FFfAW : What Nanty said

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Yarnspinner. Thank you Yarnspinner!


The tree was a wild thing, Nanty said.

Neither good nor bad, friend nor foe, a creature that lived only for itself. Drawing mosses close as the world turned and cooled, making fresh sticky buds the colour of Angel Shades caterpillars when the sun wheeled high over the moors.

Tiddle Spence learned how wild the tree was, Gordy Prin too the day they went wassailing. Full of last blow’s cider they beat each branch and bough with walking canes and cricket bats, hallooing across the gorse like cattle under the slaughter man.

Tiddle they found plaited in the tree’s gnarly roots. Gordy was never found at all – except the middle finger of his right hand, discovered in a knot hole, wedded to the trunk.

Nanty just nodded when she heard. ‘Wild,’ she said.


Written for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. See here to join in and to read the other tales.

Although less popular than it once was, wassailing is still done here in the South West of England, in the cider making counties, such our own Somerset. I’ve been a wassailing myself, in a chill January, drinking warm cider, beating pots and making lots of noise to encourage the apple trees to wake up and give a good harvest. See here to learn more about wassailing.









12 thoughts on “FFfAW : What Nanty said

    1. Thanks Joy! Yes, always listen to the wise old women sitting quietly in the corner of the room. They’ve often reachd great age for a reason – in this case by NOT messing with scary trees 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Good dark imagery and photo, and glad you called out the wassailing tradition. I think I recognize it from a Christmas song (‘here we go wassailing?’) but maybe I’m imagining that. A sour death, by a tree. Nothing beats that big, thumping tree from Harry Potter right? My, for a dark sense of humor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re absolutely right about the song – it’s often sung as Christmas where wassailers went from door to door singing and sharing a wassail bowl, some crazy alcoholic concoction. And living trees in fiction are fantastic – love the Ents in Lor of the Rings. You can see where the idea comes from. Old trees definitely have a presence about them. Thanks Bill 🙂


    1. Very true. Just when we think we have it under control, we get a bit complacent, nature throws a tsunami or a huge storm our way. Always treat nature with the respect it deserves.

      Liked by 1 person

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