The Woodsman

by J.A. Pak

In winter The Woods sleeps and the Woodsman comes.

He collects the dead wood and makes coal.

He nurses the injured animals and prepares the dying.

He distributes the snow and regulates the temperature.

In his fur hat and coat he's too busy tidying The Woods to feel lonely.

Spring comes quickly.

In the evenings, after supper, he repairs magic, taking the large wooden needle in and out of the ragged bits, the firelight making the net burn gold so that it's hard on the eyes.

When Spau runs away he meets the Woodsman and they spend the day together making coal. The fire is so hot yet Spau is still so cold. When he is frozen, the Woodsman covers him with fallen leaves and lets the snow fall so that the powder flakes are like white sugar upon his eyes.