Nutlidge ~ Chapter Eight

Nutlidge  Chapter Eight

The Hall of Records

Deep into the roots of the tree, down into the blackness and tangled mass of livelihood, a dark creature was stirring. Amidst the dark tunnels and caves in the undergrowth of mulch and worms, moved a finger sticking out of the cave wall. It was long and dirty and its nail was extremely long and bowed, hosting chunks of clay and sand. Little by little, with slow movements, the finger wiggled about, determined to get out of its muddy jail.
It moved some rock and a most grotesque bony hand with three fingers and a thumb broke free. The ground shook around it, working its way up to the tree’s massive boughs where nutleys and tree folk were busy going about their daily lives. Items began to fall over, people began calling out and screaming for their lives and little nuttles were crying loudly from the fright.
Food on tables went everywhere, making a terrible mess. Nutley horses reared up on back legs and even the Nirds coming in to land had trouble navigating their way. One of them crashed into the main tree trunk wall, bringing down with it the Nutlidge sign and just missing a family of four nutleys. Ducks flapped and waddled everywhere, and birds took off in startled flight as things fell around them.
The tree stopped shaking and everything came to a standstill. There was a big pause before people began to talk amongst themselves. Moving around, picking themselves and others up off the floor, the Nutlidge folk tried to work out what had caused the tree to shake as viciously as it did.
Malley Gum and Coral were doing much the same thing, making sure their customers were all okay. Once Malley knew that everything and everyone was fine, including Curley, he left Coral and Curley to tidy up with a friend and headed up the tree after Florrel and Sky. He knew they would be at Yellow Flowers place.

Back at the garden of Yellow Flower, Blacko, Yellow Flower, Sky and Florrel and now Yellow Flower’s pet galah Dusty, were all composing themselves after the frightful scare.
“Is anyone hurt?” said the fairy, looking around at her guests and lifted Dusty off the ground stroking him affectionately.
“Oh you poor thing, are you alright?” she asked the galah. He was fairly ruffled with his crest sticking up and his eyes were wide open in fright.
“What on earth was that?” Florrel said, dusting herself off. “I’ve never experienced anything quite like it before.”
“I’m not sure,” said Yellow Flower helping Sky off the floor, “but, I think it’s time we found out!”
Before they could say another word they heard a voice coming from somewhere above them. It got louder and louder, calling out,
“Yellow Flower, Yellow Flower! I’m having trouble! Please focus on me if you would!” And as Yellow Flower focused on the person behind the voice she said. “It’s Elm! He’s having trouble getting here!”
There was a whirling noise that also got louder and louder and then suddenly a space in the garden filled itself with bright glittering blue and gold mist that was filled with tiny lightning bolts and spirals. A group of bats actually appeared first, flapping around the mist, which was growing brighter by the second.
Suddenly it exploded into what looked like a fireworks display and there left standing in the mist of it all was a very tall and bedraggled wizard. He was still spinning, and so much so, that he keeled over from the strenuous journey.
As he tried to get up, he waved the bats away, but they weren’t going anywhere. The bats were a spell gone wrong and he hadn’t been able to get rid of them for at least a day now. It was frightfully annoying!
Florrel and Sky helped the wizard to his feet as he fumbled about, trying to get his balance.
Elm was a kind and popular wizard whom everyone loved. He was very powerful, but he was also very clumsy. He stood as tall as Blacko, with a floor length mane of silver hair and a beard that frequently got in the way. His hat was high and covered with real diamonds cut into stars and he had a kind old face.
“Oh my goodness me!” he huffed and puffed, “That was a journey and a half! I could have sworn I said it the right way, or maybe it is to do with the tree shaking… However!” he said, pointing his finger upwards to make a point, “I have just been to see Lord Nutwood and he gave me the key to the Hall of Records.” He fumbled around looking for the key in one of his many pockets. He pulled out a very long scarf and a frog, and from another he pulled out a wand and a bag of herbs. Another pocket contained a dozen beetles and in there he found the key.
“Here it is!” he laughed. “Let us not waste any time at all dear Yellow Flower! We must find out what is causing the very foundations of the tree to shake like it did!”
Blacko came around the corner carrying the pod, a little shaken.
“Are you alright Blacko?” said Yellow Flower.
He nodded. “Yup, no worries! Just a bit amazed that’s all.”
“What do you mean?” said Sky; curious as to what could be more amazing than what had just happened.
“Well I reckon, that for something to be able to shake a tree of this size it must be either an earthquake, or a pretty mighty force of a negative kind…” They all looked at him blankly. “Well, it’s not exactly a build up of positive energy is it?” he added, and continuing into the tree house, put the bath down in the bathing room as the others all looked at each other. He came back out dusting off his hands. “As far as I know, the meeting with the Federation of Nature Spirits is to be held just outside of Cairns, in North Queensland. If you need a lift, I can take you there. I’m on my way back now.”
“Thank you so much Blacko, I do appreciate your offer,” said Yellow Flower, “but we need to get to the ancient library first. But listen, we just might see you at the gathering. Will you look out for us?”
“Yup sure thing! I’ll even save you a seat. Hey do you need a hand cleaning up here?”
“Thanks Blacko but we’ll manage. You had better get your deliveries finished. I’ll probably see you at the gathering in Queensland.”
“Well, folks, I’ll be seeing ya. Take care of yourselves now.” And he waved as he walked up the pathway to the gate.
“He was a nice nut man.” said Sky, watching him disappear around the bush.
“Yes, the Blackbean people are genuine and kind people,” said Florrel. “They live their lives similar to us, but in warmer, more tropical surroundings. We often see them delivering things to the tree. They are always polite.”
Yellow Flower suddenly realised that she had not introduced her guest to her old friend.
“By the way, Elm, this is our new friend, Sky. Sky, the amazing Elm…” she smiled cheekily.
“Ah, I’m delighted my child! Welcome to Nutlidge! And what an introduction! It’s not always shaking like this you know, so not to worry!”
“Pleased to meet you Elm,” said Sky also smiling. She took an instant liking to him and his eccentric personality. The bats were still flying around him!
Elm began to look through his pockets again for his wand and a bag of magical powder. “I do believe we need to get to this meeting and be there on time. Therefore we must away to the Hall of Records!”
Malley came running down the path and slowed down when he saw them all standing there. They were obviously all right. Florrel went to greet him and gave him a warm hug.
“Well! That was a bit of a shake up! I trust you are all unhurt?” he said, rather calmly.
“I think we are more confused than hurt,” said Sky, racking her brain to work out what was going on.
“Is Curley alright?” asked Florrel.
“Yes, he’s with Coral at the tea garden,” he replied.
“Bit of a mess down there. I’ll have to go back and give them a hand to clean up.”
“Malley, we are heading for the Hall of Records, perhaps you would like to come with us?” enquired Elm, knowing that Malley Gum wouldn’t miss an opportunity for adventure. Malley thought about it for a moment.
“Yes, I suppose it wouldn’t hurt.” he replied. “It’s not likely to take all day is it?”
“Well then, let’s go shall we?” said Elm, and before anyone could say another word he threw a handful of magic dust over them all and called out, “To the Hall of Records!” And they all disappeared in a purple cloud of lightning enforced energy.

They re-appeared in a garden similar to the fairy glen, but it was much darker and there were no fairies flying around. It seemed to be near the top of the tree, yet the vines and thick masses of gum leaves and gumnuts of all kinds, kept out a lot of the sunlight.
They stood looking at the huge door before them. It hadn’t been opened for some time and there was ivy growing just about all over it. There were tall windows that towered them were made of dragonfly wings. Mushrooms of all kinds flourished and frogs of all colours hopped about their feet. Elm went looking for the key in his pockets again, which took him a moment or two.
“This is creepy,” said Sky, moving closer to Yellow Flower, who was opening a nut jar of fireflies to help with the darkness. They flew around and gave them enough light to see with. “I’ll just have a look through the windows upstairs,” said Yellow Flower, and she rose from the moss-covered floor, flying up to the windows, which were quite high. They held the second floor of the ancient library.
They were all concentrating on Yellow Flower and Elm so much that they failed to notice several tall, strange creatures creeping up from out of the bushes behind them. Yellow Flower came down and landed softly.
“There is no-one there,” she said, “which is unusual, because it is supposed to be guarded.”
Sky watched the Elm try to get the key into the keyhole when the hairs on the back of her neck stood up and a shiver went down her spine.
“This place really gives me the creeps!” she whispered and as she did, she looked casually over her shoulder and out of the corner of her eye saw tall dark figures swaying behind her.
She screamed loudly, pushing herself backwards a little from the shock, and they all jumped around to see where the source of the fear was coming from.
They all froze with eyes wide. At least six of these creatures stood swaying slowly in the darkness. They were much taller than the group, and seemed to tower over them.
Suddenly a green light began to light up, throwing more light all around them. The creatures suddenly became clear to them. They were a type of bird. They had large bodies; long necks and their heads were long and lumpy looking. Their hair was like feathers going all the way down their long necks a little like a horse’s mane. They had a large feather down their front, and feet that looked more like three fingered hands.
They were all staring at the group before them. If they hadn’t been so innocent looking, the friends would have all been paralyzed with fright. However, the swaying creatures stood proud, and the wizard was the first to speak.
“It’s the Freds!” he said, almost with relief in his voice. “Yes! Of course, now I remember. They’re the Freds. There are twelve of them, and they’re quite harmless. They guard the Hall of Records and have done so for centuries.”
One of the Freds spoke.
“Sginteerg” he said in a funny voice.
They all looked at each other, wondering what it had said.
“Uoy gnitcepxe neeb evah ew.” said the Fred, waiting for an answer.
“I didn’t realise they spoke a different language.” said Elm, scratching his head.
“I think I might know what kind of language it is.” said Malley Gum, “I do believe he is speaking backwards!”
The Freds continued to watch the group closely, swaying as they sat.
“Ereh egrahc ni si ohw?” he spoke again. His big eyes blinked gently at them.
“Does anyone have a writing stick?” asked Yellow Flower.
“Yes, I do,” said Florrel, groping in her cocoon. She came out with a piece of paper and a quill that had hardly any feather left on it. Yellow Flower scribbled down what he said and studied it for a moment. “This could be tricky; I think we might need a little help.” She looked inside her cocoon for something and came out with a gumnut pot. It had tiny containers of all kinds of tea in it. She opened one and placed the contents in her palm and closed her eyes for a moment. Then she slowly placed the tea before the Fred’s and pointed to it with her finger:
“Voice and words that tease our ears,
Break the code and take our fears,
Make it clear so we can see,
Thank you, Adaptabilitea!”
The dry tea floated up and became a glittering mass of yellow and gold light that swirled around them and the Freds.
It soon died down and disappeared leaving them all standing looking at each other.
The Fred, who had spoken before, gave his head a shake. It was like watching a horse shake his mane. Then he said, in his distinguished voice, “Greetings.” and then looked at Yellow Flower, adding, “Thank you.”
The group all sighed with relief, and relaxed their somewhat tense muscles.
“Well done Yellow Flower!” said Elm happily, “I might have known you’d have a solution.”
“We have been expecting you,” said the Fred, “Lord Nutwood sent a message to say that you were coming. If we can be of any assistance, we are at your service.”
He looked at Elm and the bats that flew consistently around his head. “Perhaps I can be of assistance to you sir!” he said kindly, and with his eyes and a fine electrical impulse he seemed to remove the spell and sent the bats off packing.
“Oh how wonderful!” cried the wizard, “Do you know I was beginning to get extremely dizzy! How can I ever thank you?”
“That is unnecessary. But please use the key to open the door to the Hall of Records. We shall find out what is lurking beneath the tree…” And he waited for Elm to turn the key and open the door.
The doorway was high enough for even the Freds to walk under with out lowering their heads. The ceiling was very high, painted in water colour, the images of the first Nutlidge settlement, twenty thousand years ago and the walls were crammed with books from floor to ceiling. Several ladders were scattered around the massive hall for retrieving books from the highest bookshelves.
Elm led the way into the great Hall of Records with the Freds, now having grown to twelve, following them.
The hall dwarfed them all as they gazed about themselves.
“Where do you suppose we start?” said Elm, half laughing, half struck with confusion.
“What about earthquakes?” said Sky, feeling more confident.
“Or what about the tree’s records?” said Malley, “Surely there must be masses of information about the tree’s history.”
“May I suggest,” said a Fred in a grave voice, as he stepped from the crowd of strange flightless birds, “that you look for the original manuscript labelled ‘Nutlidge’. Look for the chapter on Negative Elements. There you will find your answer.” He stepped back into the crowd of ancient birds, allowing their group of visitors to go and look for the book.
It didn’t take them long as it was on a huge pedestal towards the back of the hall in between shelving. A space had been designed around the pedestal and its host, and on it was a huge bark covered manuscript the size of a kitchen table, bulging with content.
Elm, Yellow Flower, Malley Gum, Florrel and Sky all clambered up the four steps to the main platform. They gathered around the huge book with the words beautifully carved into the book’s thick cover and so highly decorated it was, that they all took the time to study its design. Elm, who was in front of the large book at that moment, and feeling empowered by its presence, carefully opened the heavy bark cover.

Nutlidge ~ Chapter Nine

Nutlidge  ~ Chapter Nine

The Wisdom of the Freds

The pages in the book were made from thick paper bark and were so old, that some had turned to dust. The edges of the paper were worn, but the writing was magnificent! It was written in a type of rough but artistic calligraphy with lots of curls and swirls coming from added ivy. It was also decorated with gumnuts, leaves, berries and flowers, and each page was stunning.
However, there was no time to spend studying each page, and Elm, with Yellow Flower’s help, turned the pages to the back. They soon found what they were looking for.
Elm called out. “Let there be light,” and the huge chandeliers hanging from the ceiling came alight with a thousand candles. The hall was lit up like the brightness of day.
‘Negative Elements’ read the heading and under it was listed many minor headings.
Elm read through the list quietly. “Ah Ha!” He stated, and then read:
“Wild and aggressive birds, Woodcutters, Cyclones, Energy loss, Earthquakes, Ancient evil, Human thoughts.” He looked around the group peering into the book. They all looked up at him at once and all mentioned a different title.
“Oh… right!” Said the wizard, hoping that they would
pick the first one to read. “Well then, perhaps we shall try earthquakes, since what ever it was shook the living nuts out of the tree!” He turned to the page and began to read:

“The Tree of Nutlidge, is immune
To earthquake, flood or famine,
But if the tree should shake itself,
Then this you should examine…

If it is thus accompanied,
With a massive loss in energy,
Read the page on Ancient Evil,
To find what ails the tree.”

They all looked at each other again before Sky spoke.
“It’s definitely not an earthquake then.” She said. Elm was already looking up the page on Ancient Evil, and turned to it quickly.
He read out loud:

“To those who think that ‘evil’ is,
A force that cannot die,
Think again and turn it round,
And ‘live’, will catch your eye.

The creature stirring restlessly,
Beneath the roots and worms,
Is growing daily with its food,
Of negative thoughts and germs.

It paints a truthful picture,
A mirror image finds,
Manifesting all the thoughts,
Alive in human minds.
As the energy that was so pure,
Is slowly overcome,
Podsinia will rise again,
To challenge… and have fun.

The only way to win the duel,
Is to raise the thoughts of love,
To help the humans ‘live’ again,
With blessings from above.

To each and everyone was given
A gift to use with heart,
‘Free will’ it is and still it stands
For you to choose your path.

There is a God of Love not War,
One God who loves us all,
We’re small Gods making up the whole,
To make One God of All.

The choice is yours oh ‘Human Beings’
Who will not ‘Be’, but ‘Do’,
Endure with thoughts of love, not hate,
Or our world suffers too.

To change the minds of many,
Can take but only One,
A drink for thee, of Honestea,
And then thine shall be done!

They all stood quietly, taking in the poem and its meaning. The enormity of it seemed overwhelming. Yellow Flower was the first one to speak.
“So… the script is saying that the negative energy around the world, created by thought alone, is crippling the planet and the energy in our tree, and there is an evil creature called ‘Podsinia’ escaping from her jail cell under the tree to cause a problem or two…”
Malley continued. “Who by the way, is a manifestation of the negative energy around the world and the only way to fix the problem and to get rid of Podsinia is to get people sending out more loving and positive thoughts.”
Sky, suddenly realised what her purpose in all this was. “To do that, we must go to where the government bodies sit and talk about global matters, and make sure their tea is spiked with ‘Honestea!’”
“Ah, yes!” Agreed Elm, “they need encouragement to tell the truth! That is what is needed. Of course!”
“I’ll do it!” Said Sky, before anyone could say anything. “I’ll find a way of getting to that conference! They are all meeting in France for the anti-terrorist campaign in a few days. Is there a way we can get there quickly?”
“Yes, of course,” replied Yellow Flower. “There is always a way to do anything!” She placed her hands on her hips, ready to start making plans.
“Firstly we need to get to the Federation of Nature Spirits,” she said. She looked at Sky, who was still dressed as a fairy and said. “Sky. This involves many risks. The magic between your world and ours, can only work if used with faith, clarity and pure unconditional love. This could change your life considerably. Do you really want to do this?”
Sky looked at the fairy and then at the other members of her group and thought long and hard. Finally she said, “I have to do this for Baize. And I have to do it for Nutlidge, and…I have to do it for humanity and… Oh what do you think I should do?” Suddenly, she was overwhelmed with it all. “So, umm…”
The white haired Fred cut her off mid sentence. “It is understandable that you seek approval from us, but in truth, the only approval you need, is your own. Follow your truth. What then, do you choose? For it can only happen, how you choose it to happen. If you are going to do anything at all, you must do it for your self. There lies the greatest truth of all. Your self is a reflection of the whole. This is your reality Sky. This is your creation. Be mindful of your thoughts, for what you place out there, will manifest itself into your reality.” There was a long pause.
Sky stared at the Fred for ages, but didn’t really see him after a while. What did she choose? Did she want to go back and walk away from it all and ignore it, hoping it would go away? Or was she to get herself involved and do what no other at this time could contemplate doing?
‘I did wonder what I could do to help with the fighting in the world. Maybe this is why I’m here…’ she thought. The group around her waited patiently, silently, and without pressure for her answer.
‘I feel…very strongly about this, there’s simply no other way to go…’ She thought.
Finally, she looked around herself and the hall and its massive walls and bookshelves. She thought of the city in all its splendour, the nutleys and the vast array of tree folk and how wonderful their life was here. A picture of Curley went across her mind as she glanced at Malley and Florrel. She thought of her family, Fran, Baize, Grandma, and her friend Tommo. Something had to be done. Did she choose to go through with this?
“Yes. I choose to do this for the good of everyone!” She smiled as she saw her friends get excited about the prospects of it all. They were proud of her and pleased that she felt that she could do such a feat.
Florrel copied the poem down on the paper bark she had given Yellow Flower. As she did this, the Fred’s shuffled around talking between themselves until one from the crowd of twelve said,
“Perhaps you would like some refreshments while you are choosing your path.” He turned to face the main doors, capturing everyone’s gaze.
The Freds began to hum, softly at first, but then they got louder and louder. Just when they all thought they were going to get too loud, they stopped.
There was silence for a moment, and then, suddenly in flew hundreds of birds bearing fruit, nuts and berries.
They filled an area equal to three baths, and when they had finished delivering their loads, the birds disappeared, leaving them to contemplate a delicious feed, and Yellow Flower commented,
“I never did get around to making lunch now did I?” and flew down from the pedestal to have some fruit.
The others followed, gathering around the smorgasbord with the Freds.
“Thank you kindly.” Said Yellow Flower to her hosts.
“Yes, this is extraordinary!” Said Elm, as he reached for a plum.
Sky sat down on the floor, grinning with delight and helped herself to some nectarines.
“This is wonderful!” She said between bites. “What else do you do?” She asked the Fred next to her.
He looked at her with his big puppy dog eyes and still swaying from side to side. “We write books, eat fruit and guard the Hall of Records.” He said in a matter of fact way.
“Fascinating.” Began Malley Gum, who was tucking into some grapes. “What is it that you write about especially?”
Another Fred spoke this time.
“Life.” He said.
“Truth.” Said another.
“Joy.” Said yet another.
“Love.” Said one with an eyeglass.
“So do you write stories?” Asked Yellow Flower, addressing all of them.
“Only of Truth.” Replied a Fred, with hair much whiter than the rest. “We write the messages from the Great One.”
The group before him stared wide-eyed.
Yellow Flower thought for a moment.
“Are you talking about the books in Lord Nutleys collection? They are wonderful stories.”
“They are but a few of the volumes we have written over the many millennia, and they are journals of Life.” Said the white haired Fred again, “They are the past, the present and the future.”
“I write books too.” Replied Yellow Flower. “But they’re just stories for nuttles and baby folk. They’re not as wonderful as the books you write.”
“Do you think the Great One’s voice would not touch your ears Golden One?” He looked her intensely, but kindly, and said, “You who writes books also, of Love, Joy and Truth. Do you not think it comes from the Great God of All That Is? From your Heart? After all, aren’t we all a part of that same Great Energy?”
The fairy along with her friends, listened intently to what he had to say. They stopped eating for a moment.
“If what one has written does not include Love, Joy or Truth, then perhaps it is from another source. We are all messengers for the same truth. It does not matter what belief we are born under, or from which planet we come from, we are still acknowledged and spoken to by the Great One. Each and every one of us. But, because it does not come down bellowing from the sky, people do not believe it is the Great One and ignore what it is telling them…
“His words come through other people, animals, through messages on rocks, through stories and in what the humans call ‘films’. Her messages come through flowers, the birth of another ‘nuttle’, and,” he said, even more sincerely looked at Florrel and Mally Gum and then at Sky, “through pictures in clouds.”
Sky blushed and smiled at the same time. An overwhelming feeling filled her. Goosebumps rose on her arms again and she knew she had been on the right track all this time. And that felt good.
“So you see, we can all be guided by the Great Energy and Her messages, if we choose to see them. As all of you here know, synchronicity always holds a message for us. We must always know that the messages, the answers to our questions, are already there within us. Even before we ask!”
“That is so true!” Said Sky with wide eyes. “My grandma taught me how to create the things I desire. She said ‘If there is something you would like but don’t have the money, just genuinely thank the universe for it in advance, and it will come to you, somehow.’ And it does! And the more I take notice of the synchronicities and messages around me, the more they happen! It gives me confirmation that I’m on the right track!” Sky looked at the Freds with appreciation. “Thankyou.”
“God has chosen the right child for the mission,” Stated the Fred, “but you will need help from Merlin to be sure that the magic you use is strong enough to penetrate the human logical mind. It is only possible if the veil of logic can be peeled away from the human psyche, to reveal the truth of what is really happening in their world.”
“But doesn’t Merlin live in the South of France?” Said Florrel, becoming more confident.
“Yes indeed he does.” Said the Fred, “and he is expecting you to arrive in three days. It is the same day as the World Leader Summit. He has a potion that you will mix with the tea. This will strengthen the magic ten-fold and will ensure its results.
“Therefore, you must see him before you go to the gathering of world leaders. The potions must be mixed in, and the thought intent, which must accompany it, should be one of Unconditional Love and Divine Purpose. We do not choose to change the path of the world for selfish reasons. The truths that shall come forth from this event shall ultimately change the way humans think to a far more positive and a more advanced level of vibration.
“This will open their eyes and their hearts to the wonders that are really there for them. Once they see this, there will be no reason to fight over material things. They will not need money. And they will make sure that the starving are fed and the homeless are sheltered and that everyone has their dignity. This will be a landmark in the spiritual progress of human kind. Only then, when their weapons exist no more, and they stand alongside their women and their neighbours in peace and in balance with each other, can they truly say that they are an intelligent species.”
This statement from the white haired Fred came as a profound realisation to all those present. They all ate heartily but quietly as they thought about what the Fred had said to them.
Elm and Yellow Flower, Malley and Coral, and Sky all slowly prepared to leave the great Hall of Records.
Yellow Flower closed the book of Nutlidge and thanked the old Freds for their assistance.
“We know your journey’s success is already assured, have total trust in your intuition at all times,” said the white haired Fred to Sky. “And, may we assist you in returning to your tree house?” He added, looking enquiringly at Yellow Flower.
“Yes, that would be most appreciated. Thank you.” Replied Yellow Flower, and she gathered them all up to prepare for transportation back to her garden.
Sky had one more thing to say and stepped forward,
“Thank you.” She said looking at the Freds, but mainly at the Fred with the white hair.
“Thank you.” he replied somewhat bowing at her. Their gaze met for another moment and then the Freds all said “Farewell!” and the small group disappeared in a flash of white sparkling crystal light.

Nutlidge ~ Chapter Eleven

Nutlidge

Chapter Eleven

Lord Nutwood and Lady Acacia Nutley

After spending time with her grandmother and telling her all that happened, she showed her the things she had chosen at the market place. The only thing she did not allow to grow with her was the tiny quilt cover she had picked out for her grandma’s crystal ball. She showed her the jug and the pendant she got for Baize and the two rings. The other fairy dress came out and she tried it on, and Grace thought the jacaranda colour looked superb on Sky. It was just stunning!
When she had changed back into her other fairy dress and had eaten lunch with her grandma, she headed for the cottage to do some cleaning before she returned to the tree. She was to meet Grace there at five o’clock, and she hoped that it gave them enough time to see Lord Nutwood. Grace had been very excited about the whole thing, especially when Sky told her the plans she had in mind for her dinner guests! That was going to be a secret, and the little people wouldn’t know until they arrived at her cottage. She couldn’t wait!
When she got to the cottage, she wiped around quickly and straightened out some cushions. It was still tidy from when she had done it the day before. A basket was placed on the table and tiny little containers of food and other things were placed in the antique and flamboyant kitchen in the dollhouse. This was where she planned to have her dinner party! She straightened out crooked pictures, took carpets out and banged them against the post outside, shook out little tablecloths and straightened out cushions. She made up the tiny beds and put little vases of flowers using some gumnuts and tiny flowers she had found on the way.
The dining room table was set with tiny little knives and forks, spoons and plates. There were even salt and pepper shakers! A tiny chunk of bread that had been carefully sliced and wrapped to keep fresh was placed on the table. A container of water was filled up in the roof for washing up and if by chance someone wanted a bath, there was a simple hot water system that her grandfather had put in just before he died. She popped the plug in to warm it up after filling the tank.
Her grandfather had also connected up the tiny lights and lamps that had been installed a long time ago. They still worked. She put little nut bowls around the house filled with some very fine pot pourri to make the dollhouse smell nice. There were so many rooms, she wondered how long it would have taken her if she had have done it as a small person.
“It would have to take at least two days!” She said out loud to herself. “I know what I forgot!” She pulled an old-fashioned toast stand out of the bag and put it down stairs in an emptier room for Curley to play on. It was perfect for swinging around on. That way he couldn’t damage any of the finely carved furniture that had been so beautifully made.
“There!” She said, with her hands on her hips admiring the view. “What a beautiful house it is…” She played with one of the dolls that were in it. It was the father doll. She placed him in the kitchen. “Thank you for offering to do the cooking tonight Jasper!! We will have sliced pork and apple sauce, mashed potatoes with peas and carrots. After that we’ll have Pavlova with fruit on top thanks, and punch for our drinks!”
Sky had been in the kitchen when Beverly had been making the Pavlova. She got her to put a large blob on a tiny tray and she spread it out with a fork. When it had hardened she placed a tiny dob of cream on it and then tiny little pieces of strawberry, apple, orange, nectarine and pineapple on it until it was covered, and topped it off with some fresh passionfruit.
“Well Sky!” Said Beverly laughing, “That’s so cute! It’s a fine dish indeed! Wish I was small enough to sit down and eat that right now!” She had said chuckling.
Sky suddenly realised that she needed to get back up the tree if she wanted to meet Lord Nutwood and Lady Acacia Nutley! She looked over the dollhouse once more quickly and saw everything was in order. She closed the front shutters of the house and closed the tiny front door, leaving the lights all on. It looked lovely! She grabbed her bag and took off out the door and over the rocks to the tree once more. Before long she was kneeling at the end of Malley Gum’s garden.
“Hello!” She called out, “Are you there Malley? Florrel? Curley?”
They didn’t answer. She thought for a moment what she should do. Maybe they were at Yellow Flower’s house.
She sat down to think about her next move. “I don’t think they would have forgotten me.” She thought, “But what if they have, what am I going to do now?”
She got up and walked up and down the branch thinking about what the best thing to do was.
“I could go back to the cottage and wait for them to come down for dinner,” she said quietly to herself, “but then, I was suppose to meet Lord Nutwood if I’m suppose to be…”
Her thoughts were cut off by a voice getting louder and calling “Look out!” She turned around and ducked just in time to allow a Nird to fly over her head! It was Curley and Coral, flying in to pick her up. They landed quickly and Curley called out to her, “Sky! Quickly! We have the potion for you! We have to get to the Centre as quickly as possible! Lord Nutwood has called a meeting!”
He ran and flung himself around, happy to see his big friend and at the same time knew he had to get her back there as soon as possible. Lord Nutwood wanted to meet her.
Coral gave Sky the Changeabilitea. She poured the sweet liquid under her tongue, shrank down to their size and hopped on the Nird, straightening herself out at the same time. It didn’t matter, because as soon as they were up in the air she was all blown about anyway! They soared out into the open and flew almost vertically up the tree. It was a fast ride and Curley was ‘yahooing!’ most of the way. Back in amongst the giant gum leaves and into the centre of the tree. The whole city was there. Hardly a space was left to stand. The tree had shaken again and this time had really done some damage. People had been hurt, but no one had been lost as far as they knew.
They landed on a bough above the crowds and hopped off, all patting the bird and thanking it for the wild ride.
They made their way down the road and through the crowd till they came to the Nutlidge entrance doorway. Through the museum they went, past the council chambers and up the long staircase to the palace. The main door was open and they ran inside to find Yellow Flower, Malley and Florrel, and another nutley lady who had to be Lady Acacia Nutley, the Wizard Elm, and Lobes, his helper.
Lobes was a short bald gnome, with a thick lock of hair that stuck straight up in the air, wavy to a point. It was bright blue. He had big pixie type ears, and his ear lobes were so long that they nearly touched the ground. He wore a monk’s gown with floppy sleeves and pixie shoes with pointy toes. He had a friendly, cheeky face and a wise look in his eyes.
There were also other nutleys around the room in small groups, waiting for Lord Nutley to finish talking to the crowds.
It was a large hall, beautifully done out in carved pictures of nutleys and tree folk dancing and frolicking around the room. Literally hundreds of tiny images were carved into a full wall mural, all the way around the room. There were large archways where the two main doorways were, which led to other rooms. A smaller one led out to the small balcony in which Lord Nutwood stood.
Sky ran over to her friends.
“Hi!” She whispered loudly.
“I’m so glad you got here in time.” Said Yellow Flower, greeting her young friend warmly. They all gathered around her and moved themselves over towards the back of the room. Standing next to a group of silk and snakeskin chairs and a huge vase of native flowers, Yellow Flower told Sky briefly what happened.
“The tree shook again, twice. The damage is huge, but I had a fly around with a few other folk and it can be fixed. We don’t know how many more shakes she can take. The tree will be all right, but Nutlidge will be shaken off the tree! You probably didn’t get a chance to pop in to Malley’s place, but it took the shake pretty hard and it’s a mess. My place isn’t much better! Still, most places need fixing up, but no one got seriously hurt. Sky, this is Lady Acacia Nutley. Lady Acacia, this is our brave friend, Sky. She will be coming to France with us, and placing the Honestea into the drinks at the World Leaders’ Summit.”
Lady Acacia was dressed in a long feather gown of burgundy. Her hair was decorated with sticks and berries and she had a pretty face. Sky shook Lady Acacias hand and quietly said “Hello, pleased to meet you.”
“It is very nice to meet you Sky. We are honoured to have you help us in this way. I look forward to talking with you.” Said Lady Acacia.
“We can fill you in on the rest of the news later on,” whispered Yellow Flower, “we should probably listen to what Lord Nutwood has to say. Come on, over here…” She led them over to the doorway where Lord Nutwood stood.
Lord Nutwood was in casual clothing of a single large feather. Everyone had come in flocks to hear what he had to say. There were the Nutleys, pixies, gnomes, fairies, all sorts of insects and birds, duck folk, goblins, leprechauns, dwarfs, lizards, frogs, dragon flies, possums, mice and more.
They all stood motionless and quiet, except for a few mothers trying to quieten their nuttles and fairy babies.
“It is not known yet if Podsinia is actually out from her muddy prison, but after the last two shakes, and the strength of them, we feel that it is quite possible that she may have freed herself.” Said Lord Nutwood.
The crowd murmured in a concerned way. Nutwood put up his hands to quiet them down and continued.
“We have people placed throughout the tree keeping an eye out for her, and I ask everyone to go back to their homes for at least two moons. We hope to have things under control by then.” There was another murmur among the crowds.
“Now!” He said, “We know that the only way we are able to ward this Tree Spirit off, is to bombard her with good thoughts and love. This is something you all do well; however, the world that is affecting us is not so positive. We must use our collective consciousness to keep her at bay. Hopefully she will stay down in the soil if we can place a strong enough love shield around the tree to slow her down. Meanwhile, Elm and Yellow Flower will be attending the Federation of Nature Spirits meeting to discuss what action we are to take. It calls for drastic action.”
The crowd murmured again and softened just as quickly. He ushered Sky onto the balcony. She went red in the face from embarrassment. This had not occurred to her! She looked over the rail to see thousands of nutleys and tree folk all looking at her.
“My dear friends. Whenever there is a problem, we thank the Great Energy for the solution that is already there for us. We just have to be open to receiving it. Two days ago, and for the second time in over four hundred years, a Human Being has been awake enough to be led to the tree and to climb its greatness!”
The crowd murmured amongst themselves for a moment then quiet fell once again.
“We believe this young human has what it takes to help us change the course of human behaviour and their aggressive nature. Meet our loyal friend, Sky!”
The crowd went wild with clapping, cheering and whistling.
“Over the next few days, we will see major changes within the world’s energies. It will be felt here and it will be hard. But we will overcome this. If any of you can volunteer for guard duty, please see Professor Barklay after the meeting. If anyone should spot Podsinia, they must get word to me immediately! So! Send your thoughts of love around the tree! Think of Podsinia and think of her as your hidden dark side and bath it with white light and unconditional love! This is what heals! This is what dissipates the fear! And the world needs much more of it! This we can help them with!”
The crowd cheered and whistled again only louder than before. Sky was now beaming with delight, having lost her shyness, and realizing that they were all equals there and she had nothing to be shy about.
“My good friends go back to your homes. Look out for each other. We have not lasted twenty thousand years as a peaceful loving community without a very good reason! We shall inform you what is happening, but keep your ear to the vine for any useful information. Thank you! Thank you for coming!”
He waved as they cheered for their beloved Nutwood.
He led Sky inside and the crowds began to dissipate up the various boughs of the massive tree. Lord Nutwood turned to Sky and said, “I just want to thank you personally for your assistance in this matter young lady. I am honoured to meet you, as I was also honoured to meet your great-great-great-great grandfather, young Master Lawson. He was an extraordinary young boy.
“I cannot even begin to express how grateful we are to him for protecting our world like he has all this time. Thankyou Sky. I am indebted to you.”
Sky blushed and shook his hand. He was a nice fellow with kind gentle eyes and a relaxed manner. She could see why he was so popular.
“No, it’s my pleasure Lord Nutwood, really. I am doing this for my own world also. It is my pleasure to help such a beautiful city. I will make sure this place is never destroyed. Honest I will.” She said.
He knew she would too. She had the same determination in her eyes as young Master Lawson had all those years ago.
“Good luck with your journey Sky, we shall all be with you in energy.”
“Thank you,” she said, feeling quite proud that she was her great-great-great-great grandfather’s relative. She thought he must have been a very honourable man to have kept this place quiet and protected like he did.
The others came over to join them and they gathered around to continue chatting about the events that would follow. Lady Acacia Nutley motioned to one of her helpers to bring drinks for the group and they ushered everyone to be seated in one of the many lounging areas that were placed around the big Hall. This Hall wasn’t just for the Lord and Lady of the tree, but for everyone to come and sit and talk to them and to admire the carved walls.
Sky was curious about the fact that they seemed to live so graciously, and yet they had no ‘monetary system’. How then did they have what looked to her to be nutley servants, even though they were all dressed a little differently. She couldn’t help ask.
“May I ask you a question?” She said to Lord Nutwood, feeling a little closer to him.
“Ah Sky. You are perceptive!” He smiled. “You’re curious as to how we live like this when we do not have the money and government your world has. I picked up on your thoughts just now, and I understand why you must question this. I understand you have been around the city a little and shopped for things you required.”
“Yes, that’s right,” said Sky, a little taken back by his level of awareness.
“Well did you not help out at Malley Gum and Coral’s store when they got busy?”
“Yes! It was great fun! I really enjoyed it.” She said happily, and looked at Malley and Florrel, acknowledging their friendship.
“Well, you have received what you have needed from the stalls and no more than you need, and you did Malley and Coral a great service by helping them at a busy time. This balance is what we have created with in our community. This is the system all Nut and Pod colonies use along with the other folk in our worlds.
“There are many beings throughout the universe that live like this and there are many who are far more advanced than may seem. You see we have created a principle of observation. We have simply observed that we are all One, and thus have created our whole way of life on this principle. What happens to one, affects us all. There is no crime in our colonies at all. Any offenders, of which rarely exist, are brought here and shown the ways that serve them better. With love, healing and guidance, they will surely come good, and will fit back into the community again.”
The whole group were listening intently to Lord Nutwoods words. Even Elm had not heard it put so simply.
“No one forces anyone to do anything in this environment. They all have free will and all choose to do what makes them happy. This is encouraged. It is not our way to do things that we feel we will not enjoy. This brings in negative thoughts, and we do not need that. All the folk in the tree have their own talents and abilities. There is someone suitable for every kind of task you can think of. For instance, some of the folk that you see around the palace doing various tasks are here, not for Lady Acacia and myself, but call to see what needs doing for their community. This palace and all its glory belongs to everyone. We have our own area for living quarters, but they are much smaller in comparison. We only need the basic requirements. There are guest rooms for wise men visiting from other colonies. But we cook for ourselves and have our own life. We serve our community in every way we can. A little like you Sky, it was my great-great-great-great grandpop who first founded this tree and made a settlement here. I am more than happy to spend my life helping this community to stay happy and peaceful, while watching its inhabitants excel themselves to their greatest idea of Who They Truly Are.”