“There’s a clock on that tree”.
“On that tree! Look!”
“You’re right. It’s … it’s a clock”
And it was. A little glowing neon blue set of digits stared back from the side of the tree, implacably fluorescing 9:24.
“I wonder what it’s doing there?”
“I dunno. It’s a clock. Who would want a tree with a clock in it? What good is the time out here, in the forest?”
“A good point, young one,” came a third voice, “A very good point indeed. Time, at-least out here, is rather meaningless, is it not?”
At this, the children were frightened. The source of the voice was not immediately obvious, and they looked around for several seconds before finally spotting it’s owner: A small green froggish thing, about a foot tall, stepping out from behind the aforementioned clock tree.
“Time is Relative. Or, rather, in my case, A Relative: He’s my great-great uncle, twice removed.”
“Who are you?” Said the little boy, Joey, who was not infact certain of what the little green thing was, or it’s intentions. He moved to shield his sister, Hazel, who had of course been the one to spot the clock in the first place, from whatever this little man (For it was man shaped, mostly) and his intentions may be.
“I,” said the frog/man/thing, “Am a Goblin.”
“A goblin?” questioned Joey, with distrust. “I’m fairly certain my mother wouldn’t want me talking to goblins, least of all ones that sneak up on us like that.”
“Truly, child, it was you who snuck up on us. We had, of course, seen you, but imagine our surprise when you could see us!”
“Us?” interjected Hazel
“Yes,” Boomed a deep voice, “Us.” And, before their very eyes, the tree moved. Carefully, and precisely, it shifted it’s limbs to resemble arms, and two rather large but rather disconcertingly uneven knotholes blinked open to form eyes. Roughly equally between them was the clock, now reading 9:28. A split in the wood below the eyes, they now saw, was it’s mouth.
“Who are you?” inquizited Joey, pushing Hazel further behind him even while she attempted to scramble in front to get a better look. “Why are you talking to us?”
“I am called… Well, most simply call me Tree.” Said the tree.
“And I,” said the frog/man/Goblin, “Am called Bartholomew. Might I inquire as to your names, young mister and miss?”
“I’m Hazel”, replied Hazel, “And this is my brother, Joey”
“Well met, Sir Joey and Miss Hazel, and welcome to my forest,” boomed Tree, as his gash of a mouth twisted into a crooked and sideways, yet very endearing, smile. Bartholomew smiled too, but with his crooked teeth and green pointed ears, it wasn’t quite so endearing.
“Would you,” Boomed tree, “Fine youngsters,” He withdrew a limb behind him, and brought back with it a kettle and several cups, “Care for some Tea?”