girl thought and went into the house to get the last drops of water in the jug. She carefully carried it outside the door and to the right where the fig tree grew on the wall. She gently poured out the last drops of water on the roots of the fig tree. “Thank you little one” the fig tree whispered.
The girl took the jug back into the kitchen and looked around. There were bread and butter and honey but nothing to drink left. “Oh, what shall I do?” she wondered again. But as she did not find an answer, she went back to sit under the fig tree.
The girl gazed over the plain, which quivered with heat. Her mother should be nearby now, but she wasn’t to be seen anywhere. The point the girl had seen before still was out there somewhere.
“Go and prepare some bread with butter and honey” the fig tree whispered suddenly. The girl looked up into the profoundly green leaves and saw the fig trees not yet ripe fruit dance. “I haven’t been taught how to prepare bread yet,” she said.
“Go and prepare some bread with butter and honey” the fig tree simply answered. “Oh, I am doomed!” the girl thought, but she got up and got back into their hut. “What if I drop the honey or butter? What if I cut the bread too thick or even cut myself?” the girl worried.
She stood in front of the table where bread, butter and honey waited. She stood and waited. But her mother did not come. “I have asked the fig tree for advice.” she thought. “It has given me more advice, so I better follow it.” She, therefore, went to the table, took the knife and cut three even pieces of bread. She laid them out on the big plate they only used for celebrations. Then she carefully spread some butter on them all and trickled some honey on each of them. She covered the plate carefully with a huge bowl to keep away the insects.
But all this new work has made her thirsty. “Oh, I wish I would not have given the last drops of water to the fig tree.” She thought. “What shall I do?” But this time she did not wait for the fig tree to give advice. She went outside and caught one of her goats. It was the biggest one which gave the sweetest milk. So she took her back to the shed where the goats slept at night. She went back into the house and got the wonderfully decorated jug they only used for special occasions. Then she milked the goat and the sweetest milk the goat had ever given poured into the jug.
The girl was happy. “Mother will be pleased when she comes home and sees such a beautiful breakfast.” she thought when she took the jug back onto the table. She covered it carefully with a cloth to keep the insects away.
She went back outside to sit under the fig tree again. It rustled with its leaves gently and whispered:” Well done little one. See over there……” and one of its branches pointed towards the oasis where the girl could now see a camel approach with two women sitting on it.
“Oh dear,” the girl thought “strangers! And mother is not here! What shall I do?” She leaned a little closer to the fig tree to hide under its leaves. She watched the camel approach.
But the two women on the camel were not strangers. They were her mother and grandmother. How happy was the girl to see her family approach? She ran towards them and cried:” Oh, mother! Oh, grandmother! I am so glad to see you!”
Both women got off the camel, and the girl could see that it was carrying a much bigger skin filled with water than her mother usually brought home. They hugged the girl, and her mother said: “Let’s hurry in. It is getting hot, and I have not made breakfast yet. You and your grandmother are hungry!”
But the girl answered: “The fig tree told me to make bread with honey and I milked the goat, and everything is waiting on the table inside, but I had given it the last drops of water, and I am so thirsty”.
Mother and grandmother looked at each other and then hugged the girl. “You have done well. Here have some of the fresh water we have brought first and then let’s have the breakfast you have prepared” they said to her. They gave her to drink, and when she finished, she watered the fig tree again. “Thank you for your advice” she whispered, but the fig tree just rustled its leaves and played with its fruit.
Please stay safe, stay kind and rock your life as good as you can 😊
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