About the Author
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.
"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."
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.
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.
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.
“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?”
“…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.
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.
“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.