The next morning was another lovely warm, sunny day. The fairies were all excited talking about how their trees would surely wake up soon with all this sunshine and warmth, and all the good energy they were giving them! They were eager to set off to see their trees even before Merida told them to go.
“Alright, off you go then,” she said. “And if anyone finds anything interesting about their tree be ready to share it tonight, and to take us all to visit your tree tomorrow!”
When Naida arrived at her tree she felt a pang of disappointment. It still looked quite dead. She had to remind herself it was only sleeping, but she thought even a sleeping tree could show a bit of life. Sighing she leaned against the trunk and gently put her hands on its bark. She felt the connection to her tree. There was that deep energy that seemed to come from far down in the depths of the tree, maybe in its roots. “Wake up soon my tree,” she whispered. “I want to see how beautiful you are when you have your leaves!”
Then she flew upwards to continue giving warmth to each branch and twig, finding all the possible places for buds to form and gently cupping her hands around them. Naida tried to imagine little leaves all curled up inside buds that were still hidden in the ends of the small twigs. She was so focused on her work that she didn’t notice the time passing. “Oh my goodness, I’m going to be late! Goodbye tree, I’ll be back tomorrow!” and she quickly flew away.
Arriving at home Naida was glad to see that she hadn’t missed anything. Several fairies were still preparing the food and Merida was talking to someone at the side. As Naida alighted, Merida turned and smiled. “Good, everyone is here. Let’s begin. And tonight Sanda has something to share, but after we eat!”
Naida took her place beside Jayda and they quickly shared the food. “Isn’t it exciting, wondering who will bring something from their tree each night?” Jayda said happily.
“Yes, but I wonder when I will have something to share,” Naida responded with less enthusiasm.
“Now, don’t worry. Merida said not to compare, each tree will produce its leaves in its own good time.”
“Easy for you to say, Jayda. You have the evergreen tree, it always has leaves!” Naida couldn’t stay morose for long, and was already laughing as she said that to her friend.
Jayda laughed too; glad to see her friend was happy again.
“Now, quiet everyone and let’s see what Sanda has brought for us!” Merida announced.
Sanda reached behind her and brought out something that clearly was not a leaf.
“What is it?” most of the fairies asked. “That looks funny!” “Is it really from your tree?”
“Yes, it’s from my tree. It’s kind of like flowers. But they’re all grouped together tightly in a bunch and they hang down from the little branch. They look so pretty on my tree!” Sanda was quite excited and she was waving her “flower bunch” around so much that powder was flying off it.
“Oh, what’s that stuff?” Danida, who was sitting next to her, started sneezing.
“Goodness, Sanda, pass it around so we can see before you break it!” “Yes, pass it around!” came the chorus.
“But what is it, Sanda?” Zaida asked. “It’s not a normal flower surely. Does it have a name?”
“Oh yes, I forgot. It’s a catkin! Isn’t that a great name? Cat-kin. I love it!” Sanda was laughing happily.
“But do you have leaves?” Talida asked. “Don’t the leaves come first before the flowers?”
“No, no leaves,” Sanda looked a bit downcast. “My tree has catkins first. But it will get leaves later. I’m sure it will get leaves later. At least I hope so,” and she looked expectantly at Merida.
“Yes, Sanda. The catkins come first on your tree. Now what is the name of your tree? Do you remember?”
“Oh goodness, I’m just so excited about the catkin I forgot to tell you all that my tree is called a Willow tree. And it has a tall trunk and then all these long branches that hang down and it grows by the water, and it almost looks like it was crying and made a big pool of tears so it’s called a Weeping Willow tree. At least I think so.” Sanda was smiling as she said all of this. “But I don’t know why I have a weeping tree, I’m a happy fairy!”
And that made everyone laugh.
Copyright © Jennifer P. Tanabe, 2015