The trees are in a hurry.
You can tell they have come a great distance from the way their trunks seem to have disappeared from under them, as if eroded from all the walking. Or gliding. Or dragging. Or whatever it is that trees do to get themselves from one place to another.
They know we are watching them, so they momentarily freeze in place. Innocuously, as if they have stood their ground all along. As if the visible absence of their trunks were some sort of nature's well-intended aberrations.
We ask them where they are headed but they maintain a stony silence.
The instant we look away, they shuffle forward.
Shuffling - that's the word! Shuffling is what trees do to get themselves from one place to another.
(Like determined old women tottering through memories to find the right one. Or like maidens in Elizabethan gowns skipping over moorlands in small steps, their feet searching for safe ground to step on amid the cascading folds of their skirts.)
We have been following them for days now.
We keep ourselves well out of sight, as otherwise the trees would halt and make no further progress.
Theirs is a noisy group. There is constant chatter amongst them and with other trees.
So far we have only caught a few words from their conversations - war, the Dark One, danger, annihilation.
We have also figured out that the trees can keep going only as long as they have enough leaves to keep up the momentum. When they fall short of leaves, they seek help from other trees en route, but they keep going.
They worry winter is fast approaching and soon there may not be enough leaves to go around. But if it comes to that, we think we can help by carrying them on our backs until spring arrives.