The Hidden Path
Once there was a young girl who lived in a large village surrounded by forests. Though these woods came right up to the village, and were of a pleasant nature, the villagers mostly ignored them. As the girl’s childhood progressed, she would venture further and further among these trees, until she had worn tracks through the nearby underbrush.
It seemed to the girl that she knew the closest trees of the woods almost as well as she knew the homes and shops of the village. And so, as her childhood continued, she ventured farther and farther afield, continuing along the tracks she had worn in the forest floor until they faded from view, so new were they, and extending them into the unknown, or turning aside early, exploring some side way she had previously not thought to explore. And so, by the time she had become a young woman, she had established quite a maze of ways through those trees.
Of all the people in her village, only she bothered to follow those pathways, for the villagers, though kind, were uninterested in exploring the deeper regions of the woods, and quickly turned back as the shadows grew deep. Even if the young woman tried to guide them, she could never lead them very far before they turned back, all apologies. And so she walked the forest alone, always seeking new ways, always and extending her travels within the forest, trying to go beyond what was now known to her, as the lengthening pathways proved.
And thus it came as quite a surprise to the young woman to discover herself, after a period of meandering, having come upon a fairy circle. Though she had never seen such a thing before, the girl stepped forward at once, eager to enter the world of the fey.…