Deep in the forest where a wicked witch hopes to eat small children, a shroom peaks out from his hidden home. The diabolical witch, he knows, wants to find him and put him in her magic oven where he could be turned into an enchanted cupcake if he isn’t clever and cautious.
Carefully, carefully lifting the trapdoor in the forest floor, trying to avoid doom, the little shroom looks for the witch’s broom, and any sign that she’s about. He sees his poor old friend, the Hemlock tree that he stays beneath. The Old Hemlock tree withers and dies where it stands in the evil witch’s ill-fated forest. It is defenseless, exposed and feeble … but not yet alone.
Off in the distance, he hears a witchy, squeaking voice, chanting, crooning, and conjuring.
Now, don’t panic. Oh, do be careful though. Just don’t turn around … and look straight ahead … and go straight home … and get under your bed.
In the Appalachian Mountains, the Hemlock Tree is disappearing, being killed by the sap-sucking insect Adelges tsugae (Hemlock Woolly Adelgid). The Hemlock that grows here is not poisonous. The needles of the Hemlock tree can be used to make a medicinal tea. Honest.
© Jean Gregory Evans
Do not copy or publish these words without my written permission.