Today, in Epping Forrest, an area of ancient woodland in south-east England, straddling the border between north-east Greater London and Essex, an old book was found wrapped in a green cloth torn and sullied with age and weather. The book, inside the cloth, was tucked in a hollow area near the base of a large oak tree. The hollow was hidden by a large stone. Several boys, working together, moved the stone looking for snakes and snails. There is a short inscription on the inside cover of the book. It is written in a child’s hand. It reads, “This book belongs to Wendy Darling. It is hers to keep and share.”
My dear Wendy,
You would laugh at me now. I ‘ve grown a beard. It is thick and red. And, when I left you to find my parents, I flew. Now, I can barely walk. I’ve grown up, my Wendy. I’m a man.
Neverland is little more than a dream to me. Hook, the croc, the indians and mermaids – all are little more than childhood dreams. Even Tinkerbell – just a shadow. Only you do I, can I remember.
I’ve found my parents. I’ve found their graves. They share a grave marker, one slab of stone. My mother’s name was Elizabeth and my father’s – Peter. Yes, it was Peter.
Now, my quest is done. I can no longer fly. I can no longer crow. And I’ve grown so tired, Wendy, so very tired. Do not think me a coward. It is my time to rest, to sleep. I’ve kept the book of stories you gave me when I left you. Silly stories. Childhood stories. The best stories there are. I’ll place this letter in its pages and leave the book here, in this tree. Someday, someone will find it and know that you were ever my darling Wendy.