Once upon a time, an enchanted tree in an ancient forest was known for granting wishes to those with pure, true hearts.
A scoundrel heard the legend and devised a scheme to fool the old tree into granting his evil desires. He spied a kind old man and overtook him, ripping out his heart, tossing it, still beating, into a satchel. As he approached the tree, it noticed the old man’s pure heart.
“Hello kind sir,” the tree said, “I sense your heart is true. What is your wish?”
“Oh great tree,” the scoundrel replied, “thank you for finding favor with me, a lowly servant. My wish…my wish…”
But before he could utter another word the old tree heaved, unsettling the ground beneath his feet. “What have you done?! Imposter! For your evil deed you shall suffer darkness forevermore!” The old tree’s roots burst through the dust, ensnaring the scoundrel, dragging him into the cold earth.
The tree took pity on the old man. He dispatched the faerie folk to restore to him his heart, granting him a long, happy life. The man continued to bestow kindness, even to strangers, because that is what those with the truest hearts do.
A 200 Word Tale for Sunday’s Photo Fiction Challenge based on the photo above. This one was quite the challenge and a great lesson in the art of brevity. Truth be told, the first draft of this yarn was over 500 words! Challenges like this help one to become a better writer. You should have a go of it. Click HERE for the details.