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Seedling

He is young, with a lot to learn, and yet there is an aged wisdom as old as the earth instilled within his core. An innate spirit within him knows that he must grow, he must be rooted, he must connect to everything around and that he contains a great, earth-moving power within him.

 

But, he has fallen early. The forest floor is a busy, competitive and vast super highway of life.  It’s exciting! Hardly anything stays still. Why should he? He becomes bold, going against his instinct to get rooted like the other eager seeds around him.  He knows he should ‘join in’ with everything in the forest – so why not surf with the aphids on swirling leaves? Sail on a wave of spores?

 

However, his first instinct is also to nurture or be a ‘caretaker’ for other things around him that are struggling to live. Other seedlings, insects that are being pursued, etc. He has a daring spirit, as he is not afraid of severe weather conditions or baron locations that other seeds might be afraid of. Whilst he likes the company of trees in the forest, he is not afraid of rocky crags or wide-open spaces.

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Old Man / Woman Frost

Possibly husband and wife?

Only a year-old. Watches through Autumn and Winter for the signs of Spring. The earth has slowed, so their perception of time has slowed to match this rhythm. The earth sleeps, but they watch.

They bicker between themselves A LOT. Constantly play tricks on each other. Everyone respects them, but they don't think they get enough respect really. 

They are loaded with wisdom and understanding of how the forest and seasons flow through each other.  Whilst they have a lot to teach the seedling, they're also a bit grumpy and harsh. They berate the seedling for being so flighty, for not being rooted!

 

But they're also a bit trickster-y. They also understand what it means to not take life for granted, for wanting to 'be a part of it all'. But they must teach the seedling that by rooting himself, he WILL be connected to all the things he's seen and loved. 

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Fungal Network

Pernickety, noisey, unfurling threads and fibres that form the fungal network. The underground world throbs with the constant resonance of their busy lives.

They are busy and opinionated, considering themselves to be the bosses of the underground world, often getting a bit big for their boots.

They are constantly bickering, fighting (themselves and other things), nursing plant and tree roots, sending messages between trees like couriers, sending warning messages (often loosing their head - going CRAZY! But in a slow way... they move a few inches at a time).

They are constantly moving and growing, getting VERY excited about finding dead things and eating them.

They are the news bringers. The life givers. The angry mob. The emergency medical team. The jury on who gets to live or die.

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Cage fungus

Hates being alone. Likes to lure flies and bugs into its cage-like structure so that has someone to chat too. 

It's cries loudly and dramatically if it's left alone!

It moves around like a weeble, wobbling and bobbling.

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The Blue Slimy Agaric

Has a stunning voice. Sings a wordless song that is clear and penetrating, like the sound of glass.  Despite it's lovely song, it's slimy, so it's constantly dripping and oozing.  If you get too close, it likes to commit suicide by exploding into spores - setting off a chain reaction of all the surrounding agarics to do the same!

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An ensemble of Adiposa

These little guys move around in a pack.

They love laughing and use it as a way to communicate with everything - even if it's agressive laughing to show they are angry!

But normally, they like to shuffle around, telling each other dumb  jokes that don't make sense and laughing at each other.

They hobble around as a close knit pack, leaping and and rolling around each other.

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Orange Peel Fungus 

These guys like to spin and dance around in a dream-like state.

They sometimes think they can fly, so they try to flap their 'folds' and try to fly away, but it never works.

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Horse hair fungus

These tall and stringy folks are very aggressive despite their small stature.  

They growl at strangers and often fight among themselves, butting heads like rams and fighting to the death.

If they find a stash of dead and rotting leaves, they hoard it and guard it viciously from anything else that comes near.

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Staghorn Fungus

Sits, unmoving on rotten wood. Sings a dirge that sings of mud. Lots of mud. When it releases its spores, it's low and earthy dirge rises to high pitched WhhhhEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! until it pumps out spores from one of its orange pipes.

Likes to pick small pieces of the rotten wood and throw them at passersby.

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Tree Roots 

Constantly talking to each other, arguing, fighting, gossiping, whispering, yelling screaming, helping, warning - BUT super slow. 

A low long thrum seeps through the soil with their voices. 

They like to reprimand the fungal network, and put them in their place (even thought the trees know they depend on the fungal network).

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Leave-riding 

Beetles, aphids and flies like to get around by leaf-riding. Whizzing around the forest floor as never been easier!

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Spore Sailing

Cling on tight, and have a great time on the high winds as you are thrown about and carried away on the whim of a spore! 

It's a bit like hang-gliding, but with a giant balloon above you.

© 2023 by Louisa Ashton

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