The Society of Bud Kissers

The Society of Bud Kissers was founded in 1482 and thus has a long and distinguished history of welcoming spring. Its members operate individually and as part of a group, depending upon temperament and location. Their principal job is to welcome spring by, as the name suggests, kissing the emergent buds of leaves and flowers. The greater the amount of kisses a plant receives, the more gloriously it will flourish that year. Maisie is the head of the River Great Ouse chapter, and has been bud kissing for most of her life. She was first welcomed as a bud kisser by her grandmother as part of her third birthday ceremonies. Always on the lookout for new members, her grandmother’s keen eye observed Maisie turn down a kiss from Thomas and instead lay a fat one on a daisy. It was therefore foreseen, from an early age, that Maisie would one day

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Deadloggosaurus

I know it doesn’t look like it, but this is a dinosaur; I found it in Knole Park. It has deliberately camouflaged itself to look like a dead log, but if you stare at the wide, circular opening, you’ll come to see that it’s actually a giant mouth, beckoning you to enter. Dinosaurs are always hungry, even dead ones. This is a standard natural history fact, and it’s why there are armed security guards around the National History Museum at night. Just saying. Anyway, point is, this dinosaur, whom we shall call Deadloggosaurus, wants you to enter, but you’d be wise to hold off on that. For starters, at night, hoards of demonic creatures come scuttling out. Some of them carry a bag of rosehip powder which they spend the night pouring down human noses. Ever wake up with inexplicable allergies? Now you know why. Other things which come out of

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Richard the anxious tree

Richard was an over-thinker, that’s why his boughs and branches were curled erratically and so close to his trunk: he couldn’t decide on the direction of growth. His stunted appendages, all cluttered and clustered around him, obscured his view. Thus, he only ever partially grasped the goings on of the woods, and in his half-knowledge there was a darkness: he always chose the most unhelpful and fearful point of view. It had been a long time since the people of the forest had tried to talk him down from whatever terrified drama he was riding on. They had exhausted their capacity for trying to make him see sense. Nowadays, they observed him from a distance, and resigned to accept him as chaotic and panic-ridden. There goes Richard, they’d say, talking up the devil from the deep. Richard was alone in his unhappy corner of the forest, and only the young and

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The Droplet Tree

This here tree is a special tree. It does not have a formal name, but the Society of the Ladies of Blackheath Common told me they call it the Droplet Tree. The Society has lore which dates back centuries, the most important being that only the most dedicated early risers have a chance of encountering the Droplet Tree, as the sun takes the droplets once it gets high enough over the horizon. After which, the Droplet Tree becomes indistinguishable from other trees; the magic is broken. According to the Society, when the early morning walker encounters the Tree, and should they take the time to pause and wonder, they will find a different scene reflected in each and every glassy bead suspended from its branches. Each walker’s set of scenes will cut across a particular emotion. So, for instance, when Betsy first encountered the Tree, her scenes were a scattering of

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Tree Lace

The lace on this tree is dying because you don’t love it enough. Seriously, when was the last time you went into Alice Holt Forest to tell this tree how beautiful it is? Don’t lie, I know it’s been a long, long time. People say you shouldn’t anthropomorphise, but they’re wrong. Trees, like humans, need to be loved. They need to know they are wanted, valued, and adored; they already know they are needed, even if most humans seem to have forgotten that.  It’s not just trees which need to be loved, it’s a feature of all matter; a simple fact of the universe. It’s just more apparent in certain types of species. We recognise it in humans because we recognise it in ourselves. In turn, it’s easier to see in our furry friends because of proximity and what we read in their eyes. Likewise, we know our pot plants need

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