“Yes Wallace, I believe I am one of you. “ She looked to Gemina for verification. It felt good to be among her own kind. And there was Akana, doing that floating trick again. That would have come in handy, back when she was learning to climb. Well, the climbing up was easy, it was the coming down that Whisper used to struggle with.
Whisper thought about Kaiden’s question. “I am right in thinking that I am not the only one the trees are capable of speaking to?” Did the trees speak to her? No… she ‘felt’ them more than heard them. “Kaiden, no. The trees do not speak to me. At least, not in the way I think you mean. The trees and I are…well, it is hard to explain. I have never had to express it before. It’s more like, the trees ‘accept’ me. I have spent a few hundred years, just laying in their branches…observing. Watching the animals play, mate, raise their young, grow old, and die. Birds taught me their song.” She trilled a little chickadee melody for a moment, to show her point. “To better describe it Kaiden, I feel the trees ‘need’. When they have a vine wrapped around them, I feel their pain, and remove it. Providing water for the young saplings, planting more when the area is sparse, these things I willing do. Some of the trees in the region where I lived, I have watched grow from seed, to sapling, to an adult tree over 400 years old. If I do hear anything from them, it is more like rumblings, or vibrations if you will. Almost like a rumbling in your stomach, when you hunger. The older trees have a deeper vibration, and the younger ones, well…. is higher. No, higher is not the right word… faster perhaps?” Whisper really found this difficult to explain. She felt more like a forest shepherd than anything. Carefully nurturing, and tending them. Removing a broken limb here, pruning a bit there. ….After all, most of them she had grown up with, and considered them her family. But how do you say this without sounding silly? Whisper decided not to try. “In return for this care, they…. protect me. Their leaves shield me from the weather. Their branches keep me safe. And, when there is a threat, their bodies ‘protect me’.” Should she talk about ‘that day’? No, not yet, Whisper decided. It is not the right time. Besides, she had talked more here, than in all her 425 years’ worth of talking.
“Anyway….” Whisper said, to change the subject. “Who is hungry?” Whisper decided to show her talent. She opened her brown pouch that she always had at her side, and pulled out an odd shaped seed. Actually this one was a corm, but one needed to be knowledgeable about seeds and plants in general to realize this. She reached to the ground for a very small bit of dirt, and placed the corm in it. She then grasped her canteen, and sprinkled a few drops of water. Whisper grins broadly, and her head to one side. She turned to Wallace and winked. Next her wood staff appeared, and she focused. Nothing happened for a moment. And then, one tiny leaf appeared through the dirt. And then more rapidly a stem formed, and another blade-like leaf appeared, as the first one gathered more mass. The leaves formed as cylinders that gradually opened up into long wide leaves. Whisper could no longer hold the plant that was now growing at an alarming rate, so she gently lowered it to the ground. At the top of the stem a small cluster formed, and small little green finger sized green objects formed around the cluster. These grew to a few inches long, and within a minute turned yellow, as it ripened. The plant was now as tall as Whisper, and she easily reached for a bunch, and said “Banana anyone?” She remembered before she walked away, to reach down, and grab one of the small corms that had attached itself to the root. She neatly tucked it into her pouch for the next time bananas were needed on the menu.