Over the course of the next year, one by one
the brothers left. Joseph's vision was that he had grown
a long beard. So perhaps he went back to the land of the men
with beards. It is difficult to say. From this point the story
will concentrate on Brue who, if it bears any importance,
was the only one to see an Elfin sunset, and he was the only one
to have been both an insect and a robin. After his brothers left,
Brue spent five more years in their hall. He did not use the fire,
for his dreams were rich, and they were enough. In the sixth year,
a visitor knocked at his door. The visitor was a clean-shaven man
holding a tree branch. He introduced himself as Nezzurd.
"I bring you news of one of your brothers," began Nezzurd.
Then he looked pained.
"Come in, sit down, tell your story," invited Brue
Nezzurd continued once he was seated in Brue's hall.
"I turned your brother into a tree branch," Nezzurd continued.
Brue did not find this odd. "Continue," he urged.
"Your brother came running, brandishing a spear at me.
I was afraid. I said, 'Stop' in a loud voice. Your brother stopped.
'How many spears are you holding,' I asked him. 'I'm holding
one spear,' replied your brother. Suddenly it was as if the Druid..."
Again, Nezzurd paused, looking agitated.
Brue was encouraging. "Continue your story, dear man," he said.
"Well anyway, it was as if the Druid taught me how to add
the way he once taught Joseph to add. After the great awakening
hit me, I regained my sight, and I saw your brother, the one who
had come running at me with his spear, was turned into a tree branch."
"I've got a little story about the Druid that I need to tell you,"
Brue talked long into the night. Nezzurd finally interrupted when
he came to the part about the Elves.
"This isn't going to be about addition, is it?" queried Nezzurd.
"No, not completely, dear Nezzurd," Brue responded.
Much of what he had to say was about the beauty of an Elfin sunset
which he remembered streak for streak.
At daybreak Nezzurd said, "Wait until I tell my brother Brizzly about
all of this."
Suddenly Brue had an idea. What if he simply stayed in his hall.
Surely, news of the brothers was reaching the far reaches
of the wide plains. He might expect other visitors.
Then Nezzurd said, "It sure would be fun to see some trees again."
At first, Brue thought nothing of it, but later, after Nezzurd had left,
Brue was sitting again at the old fire ring. He could still remember
vivid details about each one of his brothers. He fell to daydreaming.
He dreamed rich, black soil filled the fire ring, and a little sprout
poked out of the soil. He awoke and found it to be true.
Nezzurd had left his branch, the one who had once been the fifth brother.
Although neither Brue nor Nezzurd had mentioned it, they were both
aware that it was an old growth forest branch. Brue eased the branch
down into the soil so it stood to the height of about three feet.
Then Brue went into his hall and dreamed. He dreamed the branch
grew into a great oak tree. Then he awoke and found it to be true.
This finalized Brue's decision about staying at the family hall.
After all, the only tree in the land of the wide plains needed
a caretaker. Sometimes he dreamed that he saw an elf in one
of the branches though these dreams turned out not to be true.
Once he dreamed that Joseph was sitting in one of the branches.
The dream turned out to be true. Now we will turn our attention
to the journeys of Joseph in the far reaches of the wide plains.