As Naida flew into the fairies’ home she saw Nagida and her two friends watching her. They were laughing about something, and Naida instinctively felt it was about her and her Catalpa tree. Dejected, she made her way over to her bed and lay down. Jayda came in a moment later and saw her on the bed. “Naida, can I show you something?”
Naida lifted her head without much enthusiasm, “What is it Jayda?”
“Look, my Pine tree has these cone things. Isn’t that cool?”
“Oh, yes. Goodness, that’s really something different!” Naida was interested in spite of herself. “Are you going to show it to everyone this evening?”
“Yes, I hope so. Come on, let’s help get things prepared.” Leaving the pine cone by the bed, Jayda took Naida’s hand to set up the dinner.
In spite of not feeling hungry Naida was drawn along by her friend, and soon everything was prepared. Jayda spoke to Merida who nodded, and all the fairies sat down.
As soon as it was time for ‘show and tell’ Merida announced that Jayda had something to show. Jayda went and picked up her pine cone, and lifting it up she explained that her tree now had these cones. “Of course, this is just a little one, some of the others are much bigger but I couldn’t carry one of them!” she said with a laugh.
Everyone was fascinated and the room was buzzing as the pine cone was passed around.
“Did your tree have flowers Jayda?” Zaida asked as she turned the cone around. “Or just this … cone thing?”
“No, I didn’t see any flowers. I think it just has these cones. Is that right Merida?”
“Quite right, Jayda. Pine trees are a special kind of tree. They don’t have flowers. Instead they have cones, like this one.”
“Goodness, I thought my tree was special because it’s an evergreen, but now it has these special pine cones instead of flowers. I love my Pine tree!” Jayda was thrilled.
Merida smiled. “I’m glad you appreciate your tree, Jayda. Now, does anyone else have something to share?” and she looked around the group.
Somehow Naida felt that all eyes turned to her, and she lowered her head hoping that someone else did have something to share. Unfortunately, though, there was a silence. Nagida broke it by saying loudly, “Well, we should hear from Naida about her tree. If it’s come back to life yet!”
As Narda and Nanda joined her in an unpleasant laugh, Naida shook her head. “No, it’s still sleeping. It will wake up when it’s ready, not when you want it to.”
“Alright, now fairies. Let’s be nice to each other.” Merida sought to keep the peace. “If there’s nothing else to share let’s all get ready for bed.”
That night Naida couldn’t sleep. She tossed and turned until Jayda, who had been sleeping with a smile on her face, finally gave a groan and kicked her. Of course, that made Naida feel even worse. She felt the tears start to well up in her eyes and stuffed the cover in her mouth to avoid making a sound as she began to cry. She must have fallen asleep eventually because it seemed that suddenly the sun was shining and there was activity all around.
“Come on sleepyhead, time to wake up!” Jayda’s cheery voice came to her.
“Oh, Jayda. I don’t feel well. Can you tell Merida I’m sick?”
“Really, oh dear. Yes, I’ll get her right away.”
Merida quickly came over to see what was wrong. “Naida, what’s the matter?”
“I don’t know, Merida,” Naida replied weakly. “I couldn’t sleep last night for the longest time. And now I feel strange. I think my tree is really sick and it’s making me sick. Am I going to die?”
Merida looked at her and frowned. “Alright, Naida, you stay in bed. I’ll send the others out to their trees and come back to take care of you.”
As she lay there Naida could hear the other fairies talking, and suddenly Jayda came over to the bed. “Naida, don’t be sick. You’re my friend! You have to get well!”
“Oh Jayda, thanks,” Naida smiled.
“I have to go, but please be better when I come home!” and Jayda flew away.
After a few minutes Merida returned carrying a cup of tea. “This is a special tea. I hope it will make you feel better, Naida. Drink it up!”
Naida sat up and started drinking. “Is this what you gave Jayda? It tastes quite nice, I thought hers tasted awful!”
“Actually this is different. You can enjoy drinking this one!” Merida said with a smile. “Now tell me what’s the matter. Are you upset because the others said your tree was dead?”
“Yes. I didn’t think it was dead, but when they pointed out the black branches and said it looked really dead I got worried. I tried to believe, really I did. I don’t want my tree to die! But maybe I did do something wrong, and I’ve killed it.” Naida started to cry.
“Now, now that’s not true.” Merida patted her arm. “Naida, you felt your tree’s energy just the other day. You connected to your tree and have been visiting it every day. You’ve done nothing wrong. Your tree just wasn’t ready to wake up yet. Don’t believe what the others say, they don’t know your tree like you do. Trust yourself. It’s going to be fine.”
Naida was nodding as she tried to absorb Merida’s advice. She was still crying, though, and a tear fell into her tea cup.
“Oh, Naida, don’t cry in your tea. It won’t taste so good if you do!” Merida said. And they both laughed. “Come on then, finish your tea and we’ll go together to your tree.”
Copyright © Jennifer P. Tanabe, 2015