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The Faerie Tree
Barbara Shepherd
Barbara made up this bedtime story for her little granddaughter.
Then one day a Faerie began to show itself in her clay....


In a land far, far away there lived a little girl who had always wanted to see the fairies her  mother  had  told  her about  every  night  at  bedtime. She  wanted  to  touch and talk to the tiny  creatures  that  supposedly  lived in the huge old tree, in the middle of the forest. She had tried and tried to catch even a glimpse of them. She had left offerings of all their favorite foods, and her very best treasures for them to find and keep, but they had never let her catch sight of them until one day all of this changed.
The little girl had become very ill during the winter and when it was finally springtime, her mother & father prayed that their little girl would soon be well. Alas this was not to be. Even with the rebirth of the earth and the heavens, she was slowly fading away. There came a day when the little girl knew she would not see the next rising of the sun. So she called to her mother and father. She asked if she could have but one last wish before she went away.
Even though the thought that they would soon be without their beloved daughter made their hearts break, they agreed that if it was in their power to grant their little girl's last request, they would do so. She asked that she be carried to the huge old tree in the middle of the forest that she had loved throughout her life. She wanted to say good-bye to the fairies that she knew existed even though they had never let her see them.
With tears in her eyes, her mother bundled her daughter in the softest of wool blankets, and her father picked up his child with the strength of a mighty man who carried the most delicate of bundles, his dying daughter. They carried the little girl to the foot of the old gnarled tree, and lay her down on the soft moss covering the new spring earth.

She looked up through the tree limbs with the heavy vines curling up through the branches, and started singing the song she had always sung for her fairies;

ďIíve come to see your beauty; Iíve come to see your tree.
Iíve come to share your secrets,
Wonít you come and talk to me?
Iíve games of fun and laughter,
I come to sing your song,
Iíve loved you all forever,
Now wonít you come along?
Please let me see your golden hair,
Your wings of gossamer lace,
Please wonít you let these eyes of mine,
Gaze upon your face?Ē

As the last of her song ended the mother and father held each other close, for they knew that it was time. As they looked at their tiny daughter, they rubbed their eyes for there was a strange glowing circle of light beginning to form right above her. As they watched in astonishment, the circle of golden light started twirling and spinning and almost dancing you might say.  When suddenly the light burst into what seemed a million pieces of tiny little lights that started to take form.

The form they took was of teeny little bodies, with gossamer wings of lace. And before their very eyes, these tiny creatures of golden light slowly covered the entire body of their little daughter. Suddenly the circle of light burst again and breaking from the spell they seemed to have been under the mother and father ran to gather their little girl up into their arms. But as they reached the softest of wool blankets she had lain in, they saw she was no longer there.

The mother cried in fright and the father started to wildly look around in hopes of finding her. As the couple hunted frantically for their missing child the circle of golden light was slowly climbing higher and higher. Suddenly the littlest of lights and teensiest of bodies broke from the circle and flew down to where it was almost touching the nose of the mother. As the startled woman stared at the tiny light, she heard a very faint little voice singing these words,

ďThey have come to take me with them,
They have come to make it known,
They have come to share their secrets, 
They have come to take me home.Ē
And with that the little light flew off to join the other fairy lights.  Slowly the couple walked home together, at peace that their daughter was at last with her beloved fairies. 
(Click on thumbnails to see larger images)

Written by Barbara J Shepherd© for her granddaughter, Keri Cantrell 2/14/2002