Once upon a time in the Queen’s Forest, a wise woman lived in a rather large cottage. In the nearby village, the more ignorant of them called her a witch and wanted her banished. Others sought her out for her wisdom and healing abilities. And then there were the children who scared one another by whispering about her craggy face, wrinkled hands, and wild hair.
Her name was Anne which is a rather uninspiring name for a wise woman (or witch dependent on your point of view.) The villagers called her “The Queen’s Forest Crone.”
Anne spent her days foraging, gardening, preparing potions, and cooking. She loved to cook. The alchemy of breadmaking still enchanted her after all these years. Occasionally, a villager would arrive in need of one thing or another.
Over the years, she learned that mostly they needed a sympathetic ear. Often, her potions were of no real use to the malady at hand. In those cases, she gave them fresh baked bread and honey from the hive in the Twin Tree.
The great tree grew a short distance from Anne’s cottage. Like Anne, it was gnarled and sometimes ugly but possessed of a great spirit. From the trunk of the old tree, a branch extended that formed another tree growing perpendicular in the air to the old one. Not really a twin, the younger tree was still in it’s prime. A woodsman had tried to cut it down, but her roots screamed in agony until the spirit of the old tree took hold to rescue her.Continue reading