Throughout the width of the Empirical Hills, a traveller may be awakened in the early morning by the sounds of tramping feet and the tinkling of chimes. Suspecting a group of monks, or a troupe of entertainers, he will be surprised to see instead a small forest marching towards him on the backs of short, stocky figures. The figures are the treebearers, and on their backs they carry the Significant Trees.
While they travel most often in groups known as groves, the treebearers and their trees will also occasionally be found alone--but never apart. The treebearers sleep sitting up, still attached to their trees. While the rootballs are wrapped in burlap and strapped to the backs of the bearers, it's rumored that the roots themselves extend into the body of the treebearers, and that the two are literally one being. Regardless, the bearers travel with the seasons, to give their carefully bonsai-ed Significant Trees the very best light, temperature, and carefully chosen spadefuls of soil. Bright or pleasant sounding objects are tied into the branches of the trees, chosen, the treebearers claim, according to the whim of the trees.
How the Significant Trees--or the treebearers themselves--reproduce is a mystery. In age, they range from solemn youngsters bearing saplings to ancients bent under the weight of gnarled forest giants, but no one is quite sure where they come from, or for that matter, what's so Significant about them. (The treebearers themselves treat the question as if the questioner is an idiot--anybody can see they're significant, they're Significant Trees! Attempts to follow this circular line of questioning last until the treebearer gets bored or the questioner gives up, which generally takes about five minutes either way.)
This little guy and his tree showed up in my sketchbook, and while I couldn't quite figure out a painting, he seemed to merit at least a fairly refined sketch. (Looks a bit like a relative of Sings-to-Trees. Maybe I just like guys with white hair and long noses.) 9 x 12 on Bristol, original for sale, prints available for $10, drop a note or visit [link]