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Archive for January, 2009

green-fairy

I know what I think of when hearing the words “green faerie”, but this isn’t about the drink made famous by  Bohemian artists like Van Gogh or Toulouse-Lautrec. It’s more about flying things at bedtime.

Last night before we turned off the lights Bill pointed to the ceiling and ask, “Whats that?” At first I didn’t see anything, but after a streak of green flew past in front of the TV I knew immediately. “Oh, that’s just Ferne”, I can’t believe I’ve gotten so nonchalant about faeries! Whats more surprising is how well Bill has adapted to the strange goings on around the house (maybe I should say in and around the house).

I watched as she flew toward my orange tree. I just knew that I was going to lose another of the  small orange fruit that wasn’t in great supply. I had waited so patiently for it. Instead, she pulled one of the older, larger leaves off one of the bottom branches and proceeded to make a bed with it. After she settled herself on the leaf she mounded up the potting soil and buried herself in it. I knew she loved the garden but I didn’t know she would use dirt for a blanket. The only thing I could see now was a tiny face and the sparkling tips of her green wings.

We watched, and after convincing ourselves that she was down for the night, we turned off the lights. I forgot that faeries glow. It’s not obvious until dark, but they all have this light around them and Ferne was glowing green. It was like some weird green night light over by the window, you could even see green coming through the dirt.

“Can’t we throw something over her?” Bill likes it very dark for sleeping. I got up and went to the linen closet, found some things that I thought would work, and trudged, not fully awake, to the pot. Nothing would blot out the light. I remember thinking, when the faeries are outside and they go to sleep, I don’t remember seeing a multi-colored glow great enough to light a city. They must go underground. I chided myself, of course they go underground, I know my history of faeries and faerie mounds.

When it was clear that I couldn’t block out the light I knew that she couldn’t stay in the house. I don’t even know why she would want to. I tried to gently slip the leaf into my hand but as soon as I touched the end of the leaf, Ferne darted out from under her dirt blanket. “Sorry..sorry!” She hung in mid air looking startled and rubbed her eyes with tiny fists. I held out my hand for her to sit in, not really thinking that she would, but after a moments hesitation, she landed lightly in my palm. It tickled, you don’t see it but, their wings beat really fast.

I carried her downstairs to the back door. I will always be fascinated by the existence of these tiny beauties and I felt a twinge of guilt having to put her out like this, it’s so cold out, but then I remembered that she’s a frost faerie, duh! “I’m sorry Ferne, your glow is just too bright”. I opened the door and held out my hand so she could fly out. Ferne stood up on tip toes, yawned, stretched out her arms and flew slowly back through the opening in the ivy.  I watched until the last of the green glow faded and then went sleepily back to bed.

© Tami Ruesch, The Misty World of Arial Hollyberry, 2009.

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I don’t know how these things happen! Well, on second thought maybe I do, or at least I can imagine them happening. I had to run a few errands earlier, when I left I noticed several of my little faerire friends chasing and playing around the laurels. Their laughter sounds a lot like the chimes I hang out under the trees in the summer, it makes me smile to hear it, and as long as I can hear them I know that they aren’t up to any real mischief . I took a quick glance at them in passing and it looked like they were tossing Hawthorne berries back and forth, ok, they can’t get into much trouble doing that, so I’m out of here.

I wasn’t gone that long, maybe an hour and a half, but that was long enough. When I turned the corner of the house and started up the sidewalk to the back door I heard a high pitched squealing coming from up in the tree. Looking up I see Pip, the ties on her skirt had become tangled in the fine stems that are at the end of a branch.

There she is, hanging about an inch below the branch with the most frustrated look on her face, maybe it was a pout, I couldn’t tell, but it was obvious that she was very unhappy! She would hang there a minute then kick her arms and legs wildly about, trying to get unstuck. She hung there like a wet rag, totally exhausted. To make things worse, the Blue Jay that lives in the pine tree back in the corner of the yard was hovering on the big branch right above her cocking its head back and forth thinking that she would make a tasty change of pace to the peanuts it usually eats.

blue-jay

There were two faeries perched  above the bird throwing berries at its head trying to distract it and not having very much luck. I’ve seen this Blue Jay chase Robins out of the tree where they had made a nest in an attempt to get at the eggs, so I knew that the faeries didn’t have a chance.

I picked up the snow shovel that was propped against the back wall and started yelling and waving it at the bird, it hopped back a little and made a raspy caw but wasn’t the least bit worried that I could get it, and it wanted dinner. It left me no choice but to climb the tree, besides, I had to get Pip untangled.

Have you ever tried to climb a Hawthorne tree? They are small trees with close set branches, and they have thorns. Thank goodness I didn’t have to climb very far up. The two faeries that had been loping berries at the bird  flew down on each side of me as I inched carefully up into the tree, catching my hair, clothes, and skin on every thorn. They stuck with me, offering their heartfelt support and encouragement, not that it helped much with the thorns, but their grins and enthusiastic aerial acrobatics were at least a comic relief.

It wasn’t until I got to within arms reach of the Blue Jay that it started to think that maybe it wasn’t so safe there after all (I think it could tell that I wasn’t happy about the situation). But it wouldn’t be a Blue Jay if it didn’t at least try to intimidate  me by pecking at my waving hand before flying off in a squawking huff.

I reached Pip after what seemed an eternity in a jungle of twigs and thorns. There was raucous merrymaking from my faerie entourage, and I hadn’t even freed Pip yet. “Please, hold the celebrations until after I get her lose.” I balanced myself on a branch, pushed the hair out of my eyes, and reached up to grab the end of the little belt (it was almost like grabbing sewing thread) then I unwound it from the offending branch.

Once freed, Pip shook herself from head to tow. She flipped her wings once and rocketed skyward. None of us (me and the other faeries) could see how far up she went. After a minute, here she came, just as fast as she went up. She whipped around my head a couple of times (not easily done with me still in the tree) then stopped in front of me and signaled a “high five”. Have you ever had to “high five” a faerie? I held up my little finger and she slapped it, then she and her escort took off for the opening in the ivy hedge.

I managed to make a slow but uneventful retreat from the tree and was just recomposing myself when Bill turned the corner of the house. He stopped, took one look at me and started to laugh. When he saw the “don’t even go there” look in my eyes he slapped a hand over his mouth to stifle himself. I continued to pick twigs out of my hair and after a moment he walked over to me and ask (with a grin on his face) “so… how was your day?”

We stood there for a minute just looking at each other, and when it became to much to hold in, we started to laugh, hard. As we entered the house, I looked back over my shoulder to make sure that the Blue Jay was gone.

© Tami Ruesch, The Misty World of Arial Hollyberry, 2009.

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Help! Somehow I have been invaded by Gremlins, at least they haven’t been fed. But they are running all around my dashboard and I can’t get any work done. Gee…I’m so sorry, I do have a great story…get out of my way you……..stop!…..go away!………….Help, I’m drowning in gremlins.

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It’s hard to tell if I got a message through to my brother, the rogue pirate, Captain Rancid Randy, the Scourge of the Seven Seas…(aarrrg! His words, not mine). I have decided that I would benefit from having a couple of gnomes to tend my garden, that way I could go on vacation and still have lovely flowers to come home to, not to mention the fact that they will be able to help my faeries understand humankind a bit better.

Yesterday I sent a message to the rogue pirate, Captain Rancid Randy, the Scourge of the Seven Seas…(aarrrg!) asking if he knew of any gnomes that would like to relocate to my quiet garden. I figure that if he is in league with gremlins he would probably know a few other of the wee folk in the area.

I’m standing here now by the mail box waiting for the mailman, of course it’s a little early yet but…oh! Floating down out of the sky, not two feet in front of me is a package that, from the look of it, was hastily wrapped in stained brown paper and tied with twine. I hold out my hands to catch it. It’s quite heavy and is attached to a parachute of ragged old sail cloth (must be from my brother, the rogue pirate, Captain Rancid Randy, the Scourge of the Seven Seas….(aarrrg!)

Ferne is particularly excited, she would love to have a gnome or three to converse with about snails and soil and fallen leaves, or just about anything else to do with nature. She has been waiting with me, doing a faerie imitation of pacing…flitting back and forth, back and forth, and when I catch the package she lights on it and begins to rip at the corners. I had to shoo her away and tell her to just sit on my shoulder and be patient. How thoughtful of him to sense my urgency and dispatch his reply by sail-mail.

After having to send Ferne away a few times I finally get the wrapping off. It’s “The Big Book of Gnome Gnames”. In it are the names of every gnome and the names of their cousins, the brownies and the hobgoblins (there are a few Leprechauns in here too) then it goes on to tell which gnomes live under what burrow and what the preferred mode of communication is (it appears to be dragonfly). That could pose a problem.

gardengnomes1

Rilley & Quinn

Rilley & Quinn

I opened the book and a couple of photo’s fell out with a hastily scratched out note, “these are two likely candidates”. The first picture is of a lovely couple seen here relaxing in the mid-afternoon sunshine.  On the back of the picture, written in tidy handwriting is “Warren & Odette outside their burrow in the Swiss Alps. Hobbies include: hat making, mushroom balancing, and snail racing”. I flipped the picture over and showed Ferne. She politely clapped then pointed to the other picture. “Oh, you want to see the other pair?” She gave me a huge grin and nodded.

This next picture is of a couple of hardy looking lads, brothers I’m assuming, their names are Rilley & Quin. On the back of the picture, in scratchy print it say: “adept blacksmiths…references upon request, address to: the gnome in charge, third hollow log past the pond in the Black Forrest”. Nice and to the point, “what do you think Ferne?” I don’t really have to ask because when I look up at her she is whipping around my head doing her best imitation of snail racing (which made me dizzy to watch). If nothing else, faeries teach you patience.

This isn’t going to be an easy decision to make, they would both make a nice addition to my garden. The brothers could repair the latch on my gate, but having a little lady gnome would appeal to the faeries more. I’m going to have to sleep on it. I really must send a thank you note to my brother, the rogue pirate, Captain Rancid Randy, the Scourge of the Seven Seas….(aarrrg! his words, not mine).

© Tami Ruesch, The Misty World of Arial Hollyberry, 2009.

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It looks as if we are going to have another gray day. The storm that hit two days ago has yet to loose its icy grip. I scan the skies for any sign of blue and head into the kitchen to grab my morning coffee. Out in the garden, Sunny is dancing through the light snow that is falling, she comes up to the window, taps at it once, smiles, waves and is back to the snowflake dance. I think, this is a nice peaceful start to the day.

I shouldn’t be in such a hurry to make that kind of assumption. Having three Chihuahua’s and faeries (probably in the thousands now!) means that some conflict, at some time, is inevitable. It is usually when I let the dogs out back. (and sometimes if a couple get in the house like they did the other day).

Like now, all the dogs are taking their sweet time to do their duty (you know what I mean) and they are wading, and sniffing, and generally poking around the yard. I,on the other hand, am standing inside the back door, staying warm. I watch as seven faeries shoot through the opening in the ivy and quickly fly up into the Hawthorne tree coming to rest on a branch that is very heavy with wet snow. Faeries above, dogs below, this can’t be good!

All seven faeries start to jump up and down on the branch (it takes seven of them to even make it move). Below, the dogs are just minding their own business. I tried to get their attention, but they have a habit of not coming to me when I call, if they don’t want to. Well, Lucy and Merry had wandered off to the other side of the yard leaving Edie by herself, yes, you guessed it, right in the path a very wet plop of snow.

snow-berries-2

It was like watching a slow motion movie…faeries jumping, Edie sniffing, and a very large clump of snow falling! And, just like in the movies, right when the snow was three inches above Edie’s head, everything reverted back to regular speed. The problem was that I couldn’t get to her before the snow did.

Now, Edie was the runt of the litter and has had her share of frights in the short time she has been with us. She is very suspicious and scares easily. She is also very vocal in her disapproval. A split second later, the snow hit her square on the head sending sprays of water in every direction. Edie cowers, looks around and then lets out a scream that would wake the dead. And she doesn’t stop screaming, oh no, she streaks  across the yard like a furry shrieking comet,  screaming at the top of her lungs.

Of course, the other dogs don’t have a clue what she is on about, but they are used to Edie so they just try to ignore her. This is the sight: faeries up on the branch that is now devoid of snow, laughing and clapping and flipping their wings, Edie whipping around the yard yelping at the top of her lungs like she is going to die ( it reminds me of the story of chicken little running around yelling, “the sky is falling, the sky is falling!”), me, running around in my bathrobe trying to catch Edie and the other two dogs darting around, trying to stay out of the way thinking “whats happened?! what, what, what!

I can’t help wondering, not for the first time, what the neighbors would think if they could see this production. At this point, Arial, having heard all the commotion, sticks her heard through the ivy to see what in the name of Jupiter is going on over here?(her words, not mine). She assess the situation quickly and immediately rounds up her erring flock and scoots them back through the opening.

When the rowdy masses were gone she pulled out a little flute and played a few short, high notes. Ferne popped into the scene a moment later and the two faeries glided gently down on each side of the rampaging Edie, keeping up with every twist and turn the little dog was making. They started to sing a delicate  faerie song that, I have to admit, had an unusual calming effect on everyone within ear shot. With order restored, the two faeries flipped their wings, popped up to eyeball height, and smiled. Then they disappeared in a quick flash of pinkish light.

When we were all back inside and I had Edie snuggled in her warm blanket. I started thinking. I must get a message to my brother the pirate (no, not to get his gremlins!) There are other ways to get control over my faerie population. I love my faerie friends, the are just playful. I love my dogs, they just don’t understand the faeries, so, I will find out if there are any gnomes that would like to come and settle in my garden this spring. Those jolly little guys will bring harmony back to Kensington Mannor!

© Tami Ruesch, The Misty World of Arial Hollyberry, 2009.

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After Bella and Pip got into the house yesterday they must have gone right back to the faerie mound and told all the rest of them because now they all want to come in! I opened the front door to check the mail and three fairies darted past me and immediately began tormenting my chihuahua’s by riding on their backs and blowing in their ears. Chihuahua’s ears are bigger than the fairies so I swear it looked like they could just walk in.

Of course, the dogs didn’t like the attention of these little creatures at all and they starting running around the house barking and jumping and growling, they made such a commotion. There I was trying to shoo the dogs into their kennels and at the same time, shoo the fairies out the door. I was able to get two of them out but one disappeared. After I settled the dogs down, I went searching the house for the stray faerie. I found her when I heard a crash come from the kitchen. She had been walking on a stack of glasses, the stack tipped over and she got caught in one when it landed upside down on top of her. With my hand under the glass, I carried her over to the door and released her to fly back through the hole in the ivy.

I wrote to my brother a while back about my little faerie friends and how excited I was to be able to finally see them and ask if he had any good ideas on how to make sure they didn’t get into trouble.  My brother is a pirate and sails the high seas out from Scotland. I think he took after the progenitor of our family, Phillip Brenagh (Phillip being known as “Phillip the Welshman”) Phillip and his brother, David, made a habit of pillaging and plundering back in the early 1100’s.

He offered the use of some of the gremlins he had taken off of a ship that they  had pillaged, said they were great for chasing  the fairies out of his dandelion fields! Well, as far as I’m concerned, I’ll take the fairies. Sunny and her friends might be a little mischievous but at least they don’t turn into little devils if they eat after midnight.

In the old country, people are very aware of the little darlings and all that they can do. I have to say that their experience of the little people is a bit different from here in the States. The Fairies origins began over  in Ireland with the Tuatha Dé Danann and the people there have been dealing with the Fae ever since, and it wasn’t always pleasant.

I wonder if the fairies are getting a little bored with the wet weather?

© Tami Ruesch, The Misty World of Arial Hollyberry, 2009.

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It started to rain this morning. The snow that had been piling up is slowly disappearing because of the January thaw and I thought that this rain would finish the job. I looked out my window at the ivy hedge trying to see any sign of my faerie friends and when there wasn’t a single faerie in sight I found that I was  little disappointed, I guess that they have a hard time flying with their wings all wet. I looked again at the opening in the ivy, I really want to see what is on the other side, maybe I could just move over to the opening very slowly and quietly and take a peek. After all, I told myself, I am part of their faerie clan now, having been formally invited by their Queen herself!

I grabbed my coat and started for the door, a little rain wasn’t  going to keep me from finally satisfying my curiosity… I stepped out into… snow. It wasn’t just lightly snowing either, it was coming down hard. When did that happen!? It had just been raining two minutes ago. The ivy was buried in heavy wet snow and I couldn’t see the opening anymore. I waded out into the garden and walked up and down the length of the hedge, nothing, I couldn’t see a thing, now I would have to wait until the snow melted.

I trudged back toward the house and up the steps. I wonder if the fairies somehow knew that I was coming out to take a peek into their world? Why couldn’t they make it snow? They made fog. I was feeling very sorry for myself when I reached the door and pulled it open. The moment there was a foot of space, two streaks of color shot past my right ear so close I could hear the beating of little wings. They must have been trying to break the sound barrier!

There was no way I could move fast enough to stop them. I looked around, now where could they have gone? They were in my house! Why did they want to come in? And which fairies were they? Ok, think, I told myself, which fairies out of the five that I was the most familiar with would dare to come into the house? I stood there for a minute and tried to get a mental picture of them, no good, they were to fast. I turned my head and listened, there was  faint, high pitched giggling coming from upstairs.

I reached the answer to my question about which fairies would come into the house, and the top of the stairs at the same time. Bella and Pip.There they were, buzzing around my dwarf orange tree, grabbing at the small fruit that had just barely turned the brightest shade of orange. No, no, no! Oh, don’t do that! I said out loud,wondering if they would pay any attention to me. It did have a reaction though, Bella came to a screeching mid-air halt causing Pip to smash into her from behind and they both fell into the pot, causing the  soil to poof up around them.

They both had the funniest look on their faces! They sat there, covered in dirt, each with an orange in their hands. I couldn’t help but laugh, it was funny. They didn’t think  they would get caught. (I don’t know if they had given any thought to how they were going to get out again). After a minute Bella stood up and started brushing the dirt off her dress, Pip followed her lead and started shaking the dirt off her skirts too. I smiled, they were trying so hard to be indignant! They flipped the tips of their wings at exactly the same time and  flew to the top of the orange tree, coming to rest on a large leaf almost at eye level with me. The branch hardly bowed with their weight (these really are the tinniest of creatures).

Bella stood with her hands on her hips,wings quivering, with a defiant tilt to her chin. Pip, pouting, still not happy with the little bit of dirt clinging to her skirt, stood looking down, pretending to be absorbed in the cleaning of a spot on the hem. I stood, trying to look stern (that’s hard to do when you’re laughing on the inside) I folded my arms and tapped my foot. “just where do you think you were going with my oranges?” Pip looked up at me then with the biggest grin on her face, gave a little hop, flipped her wings and rose into the air twirling as she gained altitude (show off). She stopped by my right ear and started humming, then she came around to face me  stood on my nose and stared into my eye, I went cross-eyed trying to see her.

Bella could see what Pip was trying to do, so not to be out done, rose into the air on my other side, landed on my shoulder and started to braid the tips of my hair, humming in harmony with Pip. (can you imagine a stranger walking in on that scene?) I gave up trying to act mad and started to laughed,”Ok, ok, I forgive you.” It doesn’t take much to get fairies up and dancing! They flitted and swooped and giggled all around me coming in every once in a while to give me a peck on the cheek (Fairies certainly do have a short attention span).

“Do you still want the oranges?” That did it, they went into an aerial display that would make the Blue Angels jealous. They landed in the pot where they had dropped the oranges, clapped their hands three times and the oranges started to glow. The orbs floated up as if by magic and hovered by the two fairies, then fairies and oranges moved toward the stairs. I ran to the back door and held it open. When the pair were in the garden with their treasure, they disappeared in a shower of orange sparkles.

My life has definitely changed. People wouldn’t belive me even if I tried to explain it!

© Tami Ruesch, The Misty World of Arial Hollyberry, 2009.

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