Nineteen. No, we’re not back in the 80s again. It’s much better than that.
19 Essays, fables even
19 Native Trees
Why Willows Weep is just one of those tales, and gives us the title for a book of Contemporary Tales from the Woods. The list of authors on the front cover itself draws the eye, among them being William Fiennes, Philippa Gregory, James Robertson and Maggie O’Farrell, to name just 4 of the 19.
Open the covers and you’re in for a real treat. How can you resist titles such as Why Birches have Silver Bark; or The Music of the Maple. It’s like a thousand and one nights in your own garden, or down by the burn. And each tale is beautifully illustrated by Leanne Shapton, with a leaf.
The tale of The Cuckoo and the Cherry Tree had me starting the day with a smile, no it did, honest, hard to believe as it may be.
Don’t just take my word for it; here’s the opening lines of Amanda Craig’s Red Berries:
There was once a young man and his wife who lived together in a high stony land where no trees grew. They dug a well, and built their home to stand against wind and rain, but there was one thing missing.
‘We need to plant a rowan tree,’ said the wife. ‘The house isn’t safe from evil till we do.’
Her husband scoffed at this.
‘Surely you don’t believe such nonsense!’ he said to his wife. But he was wrong, for the rowan has many uses, both against evil and as a cure for weakness and sorrow.
And if you want to find out how that ends…….
Why Willows Weep is a delightful work, filled with little gems; autumn leaves and buds of spring. I’m away now to read Why the Yew Lives So Long, by Kate Mosse.
Oh, and for every book sold the Woodland Trust will plant five native trees as part of their quest to double native woodland in the next 40 years.