Domenico Corna

 

Wood of Tales - Introduction

 

When night falls, I’ve seen you play climbing high in the sky, getting confused with the stars. I’ve seen you talking to the moon, dreaming distant worlds to call home. Listening to your fairytales, I shared your sorrows, your victories. When you look at this world with sadness, it will be the same for me too. When you leave to the new world, I will follow you.”

2 Erminio the Little Mouse

 

In the dark cellar of an ancient house at the edge of the path of plane, just where the mold emanated a good taste of dirt, where the broom and the mop never managed to get, there it was the lair of a mice community.

Since many generations they lived in that place. Many families had followed one another wandering through the dark cellar.

They had learned to defend themselves from the cats who lived on the ground floor. Their lair had so small entrance that none of them managed to get into it, only sometimes, because of their cunning and eternal stalking, had brought tragic effects.

The community was managed by the eldest. He decided the appropriate time to get food. He healed difficulties and conflicts, pacifying the contenders. Sometimes, when it was necessary, instilling fear also. All were afraid of him, it was said that, in a fight, he had chased away one cat, biting him a paw. No one had ever dared to disobey him.

When Erminio, his nephew, was born, everyone congratulated him. He would grow at his side, becoming strong and smart like him. He would eventually take his place.

The little Erminio trotted at his side, listening to the words of his grandfather. He also followed him when he went out of the den, stealthily, looking around and giving the all-clear signal to others. He remained at his side watching and learning his expressions.

The other mice respected the little Erminio, looking at him with a certain awe, in the future he would be their leader.

So life spent slow and without problems in the den in the cellar. But one night there was a violent storm. Lightning, thunder and strong winds were followed by slamming windows until morning.

When the community awoke, something in the dark cellar was changed. In the middle of the concrete floor had been born something. All mice noticed it but they did not dare to approach. Only grandfather and just behind Erminio, walked slowly, stopping at some distance by examining carefully the strange phenomenon. It looked like a sword stuck sideways, a long sword that, starting from the high window at the top of the wall, sank into the floor.

Grandfather shook his head and turned around to the strange phenomenon. Erminio had never seen anything like it, looked with awe and wonder. As they went back into the den, the other mice met them, asking what it was.

“It was a long time since I’ve seen such a thing.” said Grandpa shaking his head. “The last time it happened many years ago, back when I was following my father.”

Mice were scared, they looked at each other wondering what it was.

“It’s the light! A ray of sunshine.” said, underlining slowly his words. “Light is a disease, no one can get close without getting hurt. There was a time when the cellar was full of those spears and many of us remained infected. When they were hit, staggered long bumping into walls and objects around, putting their paws in their eyes until the cats went to capture them and took them away.”

Mice looked terrified.

“It’s the light—among the biggest diseases. You can’t approach it without being affected.”

Silence enveloped the cellar and all the mice—aware of the seriousness of the situation. It was established a formal prohibition to approach it. They formed the boundaries beyond which no one could go. If anyone was contaminated, he would be banished forever. It was a terrible punishment, cast away—chased out forever through the big stone into the wall. It was the access to the unknown world, guarded by a stone sentinel—always armed. In mouse living memory no one had ever been cast out, and the big stone had never been moved.

 

              * * *

 

The days followed one another slow, it was created a barrier to the light and no one ever approached. Grandpa looked fiercely from afar.

Erminio, always at his side, watched the light, frequently asking questions about the nature of that sword, why had come between them.

“It’s our destiny, my dear nephew.” grandfather said. “Sometimes events happen in order to test—to see how strong we are in resisting. Are the cats to send these swords of light, so as to remain infected and come to capture us.”

Grandpa looked at Erminio severity, reminding him that he too, in the future, could be faced with such situations. “The cats want to take possession of the cellar. They are there behind the door, just waiting for one of us approaching.”

Time passed, Erminio thought a lot to the light. He was afraid, but fascinated by the sword that from the wall sunk into the floor. When it was working time and the mice came out all together, the sword light up; small dust particles entered and danced to fall slowly after to the ground.

Erminio watched this strange game with curiosity and wonder. Sometimes, when everyone was asleep, he puts out the nose from the den to watch it. He crept slowly and remained stuck at the entrance of the burrow to look around. Strange wishes passed through his head, but he could not confide to anyone. He thought how it would be nice if the sword had become bigger, who knows how many other games of light could have take place within it.

One day, from of the hole of the window, entered something strange. She turned for a long time in the middle of the sword of light. It was a small animal with wings—a small frightened shadow. She remained attached to the sword, as if from it she take life.

Erminio observed her in all her movements. Saw her lighting up, entering the cone of light. It was not like the grey grains of dust. It was strange, different from all the rest. She had many colors—all different from each other. He wanted to stop her, ask her where she came from, but did not have time, as she had come so she disappeared slipping by the same hole of the window.

Erminio thought long at all those colors, it had been the light to make them live. How much he would like to see again that strange animal with wings and all her colors. He waited a long time, but she did not return more in the cellar.

Erminio kept thinking about, he saw something beautiful and now had give it up. Maybe it was the light cone to create colors. Maybe, if he had entered, would become all colorful as the strange being.

But it was forbidden, he could not do it, he had some responsibility in this regard. One day would be just him to prevent such actions, to prevent that other mice would take that terrible illness—captured and taken away by the cats.

Time passed and the sword of light was always in the same place and Erminio could not stop thinking about the strange colorful being—it had become an obsession. When the others slept, he came out slowly from the den to spy on this sword.

One day, slowly, he began to approach. Closer and closer, beyond the barriers, almost to touch it. He looked around—nobody was there. He told himself that nothing could happen to put inside a paw—only a paw.

So slowly his paw slipped into the light and lit up. However, he was disappointed, there were no colors—was still grey. Maybe one paw was not enough so he put the other one, then the tail and finally he completely entered into the sword of light, looking toward the window. He was dazzled—unable to see anything. He began to wobble, banging against the walls, causing noise to wake up the other mice. They all went out from the den and picked up the little Erminio.

He had to wait some time before come back to see. He had immediately in front his grandfather’s face and his frown. “You! Just you disobeyed! My nephew, the one who was supposed to replace me someday. You disobeyed me!”

He was not forgiven and, the next day, was accompanied in front of the big stone. Grandfather, for shame, did not go to greet him. Erminio wanted to die, but he had no choice. He did not even have time to look back because was pushed out and immediately the big stone was closed.

 

                * * *

 

Erminio walked down, slowly, a narrow passage, while his eyes gradually accustomed to the light. One step at a time, he seemed to feel inside that disease—it hurt him. He took long pauses, but then was able to getting used to the light and, standing up, he resumed walking. Until there was nothing in front of him. There was no longer the cellar, even the walls. There was nothing left.

“But how strange is this place?” he thought.

Where were the ceiling and retaining walls? He had never seen a room so big, the walls were so far away that could not see them. That huge room had not supports, could stand upright without any wall. Even looking up he could not see the ceiling, there was only the blue and many small white balls moving slowly.

He had to lower his eyes because light hurt him, perhaps by now, the disease was eroding him. He was seized with terror. He went inside that huge room without limits and ran along, before, leaning against the wall of the house from where he came, then after far away, trying to leave behind the fear that gripped him.

Erminio ran up to find a high thing planted in the ground—a big pole full of many small things hung. He knew they were colored, but he had not the courage to look at them, had to keep his eyes bent to the ground, to avoid being hurt.

Erminio found a small hole and slipped inside. His heart was pounding. He wondered how much time would pass before the disease was able to take possession of him? He stood for a long time locking down in that hole with his eyes covered by paws without having the courage to look out. He was trembling by fear, thinking of his sad fate—being in a strange world, full of strange diseases.

Out there, hung to the invisible ceiling there was another sword of fire—much bigger, who produced so much light to illuminate the whole huge room. The great light moved slowly producing a track on earth. Its path revealed its intention to illuminate everything, even the most hidden corners. Nothing was left out in its path. So, soon, it would come even inside his hiding place and for him would have been no escape. Erminio was just waiting for the end.

When the light hit him, he imagined shooting pains throughout his body, rather, unexpectedly, he began to feel a strange and pleasant warmth feeling. He stood there a little longer clinging to the wall, but the feeling instead of decreasing, was growing. How strange. How was it possible that the end, due to that strange disease, was announced by a sweet warmth sensation?

Erminio was uncertain on the behavior to take, he did not feel any pain. He took a few steps to understand better. It was really nice that warmth feeling on his back. If he had to die, it might as well, be heated not only his back but also his chest and muzzle. He turned away. The warmth enveloped his chest, then also his belly. He had never experienced a pleasant feeling like that. His ears drooped with pleasure—it was really nice. He did not feel sick, on the contrary, he never felt so good.

He removed his paws from his eyes and, slowly, approached the threshold. He opened his eyes—now accustomed to the light. His ears suddenly rose. “Ohhh ...” said in wonder. “But where am I? But what a strange world is this?”

All around was full of colors—each his own. Hardly he found one similar to the other: the lawn, the big poles, the animals flying and crawling. Everyone lived under the light without getting sick. There was not the stagnant musty smell of the cellar. Many different smells were moving—the wind carry them around. They came to one side and went away on the opposite.

Erminio put out his nose and inhaled deeply. His ears drooped again with pleasure. He left the den and saw the cats leaning against another pole, taking the light like him. They were far away, if they had approached, he could escape reentering the hole.

Everyone exposed themselves to the light without getting sick; so even the little Erminio sat down, leaning on the big pole smiling. “But all is wrong.” said laughing through his mustache. “It’s nice out here, there is no disease, nothing can hurt. It’s much nicer here than down there, they must know it. There is no disease, so they can come out of the cellar.”

Slowly Erminio approached the hole in the wall where the sword of light came in. He wrote a message to his people, “There is no disease here, there is a world full of light, colors and perfumes. Can go out you too. Don’t be afraid.”

The message swung for a long, whirling in the dark cellar and it landed just in front to the entrance of the lair of the community. Quickly he ran in front of the big rock, right where he came. He waited a long time until the big rock was opened, but it came out just a message, before re-close again.

“We don’t understand what drives you to get us out—to contaminate us. Maybe the anger to have chased you away? You must know that disobedience had to be punished. But perhaps we are wrong, maybe it’s the effect of the disease—the strange euphoria eroding your body.

“We can’t do anything for you. Your destiny will be fulfilled, pierced by the sword of light. We’re all thinking of you, we hope that this happens without much suffering.

“But maybe, if you really want it, you can do something for us. If you really feel still affection for all of us, please close that hole where enters the sword, in order to stop the contagion. We can continue our lives without any more danger.”

Mouse Erminio, reread it several times. He could not understand why they don’t believe to his words. Had he not been for a long time between them? Should not one day be their leader? Too much it was the distance that separated him from his people. He thought about what he could do: send another more compelling message and wait? They would always answer the same way.

Open a bigger gap to the cellar and make the light go inside, so they could understand? They would die from fear before noticing the beauty.

Erminio lowered his ears, took a small wood nearby, approached the hole and closed it. The sword of light stopped entering the cellar.

Erminio went back to the big pole, he sat in the doorway of his new den looking out and letting a long sigh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Introduction
 Novels
Shiny Lake
Night Clouds
Wood of Plane
       Good Hope Hotel

Voice in the Night
Touch of Happiness

Little Soul
Our Madness
Poems

You Can Hear Me
Fairy Tales
 Wood of Tales
Wood of Tales - Fairytales
  manda un messaggio    American                       








          276 Pages
    Unpublished

 

 

Wood of Tales

 

0. Introduction

 

1. Carolina the Ant

2. Erminio the Little Mouse

3. The Solitary Locust Tree

4. Valentine the Little Ghost

5. Creaky the Red Squirrel

6. Gino, the Little Fish of the Ditch

7. Hyacinth the Cricket

8. Hamilcar the Sycamore

9. Arthur the Earthworm

10. Camil the Caterpillar

11. Lauretta the Child of the Wood

12. Benjamin the Lizard

13. Molly the Little Small Cloud

14. The Choice

15. Slice the Beaver

16. Seraphine the Small Pinecone

17. Rita the Drop of Water

18. Gigi and Damerina the Butterfly

19. Ranolina, the Little Tadpole

20. Billy the Canary

21. Rudolph and Emma

22. Ioannina the Turtle

23. Samira the Locust

24. Bliss the Water Snake

25. Amazing

26. Tears of the Wood of Plane

 

 

 

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