Princess Cinnamon looked outside. Coco was right, the forest was red. The trees were so tall, taller than any trees she had ever seen in her homeland. And they looked red. It’s not the kind of red like blood, or tomato, or lips. It’s red like terracotta bricks. A slightly orange red. Princess Cinnamon was in awe.
“That’s so beautiful, Coco,” she said without answering Coco’s question.
Coco looked so annoyed. Now she wished she could speak in this foreign language. Symphony, learned from decades of experiences recognised the childish impatience in her eyes. She nudged Princess Cinnamon, disrupted her daydream and pointed at Coco with a movement of her eyeballs.
“Oh, she wanted to know about this red woods,” Princess Cinnamon told Symphony, leaving the fact that she was as curious as her handmaiden.
Symphony’s grandmotherly expression calmed Coco’s rage. She started to explain, softly and slowly, giving time for the excited princess pass the knowledge to the eager sidekick.
“The woods isn’t always red. It’s only the time of the year when wind blows stronger and the weather becomes icy cold the leaves would turn from green to reddish. It’s the sign for the farmers to start finishing their last harvest of the year, and for the tradesmen to stock up for when the land dried and the ice falls from the sky.
“At that time of the year, what you’ve seen red would turn to sparkling white. You would see a shiny silver line on the horizon and a slight gleam of the lazy sun rises in the morning. In the afternoon the sun would set faster, people would go home earlier as it would be too cold to walk in the street. Fathers or the oldest sons would start bringing firewood to their hearth and mothers would distribute hot milk to the kids. And wine to the adults to keep them warm and happy.
“And then after the first sprouts coming from the ground, the wind would change its direction and suddenly the land is warmer. It would be wet, and fertile, some old folks would start to gather and send offerings to the spirits of the land, and farmers would start working again. The woods would be green as the young leaves would grow and replaced the old ones. And when you breathe you can smell the sweet smell of roses. And when you try to listen carefully enough, you will hear bees working to gather honey.
“Then the weather would be too nice for you to stay indoors. Summer. I think it would remind you a little about your homeland. The golden sun would warm the soil and everything golden would rise from there. The corn, the wheat, the sunflower. I’m lucky I’m no longer teaching, so I can enjoy the sea.
“As the circle completed, the golden forest would slowly burnt into terracotta colour again. Like what you see now. And those are the four seasons,” Symphony finished her tale. Princess Cinnamon, Coco and Melody were staring at her completely dazed by how Symphony describe everything.
“Hey Coco,” Princess Cinnamon poked her and whispered. “Now I bet you are not as sorry as you were before for following me to this land. We have to stay at least one whole circle to witness the magic of the four seasons.”
“You’re surprisingly right, My Princess. But why are you whispering?” Coco replied, also whispering.
“I don’t want to ruin the magical moment we’re having now.”
“Trust me Princess, it doesn’t matter anymore now, since you’ve already ruined it when you poked my hand,” Coco looked at her apologetically.