In the little garden of Yewton-Mellowby’s Primary School stands a very special tree. Long ago, someone – or something – stored a stash of citrine in the crook of the branches, and the two have grown through the ages as one. An unnatural marriage, of course, but a new life came from it.

The spirit of the Citrine Yew is a gentle, playful thing. With no voice of its own and no attempts to correct us otherwise, it has been named Tricky by the school children. Often Tricky plays with them, darting around their legs.

Sometimes it’s a full thing of fur and warmth, while other times it is mere colour and wind, not really there. Perhaps some days it just does not want to be covered in adoring, sticky hands… Although I have seen it shift from ghost to fur in less than a second when offered food.

Sometimes at night it can be seen wandering the gardens and parks, examining the trees. It also has a habit of scattering piles of raked leaves in the autumn, much to the dismay of the groundskeepers.

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