Eliza’s Truffles

Once upon a time, a tiny old woman named Eliza, and her sniffing dog, Snort, lived under a lovely giant rock…

in the forest, beside the river, at the foot of an emerald mountain.

The old woman made her living by gathering the finest truffles and selling them in the nearby village of Gormay.

Every day, Eliza would take her basket on her arm, wrap her shawl about her thin shoulders and she and Snort would set forth into the moist spaces between the tall trees.

Old as she was, Eliza stepped lightly, careful not to tramp upon any  hidden truffle gems under the ground.

Other villagers had tried to discover the source of Eliza’s wonderful truffles, but so far, no one had been successful. The secret belonged to Eliza…and Snort. Or so she thought.

“Good Snort,” Eliza said as she patted Snort and offered him his favorite bacon treat. “We will obtain a good price for these truffles.” She looked down at her full basket and sighed. “Tonight we will not go hungry. We will buy a fat hen at the market and dine on roast chicken and parsnips.”

Snort wagged his tale and licked his lips as if he comprehended Eliza’s words.

Eliza and Snort headed toward town. However, along the way a mischievous gust of wind pounced from the tops of the trees and swirled about Eliza’s head. Wind made a moaning, and slapped the evergreen trees. Their bows flew up like startled babies and they hissed at the cruelty of Wind.

“Woooooom,” Wind wailed. “I scent truffles. Woooooom. Give me some truffles, Old Woman, so that I may smell their fragrance across the river and up into the high places of the Emerald Mountain.”

Eliza clutched her basket to her feeble chest. “No, indeed, Mr. Wind. You have the needles of the trees, the dust of the dirt, and the honeysuckle to savor. Why would you also desire my truffles?”

But Wind only blew harder as if to loosen Eliza’s hold on her basket. “Give… me… some… truffles.”

Wind blew so hard that Eliza stumbled and had to hold onto Snort or they both would have blown away.

Eliza bent over and picked up three dark rocks. They looked just like the truffles in her basket. She threw them up into the air. “There, Old Wind, take these truffles and be gone with you!”

Wind caught the three dark-colored rocks and tried to lift them higher to send them across the river and up into the high places of the mountain.

But the rocks slipped right through Wind’s wispy fingers. He chased them all the way down to the river and the bridge that leads to Gormay, and then down into the cold watery depths. But Wind stubbornly refused to give up his “truffles.” All day he grabbed and seized and fumbled with them under the water.

But no matter how hard he blew, Wind could not raise his truffles out of the water. His efforts agitated the water and turned it at that point into a whirlpool. Eliza warned the villagers of Gormay never to disturb Wind under the bridge as he searched for his truffles. He would be there a long, long time, for we all know that the wind never learns when to blow… or when not to blow.

And so, Eliza had no more trouble with Wind that day. She and Snort dined that night on roast chicken and parsnips. And tomorrow, she would search again for the finest truffles.












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