The warden

In the wood three miles west of the strange rock was a place without wind. Even on the blusteriest days, the trees were still and the sound of the world travelled unobstructed.

A man lived there, stooped of stance and long of beard. He had been in the wilds since he was nine years old, eating from the laps of wolves, drinking from the bills of the sparrows whenever he could whistle them from the spider-strung branches.

He is old as the wood – older, in fact – and has seen the fattest oaks burgeon from slim saplings.

He is the warden.

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