As she had promised, Merida spent the day visiting each fairy and checking that their trees had not suffered any damage. Of course each tree had a collection of flowers and/or leaves strewn around that had fallen off, and some had some small twigs on the ground beside their trees. But none had sustained any serious injury.
Naida was the last to be visited.
“Everything all right here, Naida?” Merida asked as she flew up. “You did such a good job taking care of Jayda last night and today. I really want to thank you for that. You’re a good friend.”
“Thanks.” Naida said. “She is my friend and I just wanted her to be okay, and her tree too. It will be alright now won’t it?”
“Yes, I’m confident it will heal. Don’t worry, trees are strong and they are used to storms.”
“Is everyone else’s tree alright?”
“Yes, thank goodness. And your tree looks like it just lost a few small twigs, nothing serious.”
“Right. It feels the same as always. Not very awake.” Naida smiled. “I was kind of hoping that noisy storm would wake it up!”
“Well, that’s a novel idea!” Merida said as they both laughed. “Alright, it’s almost time to go home. Do you want to come with me to Jayda’s tree so we can go home together?”
“Oh yes, please! That would be lovely,” and Naida was already in the air ready to go.
Jayda was looking much better when they reached her Pine tree, but she was happy to have their support to fly home. When they arrived they saw all the other fairies were already there. As soon as they saw Jayda they all rushed over to find out what had happened. Zaida had only said that Jayda and her tree were doing okay when she left them. She wanted Jayda to be able to tell the tale of how the Big Ones had come to help.
Merida immediately told the excited fairies to prepare dinner and be quiet. “Jayda is fine, and she will tell you everything once we have eaten. Now, let’s make her a place to sit while everyone else prepares the food.”
As soon as they were ready, everyone sat looking expectantly at Jayda, who began to feel rather shy. “Um, is everyone else alright? I mean, did anyone else’s tree get damaged?” she asked hesitantly.
“We’re all fine!” was the chorus.
“All my flowers were blown away!” said Talida. “But they would have fallen off soon anyway so my tree wasn’t upset.”
“My leaves were still shaking a lot,” said Narida. “But you will have to come to see it to hear what my tree was saying!”
“Even my Robin’s nest is still there,” Narda replied, looking almost disappointed.
“Good thing it didn’t have eggs yet,” Nanda said. “The mother Robin would have been scared trying to protect them from the storm.”
“Alright, enough already!” Nagida was impatient. “We want to hear your story, Jayda. Tell us!”
So Jayda told the group about the big broken branch lying on the ground, and how there were a lot of smaller branches that had fallen down too. She explained how Merida had told them all to hold on to the tree and to each other and to send it healing energy, and how they had been doing that while Merida was flying around. Then she looked at the other fairies and said, “And then the Big Ones came!”
There was a big gasp from the group, and several fairies looked terrified. “Big Ones? Oh no! What did they do?”
Jayda laughed and explained how they had brought a ladder and climbed up to help her tree. How good the medicine had felt when the smaller one painted it on the end of the broken branch. She said that they had all laughed when Merida said that Big Ones could sometimes hear fairies laughing, and maybe the smaller one had heard them. But then she looked seriously at the group. “The Big Ones brought a very noisy machine and they cut the broken end of the branch off before they put the medicine on. That hurt, and it was so loud!”
Again the other fairies were gasping in horror. This time Zaida calmed them by saying that the noise didn’t last long and the Big One was quite good at working the machine so there was no danger to them. At least she was trying to believe that!
Then Jayda continued, “And then they cut up the big branch that fell down and put the pieces in a cart to take away. They even cleaned up the little branches from the ground too, so it looks all pretty around my tree again. I’m so glad the Big Ones came to help!”
Merida nodded and reminded everyone that they were assigned to these trees because the Big Ones were doing their best to take care of them. “Let’s all be thankful that we have good Big Ones to help us care for our trees!”
“Yes, thank you Big Ones,” the fairies chorused.
“And now off to bed. That was a very exciting day and we didn’t get much sleep last night.”
“Can we all visit Jayda’s tree tomorrow, and see where the branch broke?” Nagida asked. “It would be nice to see how the Big Ones helped one of our trees,” she said to convince Merida.
“Well,” Merida hesitated. “Perhaps it would be a useful lesson. Does everyone want to see Jayda’s tree?”
“Oh yes, please!” came the responses immediately. Merida smiled. “I suppose that’s the plan then! Jayda, we’ll all come with you tomorrow to see your tree. Maybe we can all give it some extra healing energy to help it get well.” Then she looked at Narida. “Oh, Narida, I’m sorry. We were supposed to visit your tree tomorrow. What shall we do?”
“Oh, that’s fine. Let’s go to Jayda’s tree. And then Jayda won’t have to fly all the way to my tree, it’s quite far. She probably needs to conserve her strength for her own tree right now. My tree can wait.”
“That’s very kind of you, Narida,” Merida looked at the little fairy approvingly. “And don’t worry; we’ll all visit your tree soon! Now quickly clean up and everyone go to sleep.”
Copyright © Jennifer P. Tanabe, 2015