|"Well now, just when did we begin growing broccoli in the tea cups? Although, broccoli is a lovely shade of green isn't it? The green of the forest. The following story begins in a forest, and tells us how what seems very poignant and ill fated can turn out to have surprisingly practical and felicitous results."|
The Water Nymph's New Home
Poor Alisma! The noise came from far away, at first. Every day it grew louder and closer to the water nymph's small creek hideaway. She could hear the whirring and gnashing of human tools. Trees roared and crashed to the ground. Noise and dust and confusion were soon upon her. Animals dashed from the forest, birds exploded into the air. Terrified, Alisma splashed through the creek and followed the fleeing creatures into the wilds beyond.
On the twelfth day, after the humans came to Alisma's creek, all the surrounding trees had been cut down and the creek dried up. Only small puddles remained here and there. Alisma wandered along the creek bottom or sat forlornly on the rocks puzzling what to do. Without water the nymph would wither away, as would the aquatic plants and the small creatures who depended on the creek.
The word passed through the forest from wind to owl to otter that the land would soon grow a condominium complex for humans with the dubious name of Creekside Haven. Did that mean the creek would be filled again? No one knew, nor could the creatures wait for the water to return. Most left to find a new water source, long before Alisma, who stayed until the last puddle dried up. Then she too, began the search, walking along the creek following her nose to water.
Alisma's nose led her to a strange building with a mural painted on the side with huge sparkles attached to it. The sparkles flashed and danced along the painted water and reminded her of spangled sunlight on the surface of her creek. The smell of water was very strong around this building. It lured Alisma inside, into the damp cool interior of the building. She didn't understand what all the pipes and tubs and strange noises meant, or did she care at the time. It was the water she needed and this place was full of water. At the first large vat of water, the nymph sighed in relief and drifted into the silken smooth liquid.
All might have gone well if not for the timer that went off at just that moment. Alisma, along with the water, was suddenly sucked from the vat into a huge pipe that ran the length of the building. Here, an assembly line of 5 gallon bottles waited to be filled with drinking water. In seconds Alisma was bottled, capped and pitching about as a moving ramp took her to a loading area. Fortunately, the nymph was somewhat invisible to the workmen, who would not have believed they saw her anyway. Alisma, along with all the other water bottles, was loaded onto the side of a huge truck, also dancing with sparkles.
The trip on the side of truck seemed ages long to the nymph, who was so agitated and displaced, escape seemed impossible. It was not until the truck drove into a wooded parking area and Alisma saw a pond and a waterfall that she began to frantically rock her bottle prison. Finally the bottle dislodged and fell to the ground where it bounced up and fell again. On the second fall, the cap burst from the bottle, spewing Alisma out into the air. Rising on the light condensation as a winged beetle, Alisma flew straight for the pond and gratefully skidded along its surface, slowly sinking into the water and then she disappeared.
Since that day there has been a story passed around among the regulars at the golf course. It is said that a beautiful and mysterious woman is living on the Green. They have seen her in the twilight, bathing in the streaming water or during the full moon walking across the 7th hole in long flowing robes. They say she is inhuman, turns into a red fox or a snowy egret. Others argue she shifts into the shapes of skunk or large white and gold carp. Although the golfers laugh and make jokes about this creature, they all secretly avoid the shadowy wet places, the dark crannies under the bridges, the boulders and bushes around the waterways. Alisma peers out and smiles as they hurriedly pass one of her hidden niches, glad the humans are more superstitious than curious for she loves her new home, behind the waterfall.