writing

Sweet as Maple

A sturdy maple stood tall in an open field. The leaves of the tree turned in the fall, leaving a cornucopia of color under its mighty branches, while in the spring, the leaves would come back bright green and build back in the shade for the summer months.

Picnickers and hikers often would lay out their blankets and pause for a break under this beautiful tree, hoping for relief from the sun. The maple would shade its visitors happily. The hikers claim renewed strength for their journey after a short respite.

Couples swore their love to each other under this tree. If the tree sensed their union, it would drop a leaf on the happy couple, so the folklore goes. This was a sign of the sweet maple feeling their love.

Young girls would visit this tree in the fall, sitting against its trunk, wishing for a glimpse of their future. It was another tale of the maple tree’s mysterious powers. Girls would take a leaf they saw fall and visit the pond which stood nearby. They’d drop that leaf into the pond and the face of their true love would be reflected to them. Many a girl would only see themselves, but occasionally, one lucky one would see someone else’s face staring back.

One night, someone tapped the tree and placed a bucket below to capture the sweet maple sap. No one knew who tapped it, but within a year thereafter, many newborns were delivered to couples in the nearby town. It was rumored a local doctor mixed a fertility concoction for these couples which the men drank; many grew to believe it was maple syrup from this very tree.

The tree stood tall for over a hundred years. However, over the years, the great maple started to age. When it finally fell, the community mourned over the loss of its special tree. Small trinkets were carved from the wood and passed down to future generations.

Recently a new sapling emerged in its original place. Perhaps sweet magic will soon return.

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