THE ANGEL ON THE TREE • by Avis Hickman-Gibb

The little Angel sat on a sturdy branch half way up the biggest tree in the little wood — despondent. The persistent rain drizzled down the back of her best white gown. She hated rain — it made her wings moist; and she abhorred moist wings! They were so restricting. You couldn’t get a good soar going with moist wings.

She gazed thoughtfully around her wood, and mentally marshalled her troops. She often visited them, just to keep in touch. It wasn’t really her wood; it was just her job to look after it. It wasn’t really a wood, more a line of trees at the back of a country Inn. But she had been given the responsibility to protect these beautiful trees. The little angel quietly chatted to the trees in the coppice.

“Well, chaps, we got through it last year! And now we have to gird our loins for this next one,” she murmured softly. There was an interested rustle in response.

Last year had been her first year as guardian, and in their defence she’d managed to transport a flight of Urania butterflies from the Amazon for those couple of hours in early December — just long enough for the locals to be amazed and so put a stall on the annual seasonal cutting. Okay, when she’d got the flight back to their rightful home, they had been a little frost-bitten, and even more than a little confused! But no real harm done.

Well, she’d thought so; but her immediate boss hadn’t appreciated her ruse. No flash methods this year, she’d been told. Just good old fashioned guarding. Easier said than done.

“It had worked though,” she muttered a little sulkily, “and isn’t that what it’s all about?”

There must be a way! She sat and considered, glumly. “Hhmm,” she mused.

No flash. No ruses. When the idea hit her, she nearly fell off her branch. It was so simple! So beautifully simple, and she was sure this would save her trees forever. All she needed was an event to make special — and she knew just how to make it special. Any event, and she would be home and dry; which was more than she could say about herself now! She would have to keep her eyes peeled for an opening.

When it finally happened on Christmas Eve, she’d almost given up; had so nearly run out of time, she’d even thought about cheating again, and to heck with the consequences. It was so close to the wire, she could hear the axes being sharpened, in the barn over the road — even as the tired young woman had eased her swollen body down into the soft hay in one of the outhouses of the Inn. The baby boy had been born very soon after midnight early the next day.

At the very time of the baby’s birth, the little angel launched herself into the air and, whirling at terrific speed, shone mightily onto the trees below; her trees, her beautiful trees that she wanted so much to protect.

After all, she reasoned, it had worked 2000 years ago. She remembered this from her training in Angelic Matters–How to Manifest to the Populations of Earth. So, no reason to think that this time would be any different.

And do you know, she was right?

Avis Hickman-Gibb lives in a small market town in Suffolk, England. She lives with her husband, son and two cats. She is the only female in the house and it makes her feel so special.

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Every Day Fiction