This is in continuation of the Firelight story from the Fairy Frolic series:
Camille scuffed her feet as she walked home from school alone with her thoughts and secret hopes. Secret hopes that she felt she couldn’t tell anyone, partly because they already knew. Last year she and Katelynne had been invited to the fairy fall festival in Yorktown Virginia. She had soo wanted to go but they hadn’t gotten to. This year, she had hoped even more. She so badly wanted to see a real fairy and she knew she would if she could go to the fall festival.
She felt she couldn’t tell anyone because it was such a great request. It required money and time and scheduling and they had just been to the fairy forest not long ago and had a most wonderful adventure:
They had set out for the fairy forest on a warm September day and found a rather unsettling sight right at the entrance:
“Oh my gosh! It’s overgrown!” Katelynne said.
“What happened to the brown needle path? Where did these green plants come from?” Camille asked, “Do you think they’re blocking us out? We shouldn’t go in?”
Katelynne reached out and touched one. It bent easily.
“I don’t know. They seem friendly enough.”
Camille smiled at the thought of friendly plants.
“I think we could try trampsing through them.”
The girls started to take a step single file, and the green grass plants surged away like a wave in a green sea, leaving a narrow little pathway for the dolls to walk through.
“The parting of the green sea!” Katelynne joked.
“Wow! They are really friendly! Thank you!” Camille called to the plants as she skipped ahead to the the moat bridge and across to the forest.
“I wonder if we’ll see something new! We always seem to see something new here, don’t we? I wonder if we’ll – ”
“Look! Mushrooms!” Katelynne called by a log.
“Wow! Already?” Camille immediately started scanning the ground for more mushrooms. They both knew the fairies planted the mushrooms in preparation for the fall festival.
“Ooo! Look! Here are some more!” Camille said. She ran over to yet another log:
“And some more! These are babies! It looks like they just got planted! Do you think the fairies might be planting them now?” she gasped, “Do you think we might actually get to see a fairy? And maybe we can go to the fairy festival this year?”
“Heeey!” Katelynne, looking around, “I’m just noticing that all these mushrooms are growing on logs or along logs and all these logs are pointing in one direction.”
Camille stood up and looked too.
“Do you think it’s..?”
“Yes! Let’s follow them!”
They followed the mushroomed logs deeper into the forest and gasped when the came to a clearing:
It was a clearing with two benches and two crosses.
“Oooh,” Camille said in a hushed voice, “What is this place?”
“Can’t you guess? It’s a place to gather and worship the Lord!”
Indeed it was and Camille’s heart positively soared at the thought of a special worship place right in the middle of her beloved fairy forest!
She started bouncing about. She couldn’t contain herself, “‘Praise the Lord! Praise God in His Sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens!'” she quoted from the Psalms.
Katelynne felt much the same way, but quieter, full of wonder and awe.
“Oooh, Camille! Look!”
Three spiney marbles surrounded a pile of teardrop leaves they had seen last summer.
“What are they doing here? Why are they off of the trees?”
“They are a gift.”
“I think so. They aren’t in front of the crosses, they’re on a bench, and because we saw them last time, I think we’re supposed to take them.”
Camille gasped, “Maybe they’ll transport us to the cousin fairy woods behind Grandma Lewis’s house! Remember the song the trees sang? ‘I’m going to go back there someday!’ I bet that’s it! That’s why they’re here!”
Katelynne laughed, “You think they’re portals like in Dr. Who? Too bad Lindsey’s not here! But actually I think you’re probably right.”
Katelynne squatted down by them, but didn’t touch them.
Camille did the same, still bouncing on her heels, “Can we go? Can we go? I’d LOVE to explore that forest!”
“All right! We’ll touch the leaves on the count of three, ready? One….two…three!!!”
The dolls touched the tips of their fingers around the leaves. Nothing happened. Camille closed her eyes and opened them again. Still nothing.
“Huh, I guess they’re not portals,” Katelynne said.
“Then what are they here for?”
“I don’t know.”
“What should we do?”
“Put them in your backpack. I still really think they’re meant for us. I’m sure of it.”
Camille remembered Katelynne feeling that funny connection with the teardrop trees the last time they were here so she was quite sure Katelynne was right. She put them in her backpack and followed Katelynne out of the forest.
That had happened months ago. She had forgotten about the teardrop leaves until now. Maybe they only worked as a portal at certain times. Maybe the mushrooms they’d seen in the fairy forest had been the clue that these would only work during the fall festival. Maybe they could still go! When is the fall festival? she wondered, I bet the poem says it and I’m just not remembering!
She raced the rest of the way home, threw her backpack down and reached for the envelope still filled with the festival leaves and the special poem. She spread the leaves out, one by one. They had lost a bit of their color, and some had browned a bit, but they were still so special and beautiful. Camille got the same thrills taking them out as when they decorated for Christmas!
“Hey Nutsky! Whatcha up to?”
“I’m trying to figure out when the fall fairy festival is.”
Katelynne’s face fell, “It’s not in the poem. The time is never a set date. Just like all the seasons. We pretend that they happen on a certain date, but they don’t really. It just happens.”
“Well, can we read the poem anyway? I love it so much!”
“I’m SO hungry!” a voice shouted from the hall mixed with other voices.
A bunch of dolls burst into the kitchen.
“Hey! Look! It’s Camille with the fall festival stuff out again!”
“Aw! Are you decorating for fall?” Annaleis asked.
“Fall’s over! It’s winter now!” Kiesha said, looking at their bare backyard. They’re backyard was even more bare than normal. This summer all five old and enormous evergreen trees that had surrounded their house had gotten a disease and had to be cut down. Their yard was so different now. Different and lonely.
Katelynne, who had just dashed out as the other dolls had come in, now came back, carrying a long bag.
“I know why the fairy forest sent this to us. I know what these are now,” she announced,
“These aren’t just leaves, they’re seeds! And they were given so we can plant them in our backyard!”
Joy and realization lit up all the dolls faces.
“Trees again in our backyard!!” Annaleis cried.
“Do you think the fairies knew? About our old trees being gone?” Sophie asked.
“But Katelynne got them even before the evergreen trees were cut down!” Camille answered.
“But these aren’t just any seeds!” Katelynne continued, cutting out the chatter, “Our backyard was special, but it was never magical. Now, with these seeds, it can not only be special, but magical. Doubly magical! These seeds are from two different fairy forests! Our York forest, and the fairy forest we never even got to explore behind Grandma Lewis’s house!”
“And we get to plant them in our backyard!!!” Annaleis exclaimed.
“Another fall festival in our backyard!” Sophie cried and clapped her hands, “Let’s GO!”
Their after school hunger was forgotten in all the excitement.
“Let’s put them where the evergreen trees used to be!” Annaleis said.
“How do we plant them?” Sophie asked.
“Umm,” Katelynne realized she had no clue how to plant magical seeds, “I guess, do what you’d normally do? Dig a hole in the ground and drop them in?”
Keisha knelt down and giggled and then stood up and said in her most boring monologue voice, “Inch by Inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow…gonna MULCH it deep and low, gonna make it fertile ground!’ That’s the borin’ method! Ya’ll know it?”
“Yes!! I know it! I love that song!” Sophie said, “You don’t sing it like that, you just learn it like that! hee!”
“Sing it!! Sing it!!” Camille commanded, ” I like the singing way better!”
“Ah, but the boring method is so fun and then I get to sing it twice at the same time that way!” Keisha responded.
“Good gracious! Let’s just sing it!” Annaleis said.
Inch by inch, row by row,
gonna make this garden grow.
Gonna mulch it deep and low
gonna make it fertile ground.
Inch by inch, row by row,
God bless these seeds I sow,
God keep them safe below
’til the rains come tumblin’ down!
They sang that and more garden songs as they planted and watered the seeds. Then, Sophie asked Annaleis, “Hey, you remember last year, you made a flurry festival with that seedpod?”
“Ooh! Yes! That was so fun! But I don’t have another one.”
“No, but we have these!” Sophie picked up a big pile of leaves and threw them up in the air.
“You want to know a super fun word I learned?” Keisha asked. She was head of the writing club at school and loved to learn new words, “Foliole!”
“A flying foliole festival this year!! hahahaha!” Katelynne laughed.
They threw leaves up in the air and shrieked and laughed and got quite dirty.
Then they gathered up all the leaves in a big pile. Camille dove head first:
Then they made an even bigger pile and they all dove in and made snow angels in the leaves!
“This is so fun!” Sophie said, “We should do this every year!”
“I think we’ve made a tradition! A fall festival of flurries and folioles!” Katelynne giggled.
“And campfires and fairy tales!”
Annaleis put her hands behind her head and started softly, “Come out! Come out! Come ‘way with us!
Amongst the tallest trees!
To skip and leap and sing and shout
To buzz amongst the bees….”
Behind the scenes: Yep! Just like the dolls, everytime I go and visit their fairy forest in VA I always see something new and I saw all that! And my 5 evergreen trees surrounding my house really did get a disease that’s carried by birds (why all the trees got it) and had to be cut down. I hope the money tree seeds will grow! I’ll let you know! You gotta check out the link of Pete Seeger’s Garden Song if you don’t know it already. It’s soo funny! And it really will have you singing that in your head the rest of the day!
The Faerie Call poem was written for these very dolls last year by my dear aunt. (see links from the beginning of this post) I felt just like Camille, so happy and excited to take the old fall festival stuff out of the envelope!