TroMatGar swung his mighty branches at Tiberus. He wanted to grab the knight to punish him for trying to steal from him.
“When I catch you I will throw you into the pit of stinky ooze!” he roared. “I will turn you into a knight pie and eat you up! I will stomp on you so hard you’ll sink into the mud!”
“You’ll have to catch me first!” Shouted Tiberius. He ducked when the giant tree reached for him and jumped over his roots when the tree tried to trip him. Tiberius’ sword was gone, but he was still the best knight in the world and knight need to be fast and smart as well as good fighters.
TroMatGar was getting angrier that he could not catch the little knight. He stomped all over the swamp trying to grab him.
Tiberius was getting tired. He thought that this was all a mistake so he tried to talk to TroMatGar.
“Why do you have gold? Trees don’t need gold.”
“It’s not my gold”, said TroMatGar, “It is the black crows’ gold. They bring it to me to keep safe. They love their gold.”
Something did not seem right about that. Tiberius tried to think about why the crows needed gold. But while he was thinking, something bad happened.
“Ah-ha!” said TroMatGar. He stretched out his long branches and grabbed Tiberius! Tiberius tried to break free, but the tree branches were too strong and he was too tired. TroMatGar pulled Tiberius up close to him.
“Now, I have you!” He laughed with glee. Now I will have to decide what to do with you so that you won’t steal my crow’s gold!”
Then Tiberius remembered something. “But crows don’t like gold.” He told TroMatGar. TroMatGar stopped.
“What do you mean? Of course the love gold! That’s why they fill me up with it. That’s why I must protect it”
“no,” said Tiberius, “Crows like shiny things. That’s why they took my sword, because it was shiny. Is it hard to carry all that gold?”
“Yes.” TroMatGar replied. “It makes me heavy and hard to move, but I didn’t want to hurt the crows feelings.”
“Why don’t you empty out the gold and see what happens?”
TroMatGar listened to Tiberius. Finally, he leaned over and all the gold coins that were inside of him spilled out. There were millions of them. So shiny.
“Now the crows won’t want to be with me.” He said.
But just then a crow came and landed on TroMatGar. Then another, and another. Soon all the crows were back on his branches, happily cawing as loud as they could. They didn’t care about the gold.
TroMatGar was thrilled. He set down Tiberius. “This is wonderful!” He said as he dance around the swamp. “I am so light without all those heavy coins in me, I feel great. You are a good person, Tiberius. I thank you for your kindness. You may take all the gold you want.”
Tiberius smiled. “I do not want your gold. Tell the crows to give them to people when they are sick or hungry. I only want my sword and some of your black, black mud to paint a picture for my horse.”
TroMatGar found Tiberius’ sword and together they scooped up plenty of mud for the painting. Finally Tiberius was ready to go home. TroMatGar waved goodbye to him.
“You come back whenever you need something” TroMatGar said as he jumped up and down. “You are a friend to me.”
Tiberius smiled. He was brave and strong, but most of all he liked friends. That is why he needed to get home and paint a picture of the night sky for his best friend in the whole world.
Tiberius worked all day and night on the picture for Pine at last he hung it in his stable and waited for Pine to see it. When Pine saw the new picture he jumped for joy. It made him so happy. Seeing his friend happy made Tiberius happy too. It was a long hard journey, but it was worth it.