Fairy Flower Fantasias

Here is another chapter in the Fairy Frolic Stories. Tenney sighed in frustration, “How am I supposed to come up with lyrics to a song about spring when we’ve had winter for so long I don’t even remember what spring feels like! Or looks like! Or anything!!!! UGH!!!”

Her best friend, Saige sighed in agreement, “Yeah, I just don’t get it. It’s April 19th and there is still SNOW on the ground!! Maybe you should change it and write about winter and snow and freezing rain…”

“Oh yeah, for the Spring Fling Fundraiser at school? I don’t think so.”

Everyone knew how good Tenney was at coming up with music and lyrics to match on her guitar. That was why she was asked to write a song for yet another fundraiser at school.

Miranda poked her head in the room, “I know who can tell you about spring! They were actually inside of spring just a couple weeks ago!”

“Who?”

“Katelynne and Camille.”

“How can someone be inside of spring? It’s either here or it’s not. You can’t go inside and outside of the seasons.”

“Come on! They’ll show you! The story’s on the blog!”

Tenney and Saige jumped off their chairs and followed Miranda to Katelynne’s room.

“Katelynne, can these two hear about the crazy adventure you had with Camille?”

“Sure! I can tell you all about it! I even have Lanie’s laptop right here!”

“OOoo! Me too! Me too!” said a high voice from down the hall. Camille came in with Sophie and Annaleis tagging along behind her.

Camille grabbed the laptop and jumped onto Katelynne’s lap while all the other dolls crowded around her and she read the story out loud.

“Wow!!!” Saige said, “I can’t believe all the adventures you had!! And all the things you saw!!! It’s incredible!!”

“Yeah, I was hoping to get more inspiration for a song I’m supposed to write about spring but now I’m overwhelmed by too much!! No wonder you were so exhausted by the end!!”

“You’re going to make a song?” Camille asked.

“Yes, I have part of it already but I’m stuck on this one part-“

“Can we hear what you have?” Katelynne asked.

“Sure! My guitar’s in the other room, come on!”

They all got up and followed Tenney. That is, everyone except for Annaleis and Sophie, who climbed down from the bunk beds.

 “Do you think….do you think we could ever have a real adventure like that?” Sophie asked wistfully.

“I don’t know,” Annaleis said, “It’s so few and far between that anyone gets to even go to Virginia and visit the Fairy Forest. And there are so many dolls who never even got to go to Virginia at all. And we did…”

“Yes, but we didn’t get to go to the Fairy Forest.”

“We didn’t need to. A fairy visited us!”

“Yes,…. so you don’t think we’ll ever get to go back?”

“Maybe not, or at least it will be a long while before we do. As I said, there are so many dolls who are lined up to go who have never gone. But don’t be sad, there must be somewhere, something to do here, right?”

“I don’t think so. What can we possibly do here? We’re in boring old Illinois, in a city where fairies don’t live. We can’t even pretend it’s spring! It’s freezing cold and everything is so brown and drab and gloomy. Not even sunshine for days and days.”

“Brown and drab and gloomy?” said Keisha from outside the room, “Who’s brown and drab and gloomy?”

 “Sophie,” said Annaleis giving Sophie a poke, “she wants spring to come.”

“Doesn’t everyone. But guys, did you know—?” Keisha stopped suddenly because Annaleis held up her hand for silence, listening, “Do you hear that?”

“I can’t hear anything,” Keisha said, “Or wait, maybe…Yes!! I do hear it!!!”

 Sophie cocked her head, and Annaleis stood still, listening.

There was…..sound…..but it was more than just sound, it was music that seemed to go right through them. Sending a dazzling thrill that went through their whole bodies, from head to toe, as if someone made them sparkle from the inside. The music filled their heads and wrapped around their bodies, seeming to become a finite thing, that pulled them this way and that; tugging at their bodies and clothes.

“What’s going on?” Sophie asked.

“I’m not sure…it’s magic! It wants to take us somewhere!”

The three dolls found themselves ‘led’ to the music room, where the music they were feeling and hearing was so loud their whole bodies vibrated to it. Katelynne and Camille, who had felt and heard it too, joined them.

Katelynne gasped, “Look!!!”

Tasha, the cellist of the dolls, had carelessly left her cello case partway open and a piece of paper was sticking out of it.

As soon as Annaleis grabbed it, the music stopped.

 There was complete silence.

“Oh my goodness! It’s beautiful!” Sophie looked at what was in her hands.

Annaleis flipped it over, “It’s the music!!!”

“Wait, put it back again, maybe we can hear the music again,” Keisha said. Annaleis put it back in the cello case. Nothing happened.

“Oh no! We shouldn’t have touched it!” Camille cried, “I LOVED that music!!!”

“Well, it’s written here, maybe someone can play it,” Annaleis said.

“What instrument is it written for?” Katelynne asked, taking the sheet from Annaleis and reading the clef, “Bass clef. Of course! It was found in a cello case! Let’s go find Tasha!”

“Tasha! Can you play this music for us?”

Tasha glanced at it and shook her head “No, it’s not written for cello, it’s in treble clef. Didn’t you see the violin on the back side?”

“What?” Katelynne puzzled, looking over her shoulder, “There was a bass clef there before! I totally saw it!”

“I don’t think you looked well enough,” Tasha said, handing her the music back and walking out of the room.

Katelynne scrunched her face and looked at the other dolls, “We should talk to Suki then, but I think this confirms it.”

“That this music isn’t from our world?” Keisha asked.

“It’s from the fairies!!!” Camille shouted.

“Just wait, and let’s ask Suki first.”

“Hey, Suki, can you play this on your violin?”

“Umm, I could play the top line, but I couldn’t play all those chords.”

“Chords?”

“Yeah, those are guitar chords. See? The Dm and all the other letters tell you what chord to play.”

“It totally didn’t say that before.”

“Well those are guitar chords, you should ask Tenney.”

“Do we have to ask Tenney?” Camille asked, forgetting that Katelynne had told her to ‘just wait.’

“It doesn’t hurt, and I know where she is,” Katelynne led them all to the kitchen.

“Hey, Tenney, take a look at this, what do you see?”

Katelynne handed her the paper.

“I don’t see anything. It’s a blank sheet of paper,” she flipped it over, “With lily pads and a violin drawn on the back.

 It’s pretty. Reminds me of spring…ooo!” A melody seemed to almost come into her head but then she lost it.

Annaleis took the music from her, “Thanks, Tenney.”

They went back to Katelynne’s room.

“What are we supposed to do with this?” she asked.

“It’s a song from the fairies! It needs to be played!!” Camille cried, “We need to figure out how to make it play again!”

“I wonder….” Annaleis really looked at the notes, (which had appeared again) this time, reading them in her head.

Sophie had been looking over it too and suddenly they saw the notes flow and flutter and swim before their very eyes! Making them dizzy. A cloud of blue came up in their faces and swirled all around them.

When they opened their eyes from the blue cloud they found themselves not only in totally different surroundings, but even different clothes too!

“Our Fall Flurry Outfits!” Sophie cried, “We must be in a fairyland!”

“Some kind of fairyland!” Annaleis agreed, “Just like Katelynne and Camille!”

“Yes, but I think this land is much more different.”

 At first, they thought they were on an island full of blue and purple flowers but then they realized the island was moving!

 They were riding on a swan! A huge, giant swan! They sailed through waterflowers and lilypads. The water was an even deeper blue than the flowers they were sitting among.

The dolls spoke at the same time: “How do you suppose we got here..?” “Why do you suppose we got here…?”

They burst out laughing, “I have no idea!”

“I guess we’ll just have to go along on the adventure.”

 “I guess so! Wow! This is amazing!” They seemed to be sailing through a collection of little lakes that were all connected to each other. The trees and forests around them were so rich in color. Deep green and warm burgundy browns. Flowers were all over the ground and the water, so it was difficult to tell where the ground stopped and the water began. Vines elegantly clung to the tree trunks which towered at immense heights above them. Little white flakes that looked like stars would fall down from the sky. Annaleis, who had been looking and listening to her surroundings looked up and gasped.

“Wait!!! Wait!!! Do you hear that?”

Sophie listened carefully, “Hey! That’s….that’s part of the fairy music! No! Wait, that’s a hymn! That’s Like the Golden Sun Ascending!”

“No, I hear All the Diamonds.”

Gasp! “Well now I hear Beech Spring!”

“Where is the music coming from?”

Annaleis looked at a little white flake that had landed on her arm just as a new tune entered her head. She pointed up, “The snowflakes.”

“Those aren’t snowflakes.”

“They’re starflakes! Musical starflakes!”

“Musicdrops!”

“Songdrops! They’re raining down on us!”

The starflakes, for that was what they were, floated down ever so slowly and whenever they would rest on either of the dolls, they would hear a new song.

Annaleis’ face lit up with smiles of wonder, “All these songs! It’s like getting little musical gifts! They’re beautiful to look at and lovely to listen to!”

Suddenly the trees broke and they came out to a much larger lake that had a fountain in the middle. A mermaid was swimming around it.

 “Were you called to help us find the lost SongSpring? It was echoed in your world so you would know to come.”

“The what?”

“The starflake that holds the song of spring, our SpringSong. Have you come to help us find it?”

“You lost spring??” Sophie cried, “No wonder!!! That’s why it’s been so cold! Spring is lost! Oh no!!! How do we find it?”

“The star could be anywhere. But you must find it and bring it and then they shall sing!”

“How can we look for it? You must have some idea.”

“Just listen. You will know when you hear it,” the mermaid said and dove back into the water and did not resurface again.

“Well…” said Annaleis, not quite sure what to say.

“Finding this could take forever,” Sophie said.

“It could. I have no idea how big this world is, and no clues except we know what the song looks and sounds like.”

“Which means it would have to LAND on us. We could be stuck here forever.”

“No, the mermaid didn’t say that. We probably could give up and go home if we had to. But that certainly would be pretty disappointing. There’s got to be something else. We just have to find out.”

They sailed on through the deep blue water, sometimes climbing through the blue flowers on the swan’s back to get a closer look of what was on the shore.

 One tree, full of lichen and moss arched so far over the surface of the lake that it brushed Sophie’s face and she gasped, for it was like walking into a spiderweb of music. She could feel the tree singing when it touched her.

“Annaleis……I think….it’s more than just the starflakes that are singing. I think this whole world is full of music.”

Annaleis lifted her head and looked and listened.

She couldn’t hear anything exactly, but she felt as if she were standing on the brink of it. She looked down at the water. ‘The Sea of Song, the SongSea.’ Annaleis had no idea if this body of water was even a sea, it probably wasn’t but that title came to her head and she knew that was what it was called. And she was standing on the edge of it. That if she were to dive down, or put her toe in, or even put her head close and catch the spray from the swan’s movement, a whole BUNCH of music would come to her head!!! But she was happy just then, to stay where she was, on the brink of music but not to actually ‘hear’ anything, or anything specific. It was just comforting and nice to know that it was there.

Just then the Swan fluttered it’s wings and swam up to the shore, turned around, and tipped them out along with all the blue flowers on it’s back. She stretched out her neck and flew up into the air and over the trees.

 “What should we do now?” Sophie asked.

Annaleis looked around. There didn’t seem to be any kind of trail, but she was coming up with an idea of sorts.

“Have you noticed that everything seems to be grouped together here? Like these purple flowers are all together, and where you are, all the pink flowers are together.

 And the starflakes that we saw were mostly all together. Or at least I don’t see any here,” Annaleis looked up but there was not a flake in the sky, “I think we should start looking for groups of starflakes. I wish we could learn more about them, like where they gather, and when they come out.”

“Annaleis,…”

“Hmm?”

“What if the SpringSong doesn’t come from a starflake? What if it’s something else? Listen to the flowers! They’re singing too! Everything is singing here!”

“But didn’t the mermaid specifically say a starflake?”

“Yes, but perhaps we could also get it from something else….”

And indeed, everything was singing. Everything they touched had a voice and a song of their own. Some were short simple motifs that repeated over and over, like what the grass sang. Or a flowing rich symphonic sound like what the willow tree sang.

 Sophie was especially entranced by a pine tree’s music. It sang a melancholy song but it still had hope in it. She stood under the tree for a long time, stroking it’s soft new green shoots. The longer she stayed, the more she could hear until she realized there were words to the song it sang! It was about spring and winter! It was mourning over the SpringSong that was lost, but it had hope that it would be found.

“In the winter of our spirits,

cold winds chill the very soul.

Trees bereft of fruit and color

cannot hearten or console.

 

In the winter of our spirit,

snow squalls come, obscure our sight:

yet there in the dim white distance

shines a cold, but hopeful light.”

But not just that, there was something deeper. A deeper magic, or tone that it was singing. It spoke to her very heart and soul. Sophie stood still, clutching the little branch and listening with all her might.

“….And in the winter of our spirits

grace and faith come to suffice

with the confidence of water

flowing on beneath the ice….”

Annaleis interrupted her concentration, “The mermaid said it would be a starflake and that’s what I’m going to be looking for. Maybe I”m not thinking right, but I thought the mermaid said the SpringSong is lost. And if the SpringSong is lost, why is there still spring? Shouldn’t it be all winter? And yet, everything is full of springtime! These flowers are brand new! These buds are shooting up! Why do they even need a song?”

“They don’t!!! ‘The confidence of water flows on beneath the ice,'” Sophie quoted, “They have faith! They have faith that is so strong spring comes flowing out anyway!”

“What?”

“Come here and listen to this!”

Annaleis came over to the pine tree and listened.

 “To the winter of our spirits,

God comes: chill winds have no sting,

and our souls, warmed by God’s presence,

wait the coming of the spring.”

“They are God-breathed. They need no song! God gave them a song of grace and love! The song they wish for is just a song of rejoicing and praise! It has no power over them now!” Sophie cried.

“This reminds me of Abraham and his faith.”

“Abraham from long ago?” Sophie dropped her hold from the pine branch and listened to Annaleis.

“Yes, Abraham trusted God. I love that story! ‘God took Abraham outside at night and said, “Now look towards the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them. So shall your descendants be.” Then Abraham believed the Lord and God credited it to him as righteousness.’ Abraham received his righteousness through faith.”

“Wow,” Sophie said, “That is a neat story. Can you imagine being taken outside by God and being told to count the stars???”

“‘If you’re able to count them!”‘ Annaleis quoted back, “Abraham couldn’t count them! And that’s how many descendants he’d have, when he had no children at the time and he was old!”

“What a mind-bloggling thing to believe!” Sophie said. She was still imagining Abraham spending all night trying to the count the stars because God had told him to! If he was able! Ha! But what a beautiful thing to do!

But Annaleis brought her back to the present, “I still think it might be nice if we do find the SpringSong so that they can sing in praise and rejoicing,” Annaleis said, “Maybe if I can get up higher I’d be able to see some starflakes. This looks like a good tree.”

Annaleis started to climb a tree with many branches. At first, all she saw were other trees and lakes. When she had almost gotten to the top, she leaned far out on her branch,

“Oh! I see something! It’s a – “AIEEEEEEE!!!!”

Suddenly a wind picked up, the branch gave a lurch and Annaleis pitched forward, loosing her balance!

“Ummpphh!” Annaleis hit the ground hard, “Ow! Ow! OW!”

Tears that she didn’t mean to shed formed at her eyes from the pain.

“What’s wrong?” Sophie asked, a little panicked.

“My arm! Ow! My arm got dislodged or something! Oooow!” Annaleis tried not to whimper, “We can get help. I saw something.”

Sophie shook her head, “You know you were asking for it, going climbing trees in a fairyland.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Look at what happened to Katelynne and Camille! Every tree they climbed landed them into trouble. And now it’s even worse for you!”

“Well, I’m sure they’d both say it was worth it, and it was worth it for me too. Come on, I saw something over there.”

The dolls tramped through flowers and underbrush. Annaleis was in pain but she was very glad it was her arm and not either of her legs. Then, Annaleis stumbled out upon a road.

 “Look! This is what I was telling you!” Glad to at last be able to move their legs freely without having to kick and stomp on flowers and plants, they ran down the little stone road that led to a little stump that was most obviously a house of sorts.

 “Do you think, a fairy lives there?” Sophie asked.

“Oh my gosh! I think it might be! Poor Camille! I wish she were here right now! She’s been wishing sooo badly to visit a fairy’s house ever since she discovered the one in York.”

“We’ll have to remember everything and tell her all about it.”

 “Yes!! Come on! Let’s go knock on the door!”

Annaleis knocked. Nothing happened for a long time. Sophie tried, then Annaleis again. Still nothing. They were about to give up when two little white heads peeked in the window.

“She’s not at home!”

“Fairies seem to never be at home,” Annaleis muttered under her breath and grimacing, holding her arm.

Sophie took over, “Please! We need help! Annaleis injured her arm! Is there anyone who can help?”

“The medicine cart. It can heal all hurts and injuries.”

“Where is it?”

“Along the goatpath, over there,” the white rabbit pointed. He lifted his paws to close the window.

“Wait!” Annaleis cried, “If you please, we are also trying to find the starflakes. Do you know where any might be?”

“Follow the butterflies, they like them.”

“Thank you,” Sophie said as the rabbits turned away.

“The goatpath. Why do you suppose it’s called the — oh!”

Sophie looked so shocked that Annaleis couldn’t help but giggle even in her pain. There, right in front of them was a goat! A real goat! It bleated and looked at Annaleis soulfully.

“A soulful, deep-minded goat,” Sophie said, “Who would ever think??….”

Annaleis burst into more giggles.

“I think it would like to give you a ride,” Sophie said after communicating with it through their eyes.

“Ride it?”

“Mhmm! It will be much faster than walking for you.”

“That’s true,” Annaleis hesitantly got up on the giant animals back

and immediately it started walking with Sophie trying to keep up beside her.

In a very short time they came upon the cart, although it was so big, it was more like a house.

“Wow! Look at all these remedies! How do you know which one to choose?” Sophie asked, “Is there a doctor around here?”

Annaleis reached for a green bottle, “This one!”

Sophie swatted her hand, “Annaleis!! How can you say ‘this one!’ You have no idea!”

“But this is the only one that’s my size, and besides, it feels right,” she reached for it again and read the label on the cork, “See! Look: ‘Dislocated appendages.’ That’s exactly what I need!”

Annaleis uncorked the bottle and took a sip before Sophie could say anything else. Sophie watched her intently.

A ‘pop’ could be heard at her shoulder. Annaleis gasped and then smiled, “Wow! This stuff is amazing! I wish I could take it home with me!”

“Don’t! It’s not ours! And it might change if it travels to a different world. Come on, we have to find the butterflies.”

They traveled on foot since no goat came to them this time. Again, there was no path so they wandered aimlessly. Sophie kept an eye on the sun so they wouldn’t end up going in circles. It was so odd tramping through this forest because if they rested even a little bit, they were flooded with music from whatever they were touching.

Annaleis paused to listen to some Sunset flowers singing a slow calming end-of-day song. She looked through the trees and gasped.

Just up ahead was a hill, and at the top of the hill, she could just make out something flicking and flittering about.

“I think I see them!” She called excitedly and raced to the hill without waiting for Sophie. She didn’t even get to the top of the hill when she saw them; beautiful butterflies of all colors and sizes. They floated, flickered, flittered, and frolicked to their own music.

Annaleis reached out, in hopes of sharing in their music, a stream of butterflies hovered around her hand. A blue one landed on her finger. Annaleis opened her hand, the butterfly flew off and Annaleis gasped. Where the butterfly had just been was the SpringSong Starflake.

“Sophie!!!! I have it!!!” She cried, but Sophie couldn’t hear her, she had gone ahead to the top of the hill, where a most amazing sight captured her attention.

Thousands of millions of butterflies were frolicking overhead.

So many of them, it was just a wash of flickering colors. Sophie reached her hand out too.

A pink butterfly settled on her finger and when it flew off, Sophie found a starflake in her hand.

“Annaleis!”

Annaleis had finally come to the top of the hill and was staring at the butterflies.

“Look!”

Annaleis turned toward her and gasped seeing what was in her hand, “I have one too! It’s the SpringSong!”

“You have the SpringSong? Hooray! Hooray!!!”

“Yes! I can’t believe it! A blue butterfly gave it to me!”

‘White and glistening, furry and soft,

a cloud of wonder, a flower aloft,

yet cold and glittering, like crystals caught,

in an intricate pattern of lace and frost.’

 

“Hm, I wonder why the butterfly gave you that one.”

“I don’t know. But let’s go! Let’s go find the fairies so we can give them the SpringSong!”

They hiked again, through the endless songflowers and trees. They came to a patch of puffy white ones and Annaleis burst out laughing.

“Snowflakes and Snowflowers! Listen!! They’re singing Christmas carols!!”

The dolls listened and laughed. For even though they were sick and tired of winter, it had been cold and dreary for sooo long, the Christmas carols warmed their hearts anyway and they joined the flowers in song. They sang carol after carol until after In the Bleak Midwinter, the flowers changed to a new tune:

‘White and glistening, furry and soft,

a cloud of wonder, a flower aloft,

yet cold and glittering, like crystals caught,

in an intricate pattern of lace and frost.’

“Hey! That’s my starflake! That’s –Oofff!”

Sophie had been kicking and climbing over soft, bendable flowers that went up to her knees so she didn’t see the hard, cold, crystal snowball until she kicked it and almost fell on top of it.

“Whoa! It’s a crystal snowglobe!”

“Look inside!” Annaleis said, “Maybe it will tell us something! Maybe it will tell us how to get to the fairies!”

Sophie bent over and gazed into it’s bright depths. It showed her things so fast she could barely catch a glimpse: Flying through flowers and trees to a castle, a great host of fairies singing in celebration, a great fire, and then darkness and it was over.

“Whoa!” Sophie said again.

“What did you see?”

“I’m not completely sure. A castle, the fairies, a fire…”

“A fire?”

“Yes, but I have no idea where it came from or what it is. It all happened too fast.”

“Hmm, so, I guess we need to find a castle?”

“We need to…..fly to a castle, or at least, that’s what it seemed like before I saw the castle. We were whizzing so fast through the flowers and trees.”

The snowflowers had been singing this whole time, but just then they BURST out in harmony even louder than before, singing Rudolf the Red-nose Reindeer, and the flowers produced little red seeds in their pistils.

The dolls giggled and then gasped.  Just like Sophie’s starflake, there was a reason the flowers were singing that particular song. A deer came cantering up to them.

“We’re supposed to ride it!” Sophie cried, that part of the vision she saw suddenly became clear.

 The dolls clambered up on the deer. Annaleis held Sophie tightly as they were whisked away!

 “This is just like what happened to Katelynne and Camille!” Annaleis cried.

Indeed it was. The deer made hardly a sound as it flew through the flowers and trees. They were going so fast Annaleis felt dizzy. She hugged Sophie even tighter and closed her eyes, burying her face in her hair.

Sophie stroked Annaleis’ hand, “Don’t be frightened, the deer won’t let you fall.”

Annalies didn’t speak or open her eyes but Sophie’s comforting hand and quiet confidence helped her heart greatly.

And then she heard the deer’s song. For just like everything in this fairyland, the deer was singing too.

Ride a Cockhorse to Banberry Cross,

To see a white lady upon a white horse,

With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,

She shall have music wherever she goes.”

 At last the deer slowed down and Annaleis could relax. They were in a new part of the flower forest. The colors were even deeper and richer than before.

“Look! The castle!” The castle was magnificent. It rose up out of the flowers, towering above the treetops. The deer stopped and the dolls slid off it’s back, giving him a pat of thanks.

 The walls of the castle, or at least the two walls that they could see, were made of different materials. One wall was made of ice and snowflowers and petalcicles.

 the other was made of buds, blossoms and blooms and springshine sungrass.

“I bet each wall represents a different season!” Annaleis cried, “We’re seeing winter and spring, but if we walked around the entire castle I bet we’d see fall and summer too!”

They walked up to the brightly lit spring gates.

 Silent knights guarded it’s gates but they stood aside and let the dolls pass. They gasped in delight at what they saw inside. Fairies all over the place! Flying and laughing and singing and dancing! Playing games with one another or painting flowers on the walls!

But there was one pink fairy who sat alone in a corner, hugging her knees, trying to look happy but tears were running down her cheeks. Both dolls felt drawn to her. They couldn’t stop themselves from moving towards her.

“Why are you crying?” Annaleis hated watching this fairy cry. Her sadness pierced her heart so deeply she felt like crying herself and she didn’t even know why.

“I have no song to sing. No song of blooming spring. It is lost. I cannot find it.”

Annaleis dug into her pocket, “Is this what you were looking for?” She held out the starflake. The fairy’s eyes lit up, and a glow of joy shone in her face, “You’ve found it!!! Oh, Praises be!! Thank you!! Glory to Christ the King! For He has Risen! Rejoice and Sing! Like buds, entombed and graved was He. Like blossoms, He rose! In victory! Come! Rejoice! Stay with me!”

And with that, the fairy flew around with the others in song and praise. Since the dolls could not fly, they explored on the ground, singing the hymns they knew that the fairies sang. They were shown throne-beds woven of rose thorns to sleep in for the night.

Such huge beds, they could have both slept in one!

 They were so soft and comfortable, like sleeping on a pile of rose petals.

 In the morning they woke refreshed and well, and ate breakfast with the fairies. When they were through, a fairy came to them and said, “Honor and thanks to you we bring; a gift for you; a song to sing.  A hymn of resurrection and spring!

Now it is time for your farewell. Darkwing will bring you where you dwell.”

They followed the fairy deep in the depths of the castle to what would have been the dungeons but there were no dungeons in this castle, just a cavernous stone cave, where a dragon lived.

 The dragon looked at them with wise, calm eyes, “You have done well, Little Ones. You did not give up or complain, even when you were in pain. It is time for you to go back home.”

“Annaleis Jamie Effner,” the dragon called. Annaleis gasped, wondering how the dragon knew her full name, but she had no chance to ask. The dragon breathed on her and blue and white flame that became dragonflowers swooped in and crowned her head, kissing her hair.

 A dazzling blue/white light filled the room. Every melody, carol and song Annaleis had heard in the fairyland came back to her in a fantasia of music. Annaleis disappeared.

“Sophie Charlotte Gotz,” the dragon called. The dragon breathed on her.

 Pillars of pink flame came shooting out, surrounding Sophie, enveloping her.

But they were as soft and cool as feathers.  Sophie also, heard every melody, carol and song that she had listened to before come together in a fantasia of song.

 The featherflames parted and suddenly she was home in the doll room!

They were back in Katelynne’s room but all the other dolls were gone. It was just she and Annaleis, but everything seemed different. Everything seemed fresh and new and warm.

“Annaleis, can you feel it? Can you smell it? Spring is finally here!”

Just then the door burst open, “THE BUDS HAVE BURST!!!!” Camille shouted, grabbing both of them by their hands, “Where have you BEEN!?!? The Buds have BURST!!! Come see! Come see!!!!”

They all crowded to the window and looked out. And indeed, the trees were flowering and so many of the bushes were blooming. The grass was so green! Daffodils, and tulips were bursting with color.

“I can’t believe how quickly everything’s bloomed! So fast, like in a total of three days!” Keisha said.

“Three days! Like the three days Jesus was buried!” Camille said.

“Yes,” Katelynne agreed, “I’ve always wished we could celebrate Easter right when spring is really here and not before. It’s like you said,” Katelynne nudged Camille, “The buds have burst out of the trees like Jesus has burst out of the tomb!”

“Well, the fairies certainly celebrate Easter that way!” Annaleis said.

“How do you know?” Camille asked.

“Because I saw them!”

“WHAT!?!?!” all the dolls except Sophie cried.

“Me too!” Sophie added.

“You got to see FAIRIES!?!?!” Camille looked at them in awe and slight disbelief, “Is that were you’ve been all this time?”

“How long have we been gone?” Sophie asked.

“Three days.”

“Three days!! I think it was only one day in the Flower Fairyland!”

“Flower Fairyland!!!” Camille practically shrieked, “YOU HAVE TO TELL ME!!! WHAT HAPPENED??? WHAT DID YOU DO?? WHAT DID YOU SEE???”

“Calm down, Camille! We’ll tell you all about it! But you want to know why we were there?” Annaleis didn’t let anyone try to answer, she was too excited to answer for herself, “We found the SpringSong!”

“THE SPRINGSONG!?!??!” This time Camille did scream, “Where is it? Can you sing it? I want to hear it! Sing it! Sing it!”

“We can’t sing that particular song because we gave it back to the fairies, but they gave us another one! A hymn!”

“A hymn!!!”

“Yes, but look how it’s written! Guitar chords! It’s a song for Tenney! Tenney should sing it at the spring fling fundraiser at school!”

“Oh! Didn’t you hear? Oh, no, cause you’ve been gone.”

“Hear what?”

“Tenney is going to her dreamland.”

“What?”

Keisha smiled, “You know what her favorite song is, right?”

“Of course! Sandy Mush!” Annaleis cried, “How can anyone not! She sings it practically EVERY day!!!”

“Yes, well, she found out it’s a real place, and not only that, a wonderful wayfinding Weaver who lives there would love for her to come! So she’s going! In fact! She’s leaving today! We were on our way to say good-bye to her! Come on!”

They walked to the kitchen where Tenney was all packed and ready.

“I don’t want to say good-bye,” Tenney said, “I have this feeling we’ll see each other again anyway.”

“No, it’s not really a good-bye. I think we will see each other too. But we do want to say we love you,” said Katelynne.

Sophie came up to her, “Here,” she said, handing her the hymn, “It’s a new spring song. Sing it and think of us.”

Then, one by one, they all came up and gave her hugs. Camille was last to hug her, when she suddenly said, “Tenney! Sing the Sandy Mush song! One more time!”

“Let’s all sing it!”

“Yes!!” Tenney laughed, “You can sing me home to Sandy Mush!”
In the middle of July with the grass growing high and the dusty blueberries on the bush, I met a girl who was prettier than pearls in the sweet mountain hills of Sandy Mush. Sandy Mush, Sandy Mush, dusty berries on the bush in the sweet mountain hills of Sandy Mush.


 had come to this land to make a living with my hands and find a valley green and lush. I would work through the years, save my blood, sweat, and tears and find me a home in Sandy Mush. Sandy Mush, Sandy Mush, a valley green and lush in the sweet mountain hills of Sandy Mush. 

Her will was strong. Her eyes were like a song and her voice was as sweet as a thrush. I asked her in the spring if she would wear my ring and bear me a child in Sandy Mush. Sandy Mush, Sandy Mush, a voice like a thrush in the sweet mountain hills of Sandy Mush.

If your father says yes, I’ll be filled with happiness and I’ll pick you a rose to match your blush. If your father says no, then away I will go and I’ll tarry no more in Sandy Mush. Sandy Mush, Sandy Mush, a rose to match your blush or I’ll tarry no more in Sandy Mush.

Well my father has heard you’re a man of your word and when the berries again are on the bush, in this green valley mild I will bear you a child, a beautiful child in Sandy Mush. Sandy Mush, Sandy Mush, when the berries are on the bush I will bear you a child in Sandy Mush.

Sandy Mush, Sandy Mush, a rose to match your blush and a beautiful child in Sandy Mush.

The end.

 

Behind the scenes: As you can see, the Flower Fairyland was not a real Flower Fairyland exactly. In fact, it was a fairyland that was nestled in the very heart of bustling downtown Chicago! I brought Sophie and Annaleis to the Macey’s Flower Show! It was sooo neat!!! They had flower displays on every single floor!!! I didn’t even get pics of everything! The dolls and I had quite the adventure taking the pics. Sadly, I had no wonderful grandma to hold the dolls, nor any other helper, so I had to do my best on my own and it didn’t always work. Like, when Annaleis tried to climb the tree, not only did SHE fall out of the tree, but the whole TREE and the huge vase it was in, fell from a high table when I placed her in the branches!!! Luckily, it was on the kitchen floor of Maceys where hardly anyone was there and I was able to put everything back the way it was without anyone seeing!

Another time was when I placed the two dolls on the reindeer. I was photographing them and balancing them so they wouldn’t fall when a woman came up to me and said, “Don’t touch those dolls! That’s the display! You’ll wreck it! And they’re so cute!”

“Umm,…they’re my dolls.”

“They are?? Oh! I’m so sorry! I thought they were part of the display!”

Heee! And I wasn’t too worried about placing them in the flowers because I did it on the last day the whole display was going to be up anyway. 

About Tenney: I read Tenney’s first book and I was pretty disappointed with it. This is my Tenney’s new story, except she’s not going to be mine anymore because she really is leaving my house and going off to a very, VERY dear and wonderful wandering Weaver, who I love very much and I know Tenney will be MORE than happy living there. With many young kids to come visit and play with her and share adventures with her too!

-Heather

credits

Sandy Mush. Jonathon Byrd from Wildflowers.

 

In the Winter of Our Spirits, John Core.

Genesis 15:4-6

Ride a Cockhorse, Mother Goose/Nicholas Page.

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Posted in Fairy Frolics, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Fantastic Foreign Festivities

Here is yet another addition to the Fairy Frolic stories. Katelynne and Camille were sooooo beyond excited!!! They had arrived in Virginia again and they were hoping to get to go visit the Fairy Forest!!! Camille was giddy with excitement again! Many people had just arrived in the house and it was loud and wonderful! New family members to meet for the first time after hearing so much about them! She was finally getting to meet them at last! And they were suuuuuch wonderful people too! Truly delightful, welcoming, warm, and faith-filled people. Katelynne, Camille, Mary Grace, and Willow who had all come along on adventures and had fallen in love with them.

 Camille was reeling with all the excitement of it! It felt almost as if it were too much to hold! Her heart was overflowing with love and joy, and her head was so full of excitement and happiness she kind of felt dizzy and overwhelmed.

It was very late at night, far past her bedtime but there was no way she could sleep. Katelynne couldn’t sleep either. “Camille, I’ve been having such a great time here, but I need to breathe. I need to get out, get some fresh air. And I looked out the window and the moon is so glorious. I want to see it for real. Would you like to walk to the fairy forest with me?”

Camille jumped up and down, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” She knew a trip to the fairy forest would clear her head, even though it made her all the more excited too!

And in not much time at all, they stepped out in the backyard. As soon as they had shut the door behind them and stepped out in the grass, Katelynne said, “Ohh!” because it was just so beautiful and quiet outside. So peaceful and bright because of the moon, though it was very cold.

They walked slowly towards the fairy forest together, not saying very much, just completely content to be with one another, knowing they were going to visit a place very special and dear in both their hearts.

They walked across the plank and on to the moss bed that was still covered in leaves and pine needles, protected from the winter. Katelynne stopped and turned around, looking up. “The moon is so beautiful tonight.”

Camille looked up too. It was indeed beautiful, a perfect crescent, and gleaming so brightly through branches. She shivered with the cold and drew very very close to Katelynne.

Katelynne smiled, still gazing at the moon, “Sometimes I look out at the forest, or up in the branches, and then even higher; into the sky, to the moon, and past the moon! To the stars! And I just marvel…..I’m just in awe…..I just delight in the Lord’s creation. Such exquisite beauty. Even in the winter. Seeing the bare branches of the trees reaching, …reaching, and maybe even sometimes tickling the sky, trying to touch the stars. Or the glow of the moon dancing among the tallest branches. How could anyone imagine, or create, or come up with such beauty? Such detail? How could anyone doubt our God?”

It was a question that didn’t need answering. Camille put her head on Katelynne’s shoulder in solid agreement. A part of a poem came to Katelynne’s mind,

‘How should touching, tasting, seeing, breathing, any, –lifted from the know of all nothing, human merely being, –doubt unimaginable You.’

“Shall we sing?” Katelynne asked.

Camille smiled a brilliant smile, her heart alight with joy, “Oh yes!! What should we sing?”

The dolls were quiet, thinking about what to sing. Camille listened to the world around her, “The crickets are singing!”

Katelynne smiled, “They can accomany us!” And then she began –

“All praise to Thee my God this night

for all the blessings of the Light

Keep me, oh keep me King of kings

Beneath Thine own almighty wing.”

Camille joined her for the second verse,

“Forgive me Lord, for Thy dear Son,

The ill that I this day have done,

That with the world, myself, and Thee,

I ere I sleep at peace may be.”

They sang the next verse as a round,

“Oh may my soul on Thee repose

and may sweet sleep mine eyelids close,

Sleep that for me more vigorous make

to serve my God when I awake.”

For the final verse, Camille sang a high descant,

“Praise God from Whom all blessings flow

Praise Him all creatures here below,

Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts,

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”

It was soooo wonderful to sing nightly praises to the Lord. Their hearts were lifted up, and their voices blended seamlessly. Fitting and flowing into each other.

“I love singing with you!” Camille said, “I want to sing hymns with you all night! I want to sing until….until….

On some morning when the light creeps in

Outlining the trees, and our growing grins,

Will you go a-wandering with me?

Past the moat, the marbles, the moss,

Where the light is layerd, the leaves embossed,

Will you  explore and search with me?

Until we’ve found the faerie nooks

And rest and hum from bark hymnbooks

Will you sit and sing with me?”

Katelynne gave her a hug, “We need sleep too though, Sweetie. We can sing in the morning light another time. Let’s just enjoy the night tonight.”

And again, looking up at the moon, Katelynne started another song.

“Now the light has gone away, Father listen while I pray,

Asking Thee to watch and keep, and to send me quiet sleep.”

Again, Camille joined in on the second verse,

“Jesus Savior, wash away, all that has been wrong today,

Help me everyday to be, good and gentle more like Thee.”

They hugged each other and sang the next verse,

“Let my near and dear ones be, ever near and dear to Thee,

Oh bring me and all I love, to Thy happy home above.

Now my evening praise I give, Thou didst die that I might live,

All my blessings come from Thee, oh how good Thou art to me.

Thou my best and kindest Friend, Thou wilt love me to the end,

Let me love Thee more and more, always better than before.”

They stood still even after they had stopped singing. Enjoying the night, the moon, the stars, and each other. Suddenly Katelynne gasped, “Look over there! Do you see that?”

For there in the far corner of the forest were twinkling lights. The dolls started walking toward it. Glad to be moving, for the cold had started to make both of them shiver again.

“Fairy lights!” Camille gasped as they drew nearer, “A fairy tree!”

 “It’s beautiful,” Katelynne breathed.

 “Let’s climb it!” Camille ran toward it. For that seemed to be what the tree wanted. It gave such an inviting glow. Twinkling and gleaming at them, as though welcoming them into it’s branches.

 And up they climbed, trying to get as high as they could, laughing and shouting all the while.

“We’re getting so high!” Camille cried.

“Higher and higher!” Katelynne agreed.

 Katelynne looked up, through the branches, past the twinkling fairy lights that surrounded them, up to the sky, to the moon, and past the moon to the stars. They all seemed so close. So close now. If she reached….

“Look! I can touch– AAAAH!”

 There was a great swooping sensation, as though the tree was in the most dreadful gale but there was no wind. Katelynne heard Camille give a shout but couldn’t seem to hear what she was saying.

Then suddenly they found their surroundings had totally and completely changed.

“Where are we?”

“We’re not even in the right tree!”

“What happened?”

“This is a cherry blossom tree!”

“It’s spring!!!” Camille shouted, “I can’t believe it!!!”

It is hard to believe it is spring when it’s been winter for so long. It’s hard to remember what that feels like. What is like to feel warm again? What is it like to smell a fresh breeze? What is it like to feel the warm air on your skin? What is it like to see more than just the color brown?

“I’m hot!” Katelynne said. She had just been wishing she would have worn an extra layer under her sweater and now she was wishing to take it off!

“It’s spriiiiiiing!” Camille shouted again and gave a Whoop!

She slid down her branch like a slide and suddenly got swooped up in the air again, doing an unintentinal backflip in the air and coming face to face with-

“AAAAAEEEEEE!” Camille screamed, for it was a dragon!

The dragon took a squinty look at her, “Such a high squeak-voice. What are you? A little Lady-bug that needs to be snuffed out?”

“No!!” Camille gulped, trying hard not to cry from fear, “I’m a girl! A doll! I came here from the fairy tree! But I don’t even know where I am or what this-”

 The dragon threw back his head and laughed, spitting out little balls of yellow flame. Camille drew back and tried to make herself as small as she could.

“A fairy-doll! Why didn’t you say so! You are here for the festival! A feast-delight for the eyes, the ears, the nose, and the mooooouth!” And when the dragon said ‘mouth’ he dipped low, opening his jaws as he dove straight for Camille’s head. Camille was frozen in fear. She couldn’t even breathe. She almost lost consciousness but his mouth suddenly went below her and he scooped her up with his nose and suddenly she was gliding! Riding along the ridges of his back!

Zooming up and down like a roller coaster!! His serpentine body went on and on, and after she’d gotten over her fear she started to enjoy the bum-pity ride! Then with a flick of his tail, she soared once again way up in the air and landed on something soft and smooth, that waved in the wind like a swing.

Perhaps you are wondering what happened to Katelynne: when Camille slid down the cherry blossom tree, Katelynne had tried to follow her but her foot had slipped off one of the branches and she started falling. Branches scraped at her face. She tried to grab them but she was going too fast to take hold, and then suddenly, CRUNCH!!!

 She fell into a huge plant! And not just a plant! A Doll Crunching plant!!! How a doll cruncher took root under a beautiful cherry tree we might never know, but Katelynne barely knew what was happening to her before all the jaws and teeth biters rose up from the ground to crunch Katelynne up and swallow her whole! She screamed, trying ferociously to get out, but there were too many teeth. And the teeth were terribly sharp. The teeth grating against each other were like steel knives. The noise was overpowering. Darkness enveloped her and she felt herself sinking down, down. It got quieter and suddenly she felt as though she were floating. Floating under the ground, except there was light….and there seemed to be sky? Up above? But it wasn’t sky, there were…..waves! Waves of light-water. Water that lit up by itself. It rippled in a way Katelynne had never seen water ripple before. It formed shapes, it made designs of the most complicated patters. She couldn’t even make sense of it, except to see that it was beautiful.

 It formed flowers, and lights, and balls, and flourishes and embellishments. Deeper and deeper she sank….or didn’t sink, for she had lost all sense of direction and couldn’t tell if she was going up or down. But the water changed and parted to let deep, dark, giant see creatures in. Jellyfish, a whole school of them were parting the water and floating through it.

The water foamed white where the jellyfish had been. White water rapids engulfed Katelynne’s face as she headed straight toward them. She closed her eyes. She couldn’t see for the foam and surge of the sea. She felt a slippery, slimy tentacle caress her face. She almost screamed. Then suddenly the waves stopped and she opened her eyes.

Now there was so much more than just jellyfish!!! There was coral, fish, and a huge whale swimming all around her! And the most beautiful colors! The jellyfish were all different colors, the coral was so vibrant, the whale looked as elegant as it swam. Katelynne was just floating, or rather, the water was keeping her upright and moving, for it seemed to have a mind of it’s own. She had no control over what direction or motion to move at all. She kept turning her head this way and that, trying to see everything at once!

There was so much to see! And floating like this, meant sometimes she was moving forward, and other times she’d be carried backwards.

It happened when she was facing the wrong way; She had been watching a swordfish slicing it’s way through the water when she bumped into a flying fish. Katelynne gasped as the eyes of the fish popped out of it’s head in surprise, and it spread its wings in flight and flew out! The momentum carried Katelynne with it. They tumbled in the water, bumping into each other over and over, and somersaulting on top of each other. Katelynne and the fish would gasp each time they touched. Suddenly, Katleynne bumped into the fish’s mouth! It gasped and she got sucked right in!!!

‘I’m Jona!’ Katelynne thought, ‘I’m Jona in the fish’s belly!’ Katelynne had always imagined a very dark, dank, stinky fish belly for Jona, but not so for her. Everything was bright red and gleaming inside her fish. And she didn’t stay in the fish for 3 days. She barely stayed in it for three minutes because it gave a lurch, opened up its mouth and a torrent of rainbow bubbles spewed out of it’s mouth along with Katelynne!

At last she seemed to be on top of the water instead of underneath it and she could see land!!! Thank goodness she’d learned how to swim! And swim she did! She kept her body up, as close to the surface as possible so she wouldn’t get snatched at by any more hungry fish. But she didn’t think about what might be hunting from the air. A mother heron and her babies were stalking among the lily pads hoping to catch some of the luscious fish.

Yet again, Katelynne didn’t even know what had attacked her before she was whisked up into the air and carried high above the treetops.

You must be thinking, ‘Poor Katelynne! She must be so terrified, being swallowed, and crunched and snatched and eaten!’

And she was, but every single time she saw something fantastically wonderful she would forget about being afraid. And indeed, soaring so high and being able to see the whole new world around her with all of it’s dazzling colors and bigger than life shapes was incredible! She had no clue what kind of world this was, but it was amazing to see!

She flew for a while, dangling from the heron’s beak, but then, perhaps the heron decided she was too heavy, or not tasty enough, or it saw something better to put in its beak, but it promptly dropped Katelynne and she fell with a shriek from the sky.

“UMPH!” Katelynne landed hard on something soft. She looked around and gasped in terror again! She was caught in another plant! A purple one this time but who knew if it might start eating her! She scrambled to get out.

 “KATELYNNE!!!” a high pitched voice shouted.

 “CAMILLE!!”

Camille was so overjoyed to see Katelynne, she bounced on her flower petal like it was a diving board and LEAPED up, soaring into the air for the third time and landing in Katelynne’s flower which promptly turned yellow!

 Camille threw herself in Katelynne’s arms.

“Oooh! I’m so glad to see you!! I thought we’d be separated forever! What happened to you?” Camille’s anxious face studied Katelynne’s. Trying hard to discern if Katelynne was okay.

“I’m fine. I had quite the time getting here, though, but I made it all in one piece. How did you get here?”

But Camille didn’t have time to answer for a great music was coming toward them, a parade of sorts. A parade of birds.

 A pheonix who’s tail was longer than the dragon’s.

 Peacocks who, every time they opened their mouths to sing, flowers blossomed.

And a cloud of bluebirds whistling among the flowers.

“Woooooow!! What a place this is!” Camille exclaimed.

“Where are we? What is this place? How do we get out?” Katelynne asked.

Camille looked around and gasped, “There’s a dragon! I can go ask him!”

Katelynne’s eyes went wide with fear, “NOO! Are you out of your MIND?!!! You can’t go ask a dragon for directions!! Talk about dangerous!!”

 “No! I’ve talked to a dragon before! They’re not mean! I’m sure he’ll tell me.”

But before Katelynne could grab her, Camille was off and running down the field towards the dragon.

 “Please, can you tell us what land we’re in? Where we are?”

“Foreigners to the festival, aye?” he said in a gruff and growly voice, “You are in the land of Tianyu. We are celebrating the coming of spring. Come! Take a bottle! You must be thirsty from your travels. This will give you fire and energy.”

Camille was very confused at first. There were no bottles, nothing to drink that she could see, but then she saw and gasped, for the dragon was made out of bottles! He was covered in them! She took a bottle from his leg, and after saying thank you, stuck it in her pocket to share with Katelynne and raced off to her once again.

“Here, drink this. The dragon gave it to us.”

“Are you sure it’s safe?”

“I think so. The dragon didn’t mean any harm. He welcomed us foreigners to the land of Tianyu and their springtime celebration.”

“A welcome gift,” Katelynne studied the red liquid in the bottle and took a drink. It was fizzy and sweet, but not too sweet. There was a wildness to the taste, and a dazzling thrill went through her body as though she was sparkling from the inside. And despite the warmth, Camille visibly shivered when she took her drink.

“WHOA!” Katelynne gasped.

 For suddenly instead of sitting inside the tulips like they just had been for the past fifteen minutes, the tulips seemed to have shrunk, or they seemed to have grown, for now they were the same height as the tulips.

“Is Tianyu part of Wonderland?” Katelynne joked, “Are we going to meet Alice?”

“I want to see the white rabbit!” Camille grinned.

“We’ll have to tiptoe through the tulips to try, or else they might grow all big again and block our way!”

So up they got and tiptoed out to the road where the birds had been.

 They saw the most amazing plants and flowers.

 A golden lantern magnolia tree.

 Pine cones in a pond

 And the most beautiful purple flowers.

 Katelynne climbed an anthill.

But Camille got the most excited about the most boring part of the ground: the road! For etched in the road itself was a sign:

 “Ladybug Lane!!!” For those of you who don’t know, Camille’s favorite creature on earth is a ladybug. She has had countless conversations with Lanie about them and can’t wait to start her own ladybug conservatory and try to find the endangered ladybugs just like Lanie did with Nicholas.

They started down Ladybug Lane, with Camille shouting, jumping and pointing at every ladybug everything she could find!

But they were waylaid by a ladybug snatcher, a giant brown-bellied bullfrog.

“Oh no!! Quick! Hide! It’s a ladybug eater!”

Katelynne and Camille both climbed up into a fern spike.

 “Don’t eat us,” Katelynne whispered.

“Don’t lick ladybugs!” Camille scolded. The frog paid them no attention. He just hopped on by.

“Whew!” Katelynne said, “That was close!”

But then, “EEEK! Another one!!” Camille jumped up into a giant flower. She looked up at it through the petals and saw it wasn’t a frog. It was an iguana. She watched it’s tongue streeeeetch out from it’s mouth.

“Don’t eat me!” she squeaked.

“Ththththththhteeeeeaaaa” it said, “Thththththththteeeeeaa.”

“Tea?” Katelynne asked, wondering what was trying to say, “Is it thirsty?” and then she gasped. Because straight ahead was a city.

 A city made of tea cups and saucers.

 “Wow!” Katelynne whispered again. The dolls walked down the porcelain streets, listening to the sound of their feet clicking on the smooth floor. They felt it first; a rumbling in the ground and then a clattering roaring noise. Finally it came into view. Teapots on a cart, rolling down the street and filling every single teacup in the city.

“Can we drink it?” Camille, who was still thirsty, asked.

But before Katleynne could reply bumbling squeaky noises could be heard around the corner and down the street. The dolls froze, wondering what else might be lurking in this city. A bunch of playful pandas bounded into view. They were pushing and laughing, playing leap frog, doing somersaults, jumping and chasing each other.

Camille was fascinated, “They’re so cute!”

“They’re so big! But they are cute,” Katelynne said, smiling as she watched two of them skipping together. They all bounded to the teacups and took a drink.

Camille turned to Katelynne again and repeated herself, “Can we drink it?”

“I suppose,” Katelynne took a teacup and looked at the amber liquid, “I always feel suspicious about food and drink in foreign fairylands. You never know what to expect, but I guess even if we don’t drink it, we still never know what to expect! And the pandas are doing it.”

They drank it, and again, it was sweet, but not too sweet, and had that same wild flavor, sending shivers down their spines.

Once the pandas had had enough they started bounding away.

“Let’s follow them!” Camille shouted and raced after them, Katelynne right behind her.

The pandas stopped at a playground where they all swung on swings, slid on slides, and bounced on see saws. One of them saw the dolls and motioned for them to join.

“We can play!!” Camille cried.

 It was such fun too! They both sat in front of the soft, warm panda bear, leaning back in it’s fur as they soared up and down.

 It was a crazy, wavy, stomach flipping motion that the dolls felt much more than the pandas because of how much smaller they were. But they loved it and shouted and threw their hands up in the air!

The pandas had very short attention spans, because after 9 turns on the teeter totter their panda got off and sat on a swing. None of the pandas really talked. They would squeak and gesture but wouldn’t say words. Their panda waved at them again to join.

 The swing was so neat because it was attached to a rainbow! If they looked up, they could see underneath the rainbow!

“Look at all the colors!” Katelynne exclaimed, “You can see them all blended and in layers at the same time! I’ve always wondered what it would be like to – AAYE!”

Katelynne had been staring up when the swing started swinging and she would have fallen had it not been for the panda grabbing her in a hug! The bears were such fun to be around! So soft and cuddly and playful! And the dolls weren’t the only ones who loved hanging around them. Butterflies would also come and flit on the bears noses and give them little kisses.

Because there were so many bears, more butterflies came to see, and soon there were a whole flock of butterflies! A HUGE butterfly landed right in front of the dolls, fluttering it’s wings and wiggling it’s antennas.

“Do you suppose we’re supposed to get on and ride it?” Camille asked.

Katelynne looked at the butterfly, who quivered it’s little legs and fluttered its wings even more.

“I think so!”

They ran around the back and climbed up the butterfly’s body.

And then Whooosh! They took off!

“Wooow!!” Camille was holding on for dear life as they flittered this way and that. Butterflies are beautiful insects but they really aren’t the most graceful of creatures, dittering and darting this way and that and stopping at every flower.

 Their butterfly spent a long time on one flower and when it whizzed back up in the air, Katelynne wasn’t ready. She wasn’t holding on to anything! She tumbled out of the butterfly’s back and fell towards the ground.

“KATELYNNE!!!!” Camille screamed. She was SO not going let Katelynne be separated from her again! She let go of the butterfly’s wing and dived to the the ground following Katelynne. But a blue butterfly had seen what had happened. He saw the little dolls flailing and falling. He dove, and caught Katelynne just before she hit the ground. His wife, who was always keeping track of what her husband was doing, saw and caught the littler doll on her back too.

 “Whew!! Rescued again!” Katelynne said, once she had gotten her bearings.

 Camille was just as relieved as Katelynne. So very glad both of them were safe.

“Let’s get off at the next flower, so we won’t be in anymore danger of falling from the sky again!”

They got off in a field of fairy flowers.  And after sliding down the stem, they found themselves on the road again.

“We have had some amazing adventures, but I am so tired. I’m ready to go home,” Katelynne said.

“I’m hungry too,” Camille agreed. They walked and walked, hoping to find someone, or something that could help them, or show them how to get back home. They walked through more flowers.

Tiny flowers that grew into big flowers before their very eyes.

Past a sleepy scene of vegetating dinosaurs.

A goofy band of turtles,

And then nothing. Nothing for a long time. They just walked on the road, too tired to talk to each other. Then suddenly, it was almost like they were back in the fairy forest.

“Stop! Listen! Do you hear that?” Katelynne asked.

“Hear what?” Camille had been humming her own song in her head and forgot to open her ears to the outside world. She listened. It was a high pitched cheep cheep and then a low Ooor-roo right after.

Owls! Owls and cheepy chicks were watching them from the ground and from trees. A whole flock of them.

“Owls are wise. Maybe they can talk to us,” Katelynne said, “Excuse me. Do you know, could you tell us how to get back to another land? We came from far away, and we loved visiting here very much, but we’re ready to go home now.”

“Oooroo! Ooroo!” said the owls, “Youuu must ask the fairies of Tianyuuuu. The deer will take youuu. Ooroo! Ooroo!”

“Ride the deer? Where are we going to find the deer?” Katelynne asked, but she didn’t get an answer. They just ‘Ooroo’ed among themselves.

“Now what?” Camille asked, trying hard not to feel discouraged. But she wondered how long they had been here. It felt like days and days, but it hadn’t even gotten dark yet. ‘I wonder if it even does get dark here.’

“I guess we walk, and hope we’ll see some deer.”

“Do you suppose they have nighttime here?” Camille asked.

“I was wondering that myself. We must have been here for hours and hours. I feel like I’ve been awake for days. I could use some more of that red drink or that tea.”

“Yeah,” Camille agreed.

She was just about to ask Katelynne if they could just stop and sleep in a flower petal for a couple hours when they finally saw something different.

“Are those blue trees?”

For they certainly looked like blue trees from far away. But coming closer, Katelynne saw they were moving.

“They’re,….. they’re antlers! The deer! They’re reindeer! Look!”

“Hooray!!” cried Camille. The dolls suddenly put on a burst of energy and ran toward a deer who was lying down, “Would you take us to the fairies of Tianyu?” Katelynne asked. The deer curled its head toward it’s back, motioning them to get on.

 And once they were settled, off they went!

 Riding reindeer was much easier than riding butterflies or dragons. The deer kept up an even steady tempo, and the jostling was more like a rocking, so that after the initial excitement, Camille leaned back against Katelynne. Katelynne wrapped her arms around her, holding her tight, “Sleep, little Love, I will wake you if anything exciting happens.”

And feeling so very loved and warm and safe, Camille fell asleep in Katelynne’s arms.

 Katelynne did not sleep, but she rested her mind, also feeling safe and well. She kissed Camille and leaned her cheek against the top of Camille’s head, watching the road, the plants, and the animals go by in a blur.

Despite the dolls doubts, there was a nighttime in Tianyu. It was just very slow in coming and did not stay long. But the sun did set and the moon came out just as the deer pulled up to the grove of trees which was the gateway to the fairies dwelling.

Katelynne and Camille rolled off the deer’s back and laid down up against a bush and slept deeply.

They awoke to find a little homely house had given them shelter from the hot sun that had risen hours before they did.

 Katelynne yawned and grinned at Camille, “Guess what?”

“What?”

“You missed the nighttime!”

“What??? There was nighttime!!?? With the stars and moon and everything?? I thought you were going to wake me up if something exciting happened!!”

Katelynne laughed, “It was the most boring, peaceful, unexciting and short nighttime ever! I caught a glimpse of the moon and that was it. Still a crescent. Like before.”

Camille gave her a scrunch face of disbelief.

“I would have woken you up to see the moon, but I was so tired myself I could barely sit up straight. I’m sorry.”

“No, it’s okay,” said Camille, “What’s going to happen now?”

“Well, the reindeer let us off here, so I’m guessing this is, or we’re very close to, the home of the fairies. Let’s just walk around and look for a fairy house.”

 The dolls of course, knew exactly what to look for in a fairy house, having seen a real true one themselves. They walked along a paved road, listening to the gurggling of a far away fountain that seemed to get louder the closer they came.

 Indeed it was fountain, and a very big one who’s bottom seemed more like a lake, or even an ocean. It must have been very deep because out of the depths arose a mermaid. A beautiful one with golden hair.

“Do you know where the fairies live?” Camille asked. The mermaid stretched her body out, and pointed to the far side of the lake, then dove back into the water without even a splash!

 They walked around it, and got halfway around the lake when Camille shouted, “LOOK!!!! THERE IT IS!!!!”

And sure enough, at the edge of the lake, was a fairy house. This one, made of stone. The girls ran up to it and knocked on the door. A fairy came gliding out. She didn’t walk, she kind of …flew. She gave a piercing cry and more fairies came gliding along the edge of the lake. Once ten had gathered together, five of them jumped up….and up and up and up. Until they reached the clouds. Camille strained her neck trying to see them. They were grabbing clouds. Gathering armfuls and when they could carry no more they dove back down where they made a sort of boat of clouds.

Two fairies picked up Katelynne and Camille and set them on a cloud.

 Katelynne thought she’d go right through but the cloud held her. It was so soft and bouncy. Like sitting on a giant pile of feathers. The fairies started singing and they glided along the ground.

 The first fairy they had seen tapped each of their noses, “Listen well,” she said with a funny accent.

The dolls listened to the song.

‘When the bell tolls eleven times,

look in the glass, look in the glass,

When the treetops and lilies combine,

look in the glass, look in the glass.

There you will find your home in sunshine,

In flowers and trees, in songs of springtime.’

And with that, the fairies picked up Katelynne and Camille once more and set them on the ground in the middle of a garden.

“It’s a riddle!” Katelynne said to Camille, “Or at least, I think that song holds the clue to how we can get home!”

“When the bell tolls eleven times?” Camille asked, “I don’t see a -“

“I do!!!” Katelynne shouted and ran toward a long, narrow bell.

Camille followed right after her and they stop and stared at it for a while.

“When is it going to ring?” Camille asked.

“I don’t know. I don’t know if it rings every hour, or every day, or when.”

“Then we could be stuck here forever!”

 “Unless….” Katelynne studied the bottom of the bell, that looked like a shell or a mermaid’s tail, “Unless we’re supposed to ring it ourselves…….why not?”

 She picked up the heavy knocker and gave it a good hard swing. DONG!!!! It reverberated across the bushes and trees. DONG!!!! She did it again, and again, eleven times.

Then, “Look in the glass.”

“What glass?”

“I don’t know.”

Camille hummed the song the fairies had sung under her breath, “Look in the glass. That’s just like Alice in Wonderland again! Alice in the Looking Glass, and she saw — OH!!!” An idea had just come to Camille, “Follow me!!”

Katelynne ran with her back to where the Fountain Lake started before it went into the fountain itself, a waterfall.

 “Look in the glass, look in the glass. I think we’re supposed to look in the water!”

The dolls scrambled onto the rocks and stood at the waters edge and looked. Nothing happened. All they saw were ripples from the waterfall. And all they heard was the roaring of the water hitting the rocks.

“Oh no! It’s not working!” Katelynne moaned, “Did we do something wrong? Maybe this isn’t the looking glass, maybe it’s a real mirror we’re supposed to find.”

“No! We just forgot the last verse! ‘When the treetops and lilies combine.’ But lilies grow in the water and the treetops are up in the sky. When would they ever combine?”

“I have no idea at all.”

“Ugh! We are so close, yet so far! There’s got to be something!” Camille scrunched her face up in concentration, “Let’s go find some lilies and maybe we’ll see a clue.”

“Okay!”

They followed the lake some more until they came to an inlet, where the water was as still as glass. The roaring of the waterfall and the tinkling of the fountain had disappeared. All was silent. And still. And peaceful. White lilies floated in the water like little stars in the night sky. Katelynne gasped.

“The lilies and treetops!!! They’ve combined in the reflection of the water!!!”

 Indeed it looked almost as though the treetops were a bush that was blooming with lilies; star-lilies.

“These are my favorite of all,” said Katelynne. The girls gazed in wonder at the beauty of it. And suddenly, their world changed.

They were in the treetops again, in their own world.

 Katelynne laughed from away up high, “Camille! You’re in your namesake! A camellia bush!”

 Katelynne shouted from the twinkling tree, but it was twinkling a bit differently than before. Light from the sun was twinkling through the branches. Dancing to Katelynne’s laughter.

“We’re home! We’re home!” Camille cried, climbing down from the bush.

She stood at the bottom, where a lone white camellia flower bloomed amongst all the red. Katelynne came down beside her and kissed her head, “You are a special, unique, fairy-flower-girl. You’re brighter than all the Camilles on the bush!”

“Hee!” said Camille, hugging her, burying her face in Katelynne’s sweater, “And you are a twinkling Starshine. You shine out, even in the darkest of places, with hope, faith and love.”

“I love you, Camille.”

“I love you back!”

They looked at their twinkling trees and sang a last hymn before heading into the house –

“Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy
health and salvation!
let all who hear,
Now to His temple draw near;
Sing now in glad adoration!

-the end.

Behind the Scenes: Yes!!! What a crazy adventure we ALL had!! Not just the dolls! My aunt, and grandma and me all went to the Norfolk botanical gardens where they had an Asian Lantern Festival going on.

 It was SOOO COOL!!!! If it weren’t my very last day visiting (I took the plane back home right after we saw all this) I would have stayed there all day and all night because everything you saw lights up at night!!!! I would have LOVED to have seen that!!!

 My grandma actually did the most work in all of this! She was the dedicated doll holder, and she kept the dolls safe, secure and made sure they behaved themselves!! I can’t even begin to describe how fun it was to discover all this and photograph it!!! I am SO GOING BACK again!!!!!

Someday soon, but for now…….

-Heather

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Agecroft Hall

Hello again!

For the second part of my birthday travels I went to Virginia for a week to visit family. Normally when I”m there I take Felicity and/or Elizabeth with me and travel back to the Colonial time period in Williamsburg or Jamestown, but this time I took different dolls, Willow and Mary Grace, and we traveled back much further to the Renaissance Tudor period of Agecroft Hall located in Richmond VA.

Our van was jam packed with people, stuff, and dolls. I was crammed in the back seat and the dolls didn’t even get a seat at all! They were stuffed in the trunk being buffeted by the other bags and clanked at by the wheel chair.

Yet, when dolls are dressed in certain outfits, a part of that character presents itself in them. Willow was dressed as a queen and Mary Grace, a princess. When royalty ride in carriages they do not complain about the bumps in the road. The dolls were ever gracious until we arrived at the hall.

 Agecroft Hall started out as a relatively large manor house in Lancashire, England. As the years went on, rooms were added and the house expanded to include a courtyard inside.

Image result for agecroft hall

You can see the differences in the patterns of the wood. The front part of it was built first and in much leaner times. You can see the wealthy extravagance of the fanciful woodwork in the back when those rooms were added on.

Unfortunately, I was not allowed to take pictures inside the hall. Mary Grace and Willow were especially disappointed because I had promised them a feast, and after all their trials and tribulations of getting to this place, they were very hungry!

Image result for agecroft hall rooms

And indeed, just as you see in this Google picture, the food looked very good. But even if they could, I”m not so sure Mary Grace and Willow would have wanted to eat there anyway. Children had to eat standing up. And event the adults sat on stools instead of chairs. Do you see the salt in the middle of the table? The salt separated the upper class and the lower class around the table. Eating utensils were not really used in this time period. Much of the eating was done with your hands. And do you see there are no drinking glasses around the table? You were only allowed one glass to drink, and you had to ask for it. And you could only ask for it once!


Willow and Mary Grace are very dainty eaters. They like to take drinks after bites to cleanse their palette (they eat the French way) so I’m not sure this style of eating would work for them anyway.

It was also probably a good thing Willow and Mary Grace were not allowed inside because rooms like the great Hall had straw on the floor. This was used for insulation, as were the tapestries that hung on the walls, but it was also used to soak up spills, and excrement from animals. They would put new straw down once every two months or so. Mary Grace and Willow would’ve gotten their lovely gowns soiled.

Image result for agecroft hall rooms

The stained glass window that you see never broke on it’s voyage from England to Virginia! When the estate needed to be divided among the heirs, the oldest received the hall, while a younger sibling inherited the windows!

Image result for agecroft hall rooms

One thing I know Willow and Mary Grace would love that would be found in this room. (and no, this is not a bedroom, even though you see a bed, it’s actually the parlor where they would entertain guests.) That would be a heated chair.

Image result for chair you put coals under in tudor time period

You see the little drawer under the bottom is where you would put hot coals to warm your bum! I could use one right now! It’s still very much winter here!

And it was very much winter when I visited Agecroft hall too! This view that you see is supposed to be the maze garden…..kinda hard to get lost in it. It’s even too small for the dolls!

 It might have been too cold for the bees to hive but not for Mary Grace!

 But even though it was winter, the gardens were still beautiful.

 And there were some gorgeous walking paths with bright green bushes to admire.

 Coming to the end of the path Mary Grace and Willow were astounded to see signs of spring!

 Even beautiful green trees that were just their size!

I’m not sure about Willow and Mary Grace, but I hope to go back to Agecroft Hall for more. We only got the mini tour and never got to see the upper floor. Maybe this summer! We’ll see! I’ll keep you posted!

On the way back though, we stopped in some little shops and saw some delightful things.

 An orchestra of wooden angels.

 Carved wooden scenes that lit up.

 And cuckoo clocks!

Keep watch! Not too much longer you’ll hear some more of the adventures of Katelynne and Camille!

-Heather

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