It seemed like no time at all had passed before it was already morning. The sun was streaming in to their little home. Everything outside seemed to be sparkling as the light caught the raindrops that were all that was left of last night’s frightening event.
As the other fairies woke up and busied themselves preparing for the day, Naida carefully sat up and looked at her friend. Jayda was still asleep. Although her face was pale, she seemed to be breathing normally. Naida breathed a sigh of relief, hoping that everything would turn out alright.
Merida came over to check on them and smiled at Naida. “She has slept well, that’s good. Sleep is very healing you know. You stay here with her for now while I organize everyone else.”
Merida gathered the other fairies around her. First she addressed Narida, “I’m sorry, Narida. We won’t be visiting your tree this morning. I have to tend to Jayda and her tree.”
“Oh, of course, please take care of Jayda,” Narida replied nodding her agreement. “Are you going to see Jayda’s tree now?”
“Yes, I will bring Jayda to her tree with Naida’s help. Perhaps I need one more?”
“I’m happy to help,” Zaida volunteered immediately. “I’m strong like my Oak tree. I can help to carry her if we need to!”
“Thank you Zaida, that would be very helpful. Now, the rest of you, please go quickly to your trees to make sure they are alright. Comfort them if they seem agitated. I will come and visit each one of you later in the day. Go now!”
The remaining seven fairies all quickly took off towards their trees. Merida noticed that the trio of Nagida, Narda and Nanda were flying together and smiled, realizing they were going together to see their trees. Zaida saw her watching them and smiled too. “Yes, those three stick together. Is that why you gave them all Maple trees?”
“Yes, that’s right. They can help each other today and that’s not a bad thing. Come on now, we have a job to do to take care of Jayda and her tree.”
Jayda was awake now and Naida had brought her some water to drink.
“Are you ready to go and see your tree Jayda?” Merida asked. “I’ve got Naida and Zaida to help you, so you hardly have to fly at all.”
“Ok,” Jayda managed a brave smile. “I think I will need some help. My arm feels very strange this morning and I’m quite weak.”
The little group arranged themselves so that they could fly without causing Jayda additional pain and soon they approached her tree. “Oh,” Jayda gasped as they drew closer. “Oh no, there’s pieces of my tree on the ground. And, oh, I can see where a whole branch broke off. Oh, my poor tree!” Tears were streaming down her face.
Naida could feel her pain as she held onto her friend. “Merida, what do we do?”
Merida looked around and said, “Let’s sit down here on this strong branch, close to the trunk. Naida and Zaida, you stay with Jayda, hold on to her so she doesn’t fall. I’m going to investigate.” Merida flew away, first circling around to where the branch had broken off, and then around the tree looking at the pieces on the ground. She came back to the others to report. “Yes, that big branch broke off, and it brought some other smaller branches down with it. But the main problem is the big branch.”
Jayda was looking quite worried. “What do I do? I need to help my tree!”
“Yes, Jayda, you will help your tree. Put your good hand on the trunk and talk to your tree. Naida, Zaida, you each put one hand on the trunk and with your other hand hold onto Jayda. That way you will be able to connect to Jayda’s tree and send it comforting energy. Alright?”
The three fairies did as Merida directed, and soon they were swaying slightly together as they each had one hand connected to the tree.
“I’m going to look around, and I’ll be right back,” Merida said and she flew away.
Naida watched her go, wondering what would happen next. “I can feel your tree, Jayda,” she said softly. “It feels like it’s crying.”
“Yes,” Jayda whispered. “We’re both crying. It hurts.”
“Don’t worry,” Zaida said. “I can feel a lot of strength. It’s going to be alright.”
Just then there was a lot of noise down below and Merida came flying back. “Hold on tight, fairies,” she said. “The Big Ones are coming to help!”
“Oh, what are they doing?” Jayda couldn’t see them.
“Someone is coming with a big ladder. Oh, they’re climbing up to the broken branch!”
Naida’s eyes opened wide. “I’ve never seen a Big One so close before! Are we safe?”
“Yes,” Merida said, trying to appear confident although Naida could see she was nervous. “They’re going to do something to the broken branch. Oh my goodness, they’ve got that cutting machine! It will be loud, but don’t let go. And try to keep the tree calm!”
As the Big One reached the broken branch he lifted a machine and a roar that seemed even louder than last night’s thunder suddenly started up. The fairies cowered against the tree, but holding on tightly and determinedly thinking positive thoughts to the tree. As the chainsaw cut into the branch Jayda’s whole body shook and Merida held on to her to prevent her from falling.
“It will be quick, just hold on,” she said. And sure enough the terrible noise soon stopped, and a piece of the branch fell to the ground. “See, he’s cut off the broken piece. Now it doesn’t look so bad.”
“He’s going back down,” said Zaida. “But there’s another Big One with him, a smaller one. He’s carrying something too. Oh my goodness, he’s coming up now!”
The smaller of the two was now climbing the ladder. When he reached the branch he took a brush out of the can he was carrying and starting painting the end that had just been cut.
“Oh, that feels good!” Jayda exclaimed. “Is it medicine?”
“Yes, he’s putting some medicine on the end of the branch to help it heal. It will seal it up so it won’t get infected,” Merida was watching him. “You see, the Big Ones here are doing a good job of taking care of these trees, that’s why we can come and help them.”
“But they don’t know we’re here, do they?” Naida wondered. “I mean, I’m glad they’re doing a good job but they’re still awfully big and I’m a bit scared of them.”
“Don’t worry, they can’t see us!” Merida reassured the three fairies. “I’ve never met a Big One that could see us fairies, although sometimes it seems they can hear us laughing!”
“Should we try it?” Zaida suggested. And, of course, that immediately made them all laugh.
“I don’t know if they could hear us,” Naida said still chuckling. “I was laughing too much to see them!”
“Oh, I think the smaller one that put the medicine on might have heard us,” Jayda said. “He looked up when we all started laughing. I hope he did. I wanted to thank him for making me and my tree feel better.”
The loud noise started again. Although it was loud, this time it didn’t shake the tree. Merida looked down and said they were just cutting up the broken branch that had fallen off the tree. The noise lasted a little while and then there was silence again.
“Oh, look,” Naida said. “They’re picking up all the pieces of the broken branch and putting them into that cart to take away. And I can see they’re taking the smaller branches that fell down too. Isn’t that nice?”
“Yes, it’s all going to look beautiful here again, thanks to them.” Zaida was nodding. “Are you feeling better, now Jayda?”
“Yes, thank you. My arm feels a bit strange, but I think it’s going to be alright soon. I’ll just sit here for the rest of the day, though; I don’t think I can fly around yet.”
“That’s right, Jayda,” Merida agreed. “Stay where you are and keep connected to your tree. I’ll come back for you at the end of the day and help you fly home. Now, Naida and Zaida, thank you very much for your help. You did a great job! It’s time for you to go to your own trees now. I’ll come and see each of you in a little while. And tonight you can all report on what happened to Jayda’s tree!”
Naida hesitated, but Zaida took her hand and pulled her away and the two fairies flew off waving to Jayda as they left.
Copyright © Jennifer P. Tanabe, 2015