I suppose I now understand why CS Lewis projected his fascination for Greek Mythology into his works the Chronicles of Narnia. I now also understand why he put nymphs of all sorts in his books but I now am particularly sure that the reason he added Dryads was they are by far the most beautiful and as stunning as the trees they often represent. The one that now walked around my pub and in particular the courtyard was indeed stunning and beautiful. The more I watched her I couldn’t help but wonder how much of mythology is true and what is false.
One particular morning, I noticed her taking interest in the large oak tree in the center of the courtyard. She was spending a great deal of time with it. That particular oak tree must have been centuries old as it was quite large and its branches covered a good part of the courtyard with its shade. It had been the centerpiece background for Vodka and Sherry’s wedding. It was truly magnificent. Right now it had a more dark foreboding look given the season was closing on Halloween but for the most part it had that proud and powerful look of a tree that has stood against many storms and seasons.
I decided to approach her and ask some questions. I felt that if I didn’t do so I would eventually die of curiosity. She had he back turned to me as I approached and I was thinking that there was not a more magnificent piece of female anatomy on the planet. She was speaking to the tree when I approached in whispers I couldn’t decipher.
I cleared my throat to get her attention. She continued on oblivious to my presence. I attempted once again to get her attention the same way only a little louder. There was still no reaction. I decided not to press things and started to walk away.
“Barkeep, I understand the curiosity you possess and I do indeed wish to speak to you. I have something to ask of you.”
He voice was deep, musical but also unmistakably feminine.
“Something to ask of me? I have some questions as well.”
“How delightful lets us sit and talk.”
She turned to face me and then dropped majestically into a lotus pose on the grass. I flopped down on my rear and took her in with my eyes. Her breasts were perfect (yes I noticed them first, I am male and appreciate the female breast – deal with it.) and her legs shapely with good muscle tone across her body. There are other body parts any man notices in close proximity to a naked female but I will reserve comment on hers for myself. For the most part I made every effort to pay attention to her face and those deep green eyes of hers.
“I have a favor to ask of you barkeep.”
“A favor? Ask my dear.”
“I want to take up residence in this oak tree. I want to live within its branches as long as it continues to stand.”
“That would kind of make you my tenant wouldn’t it?”
“That is why I ask. I would not dream of doing this without your permission as the tree belong to you. It is on your property and it is yours not mine.”
“Never been a landlord before. I guess I would have to know something about you if your going to live here. I would guess it would be permanently because I have no intention of cutting down the tree in my lifetime.”
“That is good to hear, I understand so you may ask what you wish. Who I am is open and bare for you to view.”
“No kidding. I have to clarify something. You are a dryad in truth right?”
“Yes, I am a dryad a type of nymph.”
“There are legends of dryads that are evil. That is they are like sirens of the forest luring men to their death. You’re not one of them are you?”
“I will not deny there are some of us who have done so. You will find however that all nymphs are different much like humans. There are some that have become vengeful to what men have done to the forests and trees so they retreat into those forests and kill men who they feel are responsible. This however is a minority, most of us understand the need for balance.”
“Men will always have need of the wood trees provide, so it is in the best interest of men to conserve trees but at the same time trees must be used. Sometimes trees are the problem when they grow uncontrollably and threaten man’s work and sometimes it is the other way around. The best state of affairs is balance in use and conservation. ”
“You sound like Tequila.”
“She is a wise woman, you need to keep her.”
“No argument there. What would you contribute? I mean, most tenants pay rent.”
“I would give you the ability to change this courtyard to suit your needs as the season change. I could work with Hilda to make this place a garden spot pleasing to anyone. My presence would also mean that the magical nature of this season would never completely fade from the entire pub. I also know much and you could ask me any question you like. I may however give an elusive answer for such is the nature of some knowledge.”
“Even in winter?”
“Yes. My spirit is strong all year-long, even if my body must sleep.”
“Sleep? How do you sleep?”
“I merge with the tree and sleep through the winter with the tree. In the spring, I awaken and do not need to sleep until the next winter.”
“Hmmm. Any other things about you I need to know?”
“Only one is of significance, the others you will find out in time.”
“And that is?”
“In spring, I am the strongest and the most alive. There are certain…needs… I possess at that time that must be fulfilled or I will go insane until they are fulfilled.”
“Insanity is pretty normal around here. Are you sure we would notice?”
She laughed, “Barkeep the kind of insanity I will have you would notice because it is destructive.”
“Needs? What kind of needs?”
“Let us say I must mate at that time or the insanity will consume me?”
“Mate? I guess there would be no shortage of volunteers for that. There is no danger to the man is there?”
“Actually yes. Depending on how insane I am I could kill him. The longer I wait to mate, the more likely it will be that I will kill him. The mating itself will kill him as I drain his life into myself. I can only stop this is if I am the most in charge of myself and that gets more difficult the longer I wait”
“I don’t know my dear, that seems to be a pretty dangerous thing. I wouldn’t want anyone to die but you do need a home and what you offer is quite tempting in more ways than one.”
She smiled and then yawned.
“Sorry, as the winter approaches, I get more tired. What is your answer?”
“I do have one more question. What is your name?”
“If you agree to my terms, I will tell you my name.”
This is why I have avoided being a landlord. She would make the pub a better place just by walking around and what she was offering was more than walking around. At the same time there was her ‘needs’. That meant risk for anyone who volunteered to mate with her, but I had some ideas about that. I was also insanely curious about her name. Then again the real question was – can I trust her? Looking into her eyes she didn’t seem deceptive but then again I hadn’t always been looking at her eyes.
“Ok, I agree. What is your name?”
With that she stood as majestically as she sat and turned slightly to the side and giving me a three-quarters frontal view and then stretched to full length with her hand highs in the air and on her tiptoes. Oh boy, this might involve more difficulties than just her needs at springtime.
“My name is Naphtha.”
Welcome to All Things Rabyd, your friendly neighborhood ‘clothing optional’ theology pub. I, the Rabyd Theologian and your bartender, thank you for stopping by. Please drink your theology responsibly or have a designated driver to get you home. Please tip your waitress and they might give you a kiss on the cheek. Just remember life is short so enjoy it. Blessings and Cheers!