No matter how much they tormented him, Eilon insisted to the last that it had not been intentional. With no proof, no Law against it, and a seeming inability to force the truth out of him, the Jiminies had to let him go – but they held a grudge against the narrow-hipped dryad boy as long as their memory held out.
Luckily for Eilon, the length of a Jiminiy’s memory was just barely longer than the next shiny thing, and that meant he only had to lay low (harder than you’d think for a dryad in the city; he spent most the time hiding in penthouse gardens) for a couple months. It did mean he missed Christmas, but that’s what he got, I suppose, for messing with the Macy’s Day Parade.
He shouldn’t have been awake at all, really. Dryad, as I pointed out to him in the time, generally meant “dormant in the winter like a good tree.” And, indeed, he got in more trouble in winter than any three boys or three hundred trees ought to.
But he claimed that, never mind the name that called him an oak tree, he was more of a conifer (hence hiding in someone’s shrubbery for the winter, though I admit I thought that was a euphemism at first), and thus could get away with staying up and out all winter.
And raining on parades. No matter how many times he denied it, no matter how quickly the Jiminies forgot the whole thing, I knew, deep in my heart, that it had to have been Eilon responsible for that spot rainstorm in the midst of the parade. For one, I was busy laying down a flood of rainbows on a political float. For another, no-one else in the city had his skill with rainstorms.
And for a third, no-one but Eilon had the hatred for the Jiminies that he did. And no-one else would else would have the pinecones to do it again the next year, with the scars on his bark still fading.
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