How The Brain Tree Shared His Wisdom
It is a well-known fact that the Brain Tree doesn't share the knowledge he has accumulated with anybody. The most intelligent being of the Haunted Woods is also one of the most bitter. Overall, the reason is unknown. Perhaps he just needed a friend...
The Brain Tree's attention was diverted from his ever-constant analysis of the great many facts in his behemoth brain. The distraction was what the intelligent tree first thought an apparition of some sort. But, no, it was a real figure, not a ghost of any sort. Yet, he wasn't sure of its existence. It was a white Zafara, dressed in old fashioned style. Her hair shadowed most of her face, which was bowed in a timid, shy look.
The Brain Tree continued to stare at this out-of-place Neopet. This anachronism of some sort. She belonged to a much older time.
The Zafara moved with a grace uncanny in the Haunted Woods, where most moved with stiff, jerking movements, much like zombies. No, this was no zombie. It moved with more grace than a Royal Lupe.
For a minute the Brain Tree believed that it was all his imagination. Had he, perhaps, heard too many stories? Was he so caught up in his studies that he was imagining such things?
The Zafara looked up, and the Brain Tree saw her face. She had large, brown eyes that beheld a mournful sort of eloquence. The Brain Tree was once again considering that she might be a ghost.
The White Zafara came closer. Did she not realize she was about to pass by the Brain Tree, one of the most horrifying characters of the Haunted Woods? Apparently she was unaware. She did not stop until she was beneath the branches (and brain!) of the Brain Tree. The Brain Tree didn't speak. It seemed as though, if he spoke, the apparition-like Zafara would fade away and disappear.
She sat down at the base of the tree with an almost ethereal elegance. When she was fully settled, she opened a book she had been carrying with her.
"Where do you hail from?" the massive tree inquired, for he felt as though he might burst from curiosity if he didn't find out just who this strange creature was. The leaves, stirred by the Brain Tree's booming voice, scraped discontentedly against the earth. The Zafara did not jump up in shock, she merely turned her head to look at the tree. One could tell, though, from how large her eyes had gotten, that she was startled.
It took a moment for her to regain the little composure she had lost. "I'm from Neovia," she replied, her voice as soft as musical as the dead leaves that whispered around her. That explained her old-fashioned novel-esque appearance.
"And what are you doing here, so far from your home?" the Brain Tree asked. It was in his scholar's nature to question everything; he was always striving to learn more.
"I was here to visit my aunt, but I grew exhausted, so I decided to take a rest," the Zafara answered in her quiet, near inaudible voice.
"What is your name?" If the Zafara was bothered by the Brain Tree's inquisitiveness she did not show it.
"My name is Ligeia."
"Even her name fits her literary appearance!" the Brain Tree wondered aloud, yet to himself.
A moment of silence elapsed between the tree and the Zafara. Ligeia broke the silence by asking, after she remembered the book on her lap, "Do you mind if I read aloud? It helps me to get a better picture of the story."
The Brain Tree did not mind at all. Truthfully, he wanted to hear a good story. "What book is it?" he asked, as was his wont.
"It is a story I doubt that even you have heard of, for it is not well-known. It's called Finding Hope and it's about a Christmas Ghostkerchief who gets pushed around until he finally finds a friend. Ironically, the friend's name is Hope." The Zafara seemed to get lost in the summary of the story, as though she could hardly wait to read it.
"Well, read on, I do not mind," the Brain Tree said, and then Ligeia began to read.
She had a lovely voice for reading, clear and audible, yet full of emotion. From the look of her eyes she was entranced in the story, her nimble fingers turning the page swiftly and softly, as though it was the wind's doing.
Ligeia read on, with the Brain Tree listening intently until the sun had sunk out of vision. The Zafara looked up from the book, for she was so entranced in the story that it seemed as if the tale was real and the rest of the world was not. She stood up, dusting dirt and leaves off of her dress. She glanced at the sky, a worried look on her usually serene face.
"I must go now, for it is quite late," she told the Brain Tree. The Brain Tree felt dismayed. He wanted to hear another story badly.
Ligeia could tell the Brain Tree was sad. "Do not worry, I will be back soon, and with more books," she assured him.
The Zafara was true to her word. Almost every day after that she visited the Brain Tree, every time with a different book to read. The Brain Tree thrived, like a flower given plenty of water and sunlight. He was kinder and much less bitter. When people completed his quests, he offered generous rewards. Many people were full of skepticism. They thought that the Brain Tree was suddenly going to stop being nice and eat their brains if they did not finish their assigned quest in the allotted amount of time.
But that was not the case. He was truly happy. He had a friend.
Ligeia didn't always read aloud from books. Some times she quoted tales that she had heard sometimes, and kept in her head. One of the stories, she called the "Tale of Woe."
"A depressing title," the Brain Tree commented after hearing the name of the book.
Ligeia nodded, a faraway look in her eyes. "Yes, it's a sad tale. It's about Neovia, where I live. It's got a sad history behind it."
The Zafara commenced telling the story, her voice more mournful than usual. The Brain Tree listened, enraptured by the story. Ligeia told this story better than any other she had recited. He was near moved to tears, if that was possible for a tree, as he heard about the town. She told the story as if she was there. And when the Brain Tree told her so, she smiled that sad little smile of hers.
"My grandmother told me the story, and she was there in the midst of it," Ligeia explained. The Zafara grew silent, lost in her own thoughts. The Brain Tree did not question her any further on the matter.
One day, after Ligeia had finished reading a story, the Brain Tree spoke up. "Would you like to know all I have heard about Neovia?" he asked her.
The Zafara nodded, so the Brain Tree began to tell his friend all he knew about Neovia.
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