A traveler stops to rest in a small village at the edge of a forest. All through the night, he hears rustling outside the inn, and the sound of mysterious creatures creeping among the trees.
The next morning, he asks the innkeeper about what he heard. The other man nods sagely. “Ah yes, the wood is dark and mysterious. The village has many stories, but to find the truth, you’ll have to ask the trees themselves.”
So the curious traveler packs some bread from the inn with his belongings and starts off into the forest. The ground slopes down, down, and the underbrush thins out but the canopy gets denser. The darkness is soothing like deep water. Here, there is no rustling–just a heavy silence.
The traveler spends the first night nestled in the roots of an enormous oak tree, and when he awakes, an acorn has sprouted into a robust sapling where it fell on his coat. His second night he spends in a ring of mushrooms that weave his dreams with light and song. His third night he crawls into a hollow log that smells sweet with decay and smoky with the memory of a long-ago fire.
The forest is strange and unnatural, but it does not seem threatening. The traveler speaks to the trees every day as he walks but they do not answer. Still, he knows that they listen. His path is laden with sweet fruit and herbs, for he runs out of bread quicker than he would like.
Finally, on his fourth day of walking, the traveler comes to a stump in the center of a large clearing. The earth around the stump is obscured by layer upon layer of dry, dead leaves, and the boughs overhead form a continuous ceiling. A hatchet sits embedded in the stump. As he approaches, the traveler sees the letters of a hundred languages engraved in winding script around the handle of the hatchet.
“What is this place?” the traveler asks, half to himself.
A soft voice emanates from the hatchet. “You seek the secrets of the wood, and here they lie. Ask what you will.”
So the traveler asks his questions. The hatchet weaves a story of enchantment and legacy, of the people who once lived among the trees and the people who now live alongside them, of the slow, even breathing of the forest and everything within it.
At the end of the hatchet’s tale, the traveler speaks up once more. “I was told that the trees themselves would tell me their story. Who are you, and why are you the one who holds these secrets?”
The hatchet chirps a little laugh. “As for why, that is too long a story for even me to tell. But who am I? I am the lore axe, and I speak for the trees.”
A witch puts a spell on a girl, a sleeping spell that promises the girl shall wake through true love’s kiss. Men come and kiss her. She slumbers. Women come and press their lips to hers, but still she sleeps. Many years past, and the girl remains still. One bright morning, a lost little boy finds her resting spot and clears the dust and grime from her face. He offers her a kiss on her forehead, and her eyes flutter open. She never feels romantic love for a man nor a woman, and she cares for the boy until the day she dies.
A young woman is imprisoned in a castle by a monstrously formed prince. The servants of the castle hope for them to fall in love, and when the spell is broken they assume their prayers have been answered. They are all surprised, but nonetheless pleased, when it is revealed to them that the young woman and prince are the truest of friends, and nothing more.
They say the kingdom is ruled by an evil queen, a woman who is incapable of loving. She is unmarried, she has no consorts, and she wishes for no partner. She is the wretched queen, the heartless queen. She must hate her daughter, for her daughter is beautiful, and women are incapable of liking another woman who’s prettier than themselves. It must be for this reason that the princess was sent away, not for how she was attacked by a man in the woods. They say the kingdom is ruled by an evil queen because she cannot love. The queen loves her daughter, and that is enough for them both.
There lives a prince who is forced to choose a bride at the ball. He meets many beautiful women, but find none which he loves. He spies one in a gorgeous gown and wonder in her eyes, and he dances with her all night long. The kingdom is sure he has found his bride. When the clock strikes midnight he tells her how he will never love a woman, or a man, in the way he is expected to. The beautiful woman smiles and tells him she expects nothing from him. The next morning the prince and the beautiful woman are missing, having run off together to see the world. They leave their shoes behind in their haste.
Many kinds of love exist. It doesn’t all have to be romantic.
“I started the album end of Feb last year for about three weeks and then had to stop for about 5 months when I went to do a movie. I came back to it in July and finished writing it in December. For a while before all I thought about it was stressing about what it was going to be. It gave me a chance to completely step away from it for a bit and have a real break. By the end of the movie, because we were swimming so much I just wanted to write songs…I think we wrote about 70 songs - we did 50 songs and ideas in Jamaica and that’s including like little ideas. Well full songs, I say there are 30 songs probably. One of the songs on the album, I wrote a few years ago.”
On his album
“I was with the guys who I was writing it with and we just wanted to make what we wanted to listen to and that has been the most fun part for me about making the whole album. In the least weird way possible, it’s my favourite album to listen to at the moment… I hope we did a good job but I really like the album so I hope people like it. I think if you put out something that you don’t stand behind and really love, then if it doesn’t go well then you could regret not doing what you wanted to do. Whereas if nothing happens with it, I love it you know so I think that’s what you should do. I think that’s been my favourite part to the overall thing is listening to the album and making all the changes – it has been fun to watch over it all.”
Writing in Jamaica
“I just wanted to not be somewhere that I’d get distracted. It was 360 of writing, you’d go home for dinner, write at the house then go back to the studio. I liked being away from everything and doing it like that.”
About his debut single
“It’s a bit weird, I feel like I’ve been hibernating for so long now and you hear it in the safety of the studio and now it’s time to give birth … it’s the song (debut single) I’m most proud of writing.”
About making it on his own
“I’ve been hibernating trying to get it all ready, that’s been fun, but I like this bit as well. I think it’s gonna be fun, it’s gonna be good. It’s not like I’m travelling on my own now, I have a band and everything and they’re amazing.”
“I played him (Sheeran) a few songs after the album was finished. He didn’t say that he didn’t like any, but he did like one song that isn’t on the album. So I did have a bit of a minute of like hmmm no but…”
“I’ve spoken to her a little bit, she knows one of the guys that I wrote it with (his music) a lot. But I don’t think so much advice, I just like how she does stuff. I think she leads by example, she’s the biggest, she’s amazing, she’s the best so she should be the biggest. The thing with her is she’s a different thing, she’s just good at it, I like how she does everything, it looks very nice. For my 21st she gave me one of her albums 21 and said, ‘I did some pretty cool stuff when I was 21, good luck’ and I was like, 'geez’.”
“I haven’t dated in a long time really because I went away to do the movie then did the album so I haven’t in a while. I have a couple of candles left still though.
Whether dating when famous is hard
“I don’t know, maybe. I feel like with all of the stuff how people date now, with all online stuff, I feel like you can do that (Google) with anyone really if you’re looking at someone’s profile before seeing them. It’s kinda the same… No, I used to (research dates), then I said I’m not going to do that anymore, it’s impossible to go in without a perception of someone and you’ve never met them and I started feeling like that was wrong and weird. I think I snore, and also I quite like routine, so I don’t know if I’m incredibly spontaneous.”
Cutting his hair for Dunkirk
“I felt very naked for a while. I was like yeah, I’ve gotta shave my hair off. It wasn’t a hard decision, it got made into a wig.”
Why he rarely tweets
“I don’t like saying something for the sake of it.”
Life at home and work
“The first time I went home not wearing trainers, I was in a pair of boots. Someone said, ‘What the bloody hell are they?’ I like to separate working and being at home with family.”
“It’s easier in the way that I like to separate stuff from working and being at home with family and stuff. When you separate it it’s easier to see it for what it is. When you let it become everything and that’s your whole life, then it’s easy to get a bit lost in it. I’m lucky, I have amazing friends and my family’s amazing so I think they make it easier to keep the separation between the two which makes it easier for me.”
Being nervous about playing his music to others
“I think it’s nerve-racking in that I’ve only played it to like 10 people in a room. I try and not be there if I’m playing it…”
His mother and step-father’s reactions to the album
“I played the album to them the first time and there’s one song that’s got a vocal effect on it, the whole album finished then my stepdad said: ‘I’ve one question, where did you get the duck from, how did you get a duck in the studio?’ I was like: ‘That was me, thanks’. My Mum liked it which was handy. She cried a couple of times which was good, I think that was good.”
“I think it’s hard to not have influencers from what you grew up listening on. I think everyone reacts differently to different types of music. I had a good range between my mum and dad… my dad listened to Fleetwood, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Queen. My mum was like Norah Jones and Savage Garden. There are a lot of melodies there.”
Being starstruck by other celebrities
“I remember the first time we went to an awards show in the US, we met Will Smith. It was a brief meeting – he was nice and very tall.”
Addressing the rumour about getting a sheep placenta facial
“No I’ve never had a sheep placenta facial.”
Rumours about Hobama
“I’m not allowed to talk about that.”
Rumour on taking his dates on helicopter rides
“No I’ve never done that,” Harry says, with Grimmy responding: “Not even with Barack?”
“No,“ Harry says. “It was his helicopter, haha.”
Talking about Chris Martin
“He’s lovely isn’t he? He is good at telling you to take care of yourself. I think he makes sure you are alright and is very zen. I think he is a pretty wonderful man.”
On Ronnie Wood
“Big fan, I love Ronnie Wood – I think I met him at a dinner party a few years ago and went to a couple of Stones shows…I think he is the nicest.”
Interviewing Paul McCartney for his Another Man issue
“It was amazing – his voice sounds like a song.”
Loving scented candles
“I mean I think everyone loves scented candles. But I usually take one from home if I’m travelling.”
About sprouts being the new kale
“I went two days ago. I got some spinach, eggs, OJ, milk, turkey and some brussels sprouts. Hmm what else did I buy…oh some Crème Eggs. I like putting sprouts in a curry and I like sauteing them. I think they are going to be the new kale. I met [someone] and I asked her what she did and she said ‘I’m the PR lady for Kale’ and I was like ‘good job then.”
Talking about his four nipples
“Still got them, managed to keep them. Maybe I just hide them in limited edition albums, like golden tickets. I’ll hold onto them.”
“Best trait I don’t know, it’s weird to pick your best, shall we go with the nipples thing.”
On where not to ask him for a selfie
“I think in toilets is the weirdest one. It’s happened a couple of times… When someone tries to shake your hand right after having a wee, ‘I might wash my hands first’.”
About Liam’s son and being a potential godfather
“I spoke to Liam and he’s loving it. He said it’s going really well and everyone’s great. So I’m very happy for him. I think it’s a roll of the dice, there are a lot of people Liam has in mind. I’m not going to add any extra pressure. If it came my way I would be honoured.”
Sooo this is painted on the front of an out of order bus on the playground…I always found it creepy and that intensified when my niece (who was visiting) said “it looks like the man in the woods”…she would not elaborate. That’s some @sixpenceee shit
Muma Păduriiis an ugly and mean old woman living as a spirit of the forest
. She is an evil witch, the opposite of fairies and literally means “the Mother of the Forest”, though “mumă” is an archaic version of “mamă” (mother).
She lives in a dark, dreadful, hidden little house or in the hollows of old trees, and sometimes goes to the huts of those living near the forest to scare them. If a brave man manages to catch and tie her, she will fulfill a wish. She is also thought to attack children, and because of this, a large variety of spells (descântece in Romanian) are used against her.
In the forest she is a sad mother, mourning, groaning, snorting, howling, because people are cutting her babies, the trees in the forest. She will punish every man whistling or singing through the woods, woodcutters who disregard the rules of the forest, those who collect berries, wild apples and pears, hazelnuts.
In 1924 a group of miners were prospecting for gold near Mt. St. Helens, Washington. Fred Beck was one member of the group, and he is credited with the sighting as he was the first to report it. Beck even wrote a book about the experience called I Fought The Ape Men of Mt. St. Helens.They began to notice a lot of strange activity near their cabin including large footprints, and they would hear strange noises at night around their cabin. These noises consisted of thumping noises like a gorilla banging its chest, and strange whistling on the ridge near their cabin, and each whistle would have a response from a different location in the canyon. One day they noticed a 7-foot tall ape-like creature spying on them as they went to fetch water from a spring. One of the men fired at the creature with his rifle which made the creature run off. The man claimed that the bullet grazed the creature’s head and it ran out of sight. Another one of the creatures appeared to investigate and they fired at it, presumably killing it and causing it to fall off a cliff and into a gorge.
The men felt overwhelmed and fell back to their cabin, planning their escape for the morning. The men just had to survive the night, so they fortified their position in their cabin and awaited an inevitable assault. The cabin was built to be effective in cold winter weather so it was windowless. Darkness ascended in the valley and all was quiet, the men eventually fell asleep, effectively letting their guard down. They were awakened by a loud thud against the cabin wall, they listened as they heard multiple pairs of footsteps walking around their cabin. The men became startled when all of the sudden the apes started to bang on the cabin walls attempting to break in. The men sat in fear with their rifles in hand as rocks were thrown at the roof and the creatures continued to pound on the cabin attempting to enter. One creature was successful enough to make a hole large enough to reach its arm in. The men were able to fend off the animal and it fled from the hole. The men claimed it was reaching for an ax, which isn’t an unreasonable claim because apes are known to use tools. The attack continued for hours, the pounding would only stop momentarily before starting back up. Running low on ammo the tension became high and the men used their ammo sparingly only discharging their rifles when the pounding would continue and ceasing fire when it would stop. After countless hours of defending their cabin the pounding stopped and the apes fled the area. The sun rose shortly after and the men cautiously exited their cabin.
The miners fled the area leaving most of their gear at the cabin. They escaped the forest without encountering another ape-man. When the story got out many hunters went searching for the apes, only to be unsuccessful in their attempts. The event of large groups of people searching for the mystery attackers became known as the “Great Ape Hunt Of 1924″. The place became known as Ape Canyon after the attack. It is widely speculate by many that this story was just a hoax in order to get attention or to keep people away from their gold claims. If that was truly the plan it had the opposite effect because it caused many to venture into ape canyon. No evidence of apes were ever found and most believe that this never actually occurred, however Fred Beck swore up to his death that the attack truly happened and none of them made it up. Sightings of Ape-men are nothing new for the state of Washington but after the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980 the sightings of them in the area dropped dramatically. Any ape-men in the area could have been killed during the eruption. We will never know if the Battle of Ape Canyon truly occurred or not, we can only take Fred Beck’s word for it and hope he was telling the truth.
I was one of those weirdos who, at six years old, was telling everybody that I wanted to be an actor. I saw my sister in a play and realized that I wanted to play make believe in front of people; I was always goofing around and putting on shows for my family.
Do you know what I want to see more of in literature? I want more Pratchett-style witches. Not in the headology and the things which are unique to Pratchett’s world, but this whole notion of tough-as-old-boots old women doctoring and standing guard over a community, somewhere between James Herriot and Harry Dresden. Witches being called out at midnight to attend at a birth or cure a sick cow, and then having to stay on their feet to deal with an old lady who needs her medicine dropped off, or to lay out the dead and help wash the sheets they died in, because that’s not a job for the faint-hearted, and then have to go and take back another family’s child who’s been stolen by fairies or undo a curse besetting a man who wandered into the woods and disturbed things he ought not have touched. Witches who live their lives on call, spending most of their time going from one emergency to another and never stopping to breathe for a moment because there’s still work to be done. Witches who rarely receive thanks for their work, and when they do it's only for the most desperate, hard-earned struggle a witch could hope to live through, and sometimes not even then. Witches who are crabby and difficult and snappish all the time, but will still work all hours of the night to get a community through an epidemic or save a life that might otherwise have been lost. Witches who cultivate fearsome reputations, because if every horror in the dark is scared stiff of you they’re not going to come and cause trouble in your bit of territory, to the people you live and work among every day. Just…Terry Pratchett’s idea of witching can’t die with him, because it’s the most perfect notion of witchcraft I’ve ever read, and I’ve never wanted anything so much.