Tales from India: Tree Spirits and the Midwife

Karim Giblett By Karim Giblett, 19th Mar 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

A tale of a mysterious man with skin like wood who asks a midwife to help his wife give birth in the middle of the night, but the children and the request are more then what they seem and the old midwife is in for a small adventure.

Tales from India

A long time ago in india the land of elephants and jungles, there was once many kingdoms each one veying for power. Each one seeking glory and fame. This was a time before the British Empire, a time before guns and cars but in a time of honesty, kings and saltans and when the world was filled with mysteries...Many people would make their legacy in the sands of time and this is one of there stories...

The Midwife and the Jungle Nymphs

There was once a venerable midwife. An elderly lady and mother to five children who each had five children and each birth she was there for. Each child lived long and did not sercumb to childhood illnesses and so the Midwife was respected and much honoured in the comunity. Some said she had the blessings of Vishnu apon her and others said she came from the long lost line of midwives whose origines date back to the birth of the great Mohumad, but whichever the case it was true that this lady, though elderly and dark of skin was the best midwife in all the lands...

One day while resting in her house and during the full moon there was a loud knock on her door and she pulled herself up. Placing chumpals on her feet and wrapping a tuni around her head she headed for the door of her mud brick house.
She opened the door to find a strange looking man at the door. He was a very tall man, unnaturaly so and he was slender and somewhat slinky in his apearence. His skin looked aged and almost looked like tree bark and he had a white beard which resembled the beard of a goat. But the most beculiar thing about the man was his eyes which sparkled green like well water that reflected the moonlight.
She would have barely been able to make out his features had it not been for the full moon that basked everything in an strangely enhanced light. The man seemed kindly and looked human enough not to frighten her but meerly give here the strange sense he was not what he had seemed.

The Laber

"my wife is going in laber can you help diliver the babies?' he asked and she agreed and taking her shawl she and the man rushed off into the jungle. The woman had lived in the same town her entire life and had never seen this man before.
Around them in the thick jungle there was a strange silence in the air and the usual sounds of tigers hunting their pray and exotic insects calling out into the night for their mates had vanished. It was as if the jungle itself was waiting for something.
As they went further into the jungle she came across a wide egg plant shape tree which was huge and wide at the base and like a house and then very thin at the top where a large circular crown of foliage ringed it.
The man aproached the tree which she relised was glowing green. It was only then that she realised that the mans legs were awkwardly bent like that of a goat and she almost gasped had it not been for what happened next.
The man hopped towards the tree and reached his hand forwards as though thrusting it straight into the wood and where his hand should have met solid wood it instead passed striaght into the wood as through going through a vail or an illusion in the light, his hand went into the wood and as though there was something within the wood he turned and pulled and the wood itself split and formed a cricle and from within the wood came a the shape of a large round door which he pulled open with a sigh and heave and then within the space of a heartbeat the midwife was basked in white golden light...

The Children

Stunned and amazed she aproached the doorway, its golden light basking her and eradiating her with love and warmth and as she aproached she felt like she had walked into a wall of light and warmth and love and then...
She was suddenly inside a spherical wooden house, she saw pillows and furnishings, elephant idols and elegant golden decorations and piles of leaves that made up the carpets and nearby on a bed of compressed leaves law a woman, she looked human but her legs were covered and her eyes sparkled crystal blue like blue water glowing with internal light.
The lady had a huge stomach which seemed unnatural by any standards and the midwife had trouble beleiving this was not just a really fat woman and not a pregnantly lady.
But she got to work immediatly noticing the signs of laber. Like a skilled craftsman who acts so perfectly without thinking and whose every motion is correct and perfect and dispite any trouble she was allways calm and could calm the woman down.
Then within moments the first baby was born and the baby was born with a full set of teeth and a full head of hear. She put the baby aside in its own little crib which she swore were non existant before and now there was one right next to her where she needed it.
After cleaning the baby and spanking it twice she placed the first one down. Then she was on to the next baby and the next until all ten were born and then after she put the first baby in the rest she realised the other were standing up and staring at her until all of them were standing and staring at her.
"Thank you" they all said in unison and in utter shock she staggered back, reeling from the shock of this, ten children each one standing and talking moments after birth.
The woman who had once been so large was now a slender brown skinned woman who looked human except from the woody texture of her skin. She sat up and stroked her childrens soft brown hair and looked at the midwife.
'thank you' she said and the midwife was so shocked she could barely speek

The Leafs

The man stroked his white bearded chin and hugged her but she was too shocked and repulsed to deny the hug.
'midwife hold out your dress so I can reward you' he said and she nodded and picked up her dress so that it formed a cup shape and the man picked up a large scoop of leaves from the ground and put them into the dress filling it with brown leaves.
'take these home with you' he said and the door on one side of the house opened and she could not see outside and instead saw the barrer of warm golden light that shone through and she fled into it not wanting to stay a moment longer with these strange tree beings.
As she fled into the light she found a moment later she was outside again in the still jungle and the darkness swept over her. Nearly blind she ran on not looking back. It took a few moments for her eyes to adjust to the darkness from the golden glow of the house and she never stopped running.
Within moments the sounds of the jungle returned and she felt the hole world flooding back to normality.
She never looked back to see the strangley shapped house and as she ran she realised she was near her home
She looked down at the leaves she clutched in her dress and she realised this was a stupid payment for being so scared and she she dropped the leaves near her home and ran inside her house.

She slept with a saveer case of the shivers constantly thinking about those strange children and the way they stared at her.
She eventually fell asleep and the next morning she was awoken by her grand child, a young light brown skinned girl called Rani who shook her awake and was excited, she was holding something golden in her hand and it took a few moments for the midwifes eyes to adjust and she gasped as she relised what it was. It was a leave made from gold.
'ma I found this in your tuni and there was a few more' the girl said with a big smile and the woman relised with horror that the leaves had turned to gold with the first rays of the morning sun. She rushed to her dress and found two more golden leaves. The she rememembered that she had dumped the leaves outside and so half naked she rushed outside and found a small pile of leaves of the ground, she picked them up and hid them away but the rest of the leaves had blown away in the night and then turned to gold in the morning, many had been picked up by travelers and local townspeople.

Although the midwife had found a small fortune in the golden leaves she had lost a greater one by denying the gift she was given.

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author avatar Songbird B
20th Mar 2012 (#)

What a wonderful story and well told too! Really enjoyed reading this..

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author avatar Karim Giblett
21st Mar 2012 (#)


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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
31st Mar 2012 (#)

Your story-telling is wonderful. I love these charming stories. Thanks, Kalegan

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