Oak and the Duchess’s Son

This is the story of how Oak grew so tall and strong. When the world was still young, Oak was a smaller, more slender tree. A handsome lad camped one night under Oak, and the two fell in love. Oak followed the boy back to his home, a fortress owned by the boy’s mother, the Duchess. The boy declaimed his love, and she as loudly forbade it.

The Duchess sealed the fortress and vowed her son would not venture out until he had forsworn Oak. Spring turned to summer, and none of the three wavered. To see the boy, Oak grew taller and straighter until they could speak over the great keep walls.

Furious, the Duchess ordered that Oak be felled and used for firewood. Her foresters tried from summer to fall, but each day Oak regrew its flesh harder and thicker until it turned their axes.

In the night, the Duchess moved her entire household away. Oak tried to follow, but it had become too tall and too heavy to uproot itself. Instead, it mourned.

That is why the oak is so tall and strong, and why it loses its leaves every fall in remembrance of its lost love.

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