‘Tis the Season Haībun

There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.
— Erma Bombeck

IMG_2419

When I was a child, I hated suspense, and all my energy went into solving mysteries quickly. I generally figured out who did what where in the game Clue, where the flag was in Stratego and what I was getting for Christmas. Continue reading

Letters from Japan Haībun

????????????????????????

Used Courtesy of ArtifactsandFictions

Dear Joanie,

I arrived safely, and my company has given me a nice hotel. It’s fall here, too. I should be home soon. Take care of mommy.

Love, Daddy

father gone too long
black marks on paper not enough
leaves falling slowly

Dear Joanie,

I hiked high up a mountain Saturday in the morning mist. The mist receded before me, always out of reach. My contract has been extended, and I will be here at least another month. I miss you. Will you please write me more often?

Hugs, Daddy

mother sad and still
sitting by the cold window
white snow blowing past

Dear Joanie,

My heart is with you, but I have to stay a little longer. The temple bells wake me in the morning. I’m working long hours to return home to you. Tell your mother I love her.

Fondly, Daddy

cold empty playground
wind singing and swaying swings
dad played soccer here

Dear Joanie,

I so appreciated the photographs and book you and Mommy sent for my birthday. It lightened by heart, just as the sun is warming the ground and calling forth buds. My project is finally finished! I will be home in a week after a few more meetings!

Love, Daddy

sunshine glints brightly
ocean waves beat against stone
Japan behind mists

Dear Joanie,

Thanks for your joyful letter. I’m so happy spring has arrived. Here, the trees have leafed up, too, and the grasslands wave in the mountain breezes. The air is fresh, and smells of flowers. The final meetings took longer than I thought. One more week, and I will be home. Here is a picture of the view from my window. I think of you every day.

I love you and miss you, Daddy

heron rose from reeds
salt marsh seagulls call hello
sun sets on absence

Copyright 2013 Brenda Davis Harsham

Prepared from art by Suzanne and inspired by the Haībun weekly prompt. Also written for the DPChallenge, which I have never tried before. Although I write haiku, I have never paired them with a letter-writing prose style, so this was a departure for me.  I’m writing all five haiku in one go because: Thanksgiving and Hanukkah and Blogging, oh, my!

Red Mushroom Mansion

Used Courtesy of Postaldeliveries

Used Courtesy of Postaldeliveries

Maybelle had often admired the red mushrooms mansions, where she imagined only the very luckiest of fae could live. She liked to imagine the quiet with only a few neighbors. She had been living in a fungus highrise since she was born, surrounded by constant noise and banter.

IMG_7287

Sylphanya, her sprite-mother, was hardly ever home and wanted different things than Maybelle. Her mother cared only for painting autumn leaves whereas Maybelle was drawn to water blossoms. Her mother seemed to like having a hundred neighbors, singing out happy hellos to everyone.

Maybelle knew the other fae-children thought she was a bit odd. Her near-neighbor Jamus called her a loner that morning because she hardly ever joined him and his sister, Dolpha, for nectar in the berry bar.

Maybelle was sad all day, not even the rainbow tints of a new lotus bloom cheered her. Maybelle decided to find her mother. Continue reading

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.

IMG_8354

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.

THE END

Copyright Brenda Davis Harsham April 1, 2005

Crankypot Halloween

Friendly Fairy Tales is pleased to offer a Halloween story for Adventurous Fairy Tale readers, Crankypot Halloween. Here is an excerpt:

Through the house give glimmering light,
By the dead and drowsy fire;
Every elf and fairy sprite
Hop as light as bird from brier;
And this ditty, after me,
Sing, and dance it, trippingly.
First rehearse your song by rote,
To each word a warbling note:
Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place.

— William Shakespeare
(A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act V, Scene II)

IMG_9563

The gray-haired man sat tapping his fingers on his knee, without noticing tiny flickering lights under drooping dahlias, but he was aware of the darkening sky. He did not notice three raven nests in the tree across the street. A little girl followed the flickering lights, crying the whole way, closer and closer to where the man sat in the dark.

He heard her weeping by the gate, and shouted “Take your tricks elsewhere! No treats here!” He had been guarding his yard from the pitch-black of his porch for 25 years, not letting any trick-or-treaters through the gate, all lights off.

The crying got louder. “Go away, you can’t trick me!” He shouted again, unable to see anything with the sun sinking fast. He heard hiccups, then even louder wailing. He flipped the floodlights on, against his usual policy entirely. In the wash of yellow light, all the flickering twilight fairies hid, and the ravens called out, restless.

IMG_8979

He sighed and approached the gate for the first time in 25 years on Halloween. In the light from his floodlights, he saw a little girl with blonde curls stuck to her wet cheeks. Tears were rolling down from her eyes, and dangling on the strands of her hair like dew. The straps of her pink butterfly wings had slid off her shoulders, and she clutched a pillow case tightly in a fist. She looked just like his daughter, Ella Mae, all those years ago when he caught her sneaking out to trick-or-treat behind his back. He had yelled at Ella Mae, and now she lived on the opposite side of the country.

“What’s the matter, girl?” He asked gruffly.

 

 

To find out what happens, whether tricks or treats, please click on Crankpot Halloween.

Copyright 2013 Brenda Davis Harsham

Baby Coyote Scares Halloween

IMG_7877

Baby Coyote lived in a den with his mom and dad, deep in a wood surrounded by the roads and houses of big folk. Mom and Dad Coyote hunted at night. In the early morning, they woke Baby Coyote. They fed him, played with him and kept him safe. They usually slept away the long hours the big folk were walking the trails, but sometimes they would hide and watch them pass by. The big folk seemed to see nothing at all that was not on the trails. Baby Coyote thought they were funny, especially when they would exclaim over dragonflies or poison ivy.

One morning, his mom and dad had to go visit the faraway woods. On the sunshine oak next door, hidden in the nasturtiums behind a round door, lived a happy gnome. His name was Iron Hair, for his stiff, spiky gray hair. Continue reading

Changes Coming Haiku

This newest Haiku is dedicated to all of you, my readers, who have supported and encouraged me over the last miraculous seven months! I am redesigning the appearance of friendlyfairytales. I plan to use a more customizable theme, primarily to celebrate nature more. The new appearance will be more simple and clean, I hope. Please do give me feedback.

Also, I have two Halloween stories coming in the second half of October! Thrills and chills await you, should your path cross here again soon!

Without further delay, Changes Coming Haiku:

Grown no longer new
Something new comes from the old
New growth embraced, held.

IMG_9223

Copyright 2013 Brenda Davis Harsham

Sprite Spite

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

Sprite Spite

IMG_8154

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.

Disappearing Toadstools

IMG_7480

Mr. Puffy!” Jane walked by a small patch of clover and two red leaves, calling for the Lord of the Stone Family. “Puff Monster!” The family cat definitely ruled their roost. Her father worried over him like a hen over a chick, Jane thought to herself with a smile.

She heard a gasp behind her, and she turned to look. Nothing. Except, beside the clover patch, was now a toadstool circle. All the toadstools looked down, as if not wanting to draw attention to themselves. They seemed to be hiding. Continue reading