Our writing prompt today is: telling tales.
All the guests have once again departed, which is always a bit sad. But I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again at Christmas... and that's not all that far away already.
Now that Max has left his third cold behind, he has decided to go right into his fourth. Making up for lost time or something.
And, so far at least, it is much worse than the one he just got over.
The tree has watched over this plantation for generations. Lurking in the rarely disturbed north-east corner of the property, it is the tallest and widest oak of the five in its grove. You can see the top of it from the main house, if you care to climb onto the roof.
Its bark has heard many stories, and many more secrets. Over the decades it has absorbed complaints, victories, defeats, and even a handful of prayers.
For, you see, the daughters of this place have gone to it with their burdens in order to lighten their loads. They have used that tree as a sort of living diary, I suppose. Spoken words whispered into the leaves instead of written messages scrawled across hidden pages.
The strange thing of it, though, is that they all found the tree on their own. As best I can tell no girl told another about what they used that old oak for... yet they all ended up there sooner or later. All of them - from serving girls right up to the master's own daughter. Generation after generation, without fail.
It makes me sad, you know. Being aware of all that but still having a duty to carry out such as this. The axe feels unnaturally heavy in my hands as I make my way across this field with the sun at my back, but I can't ignore the instructions I've been given.
I have to continue on. That funny old tree has to come down.
Because, you see, that tree has started telling tales...