A Story of the Leaves

February 10, 2010
By KyleEC BRONZE, Ballwin, Missouri
KyleEC BRONZE, Ballwin, Missouri
3 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Long ago, close to the beginning of the iron age of men, trees retained
their leaves through all seasons. Even after the earthly goddess
lost her daughter Persephone to the God of the Underworld for half of
year and the cold seasons were created, the leaves remained healthy and
thriving on their branches. The leaves kept their beautiful green color
because they were watched over by the equally stunning and handsome god
Foliatus, the god of trees and leaves. Foliatus protected the leaves
through the chills and freezes of winter by flying from tree to tree
talking to each one. The conversation was so warm and friendly that the
trees were sufficiently protected through winter, and could emerge in
spring as beautiful as ever.

This went on for many years, and each year, the leaves became more
beautiful than before, helped by Foliatus’ exquisite beauty and
conversation. Eventually, the nymph Chloris, whose duty it was to
the beauty of flowers and shrubs on the ground, grew intensely jealous
the attention that Foliatus and his trees were getting. She devised a
to be set upon Foliatus, one that would take his beauty from him during
cold months.

One day near the end of summer, Chloris, with her devious plan in mind,
waiting for Foliatus to pass near her so that she could curse him. When
saw the graceful god, she jumped out, cursed him, and buzzed away.
Foliatus, puzzled by the strange occurrence, continued on his path,
planting new trees and giving them hearty conversation.

As the sizzling summer days turned into cool autumn ones, the young
appearance began to change. Foliatus’ hair began to grey, and wrinkles
appeared on his face. The further into the cold months they got, the
aged he appeared. By the time winter started, Foliatus looked like an
man. He continued his duties to the trees, but many of his subjects saw
in a different light. Those trees that had delighted in conversation
the attractive youth now saw an elderly man. The warm climate trees
flowering bulbs and fruit ignored the god when he came to them with his
newfound troubles. When Foliatus went to the pine-bearing trees of the
north, they treated him with kindness and sympathy; “We have never had
vivid flowers or glowing fruits like our cousins to the south. All we
ever had is these unsightly needles. We hold no animosity towards you
because of your changed appearance.”

When spring came around again, Foliatus turned back into the beautiful
that he had been. The warm climate trees again welcomed conversation
him, but Foliatus saw through their superficial beliefs. He decided
come the next winter, he would only talk to the pine-bearing trees that
accepted him when he was old and haggard. When winter came and
appearance had changed back to that of an old man, he walked by every
flowering or fruit-bearing tree. Devoid of his warmth, these trees
lost their leaves and died off. The pine-bearing trees, blind to
thrived as much as ever in the cold of the winter, and they never lost
their needles. The warm climate trees’ leaves eventually grew back in
warmth of spring, but they would forever regret that winter when they
turned the god of the trees and leaves away.

The author's comments:
This was an Greek myth that I wrote explaining why leaves fall off of trees during the winter. It was written for my Comparative Mythology class.

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