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Archive for the ‘Little People’ Category

The world keeps on turning, and, like my then eight year old son said, “the sun goes up, the sun goes down.” If I remember right, he was quite upset by the fact that it is just one day after another! That might true, but each new day brings more adventures…

My recent trip into the land of the Fae is a very good example of that fact. Now, here I am starring down at a little person who, in turn, is starring up at me and giving me her warmest, brightest smile while tugging on my pant leg. It is such an infectious smile that I find myself smiling back.

“Sure an I realize that we are a wee bit early, an I be hoping that it won’t be to much of an inconvenience, us showing up here like this, but we were terribly excited you know, an just couldn’t wait to get here!” (seems like I had said something like that not to long ago). I sat down on the step so that I could be closer to eye level with my new friend.

This must be Odette, she was wearing a tall pointed green cap and an apron with small pink flowers over a white top that had ruffles at the neck and cuffs and a skirt that was dark maroon. Over this she wore a wool traveling cape that hung to the ground.

I held out my hand. “Hello,you must be Odette, where’s Warren?” She shook the finger I offered and pointed over to the bushes. “There he be!” We watched as Warren pushed his way out of the ivy that had grown under the Laural bush, pulling two steamer trunks with him. He wore the same wool cape but his cap was red and he had on a baggy, and some what crumpled, dark brown jacket over a turquoise shirt that was hanging out from underneath it. They both wore wooden clogs that made a hollow tapping sound when they walked.

“Aye, and we’re be’in just a wee bit tired too, after all the travel’en we been do’in.” He stopped and pulled a large green linen hanky out of his pocket and wiped his face with it, then shook my finger. “It’s be’en a pleasure meet’n ya!”

They had the most pleasant soft Irish lilt in their voice and it made listening to them speak a real joy (I don’t think that I ever knew where they were coming from). It was going to be even better than I first thought, having them here. I tried to help them with their bags and trunks, but Warren would have nothing of it. “I’ll just be put’en these bags under here for a time.” then he pushed all the bags under the cover to my patio table. “Sure an they’ll be cozy an safe under here till we’ll be need’n em.”

I stood up and opened the door for the couple to enter, but Warren hung back. He looked up at me with a sheepish grin then pointed toward the ivy and made a clicking sound. Out hopped a big brown toad. “An what’ll ya be want’n me to be do’in with him?”…”Bill!!!”

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

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sunsetWinter gives us the best sunsets. I don’t really know why, maybe it’s the humidity combined with the angle of the sun, all I know is that when the clouds feather out across the western sky we get beautiful, fleeting sunsets.

Dusk in the land of the faeries on the other hand lasts for at least an hour, I think. It’s hard to tell because there aren’t any clocks. I really wonder if time is different here. Everything seems to melt together into one phenomenal whole, what I mean is, in the land of the Fae you don’t say, I did this thing at 10:00 and then we went here around 2:00, it’s more like everything happens all at the same time.

The sun was going down, but I couldn’t tell where west was. Everything just got darker, and the sunset looked like the whole sky was a dome swirled with iridescent pink and orange (no clouds). I think I know why the faeries are attracted to the flowers in the garden, it reminds them of their home.

Standing at the entrance to the palace, I watch as the last of the light fades from the sky. It seems like I have been here forever,  I would really like to be back home with Bill and my dogs.

My faerie friends have been very gracious, coming and going, bringing me stuff, making sure that I have anything I want. I would have thought that being in an ice palace would freeze me but I haven’t been the least bit cold, it must be the “faerie charms” they have set around the Palace.

After the sky was completely black, Sunny and Arial darted in through the arch followed by Bella, Pip, and Ferne. The faeries were  in a flutter, shooting back and forth, and then around in circles, they laughed as they tried to braid my hair, all at the same time. It was sort of cute having  my own tiny ladies in waiting. After my hair was done in a riot of tiny braids and I had long garlands of roses draped all over me, they led me outside, through a beautifully kept herb garden, and down a steep path bordered with huge ferns and thousands of faerie globes that glowed with a soft white light.

The end of the path opened out onto a wide, flat meadow surrounded by giant oak and willow trees. Every so often pine trees could barely be seen mixed into the background. There were Honeysuckle bushes and Ivy everywhere underneath the trees (I bet that’s why Sunny always smells like honeysuckle!)

I was led to a flat rock the jutted out of the mossy carpet of grass and they  motioned for me to sit on it, so I did. I sat there and watched as the whole meadow filled up with faeries, even more than I had seen when we arrived at the palace. They were glowing, like they do all the time. Each had a globe that they held in front of them and they all moved in unison to an unheard tune.

When the last of the faeries had taken their place, Orlaith, Queen of the Frost Faeries, materialized in a shower of bright white sparkles in the very middle of the field and a hush fell over the crowd. She hovered several feet above the group, her wings glittered in the darkness and her gown whorled around her in a fine mist. I noticed the she was smaller than when she received me at the palace, but slightly larger than the rest of the court gathered around her.

Awestruck at the spectacle unfolding right in front of me, I just sat there with my mouth hanging open. Sunny must have noticed because she  came around and gently pushed my chin up. I smiled at her and held up my hand for her to sit on. She landed on my palm and turned to watch the show.

Orlaith held up her wand and waved it over her head, the dark canopy of the sky lit with stars, larger and brighter than I have ever seen, then she waved the wand toward one side of the meadow and great tables of food and drink appeared. Immediately, there was a huge surge of little faerie bodies toward the tables.

th_fairyringdanceArial brought a goblet over to me along with a plate of small biscuits and strawberries. I watched in amazement as the glass and plate grew to fit my grasp (more faerie magic). We ate and sang, first one group of faeries and then another took turns dancing around in a circle in the middle of the meadow. I couldn’t tell where the music was coming from, it seemed to echo out in all directions. At one point I could swear that I saw other small creatures coming out of the forest to join in the festivities. I rubbed my eyes and looked again, yes, there across the meadow a brilliant white unicorn had wandered out to see if there was a biscuit left for her.

The merrymaking went on into the wee hours of the morning. I can remember lying back on the rock where pillows had been placed.  I felt unusually sleepy and just couldn’t keep my eyes open.  A mist sprang up all around me and opened my eyes just in time to see Orlaith raise her wand and point it right at me….

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

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All thoughts of the hasty departure of the Frost Faeries has been temporarily pushed to the back of my mind. The package that practically fell on my head is sitting  on my lap, nicely wrapped in green silken cloth and tied with yellow twine. Sunny is pulling at my hair with an urgency that says: what are you waiting for!!

“Ouch! Oh wait just a minute” I  shoo Sunny away so she darts over and lands on my shoulder, but she can’t sit down because of her excitement, so she paces back and forth. The package is heavier than the Big Book of Gnome Names that I received last week from my brother, the rogue pirate, Captain Rancid Randy, the Scourge of the Seven Seas….aarrrg! (his words, not mine) It was wrapped in stained brown paper and tied with brittle twine.

I see when I get the package unwrapped that it consists of  a bundle of boards, some moss, staples, something sticky, a jar of glitter, and several little bolts of fabric in all different colors.trunks-1

There is a note, it reads:  Please take care of these supplies. We have sent them ahead of our arrival so that they would be there for us to begin building our new home in your garden. We will be bringing our other bags and traveling trunks with us as they hold our personal belongings. On another note, would it be asking to much if we might stay with you until our new home is completed? We are looking forward to beginning our new life with you, we hear that your garden is lovely. Until then, brightest blessings, Warren and Odette.

How polite, and what tidy handwriting. After I finished reading the note I looked up to find no less than twenty faeries hovering over my shoulders, grinning and hugging each other, and swirling about making their iridescent gowns swish this way and that . Wow, I guess I did make the right decision, they are excited and they won’t even be here.

Ferne immediately shoots over to the tree and begins clearing more ivy and piling  up small pebbles with renewed determination. Three or four other faeries follow and soon there are rock chips and leaves flying everywhere. I watch them and wonder how I’m going to tell Bill that we are going to have twelve inch tall house guests.

Wrapping the small bundle up again, I walk toward the opening in the ivy and lean in so I could put my ear close to the hole. There are a lot of rustling sounds coming from the other side. I wonder what could be going on over there? I’ll take a quick peek…..Oh!…..

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

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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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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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