Regis Auffray

Regis Auffray, poetry, short stories, personal quotes

The Legend of Fawcett Brook

with 3 comments

The Legend of Fawcett Brook

The story goes like this: Once upon a time, no one can say exactly when, there lived on the mountain called “Chilliwack” a young maiden who lives there still, although most would never notice her. At the time in question, she went by the name of Brooke Fawcett. She lived with her father a fair way up the mountain, deep in the forest. Brooke was a beautiful young woman. She had dark blue eyes and long, lustrous black hair that reflected even the most distant starlight on moonless nights. Brooke was lithe and agile because of her daily duty of herding the sheep to the few meadows that she could find amidst the deep forest of the mountain. Brooke lived alone with her father. Her mother, Leah, had died giving birth to Brooke. Her father told her many things about her mother. Although he was sad when his wife had died, he had been prepared for it. Leah had told him that, when her first child was born, she would be leaving to go back to her people. She did not say where this was, but Brooke’s father felt that it was a good place. He also told Brooke about Leah’s special powers and that these had been passed on to her from her mother when she had died. As a certain sign of these powers, Leah had left a staff for her daughter and Brooke never went anywhere without it.

Brooke loved her life on the mountain. After her father left to work in the village in a valley far below, Brooke would herd the sheep to a meadow and watch over them until the sun was low in the west over the mighty river that flowed to the distant sea.
Brooke did not have any people friends. She seldom went to the village, only visiting there when someone who had taken ill, summoned her through her father. As in all human communities from all time, there were some in the village who, through fear of mystery and what they could not understand, thought that Brooke was a witch. They said that she got her powers from the devil. So, although Brooke never refused to go to the village to heal someone who believed in her, she preferred to stay in the forest on the mountain. For there, she had no lack of friends. She could talk with the birds and the animals and indeed, they would often gather around her without fear. As well, Brooke could often hear her mother’s words of love and encouragement in the sigh of the wind and in the rustle of the leaves. And she would often see her mother smiling at her from some cloud sailing slowly by. Yes, Brooke truly loved her life and she would not have exchanged it with anyone in the world.
The climate where Brooke and her father lived was ideal. It did not matter the season, it was never too hot or too cold. Even when people in the village complained about the harshness of the weather at times, Brooke and her father never found reason to agree with them.

One fateful day in the fall however, a sudden, unexpected storm came over the mountains along the great river from the north. Brooke had felt something in the air since she had awakened that morning; but, as was her duty, she led the sheep to a distant meadow so that they could graze on what was left of the grass.
The storm was savage. The wind blew suddenly in freezing gusts and a heavy snow started to fall. In a very short time, it was very hard to see through the blowing snow. Brooke began to herd the sheep back home. The ground was slippery and suddenly, one of the smallest lambs disappeared down a dark hollow in the ground. Through the howling wind, Brooke could hear its plaintive bleats. She followed the sounds and soon located the unfortunate creature. She would not leave it behind. She laid her staff on the ground, now covered with snow, and reached to pull the lamb to safety. Just as she managed to do so, the staff started to slide down the mountainside. In an instant, it had vanished in the swirling snowflakes and the darkness beneath the giant trees.  Brooke was struck with panic but she would not let the sheep freeze to their death. She herded them to the safety and warmth of their shelter. Once she had made sure that they were all accounted for, she fed them hay and bid them a good night.

Her duty done, Brooke immediately went back into the storm to search for her precious staff. She looked and she looked until her eyes became dim. The storm grew in violence. It was as if all the evil spirits had descended upon the mountain. Brooke began to feel weak. She could no longer feel her limbs. She was freezing. Finally, well after darkness had fallen and still the wind and snow did not abate, she saw the staff. Its slide had been halted by a giant cedar. Brooke bent down to reach for it, and fell in the snow. As she touched the beloved link to her mother, she smiled but she did not get back up.
In the spring of the following year, as Brooke’s father herded the sheep towards a meadow, he heard something that caught his attention because it was most unusual. It was like a girl’s laughter. It seemed to come from the direction of a very large cedar tree. Curious, he followed the sounds. A few strides brought him to a sight that stirred his deepest emotions. Next to his daughter’s staff, a spring bubbled out of the ground and tumbled over large rocks towards the mighty river below. He was suddenly overcome with an incredible sense of relief and joy. He felt the presence of both Leah, his beloved wife, and of his cherished daughter, Brooke. As he watched the water flowing from the earth, his eyes filled with tears and he closed them for an instant. When he opened them again, the staff had vanished.

Well, that is the legend of Brooke Fawcett. If you visit Chilliwack Mountain, you can find evidence that this legend is true . Along one of the many roads that wind through the forests of the mountain, there is a brook that is marked on the maps of the region. It is called Fawcett Brook. If you find it, as I have been fortunate enough to have done, you will hear a maiden laughing and your heart will soar.

© Copyright Regis Auffray




Written by Regis Auffray

January 30, 2016 at 7:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. That is a beautiful story… thanks for posting.


    January 31, 2016 at 2:50 am

    • I had missed the lovely picture… yes, that’s Fawcett Brook… must be after some heavy rain.


      January 31, 2016 at 2:52 am

      • Thank you, Sha’Tara. I am still posting on here in a “by the seat of one’s pants” manner I’m afraid. So much to learn. I am still getting used to the new machine and Windows 10. I am getting there slowly.

        Regis Auffray

        January 31, 2016 at 7:03 pm

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