As the next few days passed Naida tried hard to maintain her enthusiasm and keep smiling. She spent every day warming the ends of the twigs on her tree, and encouraging it to wake up, and every evening she came home to find another of the fairies all excited about their tree. And the next morning all the fairies would visit that tree, to the delight of the fairy whose tree it was, before separating to take care of their own trees.
The other members of the little trio who spent so much time together brought home news from their trees. Narda came home with a green flower, and they had visited her tree the next morning. Her tree was also a Maple tree, like Nagida’s, but a different kind, Merida had explained. “When you see their leaves you’ll understand why they’re both called Maples, but they are also different.”
“Yes, mine has red flowers, and Narda’s are green!” Nagida had said immediately. “Of course they’re different!”
“Well, maybe the leaves will be the same, and that’s why they’re both Maples,” Narda had suggested.
“And mine is a kind of Maple too!” added Nanda. “But I’m sure it’s different from both of yours as well!”
“So we’re like triplets, the same but different!” Nagida said with a laugh, hugging her two dear friends.
Merida smiled, “Of course!”
And soon Nanda’s tree had produced little reddish colored flowers, which caused the three friends to celebrate happily. And when they visited Nanda’s tree the next morning the whole fairy group agreed that the little trio had lovely trees.
“I just wonder what kind of leaves they will all have,” Jayda said to Naida.
“Well, at any rate they won’t be like your needles!” Naida had responded.
As the days passed several other fairies brought home treasures from their trees to share with the group. Naida felt more and more left out since her tree had nothing to offer, and found herself growing more dispirited, although she did still enjoy learning about the different trees.
Talida’s tree had produced little greenish colored catkins too, and also little leaves so she was very excited. “Look, I’ve got leaves on my tree, and little catkins! It’s called a Red Mulberry, but it’s not red, at least not yet!”
Zaida’s tree had produced leaves too, but no flowers. “But look at my leaves, they’re such an interesting shape! My tree is the Oak tree. Come and see it everyone!”
Danida’s Birch tree had produced catkins, and by the time the group visited it there were also little leaves appearing.
And little Narida’s tree had also produced catkins, much to her delight. “I do love these catkins,” she said. “I’m so glad my Aspen tree has catkins too.”
Nagida’s and Narda’s trees had both produced leaves, almost at the same time. Both agreed their leaves were rather beautiful. They compared their leaves carefully. Each leaf was green with five lobes.
“Now I understand why our trees have the same name!” Narda said. “Look, the leaves are almost the same shape!”
“You know, my tree is the Silver Maple,” Nagida said. “I wonder why? I don’t see anything silver about my tree.”
“Oh look, Nagida,” Narda said. “Look at the underside of your leaf compared to mine!”
“Oh yes, I see!” Nagida responded excitedly. “Yours is just a light green underneath but mine has a silvery look to it. Oh, that’s it!”
And the two fairies had shown their leaves together at dinner, explaining the difference between their two types of Maple tree. “Good job,” Merida had complimented them. “Your trees are related, but they have differences. Shall we go and see both trees tomorrow?”
The group had been quite excited about the idea of visiting two trees in one morning, and they had all gone to bed very happily.
A few days later Nanda’s tree suddenly produced leaves too, but she was a bit worried. “My leaves are so dark, they look strange. Is that right, Merida?” she had asked.
“Yes, Nanda,” Merida replied. “Do you remember the name of your tree?”
“Yes, it’s a Maple.” Nanda said, looking puzzled. “Oh, it’s the Crimson King Maple – does that mean it has red leaves?”
“That’s right!” Merida said laughing. “Not quite red, but a reddish purple color. I suppose that’s what crimson means!”
“Oh, let’s all visit the Crimson Maple and see its red colored leaves!” Nagida had said, happy that the third member of their trio had a tree with leaves too.
Copyright © Jennifer P. Tanabe, 2015