Drum, the god of eastern sky, sprinkled them all over the woods of Faipari; scattered across the woods, the blue ash, soon blended with the verdure of the woodland. Yatiya, the sun goddess, was still quite young; and her sister Ukwu, the goddess of moon, had yet not taken birth. The blue ash remained in the cradle of Faipari, untouched, pure, for the next two yoos (roughly 400 years) and then one day on an old beech in the woods, a special flower bloomed. The flower had white petals with sprinkles of blue; this flower and other of its kind, that’d bloom in the years to come, would turn into spirits in the shade of Ukwu.
Three more yoos passed, and now the woods of Faipari had become the dwelling place of spirits, some calm others not so much; they were flowers by the day but as soon as Ukwu’s gaze fell upon them, they turned into beautiful beings. Noog, the eagle-man, would soar high spreading his wings. Omby, the bull-man, would read calmly under a beech in Ukwu’s light.
There were spirits of insects and foxes, there were spirits happy and joyful; they all lived together in the woods of Faipari. Once, on a rainy day when rain goddess Orana came to visit Faipari, Muhungoo, the man-baboon, began to make faces at her; this made Orana very angry.
She decided never to visit Faipari again; and thus it never rained again in the woods. All the flowers withered and the spirits within them were never seen in the woods again.
All flowers withered but one… the flower of tigress Mya, it didn’t suffer Orana’s rage because it was the sky god Drum’s favorite flower; it remained hidden somewhere in the woods, the day someone would find it…all the withered flowers would bloom again.
Desa, a girl of seven, followed her grandpa fearlessly through the woods of Faipari. Before they’d left for the woods, which was two miles from their village; grandpa had tied a blue ribbon around Desa’s wrist, he’d winked at her and said- “We’ll need it partner”.
It was a chilly night and the darkness of the woods made the beech trees around look like scarecrows, just bigger. Desa’s grandpa had been an adventurer and a scholar for most of his life and Desa was more than proud to join him on his expedition to find the spirit flower of the tigress Mya. Desa’s grandpa was determined to make the withered flowers bloom again.
Soon the grandpa and the granddaughter reached an old beech tree; “This is the beech on which the first spirit flower bloomed,” grandpa told Desa. He then asked Desa for the blue ribbon tied around her wrist; she untied and gave it to him.
Grandpa raised the ribbon as high as his hand could reach and let it flutter in the brisk breeze of the woods. No sooner did he do so than an old baboon appeared from behind the beech, his face was wrinkled and his gait was like humans.
“Oh, Muhungoo, so you do have a weakness for blue ribbons, huh!?” remarked grandpa to which old Muhungoo smiled mildly. While all the other spirits were captured in the withered flowers, Muhungoo was punished by Drum, for his mischief, to wander alone in the woods until the spirit flowers bloomed again.
Although, Muhungoo was a mischievous spirit, yet, like everyone in the world does, he possessed a special talent…a talent that made him unique; he had the ability to locate anything, no matter wherever it was hidden in the woods, and so he told Desa and her grandpa where they’d find the spirit flower of Mya.
Muhungoo didn’t join Desa and her grandpa for the rest of their expedition, it wasn’t that he didn’t want to; it was just that Drum had prohibited him from going near the spirit flower of Mya; it had to be someone who didn’t belong to the woods. Desa and her grandpa continued on their path, dodging the patch of shrubs and the mucky swamp. Desa had begun to shiver as she followed her grandpa through the rattling of beech leaves, which made her look back in fright every now and then. Muhungoo had told them that the spirit flower of tigress Mya was in the belly of, Log, the god of beech trees.
Log was a humungous human-shaped tree, whose ovoid head was covered with beech leaves that looked like dangling noodles on his head; he was engrossed in reading a book called ‘A Brief History of Beech trees’, when Desa and her grandpa reached his abode, deep into the woods.
“Ahoy,” called the puny grandpa from below, “We have come for the spirit flower of tigress Mya.”
Log scratched his imperial moustache made of beech leaves, then he plucked four leaves from his head and arranged them to form a figure; he then asked in a heavy yet tender voice-
“What do you see?”
“Well, I see four beech leaves,” said grandpa.
“No,” said Log as he wiggled his head in disapproval, shedding leaves, then he pointed at Desa and asked “You tell me little one, what do you see?”; Desa stepped forward and took a look, without thinking she said, “O mighty lord of beech trees, I see a butterfly.”
As Desa said so, a beautiful flower blossomed on the palm of the god of beech trees and under the gaze of the moon goddess, Ukwu, it turned into a tigress whose fur was ashy blue; it was Mya, she strode majestically throughout the woods. Every withered flower blossomed and the spirits were released, making Faipari lively again.