Faerie children are no different than human children. Inevitably, when they've been dressed in their finest frocks for an afternoon picnic, and left to play while their mother goes to market, with a stern warning not to get dirty, it is not going to end well.
No sooner had their mother's head disappeared over the crest of the hill, than Hattie looked at Clementina and Theodora, "last one to the stream's a toad's egg!" she cried.
Down they flew, leaping over toadstools and skirting round thistle patches. When they arrived at the bottom of the gully, they collapsed breathless and giggling. After a moment Theodora said, "let's have a real race. The winner gets all of our cake at the picnic."
"You're just saying that because you're going to ride mantis," said Clementina, who was very fond of cake and not keen on wagering her piece.
"We'll draw stems," said Theodora, plucking three daisies from beside her.
In the end, Hattie got to ride Mantis, Clementina got Beetle, and Theodora got Snail (mind you, he's a proper racing snail, and not the kind we're used to).
~ Hattie ~
~ Theodora ~
~ Clementina ~
"Alright," said Hattie, "the race will be from the stream's edge, to the nettle patch at the top of the field, first one there gets all our cake."
Clementina won by a hair's breadth. Hattie tried to leap over Theodora at the last minute and ended up right in the nettle patch with some very sore blisters and a torn frock. But they were all smiles and laughter as they made their way home.
They arrived to find their mother unpacking her market basket. She took one look at them and threw her hands in the air. "That's it! Look at you girls! No picnic and NO cake, until those dresses are scrubbed and mended! And you'd better hurry if you want them to dry in time."
"Now, out." She said, pointing at the door. They stumbled out of the house, trying to keep from giggling at their mother's exasperation, all except for Clementina who looked on the verge of tears at the possibility of loosing not one, but three pieces of cake.
Hattie decided it would be far more fun to go for another ride than spend the rest of the morning cleaning her frock. I won't even tell you what her mother said when she found her missing sometime later.
I love the creative spontaneity of children. When my son saw these three, he came up with this darling little poem off the top of his head.
When their mother dilly dallies,
In the luscious green valley,
Each maiden hops upon her racer's back,
On their little faerie track.
by Dawa (age 12)
Hattie, Theodora and Clementina will be available separately in my shop today at 5:30 PM (PST).