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Pine Sprites

Pine sprites are a breed of tree spirit similar to a specific type of spirit that had heretofore been thought of as connected only with oak trees, i.e. the oak men and oak women. Pine sprites, however, seem to have less in common with the classic tree spirit, the wood nymph. Many have speculated that pine sprites may even be the most ancient race of wood spirit there is, for this species includes the spirits of all types of evergreen, or coniferous, trees. Some of the eldest of the pine sprites can be found among the giant sequoias and the eldest family of them all inhabits the legendary century trees. Pine sprites are by nature very gentle, thoughtful, hardy and flexible- culturally and physically. (The eldest of the pine sprites are said to be among the few living creatures to know the ancient secrets of the universe.) When they speak, it is as a whisper, but still deep and sonorous. Pine sprites radiate an aura of tranquility, bringing a feeling of peace to all those who are within their presence, and sometimes inducing sleep. Once the sleeper awakes from the pine sprite’s enchanted slumber, they often report increased vigor and clarity of mind. Pine sprites also seem to be able to dampen loud and abrasive noises whenever they are near, which explains why deep coniferous forests where pine sprites have been awakened are usually so still and quiet.

Pine sprites start out much like their name sake; like tiny pine cones. Of course, growing in turn from the end of these special pine cones can be seen a diminutive head, both attached to the parent tree. But otherwise, the infant pine sprite appears to the casual viewer to be nothing more than another pine cone. Pine sprites are long in reaching maturity- at least by this humble and very mortal chronicler’s reckoning - and can take as much as 50 years to get to the point of maturity and separation. At this point, the point of ‘separation’, the pine sprite has gone from being little more than an animated and sentient pine cone topped head to a fully realized entity. The matured pine sprite now drops from its parent tree and can stand as a separate yet spiritually connected creature. Mature pine sprites often roam a territory that follows a certain mile radius from their birth tree, to which they remain connected for an even greater period. Often times, very old coniferous trees can have several mature pine sprite guardians at one time. Eventually, though, elder pine sprites leave their birth tree, seeking a place to found another colony of their own, very much like the little seeds from an opened pine cone catching the wind. And, like these little seeds, elder pine sprites have the ability to ride the winds for short periods of time. But once they find the place in which they are to establish their own colony, they go to ground and can never again ride the winds. A pine sprite never forgets ‘the ridding’ - as it is known- and it is because of this that pines sigh as they do when the wind blows though their hair. Likewise, this one time connection to the element of air is one of the reasons why pines know how to adapt to all but the strongest of winds.

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