By Thistle By Thimble: Autumn Season

By Thistle By Thimble: Autumn Season

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Find magic in nooks and crooks, in baskets and burrows, and on seemingly ordinary back roads and side streets. Listen to the quiet whisperings of the heart. Attend to what nature teaches. Discover the secrets sung on the wind. This weekly series of original adventure tales will open your eyes to new places and characters from around the world and times gone by.

Age 6+


This is a collection of 13 autumn stories, for the 13 weeks of autumn.

The Sweetgrass Basket

A hard-working family is given a vacation on an island along the Carolina coast.  Despite the fact that their small business is having hard times, they decide to take a risk and go. On the way there, they are gifted a sweet grass basket that, they are told, 'will give back whatever you put in it.'  They are encouraged to put a wish inside, and when the family agrees on their wish — they are all amazed at the true magic that the sweet grass basket offers.


The Tin Cup

Aman's father is a respected carpenter who says yes to every request. This provides him with lots of work, but he is often rushed and delivers an adequate product rather than his best. When a traveling tin craftsman presents his tin cups to the town, Aman is introduced to an entirely new and unusual way of making things — and he sees his own future. 


The Goldsmith Who Knew How to Fish

Wren has a happy life in the city with the exception that he doesn't have time for his favorite activity:  fishing. When his work as a goldsmith starts to suffer, his wife and his boss encourage him to take a week off and go fishing. He agrees and brings his little daughter to a nearby fishing river — and remembers why fishing is so important to him and his work as a jewelry maker.


The Carousel Painter

Brigit Miller and her brother have been hired by a famous carousel maker in Pennsylvania. They leave their native Germany and start work immediately, carving and painting the many beautiful carousel horses they make every day.  Brigit is at first in charge of painting saddles, but when she is granted the responsibility of painting an entire horse, she discovers a final touch that changes carousels and their colorful horses forever.


The Gentle Woodsman and the Final Fall Phoebe

At an early age, Tobias knew he would never marry. His love of the natural world gave him the sense of connection and dedication that he perceived marriage to be. Not until he is an old man and a late-to-migrate phoebe bird leads him to Dorothea, an expert forager who lives on the other side of the forest — only then does Tobias realize that there is a special kind of magic that comes from spending regular time with a particular friend. 


Mrs. Hartwig and the Golden Talons

Mrs. Hartwig amazes her students and colleagues alike with her wealth of stories from around the world. "Where do you find them?" they ask. She gives them simple answers but the truth is a secret she keeps until her death. Her favorite niece discovers the secret when she is sorting through Mrs. Hartwig's things, and it lies in thousands and thousands of pages of her aunt's writing.  It is a story unlike any other — and one that changes her life forever.


The Wizard's Words

A silent old man appears in a quiet, simple land in the mountains. The people care for him and soon learn that he has knowledge of herbs and healing. He stays with them for many years as their silent healer, never uttering a word — until one day, he stands on a table in the market square and begins to speak. He warns the villagers: a power-hungry wizard is expanding his domain in this direction. Life will be very different if this wizard takes over the land. But fear not, he tells them, for he himself is also a powerful wizard and is dedicated to protecting them all. However, he surprises the entire village with his means of preparing to meet the warring wizard.


The Thimble, the Stein, and the Lantern

Pavla is one of many tailors in the great city-state of Ragusa. He lives alone and generally keeps to himself. But he wasn't always that way. Long ago, he fell in love with a mysterious girl who came to the town, danced three times, and then disappeared without a trace. Several years later, the most curious things started to happen to the humble tailor — including strange gifts left at his door...


The Milkweed Lady and the Monarch Marble Man

Wilson is retired and spends his days at home with his wife in their nice house. He is also quite ill, and his doctors don't know how to help him. Then he meets the "Milkweed Lady" who reminds him of some magic he once held in his hand — his set of marbles. These marbles truly had magical powers, and when he unpacks them from a box in his attic, he begins to transform into the "Monarch Marble Man."


Anne of the Long Window*

Anne and her parents live in a tight little house in the far, far north where her parents work in a research facility.  Anne has a great deal of time by herself.  But she is never bored, as she has a great imagination - and an imaginary friend she calls Gilbert, who lives in the reflection of the long window in their living room.  Gilbert is inspired by a character in her favorite book "Anne of Green Gables" and she fancies herself to be the Anne of the story. Her dear Gilbert remains in her imagination until the day she meets a real-life boy named Gilbert who confides that he has an imaginary friend named Anne!

*This story was inspired by a lovely song and real-life story from two different subscribers.


In the Woods

Lanny lives at the edge of the woods where he used to spend nearly every day with his father: tracking, cutting trees, cleaning the trails and, of course, hunting. When his father grows old and is no longer able to go into the woods, Lanny wonders if he should give up hunting. His father insists that he continue the tradition and that he consider using some more modern tools, like a "trail camera" to track the activity of the woodland animals. Lanny tries it and discovers that there is a lot more happening in his woods than he had ever imagined!


The Gift that Traveled Around the World

In a small factory in Erie, Ohio, nearly a hundred years ago, a small cast iron bulldog bank with sad brown eyes was painted. The bank was purchased by a wealthy father of two boys who wanted to give the bank to his eldest son. This sets the bulldog bank on a magical journey around the world, in which he has many remarkable owners and lives in several different homes, a junk shop and a museum. Amazingly, the bulldog bank lands back in Erie, Ohio, and we find that marvelous journey has transformed the now-valuable little bulldog bank in delightful ways.


The Middle of the Night

Willow Fielding loves to camp — but she hasn't always loved it. She was once afraid of the woods and then, when she was eight years old, her grandfather introduced her to a barred owl named Lucy. "Like the girl in the stories who brought light during dark times," said her grandfather. After that point, the woods became a magical place for her — and years later, when she was caught in a storm, that magic returned and brought a special light to a very dark night.