The Man in the Castle
Deep in the woods he build his castle. To shield him from the storms, and separate him from the beasts. He built tall towers that never quite made it over the highest trees; the windows never fully sealed against the immortal winds.
The man left the privacy of his walls only to hunt, some days for food, others for boredom. He never felt bored before he built his sanctuary, but he was safe now.
Over the years he found himself having to venture further from home to hunt. The trails were overgrown, and the valleys were empty of fauna. Why was the land forsaking him?
As grey took his beard, his mind became cloudy. His halls and chambers now felt too large, too empty. In the early morning he began taking his castle apart, brick by brick.
He first built a small wall of stone, to ease the erosion his palace caused. He opened his new garden to the small creatures of the woods, and assisted the forest to reclaim the land.
The clouds of age seemed to fade while the old man sat under the trees. His mind sharpened as he listened to the birds sing around him, and watched the elk graze in peace.
In time his body fed the land he grew to love. He nourished the soil, fed the ravens, and facilitated the birth of a new generation of trees.
After years apart, he found his way home.