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The Gaeas MAG
One day, Austin was walking through the forest near his home in Vermont. He liked to walk there because he could get away from his problems and relax. The birds, the wind, the trickling stream, the squirrels, and trees all made him feel peaceful. The forest where he walked was in a little valley, with one hill on each side. Through the middle, there was a clear sparkling stream. Leaves, mushrooms, ferns, jack-in-the-pulpits, blood root flowers, and mossy logs covered the forest ground. Evergreen, sugar maple, and birch trees grew there, nourished by the stream. There were also a few boulders covered with green and brown moss.
Austin walked along a small path, where no trees or plants grew. The path traveled alongside the stream, up through the forest. When he found his favorite spot, one of the boulders next stream, he sat down on its soft mossy cushion. The rock was big enough for him to lie on, and he did. He laid down with his arms under his head and looked at the clouds. Austin sighed happily, and started daydreaming. Then he yawned, and rubbed his eyes. Before he knew it, he had fallen asleep.
Austin slept for a while. When he awoke, he stood up. The sun was low in the sky; it was dusk. Austin yawned and stretched his tired muscles, but in the middle of his yawn, something on the ground caught his eye. Dancing and frolicking on the forest floor were tiny people no bigger than your index finger. Sparkling, translucent wings sat on their backs. Blonde hair flowed from their sleeping cap-like hats, down their shoulders to their waists. They were dressed in long brown and tan shirts belted at the waist, with matching pants or skirts. They had shiny, almost sparkling, smiling faces, and were singing sweetly. These little people were the most beautiful creatures Austin had ever seen. He rubbed his eyes and then looked again. He had seen right, they were there. He bent down for a closer look. He whispered dreamily, "I must still be dreaming."
The little people heard him, stopped their dancing and stood perfectly still. The smiles came off their faces, and were replaced with looks of worry. They started to talk in an odd, quiet language. Then, as if by magic, they turned into the leaves that covered the forest floor.
Austin splashed some brook water on his face to wake himself. Then he again looked at the ground where the little people had been, but only saw leaves. He shrugged, thinking he must have imagined it all. He decided to go home, so he started down the path.
Suddenly, a man appeared in front of him. Austin stopped abruptly and stared. He was tall and wore a royal purple robe. It was like something Merlin the Magician would wear. His face was pale and wrinkled, and he had snow white hair that merged with his beard and flowed down his back to the ground. He looked at Austin through mystical green sparkling eyes. Austin felt like he was looking right through him.
Austin cleared his throat and stammered timidly, "Wh-wh-whoo are you?"
The man smiled, "Don't be afraid," he said kindly, "I am the father of this forest."
Austin tilted his head and looked at him curiously.
"Did you see the Gaeas?" the man asked.
Austin looked at him with question in his eyes.
"The little people that were dancing on the leaves" the man added, answering Austin's question. Austin nodded. "Now you have seen them, you can never go back to the mortals. You must start a new life here in the forest."
Austin looked at the man, feeling a sad longing to see his family and friends. But if he went home, he might tell someone about the Gaeas and everyone would come trying to see them. Then it wouldn't be as peaceful and beautiful.
"Come with me," the man said, interrupting his thoughts, "I will show you your new life."
All of a sudden, Austin found himself in a room, with many large people who were seven feet tall. They looked like the opposite of the tiny Gaeas. They wore bright colored clothing. They had dark brown short hair. They had ugly faces, but, like the Gaeas, they were smiling. Each one was sitting at their own table, working. Austin looked closely. They were taking mushrooms and leaves and rhythmically rolling them around on the tables in front them. Then they took a large stone and squished them together and leaves and mushrooms would magically turn into clothing. Each was making a different type of clothing.
The old man directed Austin to one of the tables. "These are the Grettles. They make clothing for the Woodlanders, the magical beings of the forest," the old man said.
Then from inside his pouch, he pulled out a handful of magical sparkling white powder. He held his closed fist over one of the Grettle's work and sprinkled the powder onto the mushrooms and leaves. When she was finished poundinge, the old man picked up the clothing and whispered a few mystical works. Instantly, the clothes were on Austin. The clothing looked exactly like what the Gaeas' were wearing. Suddenly he knew he was going to become one of them.
"Come this way," the old man said. When they came to the door, Austin and the old man entered. On the other side, Austin found himself back in the woods, but this time, everything was gigantic. The leaves, plants, stream, trees, rocks, and birds that he at once felt at peace with, were all enormous.
The old man and Austin walked toward the boulder where Austin had fallen asleep. The old man knocked three times on its side and instantly a door opened. Before them was a long, gray hallway. Walking through, they finally came to a village. The buildings were made out of twigs and leaves. There were houses, shops, and schools. Austin could see the Gaeas, who used to be tiny, but now Austin and the old man were their size.
"This is your new home," the old man said. "You will live with Ditlognmve, one of the Gaeas. He will show you how to live as one of them."
Soon they came to a small house, where the old man left him. Austin came to know the man, Ditlognmve, as a friend. Ditlognmve taught Austin the Gaeas part in taking care of the forest. Austin loved living in the forest, even though he got homesick. The forest had always been his favorite place, and now he lived there. 1