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About the Author

Books were my companions and playmates ever since I can remember. When we finally moved to a neighborhood with possible playmates for me, the pattern of love of literature was already set.

All through college, with my 22 credits in Children's Literature, I intended to write for children. The rigors of teaching and raising a family soon overshadowed that and the ambition was buried.

This year, as I face the milestone birthday of 70, I have taken another look at ambitions I never achieved. Writing this series of stories is one of the most important to me. It is my gift to my blog readers and anyone else who may be led here. Please share with a child and let me know if you enjoy the stories.

My years of photographing my granddaughters and digital scrapbooking with Photoshop prompted the illustrations for this story. More will be added as I create them.

About the Illustrator collaborator
Please meet Bonna (Wuvie). She is doing the illustrations for the Magic Marsh.
Friday, October 10, 2008

Daddy's Magical Marsh



PART 1

"It was a lovely autumn day when Gabriella and her little sister, Abagael set out in their jeep. “Where are we going?” Abby asked. Gabby didn’t answer as she zipped along the sidewalk. Then the sidewalk ended. A few more feet and the girls found themselves deep in the woods of the Humbug Marsh.

“That’s OK.” Gabby told her little sister. “Daddy and his class have worked on this marsh so I know we are safe.”


Indeed they were. “Daddy’s Marsh” was a magical place. The little girls noticed wispy fairies and elves on the marsh cattails and grasses. The bird songs were like magic, too, and soon neither girl was scared at all."

PART 2

As they listened to the magical songs the girls saw that the Jeep had sunk deeper into the mud of the marsh. Try as she would, Gabriella, going forward and back, could NOT get the Jeep to move. They were STUCK. “HELP”, Abby called out. “Help Help!”

One of their new-found elf-friends heard them and flew to the Jeep. As soon as he saw their distress he flew off, soon to return with the most beautiful thing Gabby and Abby had ever seen...a gorgeous white unicorn with a sparkly blue mane and tail.

The elf was tugging on Gabby’s hair ribbon so she took it off and gave it to him. It became LONG...way longer than it was on her hair. The elf tied one end to the back of the jeep and the Unicorn took the other end and pulled. A few tugs later the jeep was back on dry ground. Gabby and Abby both blew kisses of thanks to the elf and the unicorn.

PART3

Abby wasn't saying anything, but she had noticed a small something peering at them during all of this. It was hiding behind trees and plants watching the goings on. While Gabby was concentrating on driving over the rough marsh highest parts so as not to get stuck again, Abby watched the little person. A young troll? Maybe. Finally she told Gabby and they stopped and quietly asked the little troll to come out. He slowly came all the way out from behind a tree.

"Are you lost?" Abby asked, noticing the traces of tears on his face. The troll nodded.

"How can we help you?" Gabby inquired.

The little troll pointed to the left. Abby picked up the little troll carefully and placed him on Gabby's lap and they started in the direction the troll pointed. Soon they came to a low hill between trees and the troll became quite excited. "Is this your home?" Abby asked. The troll nodded happily.

Abby put the troll back down on the Marsh floor and he blew them a magical kiss in thanks. "That kiss will keep us safe from all other trolls!" Gabby told her sister. "Thanks" she called back as the troll disappeared into his hill.


PART 4

The shadows were getting longer and deeper. "I want to go home" Abby stated to her sister.

Gabby turned the jeep around and drove for a little while but she soon realized they were lost. The shadows made things look different than she remembered. She didn't want to tell her sister, but before long Abby knew, too. She started to cry. The soft sound roused the fairies and soon the girls were surrounded by a small group of the shimmering creatures. The fairies flew to the front of the jeep and beckoned for the girls to follow.

Abby's tears and Gabby's worried frown disappeared. When they reached the edge of the marsh
the fairies hung back. Gabby realized the fairies could not leave the magic marsh.

The girls drove out of the marsh and they were back in their town, but where? Gabby looked up and down the road, but didn't recognize a thing. Once again, Abby's eyes welled up in tears. Gabby was worried.

Then Gabby remembered the blue and red lights on the front of the jeep. "Uncle Denny", who was a policeman, had once told them they could always use those lights to call for help. Gabby took a deep breath and pushed the button. The lights started flashing and within a few minutes a big police car appeared. There was Uncle Denny. "Follow me!" he called out the window.

With big smiles the girls
followed Uncle Denny; the police car on the road, the little jeep on the sidewalk. Soon the two little adventurers were home with delightful memories of fairies, elves, unicorns, and trolls in Daddy's Magic Marsh.
Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Little Lost Fairy


I started this story as a bedtime story for my younger granddaughter. This is the first "book" in 10 chapters. There will be other adventures of the fairy in "human land" and I will be adding more photo-illustrations to this one so check back!

Chapter 1

“What???” The Grandmother gasped as she peered into the middle of a bright zinnia.

It was early morning and The Grandmother was enjoying a stroll around her garden. Certainly this is not a bug…too big! …And it is too small for a bird. The Grandmother put on her glasses and gasped again. It looked like a little girl! A tiny little girl with wings! A FAIRY!!!

Just then the fairy woke up and, seeing the sun and The Grandmother, she started to cry. The Grandmother gently lifted the bawling fairy and rocked her gently in her hand, thinking of her own granddaughter.

“Shhhh”, she crooned, “You are alright. I will take care of you.” She stroked the fairy’s little back with one finger and carried her to the porch. “Can you talk?”

The little fairy nodded, and hic-upped.

“What is your name?”

“A-A-Abagael”, the little person stuttered.

“Well, I am Grandma”, The Grandmother said. “You are safe here. Hmmm…Last night was a full moon. Were you dancing in the garden?”

Abagael nodded.

“…and you fell asleep?”

The fairy nodded again, and sniffled. The Grandmother tore off a bit of tissue from a piece in her pocket and Abagael blew her little nose. The grandmother said they would go into the house. She didn’t want to startle the little fairy and cause her to cry again.

“Now, if I remember my fairy stories correctly, you can’t go back to Fairyland until the NEXT full moon, right?”

Abagael nodded again and sniffled some more.

Chapter 2

Meanwhile, in Fairyland, that world between the real world and fantasy, the fairies were looking everywhere for little Abagael. This had been her FIRST Full Moon Dance and now they couldn’t find her. Several thought they remembered seeing her sitting in a Zinnia. Others were sure she came back with them when the sun came up. Whatever happened to her, they knew there was no way to go back to find her until the next full moon, in a month. They would think of little else all month until they could look for their youngest companion.

Chapter 3

“It must be time for you to eat.” The Grandmother carried Abagael into her cozy kitchen and mixed a bit of cereal in a nice clean bottle cap, poured a little milk into the top of a whipped cream “bomb”, and lightly toasted and buttered about ¼ piece of bread. Abagael looked at the plate hungrily, but folded her hands and looked down.

“Oh dear! You don’t eat food like this?” Abagael lowered her head and just looked more miserable. The Grandmother thought back to stories she had heard as a child. “Pollen?” she asked. Abagael looked up and smiled a little. “Nectar?” The smile was wider. “Honey?” Abagael was just beaming.

The grandmother went out to the garden with Abagael fluttering along by her head. As they passed a columbine, Abagael pointed and smiled. “Mmmm.” The grandmother picked all of the blooming columbine on her plant and took it inside. It only took a few minutes to harvest the sweetness, and Abagael ate it even more quickly.

Then they went out again and found several different plants with blooms that had pollen Abagael liked. The Grandmother harvested those and saved the pollen to make little honey cakes for the next meal.

Chapter 4

While Abagael sat on a soft pillow she watched The Grandmother making a little bed from a box that had held some matches. The Grandmother painted it, and glued 4 beads in the corners to make little legs. She took some scraps of fabric and some soft stuff from one of her own pillows and made a tiny mattress and pillow. Another scrap of fluffy fabric made the blanket.

The Grandmother slid her hand under the fairy, placed her in the bed and slid it partly closed. The little fairy smiled and went to sleep, so comfy! Much more comfortable than the flower she usually slept on at home.

The Grandmother was so glad she didn’t have any pets. Years ago the last cat had left and The Grandmother just had never adopted another. She looked about her room and spied an open spot on a low bookshelf.

“There,” she whispered, “You can make your home right there…safe and snug.”

Chapter 5

When Abagael awoke she saw that The Grandmother had been busy. Nearby was a little table and stool The Grandmother had fashioned from bits of wood and glue. When The Grandmother saw her, she laughed. “I guess all those craft supplies will have a good use after all.”

Over the next day or so The Grandmother was happy as she could be, making tiny furniture and clothing for the little fairy from her craft items. Soon the special area of the bookshelf was lovely and comfy but something was missing. Abagael was like any human child. She needed more. She needed some toys!

Soon she had a tiny ball The Grandmother crafted from one of her soft beads. While she played with that The Grandmother worked on a tiny stuffed animal…only an inch high and soft enough to be cuddled. Abagael hugged the new toy and adopted it as her sleep companion immediately.

But the little fairy still looked lonely. All day she either sat and cuddled her teddy, or played with her ball, rolling it against the wall of her shelf and catching it again, or just watching The Grandmother at her housework, and crafts.

The Grandmother was careful to spend as much time outside as possible with the fairy. Abagael loved flitting from one flower to the next, and even found several ladybugs that seemed friendly. But they soon disappeared about their business.

One time there was a small toad watching the fairy. “Oh my,” thought The Grandmother, “If that toad were any bigger it might eat Abagael.” She scooped up the little fairy and they went back to the porch where The Grandmother liked to read in her swing.

Chapter 6

There were still over 24 days left to the Lunar Month. The Grandmother took a small piece of paper and duplicated, in miniature, the calendar on the refrigerator. She marked the important phases of the moon and numbered the days. At first Abagael didn’t seem to understand, but as each morning, a new square was crossed out, and The Grandmother explained how much closer they were to the next Full Moon Fairy Dance, Abagael seemed to brighten a bit. The Grandmother was getting quite concerned. Abagael seemed content, but hardly happy.

Chapter 7

Abagael seemed happier outside, especially after The Grandmother crocheted her a little swing, a miniature of the big one. Still, something was missing…laughter! The Laughter of Fairies was supposed to be just magical.

“She needs friends”, The Grandmother thought. “Where can I find other fairies?” Here was something The Grandmother could NOT make out of craft supplies.

“What about HUMAN friends?” The Grandmother thought.

“Abagael, would you like to meet my granddaughter? She is 5 and you seem younger than that, but she could play gently with you.”

Abagael smiled and clapped her hands. “Oh yes!”

“Oh my, this is going to be tricky” The Grandmother thought. She picked up the telephone and called her granddaughter. “Would you like to come over for the day?” she asked.

Of course Gabriella said yes and asked her mother immediately. Soon the sound of the front door reached The Grandmother and she hid the fairy with a finger to her lips to be quiet.

“What are we going to do today, Gammy?” asked Gabriella. “Make a card? Use your rubber stamps? Cut out paper dolls? Garden?”

“Something way more exciting but I have to know you will keep a secret and not tell Anyone, not even your Mom and Dad.” The Grandmother put her finger to her lips.

“Is it like Christmas? I kept secrets really well for Christmas, didn’t I?” Gabriella asked.

“This is bigger and you may have to keep the secret a long time.”

“Gammy, if you say to keep the secret I will, I promise.” Gabriella put her hand over her heart and a finger on her lips to show how serious she was.

The Grandmother took Gabriella to the bookshelf and slowly moved aside the book she had put in front of Abagael’s little room. At first Gabriella didn’t see the fairy that was hiding behind the bed. She started to pick up the furniture but The Grandmother stopped her.

“Gabriella” she started. “Have you ever seen a fairy?”

“Sure, Gammy. There’s Tinkerbell, and some in other books Mommy reads to me.”

“No” The Grandmother explained, “A REAL fairy.”

She put her hand into Abagael’s space and the fairy stepped out and onto her hand.

Gabriella gasped. “Is that REAL?”

“Gentle” The Grandmother warned. “Yes, she is real and you don’t want to hurt her or scare her.” Then The Grandmother told Gabriella the story of how Abagael came to be found in her garden. She also explained that Abagael needed a playmate and maybe she and Gabriella could play with some toys.

Chapter 8

Gabriella was enchanted with the tiny fairy. They went to Gabriella’s room at Gammy’s house and started to explore ways for the two girls to play together. They invented games with blocks, the human child placing them, and the fairy crawling over, or flying from one to the other.

There was a castle for little plastic people and horses that Gabriella hardly ever played with. But now it was a magical home for the little fairy. There was a plastic construction set that created another playground. The laughter and giggles of the child and the fairy was like music. Even at the fairy’s nap time, the two were inseparable. Abagael’s little bed was put on the pillow of the couch and both girls dozed off for a while.

Then everyone ate dinner together. Abagael’s little table and chair was placed next to Gabriella’s plate.

Too soon it was time for Gabriella’s mother to pick her up. They discussed what Gabriella could and shouldn’t tell her mother and the human girl and the fairy said a fond good bye with a promise to play together every time the girl’s mother would let her come over…maybe even every day!!!

Chapter 9

It might have looked strange to the neighbors, to see the human girl playing about in the garden, talking to someone unseen. Most of The Grandmother’s neighbors were at work during the day so it was safe for the two friends to play outside and still keep the secret. Abagael already knew so much more about the flowers and insects than Gabriella did, but soon the human girl had learned whatever Abagael could teach her. In return, they would sit in The Grandmother’s swing and Gabriella taught Abagael reading.

“No other fairies can read!” giggled the little fairy! She was delighted at knowing something special. Soon she was counting, coloring, and singing little human songs. In turn Abagael taught Gabriella to trill like the fairies, make whistle sounds like the birds, and tiny sounds of the insects that The Grandmother had never heard before.

But the days were passing quickly. In only 3 more days the moon would once again be in its full phase. “We need to talk about Abagael going home” The Grandmother announced one day.

“No!’ cried Gabriella! “She can’t go! She is my friend! Who will I play with?”

“Now, Gabriella. Fairyland is Abagael’s home. How would you feel away from all of your family and friends in a strange place?”

Gabriella looked sad and Abagael tried to cheer her up with trills and bird sounds. It was obvious, though, that the fairy was glad to be going back to her home, but at the same time, sad to be leaving this place. The Grandmother was already feeling very lonely.

“Abagael, could you return to us any time you want?” she asked.

“I think all I would have to do is stay on a flower when everyone else goes back to fairyland at dawn after a full moon,” she answered.

“Would you ever want to come back to us?” The Grandmother asked while Gabriella looked on hopefully.

“Yes!” the wee fairy answered. “I would like to do that if you want me.”

Gabriella gently picked up the little fairy and gave her a tiny, soft kiss. Then they went off to play for one of the very last times.

Chapter 10

Two nights later, Gabriella’s mother gave her permission to spend the night at Grandmother’s. “Curious!” Gabriella’s mother said to father that night. “Gabriella has spent almost the whole month of June at her grandmother’s house. Oh, well, I guess she has playmates there.” She shrugged.

The Grandmother made special pollen pancakes with honey syrup for the little fairy that evening. Gabriella had almost the same thing, just regular pancakes and honey from the store. They drank nectar and juice. The grandmother then brought out a little surprise cake decorated with flowers made from a paste of honey and pollen softened with a bit of nectar. Gabriella enjoyed the cake and Abagael was delighted with the frosting flowers. “Now, THERE’S a craft I can’t share with my crafter friends.” The Grandmother laughed.

Late, well past the human girl’s bedtime, the three tiptoed out to the garden. Abagael returned to the Zinnia bed and perched on a flower. Gabriella and her grandmother sat on the porch and waited. Soon a full moon was bathing the garden in soft moonlight. If you knew they were there you could JUST see the fairies as they appeared for their dance. Abagael was easy to spot in her little yellow dress The Grandmother had made especially for this night.

The other fairies danced around their companion in delight as soon as they saw her. The story of Gabriella and her grandmother was told over and over again as the fairies glanced to the porch in amazement. They danced closer to the porch then most had ever been to humans, but still, when the first light of dawn appeared, all the fairies, even Abagael, were gone and the garden was still again.

Sadly, Gabriella and her grandmother went back into the house, yawned together, and headed to their beds. “Wait a minute, Gammy,” the girl yawned. “I have to do something first”. Then the girl went to the calendar on the refrigerator, located the next full moon and circled it in red crayon.