Dragon Spines

Coleus leaves

In my mind’s eye, I see them fly:
Spiny leaves become dragons on high.
They chase my dreams in the moonlight
Following dust devils up out of sight.
Day comes, catching them in the sky.
They sleep like puppies, and so do I.

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham


Dragons Hiding

Tree in Woods with Dragon Toe

Dragons are masters of hiding.
Sightings on the ground are rare.
Gannon would never have found one
but for the dragon toe below.
When he looked up,
The bark of the tree moved, and
A knot in the bark turned into an eye.
Fire blotted out the sky.
Gannon jumped on its back
As it spread leafy wings,
And together they flew toward the moon.

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

Tan Renga Invitation: A Silent Cry

flight of the eagle

flight of the eagle, used by permission of Kristjaan Panneman

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #28, “a silent cry”

flight of the eagle
stepping into the world of dreams –
a silent cry

[.........(c) Chèvrefeuille]

message from my spirit guide,
pale head pacing the north wind

arctic air crushes
frost settles over rivers
cold bites off dreams

[…………..your two lines here]

Note: In Tan Renga, poets alternate writing of haiku and “rejoinders” which are two lines, seven syllables each. The first haiku was written by  Kristjaan Panneman (Chèvrefeuille). His challenge is for another poet to add two lines to his 3-line haiku, making the combined poem a tan renga. I then added another haiku, and I invite anyone who wants to, please write a 2 line (ideally 7 syllables each) rejoinder to my new haiku in a comment or on your own post…

Further Note: Tan Renga is a Japanese poetry tradition of one author supplying a haiku and then next a 7-7 syllable rejoinder. (The form would be a tanka if written by one person, but is a tan renga if written by two.) Poets can alternate haiku and 7-7 rejoinders as long as they like, sort of a crazy poets party game.

Edit: Jules and Beth both added more rejoinders (aka 7-7s) and haiku, and we have written a long, dreamy sequence on Jules site. Thanks to everyone, this crazy poet has really enjoyed the back and forthing!! 



Published Fairy Tale, Part 2

On October 22, Friendly Fairy Tales announced the publication of a new, previously-unpublished story, The Day the Dragon Flew up the Chimney, on The Paperbook Collective October 2013 Issue 3.


Click to read Part 1. As promised, here is the Final Part:

Henry decided he’d better keep an eye on the dragon, so he followed it closely. The dragon was flitting from chair leg to chair leg. He would hop up onto chair arms or tables and eat the food right off people’s plates and drink the tea right out of people’s cups. Everyone was so busy talking that no one noticed a thing.

Then the miller’s wife reached for one of her cookies, only to find that it had disappeared. “That’s odd,” she said.

“Miss Miller, Ma’am,” said Henry. “A dragon has eaten your cookies.” Meanwhile the dragon had moved on to Phileas Farmer’s plate.

“Henry!” scolded his mother. “Stop telling fibs and don’t filch people’s cookies. Now for the last time, go and play. Honestly.”

“But Mama,” protested Henry. Sadly, his mother just shook her head at him and waggled her finger. If his mother wouldn’t believe him, who would? Henry watched as the tiny dragon plundered the room of its teacakes, its cookies, its biscuits and its tea with cream. A hum of conversation arose as more and more villagers were puzzled to discover empty plates and cups. Henry wondered how such a tiny dragon could eat so much.

Then the dragon had the temerity to steal from his father’s plate, and that was more than Henry could bear. “Daddy, Daddy,” cried Henry. “The dragon is stealing your biscuits!” The whole room stopped to stare at Henry. Henry’s father seemed very embarrassed.

“Henry, I told you not to fib!” cried his mother, standing up.

“But I’m not!” Henry replied.

“Then where is the dragon,” asked the mayor with one last laugh. Henry pointed at the hearth where the dragon perched, fickety-mickety finishing up the last chocolate from the plate of Mrs. Farmer. The fire had died down a little, but he was still clearly visible against the glow.

When the dragon noticed everyone staring at him, he gulped down the cookie and flew straight up the chimney.

Everyone gave a gasp, and the mayor and several aldermen raced over to try to look up the chimney. No one could see anything for the fire and the smoke.

Henry’s mother and father came and gave him hugs and apologized for doubting him. The villagers all patted his shoulders and told him how brave he had been. He was the village hero thereafter. And when Henry grew up, they elected him mayor. To this day they tell stories of the day the dragon flew up the chimney.


Copyright Brenda Davis Harsham April 1, 2005

New Fairy Tale Published!!

Friendly Fairy Tales is pleased to announce the publication of a new, previously-unpublished story, The Day the Dragon Flew up the Chimney, on The Paperbook Collective October 2013 Issue 3. Thanks to Jayde Ashe for publishing this story!!


Excerpt from The Day the Dragon Flew up the Chimney

One day, the sky was so dark that day seemed like night. No work could be done in the village of Miller’s Bend. All the villagers gathered in the great hall to tell stories and visit with each other.

Suddenly there was a loud knock at the door. Everyone looked around in wonder. Everyone in the village was already inside the great hall. Whoever was outside must be a stranger.

After another booming knock came, the mayor went to open the door. He looked left and he looked right, but there was no one there. He did not notice a tiny dragon no bigger than a teacup dart into the hall and hide behind a chair leg. Everyone else was looking up at the mayor’s shoulder, and they didn’t see the tiny dragon either. Everyone, that is, except a little boy named Henry who was no more than three.

Now Henry had been playing marbles near the door, and he was just the right height to see the dragon. He went at once to his mother’s knee, but she was talking to the miller’s wife. He pulled at her skirts, but she said, “Henry, I’m talking to Eliza, go and play.”

Henry tried his father next, but his father was talking to the mayor.

‘There was no one there,” said the mayor.

“Isn’t that odd?” responded Henry’s father. Henry tugged on his pant leg.

“Henry, go and play. You can see I’m busy.” Henry’s father did not listen.

Henry decided he’d better keep an eye on the dragon, so he followed it closely.

To find out what happens to Henry, adult readers can download the Paperbook Collective with work by many fabulous writers here or please check back on Friendly Fairy Tales for the rest of the story in a few days…

Copyright 2013 Brenda Davis Harsham

Be Crabgrass Haibun


Picture by Penny

Crabgrass can grow on bowling balls in airless rooms, and there is no known way to kill it that does not involve nuclear weapons. — Dave Barry

Crabgrass can grow without fertilizer, mulch, watering, edging and protection from other plants. It springs up in any crack or crevice in the walkway, in the middle of the lawn or between bushes and the house foundation where light shines for less than five minutes in a day. What if good thoughts were like that? Even if the day was dark and cold, with a stiff wind blowing the rain sideways. What if happy thoughts took root like crabgrass, growing deep roots, sending thick green arms in all directions, blocking all dark thoughts from coming near.

Peter Pan taught Wendy to concentrate on a happy thought, and she could fly with the help of some fairy dust. What could you accomplish if you concentrate on a happy thought? Picture it taking hold like crabgrass and nothing can kill that happy thought. Perhaps you could even smile, all day long.

I’m going to be the crabgrass. I’m concentrating on the ocean. My happy thoughts involve a waterfall, a volcanic valley, snorkeling and the best sushi I ever had in my life. Do you know where I was? I hope you have a happy thought that can take hold like crabgrass.

blue waves curl inside
lapping on the golden shore
of my memory

Copyright 2013 Brenda Davis Harsham

To find the prompt for the haibun, click on the Ligo Haibun Challenge.

Sprite Spite

A new Adventurous Fairy Tale, named Sprite Spite, is now available to read. An excerpt follows:

Sprite Spite


Wings swiftly beating, Amadou dodged saplings and swung wide around old soul trees, the wind pulling his curly, brown hair straight back. He felt the tree spirits slumbering in the cool midday, their leaves turning golden shades of autumn.

Amadou had been unfurling fiddlehead ferns all morning, and he needed to blow off steam. He was looking for a wide ledge of fungus, just the right height above the ferns. He could see it in his mind’s eye. That day, rain had created the perfect conditions. Diving sprites give a tremendous scream, arch their backs gracefully, wings folded. Then they take a running jump from the fungus ledge, falling through the thick, damp air, eventually bouncing from fern to fern and water slalom skiing in the dew on their tiny feet.

To continue reading, click on Sprite Spite.

Used with permission of acuriousgal

Used with permission of acuriousgal

Copyright 2013 Brenda Davis Harsham

Some photographs used with kind permission of acuriousgal, a very talented photographer.

The Vegetable Fairy

Friendly Fairy Tales is happy to present a new Adventure Fairy Tale, the Vegetable Fairy. In honor of Labor Day, we are celebrating the hard work of gardeners and others who labor to grow the food we all enjoy. Happy Labor Day!!


The Vegetable Fairy

Squash Blossom was a Vegetable Fairy, but she sprinkled her fairy dust on the vegetables resentfully, looking longingly at the flower beds blooming with petunias, coreopsis and dusty miller. She longed for the color and brightness.

The flower she liked best was the rose bush, it had such amazing flowers. She knew the flower fairies made tea with the rose hips, the green nub left after a rose bloom had faded. Squash Blossom loved tea.

“The flower fairies have the best jobs,” she thought to herself. She thought spending all her time in the flower beds would be the best job ever!

Click here to read the rest of the Vegetable Fairy

Copyright 2013 Brenda Davis Harsham

This story is dedicated to all the gardeners growing food everywhere.

The Prophecy and the Runaway Frog


Jasmyn often dreamed of flying. One night, she flew on the back of a bird to a new land. The bird grew tired even though Jasmyn was light as a feather. She landed in a ring of stones, and her bird friend tucked its head under its wing and slept.

Jasmyn could hear a stream, but she could not see it. She followed the musical sound, and found the stream through a bank of yellow irises. Jasmyn wandered for a time, smelling flowers and rolling down the hills, without getting any green stains on her dress, for this was an enchanted place.

She sat, braiding gerber daisies into a crown, when she chanced to see a frog hopping madly down over the top of the hill. It skirted the stone circle and plunged down toward the stream. So intent was the frog on rushing down the hill, he didn’t see Jasmyn until too late, and she scooped him right up.

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Kendara at Sea


One stormy night, Kendara dreamed she was a storm-petrel, flying low over the waves, playing near the surfacing whales. The whales sang their sad, slow music, and she understood they were asking her to find the City in the Sea, the home of the Sea Guardians.

“Please tell the guardians that we, the whales, are dying out and we need their help.” Kendara felt nervous at the idea that she would have to find the City in the Sea. Sometimes she did not feel brave, but in her dream, she was a storm-petrel, and she would be very brave. She dipped her gray tail feathers in the sea, and laughed into the wind. She flew farther and farther, feeling her wings become tired. Ahead of her was the dawn, and a head appeared in the waves.

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