In an old forest there lived a faun.
He knew the names of all the trees and he spent his days wandering among them and talking to them with the music of his flute. The faun was as old as the woods and he remembered the days when the forests were immeasurable in size and filled the whole Earth, before the time when the forest creatures had fled and the humans had come.
Today, there were two humans in his forest now. The faun was following them, hopping from behind tree to tree and watching as they ran. There was a little boy in blue and an even littler girl in red. They were running and laughing and occasionally tripping and falling.
Eventually, the two children ended up rolling around on the golden leaves that littered ground. They laughed as pushed and teased each other. The faun smiled and a wicked glint lit up his eyes. He was glad to be back in the human realm.
The boy’s name was Will.
Will pinned his sister to the ground and stuck out his tongue. The girl tried to squirm away but Will older and stronger. Both children were small for their age but the girl was tiny. Dad liked to say, whenever she misbehaved, that what she lacked in size she more than made up for in temper. The girl always took this as a compliment and beamed in response.
Will stood up and helped his sister to her feet. She thanked him by punching him in the shoulder with a tiny fist.
“Ouch!” he yelled. Will had to admit that it really did hurt a little. Their constant wresling and jostling was making the little girl stronger all the time.
As he brushed leaves and dirt off of his blue coat, Will thought he saw a faun-shaped blur hide behind a tree. The forest was magical so he was not surprised. The children lived with their father in a house nearby, just down a little road. Will had always expected to find fauns and elves and gnomes hiding behind every tree but he hadn’t ever seen one yet.
His sister saw that he was staring off into space and lunged at him, tackling him to the ground. The forest floor rose up to meet his nose, struck him hard on the face, and made him see stars.
“What are you staring off into space for?” the girl said from on top of him.