The next day Merida went with Narda as promised. Naida and Jayda watched them leave together. “Narda must be brave to have a big bird live in her tree, don’t you think?” Naida said.
“Hmm, yes, I suppose so. But it’s kind of an honor really, don’t you think, to have a bird choose your tree to make its nest? I’m not sure birds would like my Pine tree, those needles are kind of sharp!”
“Well my tree doesn’t have any leaves at all, so that’s not much good either!” Naida responded. And the two friends laughed together before departing for their trees.
That evening Narida came home clutching a small leaf. “It doesn’t look so exciting,” she said. “But you have to come and see my tree tomorrow! When there are a lot of leaves, they talk to me!”
The other fairies looked at her in disbelief. “Narida, come on, leaves don’t talk!” they said.
“Well, not really talking like we do. But they kind of shake if there’s any breeze at all, and they make this whispering sound. It’s lovely!”
The fairies were still shaking their heads and passing the small leaf around. “It doesn’t make a noise at all when I shake it,” said Nagida. “I think she’s imagining it!”
“No, no, I’m not! Don’t be mean.” Narida was almost crying. “Just come and see my tree tomorrow.” She looked at Merida. “Please, Merida, let’s all visit my tree tomorrow. Then you’ll all hear my leaves.”
Merida smiled at Narida. “Of course we’ll visit your tree tomorrow. Don’t worry, I believe you about your leaves.”
“Thank you, Merida. I know I didn’t imagine it. Everyone can hear them tomorrow.”
But that night the fairies were awakened by bright lights and loud booming sounds. It was a thunderstorm! As they huddled together, trying not to be afraid each time the lightning flashed and the thunder roared, they began to worry about their trees.
“Merida, will our trees be alright in this storm?” Narida asked fearfully.
“Well, your leaves should be doing more than whispering tonight!” Nagida said and everyone laughed.
Merida looked around. “I hope so, our trees are strong. But it is a bad storm. So everyone sit quietly and think of your tree. And send good thoughts to your tree.”
The little group gathered in a circle. They each sat with their legs crossed and their hands clasped together. Merida began to sing quietly, and the others all joined in.
Suddenly there was an especially bright flash that lit up the sky, followed almost immediately by a loud crack of thunder. And then Jayda screamed! She clutched her arm and fell over gasping and crying.
Naida rushed to her side and put her arms around her. “Jayda, Jayda, what happened? I’m here, it’s going to be alright!”
Merida told the other fairies to keep concentrating on their own trees and came over to Jayda and Naida. “It’s my arm,” Jayda said between sobs. “Oh my arm, it hurts so much!”
“Let’s take her to her bed. Naida help me.” Merida looked very serious and Naida quickly helped support her friend over to their bed. “Stay with her, Naida,” Merida ordered. “Hold her other hand and share good energy with her. I’ll make her a special hot drink.”
Naida held on to her friend’s hand. She could feel it was cold, so she forced herself to be calm and send good energy to her. Jayda was looking quite pale, but she managed a smile as Naida began to feel warmth circulating between them.
“Drink this,” Merida said as she came back carrying a little cup of steaming liquid. “And then sleep.”
Jayda took a sip and made a face.
“I know, it doesn’t taste good. But drink it down. Naida, stay with her. Make sure she drinks it all! I have to go back and take care of the others now.”
As Merida returned to the circle, all the fairies looked at her with worried expressions. “Will she be alright?” was the question they all wanted to ask.
“Is everyone else alright?” was what Merida asked.
“Yes, we’re fine,” chorused the fairies.
“But will Jayda be alright?” Zaida asked.
“I believe so,” Merida responded. “She’s drinking the special tea I made. I believe her tree was struck by lightning and a branch has broken off, that’s why her arm hurts. We’ll find out in the morning. Now, I think the storm has passed, all I can hear now is rain. So we can all go back to bed. And let’s be thankful that no-one else is hurt!”
Zaida went over to the bed where Jayda was lying, propped up so she could drink the tea. “How is she?” she asked Naida. “Merida seems to think she’ll be okay.”
“Yes, she’s almost finished this drink. Apparently it tastes awful!” Jayda managed a rueful smile as Naida said that.
“I can take the cup back. You are going to sleep here with her aren’t you?” said Zaida.
“Thanks. Yes, I’m staying here,” and Naida helped her friend lie down and then settled down beside her. Naida didn’t really expect to sleep, but Jayda fell asleep immediately and so Naida found herself drifting off to sleep too.
Copyright © Jennifer P. Tanabe, 2015