ong ago, when todayís trees still nestled in their
seed cases, there lived a Brownie maiden by the name of ehei. Ehei was a pretty
little thing, always catching the remarks of other Brownies if she was out
helping her mother. She had the most amazing leaf green hair, which seemed to
sparkle with new spring life at any time of the year. Her parents would have
been very proud of her, if it wasnít for one little thing.
You see Ehei liked nothing more than to pick flowers and other pretty greenery
and create beautiful garlands for her hair. Of course, these never lasted very
long once taken from the plant, and soon she was out again picking more for
another hair decoration. The young Brownie would go through one set of flowers
or more a day, no matter how often her poor parents cautioned her against taking
so much from the flower spirits unless it was absolutely necessary. She just
laughed at them, not believing that the spirits of the flowers she was killing
had the power to do anything to her.
As she grew towards her Age of Choosing, Eheiís family noticed something very
strange about her. She seemed somehow browner than she had been before, and not
a nice, healthy brown either. The maiden was slowly losing the fresh, juicy
green of her young skin and turning the pale, dead brown of a wilted leaf! Her
parents took her to speak to the most experienced member of the Praiser Clan. He
only confirmed what they had been telling her, and told Ehei that picking
flowers must stop immediately if she didnít want it to get any worse.
Of course, the little Brownie had never heeded her parents, so she paid little
attention to the Praiser either. Instead she wanted to prove to her parents once
and for all that she was right and the spirits did not have the power to punish
her. Ehei went deeper into the forest, collecting all the flowers and beautiful
things she could find. After the sun had slipped beneath the trees lining the
clearing, she returned and piled the leafy goods beneath her familyís home.
Calling out to her parents to come and watch, Ehei set fire to the vegetation
and stood back to let it burn. And as the flames rose, so Ehei seemed to get
paler and paler. Suddenly she collapsed, her figure hidden from the flames by
the blaze. Her parents rushed to her, but when they reached the little Brownie,
she was completely different. Ehei had turned as white as a Birchbark, no hint
of any colour at all flushed her skin. However, unlike a normal white Brownie,
the whole of her eyes had also lost all colouring. She was blind. After that
Ehei never picked a flower again in her life, although her sight never returned.