“Why don’t the trees grow here, Grandad?”
“It’s because of the soil,” the old man responded. “It has bad things in it.”
“Bad things?” the youngster questioned.
“Yes, this was a ‘stowe’ place in olden times,” her grandfather explained. “The people used to gather near that big stone, there in the middle.”
“So why is the soil ‘bad?'” she prompted.
“When the invaders came, they didn’t like the people meeting, so they sowed salts, lead, and other horrible things into the ground, to make the ‘special place’ a bad one,” he said.
“That’s awful,” she said, looking down at the scrubby grass, and retreated tree-line.”
“Yes it was,” he agreed. “The people would get sick if they went to the stone.”
The little girl looked concerned and glanced at the standing stone. “Is it dangerous for us to be here?” she asked.
“Not anymore, Darling,” he assured her. “As you see, the grass has returned, and one day the trees will too.”
“What about the people?” she asked.
“Well Sweetie, that what we are, aren’t we?”
“I guess so,” she said.
“What happened the infadders?” she asked.
“The invaders,” he corrected. “We drove them out centuries ago, and now we are free to meet wherever we like again.”
She squeezed his hand and smiled as if encouraged. “And I am going to bring people here to meet, when I get big,” she said.
“You do that, Darling. See things are growing here already.”