The invisible sparrow flew erratically but in a general direction back the way they had come when they were larger. The old man realized that when they were at the cabin and they had heard the birds but did not see them that this was the reason. He explained that to his little girl and wondered how many other strange and marvelous things existed in this place. It was amazing how the sparrows seemed to fly all over the place yet easily navigated through the thick forest.
Peering over the side of the sparrow he noticed that they had left the path and were headed into the deepest parts of this evergreen forest. Sometimes the little girl would squeal when the sparrow would fly directly toward a tree or a rock and suddenly alter it’s course around such things. She finally gave up and just had to have faith and trust in this critter. She reassured herself that she had never seen a bird slam into a tree or rock. Although many times the birds would slam into big windows at her grandmother’s house and die. She then wondered if there were any big houses with windows in this place. The old man guessed at her thoughts and asked if she was thinking about grandma’s house. And tried to comfort her that there wasn’t any sign of such houses in this place.
After flying for about ten minutes the sparrow landed on a high limb and what the man and girl saw amazed them. Below in an opening in the forest was a wooden city. Houses and buildings and playgrounds carved out of wood. Trees had villages wrapped all around them and through them. The air was filled with something similar to the smell of cedar but even more appealing.
Later they would find out that these trees were very special trees that would not rot and would not burn except at very high temperatures. The trees were the seedlings of the tree they came through to be made little with the doors on it. The parent tree was very old and special.
The little man appeared as he came of his sparrow and walked toward them on the high limb. It was then the man realized it wasn’t just a limb but some sort of natural landing place for birds. He could see as one would go toward the tree down the limb there was a door on the tree.
Welcome to the city of the tiny king! The man said to these newcomers. Follow me and I will show you to your home.
Our home? The little girl questioned.
Yes you will always have a place among us. He replied.
You will learn much of our kingdom the longer you stay but you are always free to leave and return to our kingdom. The king is excited to meet you and wishes to dine with you tonight. He explained.
What a lovely place full of lovely people! She responded.
The man lead them toward the door and inside was what could only be described as a bird’s nesting area. It was quite noisy and windy as the invisible birds bustled about. There was a large hole higher up where they came and went. If one of the tiny men went out the door an invisible sparrow would be waiting for him. And when he would go back inside they would return to the busy things invisible sparrows did.
The man lead them down a wooden staircase in a wooden tunnel until they came out on the ground. In the middle of this fantastic wooden city. The old man noticed that while everything looked carved out of wood it actually wasn’t carved.
Sir, when we were up on the limb with the invisible sparrows it looked as if all this city was carved out of wood but now upon closer inspection it looks as if it isn’t carved at all. The old man asked.
Indeed it is not exactly carved but rather it is formed a process our ancestors learned to do with a special sap. Don’t get me wrong there is definitely carving involved but with the special sap the structures are formed and hardened. All the wood is still alive and benefits the forest and us. And our use of the wood and sap makes the forest stronger. He explained to the old man and his daughter.
They continued walking down the earthen path beautifully decorated with flowering moss along the sides of the path. The streets had people in them but it didn’t feel busy. The women wore something similar to 19th century modest American dresses but more natural and flowing. They had long beautiful hair. And the men wore long beards and wore rugged clothes. It was a wondrous sight to see!
After turning here and there they came to a beautiful wooden house “carved” in the tree. It vaguely reminded the old man of the pictures he’d seen of the city of Petra carved into the cliff walls in his own world. And in turn reminded him of the bible passage about Edom’s dwellings.
Here is your house. The man Reuben said.
It’s beautiful! The girl said full of giddy excitement.
Now go and clean up and I will return in three hours to bring you to the tiny king.