Little Lily laid herself down in the shade, forgot about the lunch pail waiting beside her, crossed her tiny wrists over her tapping heart, and eagerly slipped out of her body. She had been feeling tired of things lately, so here she was taking a break from them.
The sun glowed golden and healthy that day and Lily felt its warmth stream through her spirit as she pattered along the sidewalks of the park. Already she was much refreshed by the leaving of her skin, but now suddenly she felt her refreshment doubly. For here, bobbling toward her, came another vacationing spirit.
"Why greetings, Mr. Tree!" Lily cried to him. She was laughing and hoping hungrily for some little chit-chat concerning chocolate candy canes, or maybe a long talk about purple aeroplanes.
The tree spirit bowed to Lily grandly, sweeping the largeness of his spirit arms through the cheerful grass, and the fragrant sod, and the gleaming path, and up and over his ancient, broad, sturdy, kingly shoulders.
Lily inquired, "How are you today?"
The tree spirit replied, chummy and bustle-rustling, "Well, young miss, now that I've slipped out of my branches and my trunk I'm feeling very sprite. Tree-ness had become very taxatious of a sudden. The weather has been very sunny without cease for a very long while and it becomes taxatious to eat all that light. One gets very full, you understand. I slipped away with very hopes of finding a restful spot of shade for just a slight while."
Lily nodded significantly. She twinkled. "Oh, yes!" she cried to the tree spirit. "I think I know exactly what you mean! I myself was feeling somewhat draggy at the heaviness of my feet and my arm muscles and all those many teeth I have to clean and so I slipped away, too, hoping to feel the wonderfully lightness of the sun a little more keen. That is how we came to meet."
And Lily rounded her head sidewise gazing beyond her shoulder.
"See me just over there, Mr. Tree? Napping in the coolness beneath one of your fellows?" She pointed. "Do you see?"
Already the tree spirit had noticed the tiny little figure in the nearly near distance.
"Very, very," the tree spirit rustle-bustled. "That looks to be a very shady spot of restful shade you seem to have got."
"Yes, you're right! Just so! But I'm wanting the sunlight right now, if you please. I'm wanting its warmth and ever-everness. We're quite at the opposites today, dear Mr. Tree. At least today. You wanting shade. Me wanting light. I just noticed that. Did you notice that, too?"
"Quite," the tree affirmed grandly, "With Very-ness I did, young miss. But here's a little kiss."
And he and the girl spirit smile-winked through a shared gladness kiss as a parting of ways became now polite. The tree looked beyond Lily to her spiritless body lying in the cool and grass and shade. And Lily looked beyond the tree to its spiritless limbs reaching up green and high and glinting. Giddily the two then separated, humming to each other heartfelt wishes of happy holidays and sweetcake cream.
Lily's lunch pail was full of peaches. As the tree spirit bent with curious awe over Lily's inert body he recognized those fruits at once. But of course he recognized them! For he himself was the spirit of a peach tree! Intently the tree spirit ogled the pail and its luscious much-ness of piled peach. He hankered to investigate. And how! But what an underspeech!
"I have watched so very many peaches drop from my limbs," mused the tree spirit. "And felt them sagging my branches with their ripe plumpness. I have fed so very many peaches water from summer storms and the nutrients of mother earth and willingly my very sap. And yet never have I tasted one. Not one single peach. Not ever. Taxatious!"
The tree spirit looked back toward the girl spirit he had moments ago left. He saw Lily far across the park now, wondering up attentively at his own spiritless leaves and limbs. He saw her glance back to him as well.
The tree spirit hesitated, qualmed. But in the end he could not resist. For this! This equaled shady spots of cool, indeed! The tree spirit slipped into the resting body of Little Lily and wiggled the fingertips she had pressed over her heart.
The spiritless peach tree stood quite nigh to where Lily had exchanged pleasantries with its vacationing spirit. Immediately she recognized it, strolling to. Empty as the tree was it seemed dimmer to her than the rest, somewhat flat. It wonted zest, she felt, splash.
The girl spirit swiveled her head about lostly then, searching out some smidgen of advice. She had witnessed the tree spirit slip into her body back yonder but could not see howsoever to likewise enter this tree. Simple as jot, she thought, to inhabit a girl. Ears and nostrils to be gotten through, and that frail part between the lips, too. But a tree? They neither blink nor breath. No snouts! Nor sleeves! No holes in any where to pierce. Just as Lily reached the end of these philosophies she heard something racing up behind her. She turned then to behold a thing startlingly bold: 'Twas her own body running toward her!
"I know you must be here," her body full of tree spirit cried, peach juice dripping down its chin. "I cannot see you," it sang. "But it must be very true."
Lily gave quick response.
"Yes, I am here," she exclaimed. "Tell me, if you please, how to find my way through your bark and leaves that I might feel what it is to be you."
Through Lily's laughing mouth the tree spirit answered this way, "I cannot hear you for I am now in a very earthly body but I will tell you what you must certainly be wondering. Above the first bend from my trunk there is a kite spirit who can only be seen by fellow spirits. Climb to the kite spirit and follow him through the knot hole where he has made his home. I'm sure he will guide you from there if you wish. That is a very easy entrance into my being of wood and leaf."
Lily said, "Oh thank you, Mr. Tree! I say this even though I know you cannot hear me!"
And the girl spirit quickened then up and across the peach bark, straddling suddenly the tree's lowest outward arch. The kite spirit, brightly surprised, instantly widened his great gray eyes, and, upon learning from Lily of the tree spirit's juicy boon and sweet hilarity, welcomed her with a generous croon of hospitality. Happily the kite shepherded Lily over his knot then. He even looked on lovingly as she sought and mingled with the peach tree's sap. Soon that sap flowed Lily off and away and thickened her and stiffened her into the tree's outermost reach of branch and root and leaf.
"Oh!" Lily hushed profoundly. For she felt the sun now finding her in ten thousand places. The sun filled her now in ways she had never before known. Lily felt power and heat pouring through all her cells and rushing through all her fibers to her wildly crashing, creaking tree-ness heart. A storm. A violence. This overwhelmed Lily to a swoon, to silence. Soon though Lily learned to be a tree without dizzying. Then she liked it wonderfully.
By the time Lily understood tree-ness well enough to manage its over-smothering of her sensations the tree spirit had positioned the little girl body that was hers at the foot of its own trunk. Well! This means the tree spirit reclined now in its own shadow! This means Lily now shaded her own tinyness!
"A very delight!" garbled the tree spirit as he gobbled up peaches still from Lily's heaping pail. "Not a whit of taxation! Not one whit!"
The girl spirit and tree spirit reveled then through their restful vacation for the rest of the full afternoon, the one lushing up sunshine, the other soothed by cool.
At last they decided they wanted to stay that way forever.
So they did.
And no one ever knew the difference.
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