Wiki: Telling the Tallest Tale
The Tallest Tale was a story devised by Mountaineers to tell Nate Fallon—a part of the Storm that could displace objects in time in exchange for another object. The children’s tale weaved a request for the Book of Briars and also a request for the Storm to shut itself down.
Old Father Oak Tree became dismayed,
while beneath his branches the children played. “I’ve lost my Book!” He cried and sobbed, While the leaves of his branches fluttered and bobbed. “A Storm blew through with a mighty breeze, and tossed my book out among the other trees!”
The children looked up at Father’ Oak’s face, “To find your book at once we shall race!” They cast about the roots of the tree, but to no avail; the book had blown free. Across the wide forest its pages were scattered, It’s bindings wind-torn, worn and tattered.
Little Blonde George who stood in the Northwest, cried “If we work together, we’ll be at our best! To find Father’s Oak’s book among the far boughs, we must gather together and search high and low. If we go out alone, our chances are slim, to find Father’s tome and return it to him.”
Red-headed Frances looked out North and East, fidgeting with her skirt, pleat and crease. Out from her pack she drew out her tools, Lenses, gears, cogs, and wire on spools. She built a machine that would comb the wood, and set it to seek out the book, as it should.
Impetuous Walter ran too and fro, Scouting up high and searching down low. Over the Western Mountains he peeked, And was the first to spot what they’d seek. The spine of the book lodged among stones, Far, far away from their houses and homes.
Raven-haired Beatrice threw caution aside. West-by-Southwest she started to stride. At ease through the forest she ably surged, Plucking lost pages up as they emerged With the other children following in tow, They walked and walked, with miles to go.
Precocious young Thomas cried “Not the right way! Toward the Southeast, our path ought to stray. I’ve read all the maps and examined the charts, And I know navigation is science, not art. Let’s take the pass that leads us straight there, and victory in finding the Book we shall share.”
Pale young Este held up her hand. “Hold, my friends, ’till we have surveyed the land. The paths we walk must lead us back East back towards Father Oak tree, at least. Once the Book’s found, what good will it do, if we cannot find our way back through?”
The children (and Frances’s finding machine) all made their way through the glade and the green. They found Father’s book, right where it had landed And put back the pages they’d noticed abandoned With all but two pages, and shining with pride, They carried the book back to Father Oak’s side.
“My Book! It’s been found!” exclaimed Old Father Oak, then to each of the childen he spoke: “George, Frances, Walter, Beatrice, Thomas, Este (Note: pronounced ESS-tay?), you each have worked hard this on harrowing day. Now rest and slumber, as you each deserve. You have made me proud, my book is preserved!”
Then Father Oak, laughing said, “Oh, what a bother! We seem to have traded one thing for another! My dears, I think finding my book had a cost, Your woollen scarf and shiny pendant are lost! (Or: “Another book you had discovered is lost!” if Dee makes it back with the book) But do not despair that you’ve paid such a fee, For happiness you have returned to me.”
The children laid down their tired young heads, Oak’s leaves were their pillows, his branches their beds. and they dreamed of a peaceful and beautiful world, where struggles were ended and wonder prevailed. And Old Father Oak looked on with pride, as each of his children laid down sleepy-eyed.
And the Storm that had caused the destruction did see, Father Oak and his children at peace by his tree. It thought of the anguish its raging had caused; and at that, its tormented heart finally paused. With the Book’s final pages held firm in its grasp, The Storm realized it had one final task:
It returned the last pages to Father Oak Tree and finally rested, peaceful and free.
The Tallest Tale was used during The Day of Change to exchange The Little Red House for the 1998 Book of Briars. The second half of the story was used to assist Deirdre Green in shutting down the Storm.
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