The old man carried the last of the apples inside,he felt a tremendous feeling of sadness as he surveyed this years harvest;for it was smaller still than the year before.
He sighed,this would be another hard year for him as his crops would barely feed him now,let alone turn a penny at market,th old man put his head in his hands and wished for a better harvest next year,like he had so wished the year before.
It hadn`t always been that way,the harvests in his area were among some of the best ever known,yet in time things no longer grew strong or even grew at all.
His neighbours had moved away from the area to lush farms beyond the Dark woods,yet the old man was too weak and poor to make the journey,so slowly and surely he wasted away.
He thanked what little luck he had seen in life,that his wife had passed away before him for it would break his heart if she had to endure this hardship.
No-one lent him a hand,or even cared much as to why the land was failing,so he despaired and sadly the old man waited to die.
It was to the old mans great surprise that he heard a knock at his door one early morning,for he had no relatives or friends,and hadn`t known a visitor in many years,he slowly opened the old door.
The cloaked man that stood before him gave a word of greeting and offered his services as a woodworker within moments of the door opening,on hearing this the old man felt willed to agree,and although he was not afraid,he could not explain why he had accepted the terms so quickly.
The guest only stayed for 4 days,and on the fifth day he wrapped his cloak about him and opened the door to leave,he pulled an envelope and a selaed container from his cloak and left it on the kitchen table as he left the house.
The old man felt sad when he found his guest to be gone,yet he knew that his land was of no use to anyone and he could not afford to keep the guest much longer,but the cloaked man had given him something to hope for while he was there,and now he was gone he felt empty.
He regarded the container with anxiety for through the smoked glass top he could see things moving within it,quickly he set down to read the letter.
~Sometimes things occur for reasons that are not at first obvious,man will try and change things in order to change the event,and when things are altered by man,the balance is shifted and nature must suffer for it. So delicate is the cycle,that when even the tiniest natural process is disturbed,an entire community can break down.
Such is what has happenned here,when the nearby forests were felled many species vanished from the land and the cycle was broken,the container houses 4 differant species of ladybird,introduce them to your garden,and they will ensure that no species can thrive to the point of dwarfing another.
However,be sure not to let them go all at once in the same place,or they will dominate the area,and nothing shall grow.
This is how the balance works,it has consequences on each side of the scale,and it must correct itself for nature to function.My kind seek to protect and aid nature from the onslaught of man,yet not all men are greedy and ignorant.
I am sorry you have suffered so long friend for I came as soon as I could,I believe nature will find her way in your land once more. We shall not meet again but I thankyou for your kindness in providing me with a home,short time though it was~
The townspeople said it was magic that caused the old mans garden to grow so much,the flowers and life that filled it were breathtaking,and towards the end of his life they said the old man spent his time from dawn till dusk gazing at it with contentment in his eyes.
For the teachings of his guest had changed his life forever,the wisdom he had been left gave him the peace he had so wished for.
The druid stood staring down at the ramshackle hut,with the colourful and garden outside and smiled,at least here in this tiny corner of a quiet hamlet,nature was at peace.