Monday, July 29, 2013

They Said It Was a Myth

They said it was a myth. I wasn’t quite so sure. My curiosity got the better of me and I decided if it was possible, I would try to see if I could prove (or disprove) the myth.

What myth? There is a myth that a single solitary sprout from the very last reading tree is still in existence. A reading tree, or so the story goes, is a tree wraps its roots around books and grows to bear books as “fruit”. As the books mature they fall to the ground ready to be read and enjoyed.

Supposedly, the only sprout of the last reading tree known to exist is being safely kept and tended by a very, very small bear in an old discarded Mason jar.

I started my quest by delicately asking a few old timers the question “if a reading tree sprout exists, how would a person go about looking for it?”

I spoke to a gentleman who swore he would deny every word if I told anyone what he told me. But as we are friends, I think I can trust you. He instructed me to wait patiently until darkness came. Not dusk, not a moonlit night. Darkness. After my eyes adjusted, I was to carefully make my way into the woods. I was to look for the tiniest glow and he said with emphasis, “if it exists, you’ll see it”.

Every moonless night, I slipped out of bed and into the woods and cautiously waited for my eyes to get used to the dark. Every night I took a different path feeling that I might be just a tad crazy for pursuing such a wild objective.

Then one night not long ago a summer breeze rustled the leaves and made the branches of the trees sway. That was when I thought I saw something.

A glow – just a tiny little glow that was there and gone. But every time the wind blew, it would briefly appear. My heart started to race and I began to believe that my quest might actually prove successful.

I waited for the next breeze and sure enough the glow flickered. I took a step towards it and then waited for the next small gust. I repeated this over and over until I got close enough to figure out what it was that I was seeing.


I discovered that I was seeing the actual incarnation of what was believed to be a myth. I slowly went to my knees to get a closer look at this magical tree growing in a Mason jar. Well, I say tree but it was really a sprout – a very small sprout. Is that redundant?


And there beneath its diminutive branches was a petite bear reading a book. He was kept company by a bird in the tree’s branches and a turtle resting nearby. A watering can sat at the base of the tree.

I gently picked up the jar and the bear looked up at me and smiled. “Do take care” he said. “Too much jostling and we really will become a myth.” “Take a look,” he instructed “at its roots. See the letters? That’s what makes this tree different from any other on the planet. It seems to know that the roots and the fruit above are connected not only to each other but to the rest of us making the most of the books it grows. Now that you have seen, go and find your favorite book and read yourself to sleep. You won’t be able to find us in the daytime and you will think it was a dream. But you and I will know it is real. I will continue to tend the tree and you, well, you should go and read and sleep and dream.”

So, I did. Then the next morning I set about trying to recreate what I saw in the woods the night before. Here’s my version of The Reading Tree.






  1. The Reading Tree is amazing -- LOVE it!

  2. Seriously, you have all of the creative juice, all of it! This is just awesome!

  3. Amazing!! I love it! Especially as a writer-in-training. :)

  4. Wow, this one is really amazing. What a creative mind you have.

  5. This is very special, especially for those of us who love books!

  6. If you go down to the woods today, you're sure of a BIG surprise! We do hope that jar has air holes in the lid though...


    Jack & The Clan

  7. Yes! I love the story and the reading tree. You have captured the dream of all committed readers.
    Thank you.
    I am going to share your post with my grandkids.
    I am sure that Sebastian will be a very good friend to the bear in the jar and a good caretaker for the reading tree. Let us hope that the sprout will continue to flourish and soon be too big for the jar. We need some good size reading trees too.

  8. What an amazing post! I love your story and I am so happy to hear that it's not a myth - proof is in your mason jar! I love the idea of a reading tree ;O)
    I absolutely adore your latest project.. I have been wondering what you were going to do with those gorgeous little books!

  9. Books and bears are my favourite combo! – How did you know? Oh, I guess you are like me. Lovely myth, it's kept right here with me.

  10. Wow ginger this is amazing, such a magical piece. I love it. I'm curious to know how big the mason jar is? Xx

    1. Hi Elanor,

      Thank you so much! The jar is about 10 inches tall and about 4 or so inches in diameter.


  11. Amazing Ginger. I love the story and I love the little bear in the jar more.


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