Gulliver David Locke, more commonly referred to as Gull, lived with his parents at the edge of town. Urban development spread to the south east and north of him, but to the west…nothing but trees! Gull may have lived in the town, but his imagination lived in those trees.
As far back as he could remember, Gull’s parents had warned him that he should stay out of The Woods. “It’s quite easy to lose your way in all those trees,” they’d say. “One tree looks pretty much like the next one, and even a little ways in, you could lose your sense of direction and become completely lost. Besides, it might be haunted!”
For a long time, Gull obeyed his mom and dad, although he so desperately wanted to explore. Eventually, of course, his desires and his imagination of what it would be like in The Woods overcame his parents’ injunctions, and he decided to explore.
“I doubt that ghosts or goblins exist, and if I just take a few steps in,” he reasoned with himself, “I’ll still be able to see home, and I won’t get lost. I won’t go so far in that I can’t see the house.” And so, with the careless confidence of youth, he stepped in among the trees.
His first few times in the forest, he obeyed his own instructions to himself and got home safely enough, but there was a diminishing amount of thrill each time he went in until, at last, he decided, “I’ll just go in a wee bit farther.” He took another step into the cool green shade of the trees. Then another, then another. When he turned around, there was nothing to be seen but trees in all directions. Pleased with his bravery, he headed back for home…but the trees didn’t end where he thought they should. The more he looked for his way out of the trees, the more he realized that his parents had been right.
He was completely, and utterly, lost.