The Elves customarily don’t talk in the woods. Most humans figure it’s because they’re trying to be stealthy or that they’re assuming an enigmatic presence. That may be partially true, but the reason goes a bit deeper.
Long ago an Elvish prince with more apostrophes in his name than consonants was walking in the forest. His mother and father desperately wanted him to marry, so they had been introducing him to a number of elven princesses. Every princess possessed at least a spark of beauty, but none of them surpassed the perfection he felt when he looked at nature.
He paused a moment to watch a large blue butterfly match the pace of its wings to the speed with which the petals of a marigold folded gently in the wind. “If I could marry this butterfly right now,” he declared, “I would do so.”
The Spirit of the Forest heard his words. It had long respected the actions of the young prince, and decided to grant his wish.
Instantly, the butterfly transformed into a lovely elven maiden with dark hair and flowing indigo robes. The overjoyed prince rushed to her side. But his quick motions scared her and she flapped her arms wildly about, almost knocking him into a brier patch. Eventually, she grew tired and he was able to approach her. With patience, he communicated that he meant her no harm and persuaded her to follow him to his city.
The King and Queen received her like royalty and consented to their marriage. Every day nectar was plucked from the most beautiful wildflowers and set beside a crystal goblet full of the morning dew collected from their petals. The butterfly maiden jabbed her nose at the plate and and cup, and whatever didn’t splatter on the table seemed to nourish her well enough. Then she would dress herself in a tunic that incorporated a giant eyeballs design. Not in a stylish, eye of Horus way, but with huge red-veined monstrosities that always seemed to glare as if someone replaced its lavatory leaves with poison ivy. When questioned about her fashion choices she would mumble something incoherent about predators.
Soon after they were married she gave birth. The event resulted in a week of wanton destruction as several thousand ancient scrolls kept in the library and all the robes within the royal cloakroom were consumed. The children then locked themselves in their rooms for a month. Besides cleaning up pools of spit that flowed under the door each day, the household returned to normal.
The king and queen knew better than to question the actions of the Spirit of the Forest. So they obliged the Butterfly Princess and her children as patiently as elvish royalty is trained to do. Fortunately for them, they did not have to persevere for long. The Princess only lived another month and her children a month beyond that. 10,000 torches burned for each of them at their royal funerals.
No elf said a word. The half-hearted “eyeball tunic” and “dew and pollen diet” trend died with the princess. They all understood that uttering words while walking in the forest was dangerous. Because the spirit of the forest was generous, but it had no sense of poetry whatsoever.