There are so many magical beings in the world: stone beings, air fairies, wood elves, fire sprites. Most of us cannot see or hear them, but sometimes — especially when we are very young — we can. Each week in So Many Fairies, children will enter the magic of the natural world, encounter fairy folk, and meet questions of ecology and sustainability with their imaginations.
ABOUT THE STORIES
This is a collection of 13 summer stories, for the 13 weeks of summer.
The Apricot Tree and the Robin
Oobst is a fruit fairy who watches over an orchard. In this orchard, under the care of Oobst, is a very young and nervous apricot tree. The tree is so nervous that Oobst knows she must do something to help. She enlists the help of a young Robin couple, and finds a magical way to offer the apricot tree a source of peace and strength.
The Hummingbird Lady
The Hummingbird Lady lives in a remarkably unusual house on West Broad Street. But she hasn’t always been the Hummingbird Lady. Once she was a child named Marion who felt more at home with her nose in a book than outside watching the birds fly and the flowers bloom. But one day, when she was grown up and living in the city, she got a visit from a Hummingbird fairy who opened a door to a whole new world.
The Bookmender’s Helper
The bookmender works alone. He has always worked alone. And he has been happy enough over the years. But one day, a bedraggled girl with a very old and valuable book arrives at the door to his workshop, interrupting his solitary work. The whisperings of a paper fairy help the bookmender discover the true treasure that lives in both the book and the girl.
A boy moves from a city apartment to live with his mother in a small house in the country. He has lived his whole life in the city, and so he misses his friends, his school and his home. He is nervous about the back yard with its overgrown trees, brambly bushes, and a cow pasture beyond. He prefers to stay inside reading comics. Until one night, a host of fireflies — or are they fairies? — takes him on a magical adventure.
The Crystal Gnome
The crystal gnome is happy in his tiny underground workshop. But he is also curious about the soft muffled sounds he hears from above: car motors, dogs barking, and the most interesting sound of all — children singing. When his curiosity is satisfied through a series of accidents, the delicate gnome is unexpectedly overwhelmed by the bright lights and loud sounds of the world aboveground. With the help of his own crystal and some other experienced gnomes, he learns how to make a home among the sights and sounds that intrigue him. This is a story that highly sensitive children will enjoy.
Song of the Orange Day Lily
Esther has a magical gift with flowers. She delights all with her beautiful bouquets. How does this small girl know what flowers want to be mingled with what other flowers? The fairies tell her. Her mother, however, is not so sure, and warns her of the impermanent day lilies. But the day lilies, too, have a secret to share — and Nuntius, the day lily fairy, is the one to share it.
Grandfather and the Green Ash Tree Elf
Reilly loves the green ash tree in his back yard. But the green ash tree is dying. A bug is eating away at its bark and no one knows how to save it. Except perhaps, Reilly’s grandfather. He remembers a time when he was a child and another tree was dying, the elm tree, and his deep wish to save it called the help of the fairies.
Mack and his wife are looking for a house outside of the big city. They have a baby on the way, and they need just the right spot. They see many nice possibilities, but Mack refuses to be satisfied; that is until they see a simple house with an impressive tree in the backyard: a Black Willow tree. “We’ll take it,” says Mack. What is it about this tree? Mack tells his wife that it reminds him of his long lost father; but what he doesn’t tell her is that he believes his father was a pirate!
The Dusty Dirty Gnome
Buddy has a dirty room. His room is so dirty and dusty that he has trouble finding his clothes, his toys, and his games. And a dirty, dusty, cluttered room is the perfect spot for a Dusty Dirty Gnome to take up residence! After Buddy loses his favorite stuffed animal, Moosie, he has a dream about the Dusty Dirty Gnome who gives him a hint about where Moosie might be hiding. He wakes with a burning question, “What would things be like if everything in my room had its own place?”
There was once a King who, by many accounts, was a successful sovereign. Everyone was well fed and safe, the granaries were full, and all his subjects had useful work. But the general mood of the kingdom was, well, bored. There was no spark, no enthusiasm. The Queen, in her wisdom, knew that a kingdom takes after its king, so she encouraged her husband to seek out some fun and passion. It is not until he hears the magical sound of the Hermit thrush, however, that he is able to remember what he truly loves to do.
Captain Hicks and the Laughing Nixie
Captain J.A. Hicks is a mystery to his fellow fishermen. How is he always able to find the best fish and avoid the worst weather? When he emerges one day from a terrible storm with over 70 rescued fishermen aboard, they believe it is nothing short of a miracle. “What is his secret?” they ask. But Captain Hicks does not tell them. How could he reveal his secret? The truth is, he has been listening to the same little voice his whole life — the voice of the laughing nixie!
Showers of Gold
A Queen wishes for a son and is granted her wish on the condition that he may renounce the throne if he chooses. And indeed, when he comes of age he chooses to leave the palace and work in service of the poor. In time, he too makes a wish: for gold to rain down on the poor, and he too is granted the wish on a condition that gives new perspective on what it means to be a king.
Iron Riders of Courage
In a home for the elderly, two people meet. Amos is confined to a wheelchair and Catherine cannot speak. Though they have never been introduced before, they each recognize something familiar about the other, and Amos is determined to find out what it is. A photograph of his childhood home takes them to a time long ago when a powerful magic rose up and embraced them both, a magic that exists for them still.