The Rain Dance

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Two children surprised a fairy. Mona, the fairy, was of the Swallowtail Fae. In the twinkle of an eye, she shifted to her butterfly form. She fluttered to a butterfly bush, then to a high hosta bloom. She watched the children.

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The little girl pointed at her, “Stephano! I saw a fairy!” Mona wondered if she should flee.

Stefano laughed. “Isabella, that’s a butterfly,” He shook his head. “But we’re here to do a rain dance, remember?” He clapped his hands and stomped rhythmically in the grass. He danced in a circle, widdershins, and Isabella joined him, also clapping.

“We need to ask the Great Spirit for rain,” Stefano said. Mona was surprised the children knew of the Great Spirit.

Together the children chanted: “Great Spirit in the sky, the garden’s way too dry. Begging your pardon, please rescue our garden. Let rain clouds form and bring on the storm!”

Nothing happened. The sky stayed blue, and no clouds came. Stefano was crestfallen, but Isabella giggled about their prayer. “Mommy! We sang to the Great Spirit, and I saw a fairy!”

The air shimmered as Mona shifted back to her fairy form. Blue Iris petals formed her dress. Fairy magic kept them as fresh and soft as the day they unfurled. Mona was as disappointed at Stefano. She had been using her wand to keep flowers alive, but what they really needed was rain and lots of it.

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Nana Knows

“Nana, where do the fairies hide?” Jana sprinkled water on the potted flowers with her red watering can.

“Dearest, they could be in the darkest parts of the pine tree. Between rocks in walls, in the curl of an unopened flower or in the wrinkled bark of a tree.”

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Jana looked carefully in all those places, even peering into the furled petals of flowers, but nowhere did she see shimmering wings or shining faces. Then she lifted the leaves of a hosta just opening its white trumpets.

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Jeremiah brings Joy to the World

Jeremiah was not a bullfrog (that was a vicious rumor). The solstice has passed, and Queen Elisabeta ordered all the bee fairies to pollinate until the sun went down. Jeremiah visited the lupine first. You can catch a glimpse here if you look close:

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Midsummer Stew

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“Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild,
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.” – W.B. Yeats

Conla picked early sage in her garden. Her family traditionally made a lamb stew for their midsummer feast. Her mother, Bronwyn, was inside their house braising the lamb with spring onions and chives. Conla heard her neighbor’s voice, and turned to see him walking under their archway with its pink roses and purple clematis.

“I can’t find a thing! My jackets are missing their buttons. My trousers all have holes. My wallet and keys are missing again! Are you doing this to me?!” Conla’s neighbor in the white cottage next door was Seamus O’Flanagan. Their two houses were the only ones for miles in that wild part of County Wicklow. The American had retired and come to the old country to write and paint, in the county of his ancestors. His wispy white hair was standing up in the wind, and his cheeks were red with anger.

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The Giant Argument

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Miles pretended to be a mountain goat, jumping from rock to rock up a tall hill. Beyond a valley was another tall hill. Together the hills were called the Granite Twins. Ahead of him, a rock slide started, and Miles took cover behind a ledge of granite. Big rocks bounced by, but none reached him. Suddenly, the earth trembled. The tall twin across from him seemed to wobble, and then another landslide of even bigger rocks started across the valley. Miles started to hear voices.

“Get your elbow out of my ear!” the voice sounded like a knife screeching across rock. A deeper voice shouted: “Your knee has been in my back for a thousand years!” A fissure appeared in the valley below, and red lava hissed out of it. Clouds of sparks rose into the air from the lava. Before Miles’s amazed eyes, clouds of sparks swirled through the air, changing leaves into crystals and sparrows into cows.

The ledge Miles was sheltering behind started to rise up in the air. He was standing on the shoulder of a giant! A cloud of sparks drifted over him, and he felt a burning, stretching feeling. He opened his mouth to yell out, but he heard the scream of an eagle. He moved his arms, and flew high up over the hills.

His eagle eye saw the twin hills trembling in earthquakes, with lava churning and trees falling like flowers. He needed to stop them or the disturbance might harm someone. What could he do?

“You were always mom’s favorite!” the first voice screamed. The second deeper voice returned: “That’s silly! The rain falls on both of us equally, and the sun shines as many days on you!”

Miles flew past the giant’s heads, screaming out an eagle challenge. Their slow, clumsy hands turned to swat him away, but he was too quick and graceful in his eagle form. Miles noticed the earthquakes start to subside, and the lava fissure closing up. He continued to fly around the giant’s heads, screaming, like an annoying mosquito to the twins. They teamed up, and tried to catch him, but he rose up high in the air where they could not reach him. He was aided by the wind, which lifted him in clean-smelling gusts.

“I’m tired!” the first voice screamed. “Me, too!” the deeper voice agreed. Slowly, both settled back into tall hills. Miles landed back on the ledge of granite just in time. As the fissure closed, the clouds of sparks disappeared. The crystals turned back into leaves, the cows turned back into sparrows, and Miles turned back into a boy. Miles ran as fast as his legs would carry him back to his family and friends who were all talking about the earthquake.

“Did you feel it, Miles?” Miles didn’t even know how to begin answering them.

Copyright 2013 Brenda Davis Harsham

Caught by a Witch, What’s a Poor Mouse to do? Make Spine Poetry!

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Super Zen Mouse,

Short, shy fellow,

Stranger in wildwood pond —

A summer spell —

Witch of blackbird pond, blue

Wolf feet, who

Force-swallowed a flea!

Inside Outside

Too Perfect Curse.

Click on the picture to see the spines larger and find the words (or letters) on the spines. Do you have poems laying around the house? You could go on a poetry treasure hunt like we did!

Copyright 2013 Brenda Davis Harsham

Thanks for the idea Aussie Bookworm! Happy Friday and thanks for reading!

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Namaste to the Trees

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“You’re swaying,” Jenna said to her big sister Elaine. Elaine was standing on one foot, with her right foot on the opposite leg and her hands in front of her chest, as if praying.

“I’m balancing.” Elaine responded peacefully, raising her face to the sun shining on the deck and bringing her arms up like tree branches. Jenna liked that Elaine never got mad at her. Sometimes big people got mad at her unexpectedly. “This is tree pose,” Elaine continued. “Want to try?”

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Jewel and the Moon Princess

Lightning on a Dark Night

One dark, stormy night, Jewel and her mother, Esperanza, played Mexican Train dominoes while the rain lashed the kitchen windows. The wind bent the trees sideways, and all the birds and squirrels were in hiding. The lights flickered and went out. Jewel could no longer see the walls of the kitchen, and the lightning briefly lit the kitchen.

“I can’t find any matches,” Esperanza said. “I know we have a lantern here somewhere.” Another flash of lightning lit the dark cupboard her mother was searching. She heard the whirring of her mother cranking a lantern before a boom of thunder made her cover her ears.

“I’m scared.” Jewel whispered in the dark. Somehow talking about fears in the dark seemed natural. Her mother lit the lantern and gave her a big hug. Her mother laughed deep from her belly, just in the way that always made Jewel smile.

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The Prophecy and the Runaway Frog

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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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The Oak Princess

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Cassandra looked out her window at the early morning sunshine dappled by her favorite oak tree. Before school, she asked permission from her dad and then ran outside quickly. She looked up at the face in the oak tree. The bark formed eyes, a smiling mouth, and curly hair. She smiled back at her friend in the tree. Some of the leaves were turning orange, and waved in the breeze like thousands of hands.

Yesterday, the rain fell in torrents, and the wind had blown down branches. Acorns had fallen like hail. She had gathered up the acorns to save them from car tires. Except for three, they were all gone from her basket, taken by the neighbors – squirrels and chipmunks. These last three she buried with her shovel in the grassy berm. A beautiful mother oak should be surrounded by her children; Cassandra felt strongly about certain things. When she finished, she waved at the face in the tree, and returned inside. She washed her hands carefully, and got ready for school. Another place to shine.

The next morning, she ran outside again to check on her acorns. As she skipped past her basket, waving at the face in the tree, she noticed something glint at the bottom. She stopped and picked up a golden ring.

“Where did this come from?” Cassandra wondered aloud.

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Hidden Island

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The Scottish village of Arisaig was huddled in close between the church and the harbor. Looking out past the ferry dock, islands appeared in and out of the mists that shrouded the Atlantic coastline.

The fairy queen lived lonely on Hidden Island, with only the seals, fish and seagulls for company. Lying on her bed of seaweed, she dreamed of olden days. She remembered when her people danced in the stone circles on the mainland, but long ago she had been exiled by the fairy king. Her heart yearned to see him again. Her husband and king had sent her away because of a terrible misunderstanding. Sometimes, the seals carried small boys to Hidden Island for her, but they always brought them back. This is the story of one of those boys.

Innis was visiting Scotland for the first time with his mother, whose people had left when the lairds ran sheep across their land.

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Hannah Saves Seaside

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“Shiny, shiny little flower,” sang a little child named Hannah, whose curly red ringlets shone in the sunshine. Her stomach rumbled. She had not had her porridge for breakfast. Her family was all out of food, as was most of Seaside Village. The villagers did not lock the doors of their houses, and instead all the villagers locked their gold in the village tower. Three nights before, a landslide had rumbled down the foothill, leaving a great mountain of earth blocking the villagers from getting to their gold.

The tower was made of smooth granite with seven foot-thick walls. The only way in now was one long, narrow window forty feet in the air. No one could climb the tower, although many young men and women of the village had tried all day. For three days and nights, all the villagers had worked to shift half the earth away from the door. Even Hannah had carried dirt in her pail. No one had had any time for fishing, and everyone in the village was exhausted and hungry. The tax collector was due the very next day.

The elders were meeting, and Hannah could hear a lot of shouting.

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