The next morning as the fairies prepared to leave for the day they were chattering about their trees as usual. Since Sanda’s tree had produced its flowers, or catkins, before its leaves they were all wondering about their own trees and whether they would get flowers, or catkins, or leaves first. Merida heard them and smiled. “Don’t worry, each tree has its own schedule. Just take care of your own tree and let us know when something happens. Now, shall we visit Sanda’s tree and see its catkins?” A buzz of excitement ensued.
“Ooh, yes, I want to see the catkins!”
“And I want to see the weeping branches!”
So they all took off in the direction of Sanda’s tree. She was so excited she flew up and down and around the little group. “Sanda, calm down, you’re making me feel dizzy just watching you!” Merida called out to her.
But the little fairy just laughed and flew faster towards her tree. “Come on everyone, let’s see my catkin tree!”
Her tree was easy to recognize as soon as they got closer. It had many long thin branches hanging down, making almost a complete circle around the trunk. As they drew closer they could see the catkins hanging down from stems on the branches. It was a lovely sight.
Sanda was even more excited having reached her tree. “Oh there are so many catkins now! Yesterday there were just a few. Look how many catkins there are!”
“Now I know why Sanda is so excited,” Naida said to Jayda. “Just look at all those catkins! Aren’t they special?”
Some of the fairies were exploring the branches. Nagida called Narda and Nanda over to one of the long hanging branches. “Here, let’s try holding the end of this branch and flying with it.”
As they flew the end of the branch came with them. “Now, hold on,” Nagida shouted, “and let’s swing!” The three little fairies held on to the end of the branch as it swung back to its original position, and further, and then back again. It was swinging like a pendulum!
“Oh, look, they’re having so much fun! Let’s swing too!” Talida called out. “Come on, everyone, let’s swing this branch!” And a whole group grabbed the end of another branch and made it swing, even further than Nagida’s branch. Of course, not to be outdone, Nagida called her friends to swing their branch again and they flew so far and high that Merida noticed and called out to them to be careful. “Don’t break it, fairies! And be careful you don’t crash into another branch, or us!”
Sanda was clapping her hands at all the fun everyone was having. “See, my tree isn’t a sad weeping tree at all. It’s a fun tree! Don’t you all love it?”
“Yes, Sanda, it’s a lovely tree. Thank you for showing it to us. But it will be weeping if you all play too much and break its branches,” Merida warned. “Play time is over. Let’s head out to work on our own trees!”
Waving goodbye to Sanda and her Willow tree, the fairies set off to their trees. Naida was quite happy as she arrived at her tree. She thought it was wonderful the way Sanda had been so excited about her tree, and how everyone had enjoyed playing with the long branches and with the catkins of course. “I do hope my tree has something special I can share with everyone,” she thought. “But it has to wake up first!”
Naida spent another day warming her tree’s branches and the small twigs where she hoped that buds would soon appear. But there was still nothing new to see. With a sigh she decided it was time to return home, empty handed again.
When she reached home she saw a group gathered together and knew someone had brought something with them. This time it was Nagida who had something to share. As soon as they finished eating she looked at Merida, “Can I show what I’ve brought now?”
“Yes, is everyone ready? Nagida has something to show us.”
Nagida took something quite small from behind her. The fairies leaned forward trying to see what it was. “It’s a flower!” Nagida said proudly. “It’s not a catkin, it’s a real flower. It’s red and so pretty. There are bunches of them but I picked just one to show everyone. There are so many of them on my tree today. My tree looks like it has a red dress on!” She passed the flower to Narda and Nanda who were sitting beside her as usual. “Oh and my tree is a Maple tree. It has many thick branches reaching up to the sky. It looks so strong, but it’s really pretty with all its red flowers! But no leaves yet. I guess the leaves will come after the flowers.”
“Thank you, Nagida. That’s a very good description of your tree!” Merida smiled happily at Nagida and all the fairies who were busy admiring the red flower. “So we can visit your fine tree tomorrow, Nagida.”
Nagida smiled happily. Her friends Narda and Nanda were smiling too. Naida could see that they were hoping their trees would produce flowers next. She looked for Jayda, hoping her friend would make her feel hopeful about her own tree. Of course, Jayda hadn’t even seen her tree so that was kind of silly! When Naida did find her friend she was already feeling more cheerful. “That was a fun day wasn’t it, seeing Sanda’s tree and now Nagida’s tree has red flowers. It’s so interesting how all the trees are so different!”
“Yes, I can’t wait to see your tree, Naida,” Jayda responded. “I’m sure it will be really special, like you!”
Copyright © Jennifer P. Tanabe, 2015