Hyacinth had just gone back inside when she heard a cheerful clatter of voices at her front door.
“Hello-o-o-o, Hyacinth,” she heard her friends call out. “We’re here. It’s a beautiful day for a tea party.”
Hyacinth stuck her head out the front window. “I’m so glad to see you,” she said to the four fairies gathered on her doorstep. “Arthur just left with our picnic. We’re to meet him at the Lone Cypress. I’ll be right out.”
She popped on her new strawberry blossom hat and joined her friends at the front door. “Come with me,” she said. “It won’t be long now – I hope.”
“You hope? Is something wrong?” Poppy asked.
Hyacinth hesitated. “To tell you the truth, I’m a little concerned. It’s abut my great grandmother’s tea pot. Arthur was a tiny bit…ummm… clumsy this morning. I just want to be sure he…and the teapot…arrived safely.”
The fairies looked at each other with expressions that weren’t quite as comfortable as Hyacinth would have liked. They all knew their dear dragon could be a little…awkward.
“Oh dear,” Lily said. “I do hope your teapot is still in one piece.”
Camellia broke in before Hyacinth could respond.
“There, there,” Camellia said in her calm way. “I’m sure everything is quite all right.”
If Camellia could have seen the young dragon at that moment, she wouldn’t have been so sure.
Arthur had arrived at the Lone Cypress. He flapped his wings as he struggled to land, bumping first into one branch and then into another. Crash after crash he stumbled on. At last he found a limb he thought would be large enough to perch on. But as soon as he settled down, it bent close to the ground and creaked as if it would break.
“Oh dear, oh dear,” he muttered. “I must have grown a bit since the last time I was here.”
“I’d say you’ve grown more than a bit,” a squeaky little voice observed. “The last time I saw you here you were just a hatchling. I hope there’s nothing breakable in that basket you’re carrying.”
Arthur twisted around, looking for the source of the voice. As he turned, he brushed against a nearby branch, and the picnic basket was swept from his arms. It flew high up in the air. Just as it began to drop, the long handle caught on the very tip of one of the tree’s long branches.
Arthur barely had time to give a sigh of relief, when a gust of wind caught the basket.
“Oh no!” he cried.
to be continued…