‘Leaf by Niggle’ recounts the strange adventures of the painter Niggle, who sets out to paint the perfect tree. But he senses that he will be snatched away from his work long before it is finished – if indeed it could ever be finished in this world. For it is in another and brighter place that Niggle finds his tree is finished and learns that it is indeed a real tree, a true part of creation.
Created in the early 1940s, at the same time as The Lord of the Rings was taking shape, ‘Leaf by Niggle’ is a passionate adult fairy tale about a man who has ‘a long journey to make’, thought to be an allegory of Tolkien’s own life.
I first learned of The Leaf by Niggle via the YouVersion reading plan entitled J R R Tolkien, C S Lewis & Work That Lasts Forever
This is one of those stories that gives the reader much to ponder. It is full of rich symbolism. On the surface it is a story of a healed relationship but I believe the meaning is much deeper than that.