In the Garden - Part 3 of Pip's Great Adventure - the story continues

by BardofEly

The story of Pip, a boy who entered a strange dream-world, was perhaps inspired by books by CS Lewis, books like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

In the garden and what Pip found there

The story continues:

Pip followed the path past the well-tended lawns and neat flower borders with roses, marigolds and all sorts of other flowers he recognised but these seemed so very much brighter and bigger. Then he passed under some huge cedar trees and saw more steps. Down he went and right in the middle of another lawn was a very weird tree. It had a trunk and branches but instead of leaves or flowers and fruit it had question-mark symbols hanging down on long stems.

The Question Tree

Many questions

They looked as if they wanted to be pulled on. Pip grabbed one and yanked on it. At which point a voice like that of an old man spoke loudly. “How can I help you?” It said. “I am the Question Tree and will answer any question you put to me but be warned that you only have one question even though you may see many question-marks hanging from my branches.”

The voice continued: “So make sure it is really something you want to know. You will not be allowed another chance.” Pip wasn’t expecting this and had he had been able to prepare in advance he might have responded differently but he just ended up asking the first thing that came into his head.

“Please, Mr Question Tree,” Pip started. “Where is this place?”

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The tree shook its branches making all the question-marks bob about and then it answered. “You are where you began and where you will be going. You are in your past, present and future too, all rolled into one. This place is the Now Garden.”

Pip liked the way the questions all jumped around as the tree spoke but he wasn’t so happy about the answer or with himself for not having come up with a better question to ask. He realised he had missed out on his chance to find out the way home. He muttered a thank you and carried on his way.


Down the garden path

The garden he was in had many pathways. It was really like a massive park but no signposts or anything to tell you where you were exactly. The Great Mother had gone very quiet too. He hadn’t heard her voice for a long time it seemed. He was actually wishing he knew how to get back to the world he knew best. He wanted that more than anything even though this adventure was very exciting. Pip decided he might as well take the path to his left which had tall hedges on both sides of the grey gravel pathway. He walked on a while thinking how silent it was and how uninteresting it had now become with just a path, hedges and sky above. Then he came to a fork in the path. Which way was best, he wondered? Both looked much the same with more of the same sort of hedging and path below his feet which were getting tired. He decided this time that because going to the left hadn’t worked out very well that he might do better going to the right, and so he took the fork that went that way.

As he carried on his way, which was just as boring and tiring, he was finding he was getting lost in his thoughts. There wasn’t much else to do. He was dreaming within his dream. He was thinking about his home and his friends and his parents. He was wishing he was back there but was stuck in this crazy place. Then suddenly he heard a girl’s voice singing. He went around a bend and there she was.

The little girl looked about his age. She had the bluest of blue eyes and long blonde hair that fell over the shoulders of her floral dress. She was really a very pretty child.

“Hello!” said Pip. “Please can you help me?” he said with a pleading tone to his voice. “I feel so tired and lost and am wondering how to get out of this place which I have been walking and walking in for so very long.”

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A well-known song

“I am Grace,” the girl replied, introducing herself. “I will do what I can, and first of all you should know that you have entered a maze. That is actually how I got my name. Have you heard of Amazing Grace, because that is me?”

Pip had heard a song with that title so he replied: “But I thought Amazing Grace was a song. What I really need to know is how do I get out of here and get home?”

Grace smiled and said: “Well, yes, you are right. I am a song too. We all are songs but most people don’t know it. We all are singers and songs in musical of life.”

“That is very interesting,” said Pip, “but whilst I can see you are very pretty, what is so amazing about you besides that?”

“Thank you for the compliment,” replied Grace. “You are about to find out why I am called Amazing.” As she said this she pointed to a section of the hedge and as she did so the thick foliage and twigs grew outwards in levels so they formed steps in the one part of it.

“Go on up these steps and then you will be able to get out of this maze,” the little girl said and smiled again. Pip really didn’t know what to say to that but he managed a thank you and did as Grace had advised. The twigs of the hedge had grown so tightly together that somehow they had formed a firm enough mass to support his weight. But only just, because he could feel his feet sinking into the steps as he climbed. As he reached the top of the hedge he was able to look over and what he saw was certainly not what he was expecting. On the other side of the hedge there were no more gardens, but a grassy cliff and a pathway leading down to a rocky beach.

“Thank you for getting me out of here,” said Pip to Amazing Grace, as he took one last look back at her and made his way over the top. She had certainly lived up to her name and promise. Pip wondered what he would find next as he set off for the beach.

Copyright © 2012 Steve Andrews. All Rights Reserved.

Updated: 12/22/2012, BardofEly
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