By Thistle By Thimble: Summer Season

By Thistle By Thimble: Summer 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 summer stories, for the 13 weeks of summer.

The Cello Maker

Ilana, an exceedingly talented twelve-year-old cellist, is now old enough to receive her first full-sized cello, and so her parents make the investment in a very expensive and very old instrument. When she plays it, however, it sounds wrong. She keeps trying and trying until she eventually starts to hate playing. Her teacher believes that it might be the cello and takes her to visit a famous cello maker who has a secret — and a very unorthodox way of building his instruments.

 The Sickleman's Riddle

Alwin is a Sickleman who travels from farm to farm to mow their fields of hay. He is a strong worker and though he is often hired by farmers across the land, he does have the reputation for never speaking. People often wonder if he can speak at all, but the truth is - he is listening and learning. You see, he has a plan: his aim is to one day enter into a riddling competition with the fairies... and to win.

 The Log Dancer

Shaddock has a difficult job. He has to 'dance' logs along the Kennebec River so they don't get stuck and create a log jam. He has done it his whole life because he wanted to be just like his father who was also a log dancer. He has had some difficult times but nothing was as hard as what he had to face — when he became a father. 

 The Dollmaker

Max is normally a quiet gentle boy who lately has been behaving rather strangely. His parents try to discover the source of the change and finally discover that he has accidentally broken a beloved porcelain doll that has been in the family for generations. Max’s mother decides to bring the doll to a master doll maker in the city where they learn that the doll has actually been broken before…

 Camp Over the Hills and Far Away

Frances has a particular camp that she wishes to attend — the only problem is that everyone tells her that it doesn’t exist. But one morning at the library, she finds a flier on the floor; it is for a camp named “Over the Hills and Far Away”. She soon learns that it is not only the perfect camp but a place that sees her for who she truly is.

 Onatah's Table

The Duke’s son is very ill, and none of a long line of doctors seems to be of much help to the boy. One doctor, however, suggests they visit an unusual Inn called Onatah’s Table where he has heard miraculous recoveries take place. The Duke is suspicious at first of their simple philosophy — but soon discovers that it not only helps his son — but himself as well.

 The Secret of Schuyler Springs

Schuyler Springs was once a favorite travel destination due to its famous natural springs. Over the years more and more people moved to the small town and turned it into a wealthy resort village. But then something unexpected happened: the springs dried up. That would have been the end of Schuyler Springs had it not been for the secret held by three girls, and the clues they left behind for the one person who could help save it.

 To Be a Catcher

Joshua is considered one of the best baseball players of all time, with his face forever represented in the Baseball Hall of Fame. But his co-workers at the Cooperstown Dreams Park would never believe it. All they see is a nice old man who mops floors and serves lunch to the thousands of 11-year-old boys and girls who come to the park to play baseball every year. But Joshua likes it that way — for it is in his anonymity that he can teach a select few young players the most important skill in baseball.

 Fit for the King

In a kingdom long ago and far away, there was a king who wanted everyone to look and behave a certain way. Those who did not meet that standard were treated like misfits, and many of them left to live elsewhere. Three of these outcasts combined their unique gifts to create a new life of happiness and authenticity. Their revelation inspired the future prince of that land to make changes in the kingdom as a whole, from one of judgment to one of celebration.

 The Council of Fools

Once there was a land that was ruled by a Council of Fools. And in this land, to be a Fool was a position of honor and respect – that is, until the Fools began to forget how to juggle, dance, sing and perform magic. Luckily, a new Fool from a distant province arrives to transform the dry and serious members of the council back into being true Fools – rather than simply being foolish.


Lydia is a wealthy merchant who dyes and sells purple cloth to those who can afford it. She lives a life of luxury but has a single regret - she hasn't heard from her son in years. He turned his back on "serving the rich" and has become a teacher to the poor. When she, at last, receives a letter telling her where he now lives, she resolves to travel to him - though she doesn't realize how difficult and transformative the journey will be.

 Message in the Sand

Enrico Montifresco travels to an exclusive island resort to clear his mind. He needs to make an important decision as to whether to remain at the head of his successful business or to let someone else take the helm. As soon as he arrives, he can tell this is no ordinary island and the staff is no ordinary staff. Over the course of a day and a half, he seems to get gentle advice from everywhere: from the food, from a kite flying overhead and then ultimately from a message in the sand.

 The Fort Keeper

The Fort Keeper is the only enlisted man left at an abandoned and obsolete fort. He has his daily routine and he loyally serves without fail. And then one day he discovers a boy. The boy is technically an intruder and should be apprehended or at least chased away, but the Fort Keeper feels pity for him. Over the next few weeks, he leaves the boy food and clothing without ever actually meeting him. But on the day he introduces himself, everything changes...