The Tea Party Part Four

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Arthur held his breath as the picnic basket blew back and forth in the wind. When the wind finally died, he still didn’t move. He longed to reach out and grab the basket, but he was afraid that if he did, it would fall. He didn’t think he could force his way through the tree branches in time to save it.

Just then the squeaky little voice spoke again.

“Perhaps I could help,” it said.

Arthur looked all around. Where was that strange voice coming from?

“I’m down here.”

Arthur looked at the ground. A tiny vole was sitting at the bottom of the tree.

Arthur gave a start of surprise. “Hello,” he said. “Do I know you?”

“Yes, you do,” the vole replied. “We met on your last visit to this tree. You were just a little hatchling at the time. Your mother was teaching you to fly. You fell off a branch and landed on the ground beside me. You were very friendly. We had a nice chat. But I wasn’t sure about your mother, so when I saw her coming to get you, I ducked back into my burrow.”

“She wouldn’t have hurt you,” Arthur told him. “She was a vegetarian. Anyway, how do you think you could help me?”

“Well, first you need to very carefully back yourself out of this tree. Then I will climb up and gnaw through the branch the basket is caught on. When the branch breaks, and the basket falls, you swoop down and catch it. How does that sound?”

“It sounds grand, that is, if I can get out of here.”

“You can do it. Just be careful.”

Arthur began to slowly inch his was backward. It seemed like it took forever to the waiting vole, but at last the dragon was free.

The vole raced up the tree trunk and ran all the way out to the end of the branch. That was when he discovered the branch extended far beyond the edge of the cliff. There was nothing under him but air and a rocky beach far below. The little vole gulped. Then he began to gnaw. He gnawed and gnawed until at last the branch gave way and the basket fell. It headed straight for the jagged rocks.

But Arthur was ready. There was nothing slow or clumsy about him now. In the blink of an eye he swooped after the basket and caught it in his talons. He zoomed upward, made a slow turn, and returned to land below the tree.

“Thank you, my friend,” he said to the vole, who waited on the ground. “You certainly saved the day. I don’t even want to think about how unhappy Hyacinth would have been if her grandmother’s teapot had been smashed on the rocks.”

Just then they heard fairy voices and looked up to see Hyacinth and her friends landing in the branches above them.

“Good afternoon, my dear fairies,” Arthur said as he stood up and greeted them with a sweeping bow. “As you see, your scrumptious party awaits. I’ll just breathe a little fire and heat up the tea.”

The Tea Party Part Three

20150716_141034Hyacinth 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…

 

 

The Tea Party Part Two

Hyacinth had just about finished packing the picnic basket for the tea party, when a deep voice rumbled “Good afternoon.”

She jumped and whirled around to see a face protruding through her kitchen window. It had immense dark eyes, a considerable snout, and row upon row of jagged razor-sharp teeth.

“Oh!” she gasped. “It’s you, Arthur. You startled me.” She still looked a little shaken as she smiled at her visitor. “I think you’d best come around to the door before you break something. You’re a little large for the window.”

In fact Arthur was more than a little large. He was an enormous. He obediently withdrew his head and bowed politely. Unfortunately when he bent forward, his massive tail popped up behind and knocked every single one of the Hyacinth’s beautiful ripe apples off a nearby tree. As she listened to his thunderous footsteps walk away she stared with deep regret at her whole crop that now lay scattered on the ground.IMG_20150717_145735

Hyacinth sighed and returned to packing the basket for her tea party. It was time to place the final and most important item in the basket – her great grandmother’s teapot. She wrapped it in her softest tea towel and placed it with great care on the very top. Then she gathered up the basket and a strong rope, walked across the room and opened the door.

“You’ll have to kneel down, Arthur, so I can reach your back. I have a harness for you to put on, then I’m going to wrap this rope all around the basket and fasten it to the harness.”

“A harness?  I don’t think so.”

“But Arthur, it’s very soft. My friend Camellia knitted it just for you.”

“My dear fairy, I’m not a horse. I’m a dragon. And dragons do not wear harnesses.”

“But Arthur, how else can I fasten the basket to your back? It has all our food, you know, including the wild watermelons, and more than that, it has my great grandmother’s tea pot.”

“I beg your pardon, but you never mentioned harnesses when you asked me to carry the basket to the picnic.”

“But Arthur…”

“It is really quite a small basket and I am a very large dragon. I’m quite certain I can carry it safely. I promise you I will hold it most tenderly in my arms.”

“But what if you drop it, Arthur? It would truly be a disaster if my great grandmother’s teapot was broken.”

“Never fear, dear fairy, your teapot will be safe with me.”20160502_162015

The dragon reached out and took the basket from Hyacinth.

“I will meet you at the Lone Cypress tree,” he said and with that he flapped his mighty wings and rose up into the air. In the blink of an eye he had vanished from sight.

“Oh dear,” said Hyacinth.

(To be continued) 

The Tea Party (Part One)

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At dawn one summer morning, the birds sang so loudly outside Hyacinth’s window they woke her up. As she lay in her comfy bed, she pondered what she could do to celebrate such a beautiful day.

All at once she had a brilliant idea.

I’ll give a tea party…and it won’t be just an ordinary tea party…it will be a tea party by the sea.

Hyacinth jumped up and dashed to her desk in the corner of her room. She chose four pieces of her elegant blue stationary with the purple flowers. Then she wrote her invitations and whistled for a sparrow that was perched in a nearby tree.

“Could you please deliver these to Lily, Poppy, Camellia and Heather?” she asked the bird. “I would be frightfully grateful.”

“Of course,” the bird replied. He picked up the letters in his beak and set off to deliver them to the homes of Hyacinth’s friends.

Next Hyacinth wrote a note to the dragon that lived in the cave behind her house.

Dear Dragon,

If you are don’t have any other engagements today,

could you possibly help me transport a picnic basket to the cypress tree on the bluff overlooking the sea?

I will be ready to leave at precisely 4:00 p.m.

I promise you, a wild watermelon will be included among the delicious delicacies I will bring for the picnic.

The watermelon will be just for you.

Sincerely,

Hyacinth

She hurried over to the dragon’s cave and dropped the note in his mailbox.

Then she settled down in her tidy kitchen with her morning cup of tea and toast with brambleberry jam.

It wasn’t long before the swallow returned with the replies to her invitations. Everyone would be pleased to attend.  And the dragon sent a paper airplane sailing through her open window. He would be happy to help.

As soon as she finished her breakfast, she took her picnic basket from the cupboard and began to fill it with scrumptious delicacies. First she prepared an array of cucumber sandwiches (no crusts), then she added fresh blueberries, hazelnut tarts, lemon tizziewinkles, nasturtium blossoms, and light-as-air fairy cakes.  Next she put in a kettle, her favorite lavender tea, five delicate cups and saucers and a wild watermelon for the dragon.

(to be continued)

Lost in the Meadow

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First Edward looked one way, and then he looked the other. He stretched his long, skinny neck as far as it would go, and then he looked both ways again. After that he spun around in a circle.

Mama, where are you? Sally, Susie, Joey, Tom, Alex, Horatia – where have you gone?

Edward didn’t know what to do. His whole family had disappeared and he had no idea where to find them.

He looked around one more time, and then he scuttled across the clearing. He paused when he reached the tall grass and called again.

Mama! Sisters! Bros! Where are you?

No one appeared. No one answered. Edward plunged into the high grass and vanished from sight.  Now only his scratchy little voice could still be heard.

Mama, where are you?

The turkey family had vanished.

Fortunately someone else heard Edward’s cry. Lily, the fairy who rescues squirrels and birds every winter, had caught the wail of the tiny turkey chick.     She flew to the meadow and circled above it. In the distance the fairy saw the mother turkey with six of her babies gathered at the foot of a giant oak tree. The mother turkey was frantically scurrying back and forth, searching for chick number seven.

Lily looked in the opposite direction and spotted little Edward far across the meadow. He was near the clearing where his family had foraged ever since the chicks were hatched. He was holding perfectly still except for the tears that slipped down his face and dripped off his tiny wattle.

The fairy flew over to join him.

“Edward,” she said as she landed beside him and gave him a hug. “Don’t cry. I’ll help you find your mother. But first tell me, how did you get so lost?”

It was the grub,” Edward replied, wiping his eyes with the tip of a tiny wing. “He was plump and juicy and looked delicious, so I tried and tried to catch him, but he kept getting away.”

“I see,” the fairy replied. “Well, my hungry little friend, I think perhaps you should leave the grubs to the grown up turkeys. I’m pretty sure you’d be better off with grass seeds. They won’t lead you astray.”

Hyacinth’s house

This snug little house with its bright blue shutters belongs to a sociable fairy named Hyacinth.

Hyacinth's house
Hyacinth’s house

This stylish fairy loves to wear brightly colored dresses and fancy hats. She is also passionate about giving tea parties

where she serves apple tea, honey sandwiches, and apricot scones

to her friends.

A bashful dragon lives in a cave behind Hyacinth’s house.

dragon2

He sleeps all day and only comes out at night

when he swoops over the checkerboard farmlands and

bountiful orchards of Golden Wood

in an eager search for his favorite food – wild watermelons.

Poppy’s house

This bright yellow house is the home of a lively red-headed fairy named Poppy.

Poppy's house
Poppy’s house

Because she is an awesome gardener, the other fairies say Poppy has a green thumb.

Every year when Spring arrives in the Fairy Realm,

Poppy sprinkles wildflower seeds in the meadow,

and sends dandelion seeds wafting over the grass.