Blaine D. Arden

Letter to Taruif

Tales of the Forest


My Son,

I've written so many letters to you that I'm bound to repeat myself. But even if I've told you this before, it bears telling you again. I can never say this enough... even if you will never read them.

I saw you tend our garden today. It's hard to catch you while you tend our garden. I know you prefer to do it at the oddest times, when you're certain I'm not home. But every now and then I manage, like this morning, and I stand near the window, hidden behind the curtains, and watch you work.

You've grown so much, my boy, you look more like your father, every day, from the way you walk to the color of your hair, though your father's hair turned gray long before yours did. If he were alive, he'd worry about that quiet way in which you move these days as much as I do. You were such a lively boy when you were younger, always showed such enthusiasm for all that grew. It hurts me to see you so silent, so still.

The Guide ensures me you are doing well, that you talk to him every day, but this stillness still bothers me. And yet, as I watched you tend our garden this morning, it was so easy to see the boy you were, pruning that same bush while your father sharpened his arrows and tested his bow. So easy to remember the both of you coming back from a camping trip, your father complaining how much time you spent with your plants, yet smiling as you showed me your newest cuttings. He was so proud of you.

When you turned to watch the house, I hoped you wouldn't see me watching you, knowing you'd disappear if you did. But you were looking up, to your old room. It's still here, untouched since you moved out to make a home with Fuzan, though I know you'll never sleep in it again.

It's selfish, I know, keeping it the way it is, but when I sit on your bed, see the drawings you left, I can almost feel your presence, can hear your voice. Being in your room makes me feel I haven't lost you. It helps to remind me that one day I'll be able to talk to you again. But... enough of that. I'm only making myself cry, and you don't need that from me. I feel blessed having caught you at tending our garden this morning. On to the regular family gossip.

You've no doubt seen your cousins around the village. Their families are slowly growing. Can you believe that Urich's eldest daughter is expecting already? Seems like yesterday when you held her in your arms. Not to mention the mischief you and Urich got up to when you were wee ones.

The baby is expected in roughly five moons, and while Urich complains about the strife Prin gets up to every time he visits me, but I can see how proud he is of her taking her pending motherhood so seriously. He's a bit worried about Prin vowing herself to a brother and sister, but they both dote on her like she's the most precious thing in the tribe. Which only makes Prin preen more, of course.

The dwelling you created for Prin and her little family has turned out well, linking those two trees together like that. Very clever, son, even though I don't understand why they can't just all live in the same tree. Yes, yes. I know what you're going to say. I'm getting old. I know I am.

But don't you worry. I will still be here when your sentence has run its course and we can finally talk again. And so will your cousins, Son. Every single one. They're good people.

Keep your head high, Son.

I love you,

Your Mother,


Interview with the Guide Letter to Taruif An Impossible Choice When Ianys Met Taruif

Letter to Taruif © 2013 Blaine D. Arden. All rights reserved