already seen these strange creatures. Some already live in our
native land, the great Akhian Empire. Some have been seen in
the Grunwald, in the woods and at the lake there. One knows
little about them, only that they are different than us. They
are apparently peaceful most of the time. They love the woods,
the music of the rustling of the leaves. They are talented in
the fine arts. Only recently in our singing reclude, the Burgenland,
one was heard speaking of the beauty of the green forest at
springtime. With a voice of pure silver and words, like from
the beginning of time.
His heart wanted to overflow and jump with joy:
What happiness, this beauty of poetry, the perfection of the
verse, the meter, the melodious words! And oh the pain, the
vision which he has kindled in us. The yearning for the smell
of the grass, the light breeze in the treetops.
His name was Anarlindalė Celeblassessė (Sunsinger of the Silverleaf)
and he was rightly called so, because this means so much as
"the one who sings under the silver leaves of the sun". He indeed
brought the sun in his poems and songs into the hearts of all
who listened to him.
His hair shone silvery like moonlight, and his eyes were like
the stars of the night. Tall as many of his people was he and
so graceful and gentle in his movements.
Yes, here in Burgenland, I met one of his kind for the first
time, I spoke with an elf for the first time. I was captivated
by his beauty, his voice and his shimmering eyes. They were
green and silver like the leaves of an aspen.
As he stroked his hair back I saw the tops of his pointed ears
which ended in a curved line. He noticed that I was fascinated
by these ears, and that I had never seen the like. I averted
my gaze bashfully being suddenly conscious of my tactless curiosity,
but he only laughed softly and looked at me.
"You aren't the first, master Aariond, who is surprised at the
ears of the elves. Many wonder quietly, why ours are so pointed
but they harm only themselves in doing that."
Harm? I didn't want to come to sorrow only because I had been
astonished. Frightened, I looked at him. He must have well known
what I thought because he laughed quietly again and continued
"Through wondering in silence they are missing out on a story,
which would have gladly been told them if only they had openly
A story, yes, that I would like to hear because Sunsinger of
The Silverleaf was an excellent narrator. Therefore I urged
him to tell it to me. So he sat down under the shade of a tree,
crossed his legs and invited me to his side.
His eyes shone as green as moss as he began with his fable in
a gentle voice:
"There was a time before the age of the dreams in which there
weren't any elves. There weren't any humans, dwarves, trolls
or gnomes, either. Everything was quiet, in the great woods
there only lived small animals and deer. The woods were wide
and dark and filled with peace. The aspens didn't tremble yet
in the wind as they would do later but they were strong, proud
trees, the rulers of the woods.
For a long time they weren't different from the others except
in size, the form and color of their leaves. However, it was
one evening in the Fall when a Rijun, a rabbit, was being chased
by a fox. This was nothing unusual in itself but this Rijun
had a litter to feed and therefore needed to live. The aspen
towards which the Rijun ran, felt deeply sorry for the young
ones. All trees feel it when an animal dies. This is the way
of harmony. However, this aspen didn't want to see the young
become motherless and decided to help the Rijun. The trunk of
the tree shook and the leaves rustled and sang a song of rescue.
The Rijun ran towards the aspen, attracted by this song. The
slender trunk bent gently towards the ground and the Rijun jumped
into the branches. When the fox reached the aspen, the tree
had already straightened up again. The Rijun was safe.
A murmur ran through the treetops of the forest, whispering
of betrayal and disgrace. The leaves of the ancient aspens rustled
of impeding doom. You have prevented the course of life.
You have interfered in the eternal law. You have violated the
forest. So it roared through the crowns of the trees. The
aspen trembled in confusion. The Rijun's young would have
died without their mother. But that did not matter. If
the eternal law requires it, then they must die. One mustn't
interfere. Perhaps the children of the fox will starve now.
Are the Rijun's young worth more? Who are you, that you may
judge? The aspen trembled again this time with anger and
despair. Who are you that you can tell me whom I may help?
If the eternal law only means, that one must watch helplessly
without doing anything then that is no law but only a shackle
which keeps our will in bondage. The whispering got stronger.
Was the aspen right? Did one have to make up ones mind? Was
the eternal law only an excuse to remain in eternal equanimity?
To just beckon with the wind? This could not be.
The eternal law gives us support, like our roots. If you
denounce this hold, so raise your roots of the earth now, and
make your way without their security! The aspen raised itself.
What an idea! To be free. Going wherever the wind blows. Running
with the Rijun and the Ahir, the bear. Yes, to be free. The
aspen raised its roots out of the ground. Whoever does not
want to hide behind the law, whoever wants to be free, and whoever
wants to choose shall now go with me and look for a place where
the terrible eternal law does not rule. The tree trembled
with joy. Seeing this, some aspens followed it. They pulled
their roots out of the ground in which they were secure but
imprisoned. Filled with liberty and confidence they gathered
on a clearing in the forest.
The ancient aspens murmured and roared, horrified by this revolt
against the eternal law of the forest. They had to punish such
insolence. Whoever leaves these woods, shall never sink their
roots into the ground again. They may not hear their leaves
rustle in the wind ever again, and may never drink the sun again.
But the aspens on the clearing remained firm with their
decision. They didn't want to only watch the game of the life.
They wanted to participate in it. And thus it happened. The
ancient aspens rustled their leaves in rhythm and summoned ancient
magic from the woods. A tremor and a shiver ran through all
the trees. Then it was quiet.
Not trees wanting to be free were now standing on the clearing
but strange new creatures instead, as had never been seen before.
They were tall and slim, only much smaller as the aspens which
had remained in the ground. Their eyes were silver and green
like the leaves, brown like the bark, blue like the water and
pale grey like the winter. For the first time the wind didn't
blow through leaves but through hair. Hair in the colours of
the sun, the earth, and the night. For the first time their
trunks didn't buckle gently under the breeze. Some fell down
because they couldn't find the support they were used to with
their new legs. But their friends now had hands which could
reach out to help the fallen, and arms to hold up the insecure
The creatures looked at the woods once again to bid farewell
and went away. They looked for a place where they could get
familiar with the course of the life. Being born there, the
creatures always remained children of the forest. They loved
the woods, they had been home there, at one time anyway. Sometimes
they were full of fear because they could choose now. They had
never made decisions before and occasionally it wasn't easy
to do this. But they never regretted having raised their roots
out of the ground. They wander in the forest as if they were
part of it and they become as old as many a tree.
The new creatures gave themselves the name by which one knows
them today: Elves.
And their ears are shaped as the leaves of the aspen, so that
they will never forget where their roots came from and that
they choose freely. The ancient aspens take care of them because
they are their children. They tremble in the wind, some out
of sympathy with those, who don't have any roots, and some out
of longing, to be free like them."
With these words Sunsinger of The Silverleaf leant against the
aspen which protectively cast its shadow upon him. His eyes
were as green as the leaves in spring.
Bard to the Court of Traumstein