another place in another time

I found the lamppost in the middle of the woods, half-hidden in branches and vines.

I confess, the first thing I thought about was Narnia even though it was summer-warm with green leaves instead of wardrobe snow and I’m too old to be thinking such things in serious wishful ways.

I untangled what I could to get a better look at the lamppost itself, which was set securely in the ground even though the nearest road was half a mile away.

I’m not sure when I stopped being in my woods and started being in Everglynn, but it was probably somewhere around dusk when the lamp flickered on and the chipmunk sitting by my feet asked if I happened to have the time.

It’s not Narnia, not by a long shot. No icy queens or wise enigmatic lions, just a messy, run-down land of squabbling creatures who argue over everything from what to farm and how to form a proper army—though I’m not sure who the army would be fighting, there aren’t any other lands as far as I can tell—to what books to keep in the expansive hollow-tree library and whether or not to legalize gambling.

They think I’m their savior, a strange beast sent from another land to fix their unruly society and their failing economy and bring peace to their vine-tangled forest.

I try to help. I untangle what I can. I worry what would happen if I were to leave.


About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.

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