The three penguins with their purple Mohawks and ray bans looked left and right, nominally pretending to help me as I searched for the locale of our next heist, but really they were just on the lookout for anything edible. We had only been told to look in the forest, which we thought to be kind of a slim lead; but as we loved forests, a couple days, weeks, or even months in a forest were fine by us.
We wandered in the deepest parts of the woods. The parts where the trees are as old as the earth they feed upon. Eventually, we stumbled upon a clearing in the center of which stood an ancient oak. We later learned that the clearing was not pinned down to any one part of the forest, and that there was no fixed path to reach it... in fact, to find a path, one must follow a pure heart (preferably one’s own, but those of penguins will apparently do).
As the penguins pranced and danced their interpretive dances, they ate one out of every two mushrooms they were picking for our dinner. Meanwhile, I chose to inspect the great oak.
It was a magnificent tree reaching high into the sky with innumerable thick leafy arms. Its trunk’s diameter was incredible... it took me a full five minute’s to walk around it. And the whole was balanced in perfect asymmetry giving an impression of unimaginable age and beauty.
I climbed up the tree to nap while the penguins pretended to pick dinner... but as I was about to grab the first branch I noticed something.
“Attend to me, my friends!” I called out to the penguins. Startled, they turned their heads abruptly and choked on the mushrooms they were pigging out on. After recovering, they walked over and querulously asked “Whats-Ya-Problem! Shoutin’ alla sudden like that! What? What is it?”
So I showed them what I had found. The lines and creases in the tree’s bark formed an image!
An eye-poppingly beautiful image of a huntress opening large wooden double doors to an old castle nestled deep within the heart of the forest.
I was amazed by the exquisite detail of the picture, perhaps even more amazed and by the fact that it seemed completely natural, no knife marks or anything! It was as if the image had naturally occurred in the tree’s bark!
Meanwhile the penguins, having lost patience, pushed me aside to inspect the image in detail... the moment they touched the picture we were all transported into the entrance hall of the depicted castle!
We were quite happy to have finally found our destination!
Though a bit disappointed to find the place deserted and empty. Had been for ages it seemed.
We decided to move in and to make the magical place our home.
The penguins flew off to gather their relatives.
Soon there would be penguins everywhere.
The forest was quiet and then came,