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Monday, March 12, 2012

For Aubrey and Claire

               Aubrey and Claire had a garden where they played all day long in the summer. A fence went around the garden and you went in at the gate. The gate creaked when you opened it, and when the gate creaked shut behind you, you were in a safe and secret place. There were flowers in the garden. Tall white daisies and huge blue delphiniums. Yellow lillies, tiny white muguet des bois that nodded in the breeze like weddding bells. Pink and blue forget me nots grew there, and cosmos and batchelor buttons. There was a hops vine that climbed over things and a sundial standing in a patch of lavendar.
         In one corner grew a patch of sweet little strawberries that you could pick whenever you wanted. There was a small brick patio where the roses grew. The roses were pink, and they blooomed
all summer long. Mother had given them an old table  and two chairs for the patio, so they could have tea on sunny days. They would make cucumber sandwiches, cutting the slices of bread into shapes with the cookie cutters. It was fun to smooth on the cream cheese and top them with thin, salty cucumber slices. When you bit into them, they made a tiny crunch and filled your mouth with cold, salty goodness. They would have a bowl with berries, sprinkled with sugar. Sometimes strawberries, sometimes rasberries, blueberries in August. They liked rasberry tea, with milk and maple syrup, stirring it with the old silvery spoons from Mothers drawer.
          They would swing their legs, and crook their fingers in the cup handles, and feel grown up and special.
           There were swings just outside the gate, and a hammock where you could rest when you were tired of running and pretending. One day Aubrey and Claire were having so much fun in the garden all day, that forgot to collect the tea things and bring them in when it was bed time. Uh oh!
            The night was warm and full of gentle breezes. The fireflies were flitting across the grass, and the garden fairies came out to play. They played in the garden every night while Aubrey and Claire were sleeping. They danced in the moonlight. They sat on the edge of the birdbath and watched the stars swing across the sky. They played in the rose petals that lay, fallen like a silken carpet on the patio. It was their favorite place to play at night, so soft and fragrant and billowy.
            One little fairy flitted up on the tea table. " Oh, " she called to her friend. " Look, the people have left out their tea things. " The two little fairies sat among the tea cups. They drank the rest of the rasberry tea and licked at the drops of maple syrup. It tasted sweeter than anything. They munched on the bread crumbs and they shared a rasberry that had fallen underneath a spoon. They were having such a lovely time, they didn't notice the night slipping away, or the dawn stealing over the hill. Suddenly, when the sunlight came glinting across the garden,they looked up in surprise. Oh, my, " they said, clasping hands and fluttering off of the table. They were very tired. The sun was already warm. The two little fairies hung their dewy wings on the rose bush to dry. and using rose petals for blankets, they curled up under the rose bush and went to sleep.
             Aubrey and Claire had a kitten. A little grey kitten named muffin. Muffin came daintily stepping across the dewy grass. She didn't really like her feet to get wet. She stopped to touch her nose to the gossamer fairy wings . She had never seen them on the rose bush before. She carefully covered up the two little fairies, pushing petals with her paw. Then she, too, curled up under the rose bush and went to sleep.
            When Aubrey and Claire came out to play, they were surprised to see that they had left the tea things out all night. They began putting the cups and dishes into the tea basket. " We'll have to wash them this morning, " they said. Muffin opened one eye to look at them. They patted her , brushing against some glittery, gauzey patches hanging from the roses. " Oh, these are pretty. I wonder what makes them? " They whisper. "Maybe some fairies were here last night! "
            Muffin winked her eye at them. She would never tell about who was sleeping among the silky petals, No, she would never tell.

                                             THE END

                   A grandmother who bought one of the teasets that I sell asked if I would write a story to go with the teaset. So this is for Aubrey and Claire, and all the other girls, little, big, old or young, who love tea sets and fairies, gardens, gates and sunhine, starry nights and kittens.