Once upon a time, long ago, there lived an old woman in a forest. She had lived in the forest for a very long time, with her husband, who was a forest gnome. They were very happy together. She had a magic kitchen and he decorated the trees in the fall, and magicked the house so that the trees would remember not to fall on it.
But after many years, the woman’s gnome husband died, after a long illness. She had never felt quite this alone before. It was scary.
But, she made do, because that’s what she was made of. She made pictures of his death, and of the others from the gnome world coming to gently take him away. And she gave away all his paints to the neighbors, and tried to keep out from under the trees.
Sometimes, she would go out and talk to the trees. “I know my gnome husband is no longer here, and I do not speak tree very well,” she’d say. Or she would say, “My, but you’re looking lovely today.”
One day, one of her other friends in the forest, a very fat short woman almost as old as she was, came to her with a terrible tale. Her husband had left her and her sons had betrayed her, and her husband was coming to kill her. She knew not what to do.
The old woman said “Don’t worry, we’ll figure something out.” And then they talked for a long time, and made a few phone calls. And before you knew it, the very short fat woman was going to be on her way to another place far, far away from these terrible men.
The two women were so excited that they couldn’t sleep. When dawn came, they had finished packing all the very short woman’s books and clothes, all her magic herbs, and her stash of silver to fund her on her trip. But before she left, they both took a walk into the center of the forest to the magic stream, so that the very fat short woman could say goodbye to her home from the center.
When they returned, however, they couldn’t get into the house. The very short fat woman’s husband had returned and changed all the locks.
The old woman called into the house. “Please, you may have the house. The very fat short woman is leaving. We won’t put up a fight. Please, may we at least have the books?”
They heard a roaring grumble inside the house. A book came flying out the window and landed in a clump of moss.
The old woman sighed and looked at the sky, up at the trees towering all around the house. How she wished her gnome husband was still here to talk to these terrible men!
As she gazed, the sky changed imperceptibly. A light breeze blew up, and rapidly grew stronger. The sky darkened and the wind started howling.
The two women stood cowering in awe. They backed over and crouched down into low spot. And as they watched the trees bowing in the gale, one of them, an elderly, enormous tree, uprooted herself and fell directly across the very fat short woman’s house, crushing it.
Just as miraculously as they had come, the winds left and the sky cleared. The two women got up out of the gully and walked hesitantly towards the house. The roof was all broken and they could see in some.
The man was dead, his back crushed by a roof beam. Nearby, the very short fat woman’s boxes of books and clothing and magical herbs lay a little scattered by the wind, but were otherwise in good shape.
The two women looked at each other in amazement. And smiled.
The very short fat woman travelled safely to her new home, and the old woman stayed on in the forest. And no man ever fucked with her unto the day she died.