Zeenath Jahan

The Spruce woke one morning knowing something had changed, but what? Then it felt the gossamer touch of the Breeze caressing it until each twig reverberated with the Song of Life. Days passed, and the Spruce grew tall and strong, singing the Song of Life every time the Breeze caressed it. Singing louder and louder when the Wind brushed it and shouting it out when the Gale crushed it. Nothing could silence the Song of Life.

Then, one autumn day the lumberjacks came. All the trees in the forest shuddered with fear and held their breath, hoping not to be seen by the men with the big saws. They had seen what happened when these men came to the Forest. Singing with the sheer joy of the Song of Life, unconcerned by the dangers the others saw, the carefree Spruce swayed to the music within. The straight smooth Spruce humming gently in the breeze caught the eye of the man in the lead and he called to the others,

"Hey, mark this one; it is straight and smooth and young!"

The men marked the Spruce. After some days the men returned and put the saw against the straight smooth trunk of the Spruce. The Spruce screamed with pain but its' screams went unheard; nothing stopped the continuous hum of the saw until the Spruce fell to the ground.

The Spruce was then dragged down the slope that had been its home and hauled to the wood mill where it was dried, treated, sawed into planks that were stacked up against a wall. Throughout the agonizing treatment the Spruce held on to its dream of the other life it had led in the forest. A life filled with the caressing Breeze; a life filled with the echoes of the Song of Life; a life that was carefree and full of joy. When all was dark and quiet, to keep terror at bay it gently hummed the Song of Life to itself, reminding itself of the other time so very long ago.

One day, a Master Craftsman visiting the wood mill in search of something special found the straight smooth boards of the Spruce. Knocking on the wood he heard it hum. The Master Craftsman was excited; he had searched for years and years for just such a piece of wood, wood that sang.

Planning to make the best violin anyone had ever made he bought all the planks. Then months and months of buffing, sanding, shaping and polishing followed. One day, the violin was finally ready. The Master Craftsman was satisfied with his work and put it in his shop window.

The sun glinting on the sinuous curves of the perfectly made violin attracted many buyers; but the violin was too dear and they left the shop with a heavy heart. Finally a rich man came along and bought it for his son, hoping the perfection of the violin would help his son to play like a maestro.

Daily the boy scraped and twanged at the Violin; but the air shuddered at the raucous sounds. There was no music in the boy's soul. There was no music in the boy's fingers. Shrinking from the rough and rude handling the Violin forgot the music the Breeze had taught it. The music of the Song of Life remained buried within its' fibres. Frustrated, the boy threw the violin aside. He hated it! He knew it was the violin's fault that the raucous scraping sound was not musical. He knew he could have played well with the right violin!

For years and years the violin lay on a dark shelf in a corner of the house. Everyone knew there was something seriously wrong with it; it had no music in it. The years, the dust and the moisture took their toll. The music of the Song of Life became a dimly remembered memory. Soon, even the violin believed the fault lay not with the musician but with itself. It was to blame for its failure to play music. The Violin began doubting even the dimly remembered beauty of the music it had learned from the Breeze so very long ago, in another place, in another lifetime.

Many, many years went by and the Violin was finally sold to the junkman. One day a stranger came to the junkyard. While poking around in the dusty corners of the junkyard, he stumbled across the violin with the dust and grime and soot of all the years weighing it down.

Unknown to all, the stranger was a Wizard from a far away land who had flown in on the wings of a dream that had led him here. The Wizards eyes lit up, he recognized the Violin of his dreams. He had dreamed of as if forever! Gently lifting it he saw a glint, like sunlight reflected on gold; but looking again he saw nothing but a grimy, dirty old violin and he smiled a secret smile.

Paying a pittance for the violin, he carefully wrapped it in his cloak. Taking it home he gently wiped the dust and cleaned the grime. Gently and patiently polishing and buffing the violin he finally brought it to its original state. This labour of love took years and years, but the Wizard was a patient man. He saw what others had missed. He saw the soul of the violin and heard the Song of Life echoing in its soul.

When the violin was finally ready, the Wizard ran his long fingers along its contours; stroking and caressing it; teasing and encouraging it to remember its memories of another lifetime. The violin trembled. The effort was too great, but the Wizard wouldn't let it give up.

Gradually, painfully remembering, it finally burst into song. The air reverberated with the music of the Song of Life that the Violin had learned from the Breeze so very long ago. People were drawn to the Wizards house. They came from far and wide attracted by the heavenly music, crowding and jostling round the house of the Wizard forgetting all their troubles listening to the Violin playing the Song of Life. The Wizard was well pleased with the ecstatic Violin.

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