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.
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.