The new spiritual, romantic fantasy that is being written for you right now…
When Prince Rupert of the Deer Wonderland Kingdom travels on horseback to the depths of the forest on his 31st birthday, little does he know that he shall stay there imprisoned in the old oak that the Forest Mother turns him into.
Will he find a way to free himself from the spell?
Will he change under the new circumstances of being now part of the forest?
Will he find true, everlasting love with Amara whom he madly falls in love with?
Finding Tree Love is a fun, spiritual and romantic fairytale for adults which will touch your heart and soul at the deepest level.
Read the first chapters for free now
(UNOFFICIAL/UNEDITED TEASER VERSION):
I AM A TREE
‘If you have ever thought that you had a bad day,
imagine turning into a tree
Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, or not that far, depending on where you are now, there lived a prince whose name was Rupert.
He was the only son to the King and Queen of the Deer Wonderland Kingdom where thousands of deer lived in a surrounding forest in peace, protecting their territory and females with the biggest antlers imaginable, allowing them to scare off even the most dangerous predators. The deer were under the King’s protection and anyone who would do any harm to them would be captured and put into prison for life. Nobody in the whole kingdom had ever tried killing a deer, petrified of the severe punishment.
Prince Rupert, a rather handsome, blond-haired and blue-eyed young man, had a kind and caring nature thanks to his parents’ loving upbringing but he was a bit temperamental and spoilt, due to his various privileges from birth. He enjoyed riding his horse into the depths of the Dear Wonderland forest, where trees were tall, streams were flowing with crystal clear water, and animals such as hares, foxes, birds, bears, and of course, deer, lived in perfect harmony. Rupert liked nature and one day he had an urge to venture out to the depths of the forest to test his new bow and arrows, the gifts that he had received from the King for his 31st birthday. The bow had gilded golden carvings and the arrows were made of pure silver. The King told him that they should only be used in danger but on that warm and humid summer evening having noticed a perfect spot, Rupert decided to try it out. He got off his snow-white horse, pulled the arrow in the bow, aimed at the old oak tree standing majestically on the other side of the stream, and just as he had let the arrow go, confident that it would hit right in the middle it, a huge deer ran in front of it and stopped, piercing Rupert’s eyes with his. The deer’s gigantic antlers were glowing with warm, golden light as if they were set on fire. Staring at Rupert with his big brown eyes, the deer did not move an inch, as if it knew that his death was inevitable and he was ready for it. In that split second, which seemed like an eternity for both of them, the silver arrow pierced the deer right into his heart and it fell on the ground with a big thump.
Rupert was horrified, taking a big gasp of air. He would have never wanted to kill a deer, not in a million years. He felt great sadness and tears swelled up in his blue eyes. A moment later, his feet started to sink into the ground, as if he was now standing in the middle of a swamp, getting trapped in a muddy soil that turned solid once his ankles were buried into it. He was now unable to move. He looked in front of him and saw an old man in a long brown cloak and a hood covering the majority of his long grey hair, holding a long, wooden stick emerging from behind the trees. His pale, wrinkled face was expressionless and his cold, lifeless green eyes were fixed at Rupert’s.
‘Why did you kill the deer?’ he asked without even blinking an eye, in a low but a firm voice which could move a mountain.
‘It was an accident, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to. I was aiming at the tree and the poor creature just ran in front of it. I would never kill a deer on purpose,’ Rupert quickly replied in a shaky voice, feeling guilty for what he had done.
‘You will be punished for it,’ the man replied in a voice which gave Rupert shivers through his body.
‘Me?? Oh, no! You don’t understand. I’m the King’s son and I know my father very well. I know what the punishment for killing a deer is. He will not put me into prison because of this… little accident. He loves me and wants me to be the King when he dies,’ Rupert replied, gasping for air, feeling his pounding heart in his chest as if it wanted to jump out but he still tried to keep a brave face.
‘The King is fair and he treats everyone in his kingdom the same way,’ the man replied, ‘and therefore, will be punished,’ the man continued with his statement mercilessly.
‘I will explain everything to him and he will understand. He is my father. He gave me this arrow for my birthday, he loves me and cares for me!!’- Rupert exclaimed in a more desperate and pleading voice this time.
‘You will not have a chance to explain it to him,’ the man continued, ‘you shall stay here… forever!’- the man added, making the word ‘forever’ sound as if it was the scariest word in the world.
‘What do you mean… forever? Why? How?’ exclaimed Rupert frantically but the old man swiftly turned around and disappeared behind the trees.
Unable to move his feet which were now stuck firmly in the ground, Rupert called for his horse.
‘Helios, come here buddy, come closer, please! I can’t move, can’t you see? You need to come here and help me!’ Rupert shouted but the strong wind started to move the leaves of all the surrounding the trees and dark clouds covered the whole sky as if the night had suddenly fallen.
Rupert looked at his feet stuck in the ground which were now turning into long tree roots, quickly growing into the area around him and his legs turning into a massive tree trunk.
‘Oh no! What’s happening to me??? Help!!!??’ he screamed in panic one last time before his whole body turned into a tall oak.
The branches were slowly getting covered in millions of green leaves and the roots were now stuck deep into the ground. Rupert opened his eyes, or rather two small cracks in the bark, and his heart sunk from despair.
‘I am a tree!??? Nooo!! That’s impossible!! Oh God, this is only a bad dream and I’m going to wake up from it any minute. This is only a bad dream!!!’ he exclaimed, stuttering in despair from a large brown hubbub which was now his mouth. The smaller hubbub, just above his new mouth, became his nose.
‘Oh no, I have no hands, no hands!’ he exclaimed in horror when he tried to move but all that he could see was two of his biggest branches moving slowly, making a crackling and swooshing sound.
He then saw the same old man slowly emerge from behind the trees and stand right in front of him. He was accompanied by a wolf with crystal blue eyes staring at him relentlessly. The dark mist surrounded them and the old man spoke again.
‘I told you that you will be punished. These are the ancient rules of the forest. The King does not need to punish anyone and put them in prison for killing a deer. It is only a myth. The Forest Mother does justice for him and she is always fair and she is always right. This is the unspoken rule which the King knows about and approves of. He respects nature because he knows its immeasurable powers. Nature needs to be respected and deer cannot be killed for fun. Especially Matras, the Deer King himself, the biggest and the bravest leader of the herd. Now the forest needs a new leader and it’s not going to be easy to replace such a strong, fair and wise deer. The herd will be without a good leader until a new one is selected in the deer games, where the young and strong males will be fighting for the title and the privilege. You really don’t know what you have done. Each action has its consequences and you need to bear yours now. It’s called karma. God have mercy upon your soul and…well, good luck!- the old man said with a less scary but still a low and firm voice.
‘I’m sorry, I really am, what else can I do? Where is she? The Forest Mother! I need to speak to her immediately! I will explain that it’s all one big mistake! It was an accident and I wasn’t hunting for fun! I’m sure that if I speak to her and explain it all, she will understand and forgive me,’ begged Rupert.
‘Yes, of course, you can speak to her. She is everywhere. In the trees around you, in the river, in the air, she is in all the animals. You just need to find a way to communicate with her. There is only one way she will understand you,’
‘What is the way? Tell me and I will do it!’ Please, help me,’
‘Unfortunately, you need to find the way yourself. There is no easy answer. If you do find the way to speak to her, I’m sure she will forgive you and let you go back to being a human. But until you have learnt how the universe works, you will be a tree, I am afraid,’ the man replied putting the hood back on his silver hair and turned his back on Rupert again.
‘Please don’t leave me, please stay! Don’t go! What do I do now? Please, tell me!’ Rupert exclaimed but the man was already gone. The wolf followed his steps.
‘Great, this is a disaster! It’s a nightmare! What should I do? How?’ he thought, scratching his head, or rather the crown of the tree with his largest branch, acting now as his right hand.
The horse gazed at him with his big dark, shiny eyes, neighed loudly, showing off a set of white teeth, and galloped away into the depths of the forest.
‘Wait! Where are you going?’ Rupert screamed but Helios, just like the old man, disappeared from his sight.
The strong wind stopped and the dark clouds moved away, revealing the red sky at sunset which was only covered in a few pinkish fluffy clouds.
‘Forest Mother! Where are you?’ he screamed but heard no answer, ‘I need to talk to you!’ he screamed again but there was no reply and the only sound he could hear was the gentle and soothing sound of the stream and birds singing in the distance.
‘Hey, get lost! This is not a place for you!’ he shouted angrily when a sparrow sat down on one of his branches. He started to move rapidly, trying to scare the bird away.
‘Oh God, this is a disaster, what am I going to do now? I can’t live like this! I am a Prince! A Prince that will be the King one day,’ he murmured to himself with a whining voice.
‘Just relax and go with the flow!’ he heard a warm soothing voice, coming from another oak next to him.
‘You can talk?’ asked Rupert.
‘Well you can talk too, what’s so strange about it?’ the oak replied, and having pulled his roots from the ground, he moved away making a swishing, whistling noise with the leaves.
‘And you can move?? How? Trees don’t move!!’ Rupert exclaimed at witnessing this weirdness.
‘Oh, relax, you can move too, just when you do, don’t you dare follow me! I have enough of this noise of yours’ the oak replied.
‘I can move? And I can talk? Thank you, God! That means…that means… I can go back to the castle and ask my father for help,’ he thought, feeling sudden rays of hope with this revelation.
‘You can go anywhere, except for the castle. That won’t happen, so don’t even try, nobody can leave the Deer Wonderland Forset once you become part of it’ – the oak exclaimed joyfully from the distance before completely disappearing.
‘Hey, I didn’t say anything! You could hear my thoughts? I think I’m going to go crazy! Wait, I’ve already gone crazy! I’m a talking tree! And I can walk! I can walk? Really? Ok, let’s see if that’s true then,’ he murmured.
‘Arrrrr,’ he moaned a few seconds later from the effort of trying to move his toes, or rather his roots.
‘Come on, you can do this! Abracadabra, move my feet! My roots I mean,’ he exclaimed to himself and the roots started to move whilst he was rocking backward and forwards. After a while, they all came out to the surface.
‘Yessss!!! Magic!’ he laughed and chuckled in the voice of an insane man who had just escaped an asylum.
‘Now, lets’ walk!’ he commanded in a firm voice as if he was leading an army to war.
‘Urrrghhhh come on! Move!,’ he said with great effort, rocking side to side and moving inch by inch towards the river bank.
‘Oh, no, not this way! I don’t want to end up like a log drifting away with the river’s current, now that would have been unfortunate. Enough of unfortunate events for a day! I’m a blooming tree!’ he thought and moved along the riverbank instead, gliding slowly on the ground. ‘Oh, I mean a freaking tree. The last thing I want is to have my handsome body covered in pink, fragrant flowers haha! he added, laughing out loud.
‘Ok, that’s enough for today. I’m tired now,’ he said after what seemed like an eternity but when he turned around, he realised he moved only a couple of feet away.
‘Oh, I’m so tired, I think I’ll just go to sleep now and when I wake up in the morning, I am sure this nightmare will be over,’ he thought and closed his eyes.
‘Quiet!’ he shouted soon afterward, having heard nothing but the cheerful singing of the birds.
The birds stopped but after a few moments, they started to sing again.
‘I said, quiet!’ he shouted again and one of the birds, a beautiful yellow one with a red tail and a beak flew closer to him.
‘Why do you want us to be quiet? We are singing the latest songs from the Top Twenty of the Deer Wonderland Forest. They are the best songs out now, don’t you like them?’ the bird chirped.
‘You can talk too?’ Rupert asked.
‘So can you,’ the bird replied, ‘What’s so strange about it? Where are you from? Have you been brought up with the humans or something? Only they don’t understand our language. They think we are just stupid birds, or at least, most of them do.’
‘I don’t care if they are the latest songs! I want to sleep. I am very tired now from talking. And walking. If you haven’t noticed, I’m an old tree now! Tomorrow, I’ll wake up from this horrible nightmare and be myself again!’ replied Rupert.
‘But you are yourself. Now. Even though you are a tree. It’s still you, isn’t it?’- the bird replied happily.
‘Well, yes. Well, no. Yes, it’s still me but it’s not my body. I’m a human being. A handsome prince with blue eyes and blond hair, a great muscular body, and a six-pack. I am tall and very attractive. At least, that’s what I heard many times from the ladies in court. Many princesses from other kingdoms dream of marrying me because I have so much to offer. Beautiful castle and chambers to live in, wardrobes full of silk dresses, French perfumes, lavish dinners, carriages to take them for rides, and, of course, beautiful diamond and emerald rings. They send me lots of love letters daily, hoping I will choose them as my wife and the new Princess of Deer Wonderland Kingdom. I am a real catch you know!’- said Rupert proudly, stretching his chest forward, or what was now the tree trunk.
‘Well, sorry to break the news to you. It won’t happen now! Your wealth, your carriages, your jewellery to impress them and your six-pack won’t work any charm on them anymore – the bird replied, laughing out loud with a thin squeaky voice and added, ’ I don’t want to sound horrible, but as you have just said, you are an oak now, so forget about it. And when it comes to you being you and your personality, well it leaves some room for improvement, I dare say. You are not the most humble man, placing all your attention and value on the way you look and that you are rich because you have a rich father – the King. What else have you got to offer ‘as you’, though? Is your wealth all that you need to find a true and everlasting love of a lady? Think about it, you will have plenty of time for reflections’ the bird replied and shaped his beak into a cheeky half-moon and flew away.
‘Oh, that…, that… is not very nice! You little…. nasty bird, telling me what you think about me. How dare you tell me what you think. You don’t know me at all. You think you know me because of a short conversation but you don’t! And anyway, who voted for your songs? They are wishy-washy and not the top hits for sure’ Rupert shouted just as the bird landed on a long branch of a tree right in front of him.
‘But that’s the reality and sad truth that you need to face now! Think about it! Think about who YOU truly are! And for your information, it was the ‘ladies – hares’ and ladybirds who voted for us! They love us and our songs and they are our biggest fans. Come on guys, let’s go sing somewhere else, somewhere where our cute voices and efforts are appreciated. By the ladies, not by this one big moaning oak!’ the bird replied and swiftly flew into the other side of the river with other birds from his band, leaving Rupert in complete and utter silence.
‘Finally! I can sleep now!’ Rupert thought and closed his tired eyes.
131 YEARS YOUNG
‘And when I awoke,
The warm sun rays penetrated every molecule of my leaves,
The energy rushed through my body
Thrilled and ecstatic about another day
The sunrise, the biggest miracle of life on Earth
Always leaving the darkness and giving new hope
Hope for another day, for another chance,
To start all over,
To start again,
To turn my life around,
And create a moment
That will never repeat itself
Hence, the most precious thing in the world
Is the very moment,
Each moment of life
That is unrepeatable
That is unique
It cannot be bought
It cannot be stored in a jar
Only lingers in the air of eternal memories
Which connect us together,
The universe and nature and every thought,
The everlasting wisdom of the universe,
The everlasting everything
The only heritage we will give to our offspring.
Let’s make sure each thought, each memory is worth passing on,
As we want the world to grow and learn and contribute to its salvation,
Not a misery, hate, and suffering,
Let’s clear our thoughts and minds
Let’s become the blank canvass to paint on,
One thought at a time,
Beauty in each,
Wisdom in all,
And reject any negative ones
As they only take us away from the bliss
The bliss that we all strive for,
The joy we all yearn for,
The love we all pray for,
Let it become us’
When I woke up at sunrise, I felt the warm sun rays touching my face. The air was crisp and fresh, filling my lungs and giving me energy. A couple of green birds with yellow wings started chirping in a happy voice and surprisingly, I didn’t even find it annoying. The sun rising above the peaks of the trees was slowly turning from red to golden yellow, touching every leaf, every blade of grass on the meadows and every mountain top at a distance. The castle on the hill was bathed in its golden rays, making it look young and fresh as if it was waking up from a 1000 years of sleep.
‘Thank God it was just a bad dream, I am myself again,’ I thought to my relief,’ but hey, how can I see the castle over the treetops? I don’t remember being that…. tall!! Ahhhhhhhhh! I am still a tree! Oh God! I am still a freaking tree!- I exclaimed to myself.
‘Morning Rupert, did you sleep well?’ asked a squirrel having flown to me from another tree, spreading little legs like an orange kite, landing right on my nose and staring right into my eyes with her big brown marbles.
‘Auch!!’ I exclaimed feeling a sharp pain from her sharp paws. ‘God, you scared me! Don’t do that again! I said, ‘Wait, but how do you know my name? And why are you on my nose?’ I added.
‘I know many things that you don’t know! And since you are a tree, I can sit on you anywhere I like’ she replied in a squeaky voice, turning her little mouth into a crescent.
I knew it was a ‘she’ because of her fluffy ginger hair on top of her head which were styled into waves and she smelled of… lilacs.
‘So did you sleep well?’ she continued.
‘Yeah, I guess so, last night I hoped this nightmare would be over when I wake up but it looks like it was real. Do you know why I’m an ugly, old tree now?’
‘You are not old and you are not that ugly. At least compared to this crooked one next to you. You are quite a handsome young oak, maybe only 130 years old for my guessing!’
‘A hundred and thirty-one years old! Nooooo! I have just turned thirty-one and I am a young handsome prince! When I am a human, of course. I cannot be 130 years old! This is getting worse minute by minute! It means, it means I should be dead now! Or maybe I am already dead now? Nobody lives that long!
‘Oh, no, you are very young for oak and in the trees world you are only a teenager, still very young, like you have just been born! Oaks can live thousands of years and some say they can live forever. Can you see that guy over there? With big, thick, crooked branches? He is 4000 years old and he still has some energy to join us at dancing parties where we learn the foxtrot from the foxes! And I can tell you now, you are one of the most handsome young oaks I have ever seen and I have seen many!’
‘How do you know my oak age anyway? How come you are so certain?’
‘Well, I am an expert in trees, as you can imagine. I am a squirrel after all but we can check your exact age since you are so persistent!’
‘Hey Julie, Malcolm, come, let’s see how old Rupert is!’ she yelled and two other squirrels ran down from the tree in front of me. Having formed a long thin string from tiny branches, they surrounded my body and holding it together, they exclaimed together: ‘Yep, 131 years old!’
‘How can you be so sure?’ I asked,’ from using just a piece of string made of branches?’
‘Well for every inch around your waist, you are one year old, so I’m sorry to break it to you, you are older than I thought! You are a 131 but as I said, that’s nothing in oak living years, so don’t worry,’ she replied with a wide smile on her tiny face, showing off two front teeth gleaming in the morning sun.
‘I see, ok well that makes sense, you seem to know your stuff. So what’s your name?’ I asked, curiously as I have just learnt the names of two of her friends.
‘My name is Leticia and I run the best ‘Squirrel Knitting Club’ in the whole forest. We make dresses made of moss and flowers. If you would like to join our club you will need to wait till next year because we don’t accept any new members now. But I can let you know if we have any spaces next Spring if you like?’
‘No thanks, I have never been a fan of knitting or making dresses. My mother made a cute little blanket for me when I was a baby and I de-knitted it beautifully one day. That’s the closest to this craft I have been to. But if you have a ‘De-knitting Club for Oaks’ I may join you next year- I replied, chuckling at my incredible sense of humour – Oh, wait, I will not be here next year. What am I even joking about!- I murmured, laughing at the very thought of me knitting as a tree. ‘Leticia, umm that’s a very nice name, but don’t get me wrong as I don’t want to sound rude. Who gave you your name? Surely squirrels don’t have names!
‘Oh it’s the Forest Mother, she gave me that name when I was a baby. She came to my mum one day saying that from now on, I will be called Leticia. My mum came here from another kingdom I forgot the name of, starting with an S.., met my dad and they stayed here. Anyway, I need to go now and look for the acorns I hid yesterday before I completely forget where I put them. Oh no, I think I have already forgotten where I put them, great! Another one bites the dust. There will be far too many new trees growing in this forest because of my bad memory, I need to see Zelda, the fox hypnotherapist, I’ve heard she is quite good at helping other squirrels improve their memory and remember where they put their nuts and acorns. Especially useful for male squirrels if you know what I mean… just kidding. Ok, well, have a nice day and remember you are just a young oak. So no baby oak crying today, please! Bye!’
‘Hey wait, this Forest Mother, do you know her well? Where is she? I need to speak to her about this unfortunate mistake she’s made!’
‘Oh, yes, I know her very well. She is amazing and she never makes mistakes because she is perrrrfect. She is the one everyone respects and some are even scared of. Everybody knows her. And everybody knows she should not be made angry as strange things can happen to them. So should you!’ Leticia exclaimed and spread her legs wide, flying in the air and jumped onto the tree next to me, running down its branches with the skill of a circus performer, twisting and turning around the tree trunk with such flexibility that all I could say was; ‘Wow, I wish I could do that!
‘Why didn’t Forest Mother turn me into a squirrel? I could be free like Leticia and do what I want! Now I am an old but actually a young oak. True, I am tall so I can see over some of the treetops, and yes, supposedly I’m handsome, for an oak tree of course, but that’s it really. No princess will marry me now. Who would want to marry a tree? What am I going to do now? Where are you? Forest Mother! Where are you? I hate you for what you did to me. You are a horrible woman that punished me so severely for what was only…. a mistake! This is the worst time of my life! Who would like to be a tree when they have their whole life in front of them? It is a punishment which I will never forgive you, unless you immediately turn it back. Yes, you have to do it and you will, as soon as I find you’ I said to myself in a feeling close to madness from being totally powerless.