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Faces in the Trees

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This is a story about a little boy just like you, who wanted to be an adventurer. He was about as old as you are now, had the same sort of haircut, and I think he even had that shirt. Yes, I think he did!

There was nothing this little boy loved more than the idea of adventure. He always liked to explore new places, like ponds and streams he wasn't supposed to get close to, or rooms his parents told him to stay out of!

He was normally a good child, but sometimes he made mistakes. You know how that is, don't you?

One night this little boy wanted to know what it was like to go camping. "For real" camping. He begged and begged his parents to let him camp out, and so they finally agreed to his demand.

The boy's father laid out a sleeping bag on the soft, freshly mowed grass in the back yard. He helped the little boy build a fire... though it was only pretend... and they roasted marshmallows. Those were real, but they didn't toast very well as you'd imagine.

Finally, it was time for the boy to go to sleep. His father headed inside and asked if the boy would like the porch light on. "No," he insisted, "That's not 'for real' camping!"

And so it was that the little boy found himself in the dark yard, wrapped up in a sleeping bag and excitedly studying the dome of stars above. He knew most of the constellations. Do you? Ah, you do!

Then the little boy heard a sound he didn't like. It was a strange whooshy-swooshy sound that made his little heart race. He thought he could see something moving in the sky... a bat or an owl, maybe... but he couldn't be sure.

He zipped the sleeping bag a little closer to his chin.

The whooshy-swooshy sound kept happening! Twice, three times, four or five times! He stopped counting because he was too scared to remember the numbers. You're not scared, are you? Good, let's keep going, then.

The moonlight made all kinds of strange and silly shadows all over the yard. Some looked like people shadows. Others looked like thingy shadows. The light of the moon also helped the boy see something in the trees above!

"That must be what made the sounds!" the boy whispered to himself. He stared up at a shape that was becoming more clear to him as he studied it.

Two very wide, round eyes with big black pupils... A jagged, zig-zaggy mouth... nothing else. There was no body, just a face! A face in the tree!

The boy zipped the bag some more.

There was another sound, the same sound, and the boy noticed another face right near the first. Then another... then another... there were so many faces in the trees, all staring down at the boy with wide eyes.

They never, ever blinked! Ever!

The boy zipped the bag up over his face, all the way over his head, and tried to be as quiet as he could. He'd never seen tree-faces before, and was pretty sure nothing good had ever been done by one.

The boy tried not to think about those silly starey faces and, eventually, he fell asleep.

Do you want to hear the rest?

Are you sure?


The next morning, the boy woke up inside his all-the-way-zipped-up-far sleeping bag. It was hot and moist and stifling! Breathing was hard, and he should have left a small air hole, probably.

Remembering the faces might still be out there, the boy unzipped the bag a little... then a little more... then down all the way.

He saw the faces, alright, but they weren't what he thought at all!! The wide eyes with the big black pupils, the jagged ziggy-zaggy mouths... they were nothing but flat markings!

They were markings on the wings of moths that had landed in the trees!!

The moths were big. Huge. Gimendous! If anything was ever gimendous, it was these moths with the silly angry faces on their wings.

The boy laughed and smiled at the moths. They were nothing to be scared of at all! They were pretty, with their droopy, foofy antennae, their soft brown fur and their round, shiny black eyes. They were nice, and they probably had the best adventures of anyone!

The boy crawled across the grass to the base of one of the trees. Then, he climbed it. Up, up, up, he climbed until he was on a branch with one of the moths. The little boy stood there in the sun, his six legs holding tight. He let his wet wings dry in the sunlight while the moths all watched and flexed their own wings.

After a few minutes the little boy flexed his wings, too. He could see the same silly angry face on them! Boy, did he feel embarrassed about being scared the night before.

When the boy's wings were good and dry, the moths all took flight and disappeared into the sky. The little boy followed them, sure that this would be a great day for exploring.

And so, now you see...

That's why you can't sleep outside tonight.

Credited to Slimebeast
Content is available under CC BY-NC

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