I slept so deeply and had a lovely dream about a charming, bearded fellow who danced in the moonlight and spoke in a strange sing-song verse. Finally, I began to wake to the smell of warm bread and the sounds of rustling in a kitchen. Sweet memories of my childhood came back. Tears welled in my eyes, and I began to stir.
I sat up and saw the man from my dream. He winked and smiled and said, “Old Man Willow almost gotcha, ye see? If ye had stayed there any longer, in sleep evermore would ye be!” I was still a little groggy but tried to pay attention as he explained how he had found me near the old willow and brought me to safety in his cabin.
We had breakfast, and I thanked him for his incredible generosity and concern. When I asked if there was anything I could do to repay him, he smiled with a twinkle in his eye and said, “The River-daughter lies by her spring looking for lilies. Mayhaps you could aid her ‘afore running off willy-nilly?” We had a good laugh, and I most certainly agreed!
I found Miss Goldberry by the spring with a lovely waterfall. I brought her many lilies, and she graciously thanked me. How I wished I could have stayed with them a while longer, but I had to return to Buckland with news of the shadow. I bid them both farewell and headed off. What a lovely memory of these kind spirits I now have to cherish that will lift my spirits in darker times!
However, I must say that, standing next to Miss Goldberry, I have never felt so plain.