Still feeling rather uneasy, Naida followed Merida to her Catalpa tree. When they arrive Merida flew all around the tree while Naida waited on her favorite branch. Although she felt at home here on her tree, she was unable to relax, worrying about what Merida might discover. Her fears were unfounded, though.
“Naida, come here,” Merida called from a branch higher up. “Now, can you see these very small bumps on this branch, and here too?”
“Yes, yes, I can see them!” Naida said hopefully.
“These will be buds. You can warm them up today and very soon you’ll see them grow!”
“Oh, Merida, thank you!” Naida said happily. “You’ve saved my tree!”
“Nonsense, Naida. You have done everything yourself. I’m just here to guide and encourage you. Now get to work, and I’ll see you later.”
Naida busied herself giving warming energy to each little bump she found, which turned out to be quite a large number. She realized that very soon her tree would have new life. It was so exciting!
When she flew home at the end of the day several of the fairies looked up to see how she was. They were surprised to see Naida’s happy face. Jayda came over immediately to find out what had changed for her friend.
“Naida, you look so much better! What happened?”
“Oh, Jayda, Merida came with me to my tree and she showed me where to give it warmth. I’m sure it’s waking up now. I’m so excited to find out what kind of leaves and flowers it will have!”
Everyone, even Nagida and her friends, seemed glad that Naida was feeling better and the evening passed very happily.
Sure enough, a couple of days later Naida found the first leaves on her tree. They were still small, but a lovely bright green and she proudly brought one home to show the others.
“I know it’s not such a special leaf, but it’s a leaf from my Catalpa tree, the one everyone thought was dead. So that makes it special to me!” she said as she passed it around after dinner.
“It’s a nice little leaf, Naida,” Jayda said. “Do you think it will get bigger, or will the leaves stay little like this?”
“Several of the other trees have small leaves, like Sanda’s Willow tree and Danida’s Birch tree.” Zaida commented as she looked at the leaf carefully. “But I think this one looks like it might be going to grow more.”
“Well, probably that one won’t grow now that I’ve brought it here,” Naida said with a laugh. “But we can wait and see what the other leaves do.”
“Your tree needs a lot of patience, doesn’t it?” Nagida commented. “I don’t think I could wait so long to find out what my tree’s leaves are like!”
“Well, I needed Merida’s encouragement! Thank you Merida!” Naida said.
Merida smiled happily. “I’m glad your tree finally has leaves, Naida. And everyone is happy with their tree, right? But this is still early in the year. Don’t forget you have to keep taking care of your trees all the way through the summer. And then we have to prepare them for winter when it starts to get cooler in the fall. But for now we can celebrate new leaves on Naida’s tree!”
And everyone raised their glasses to toast Naida’s Catalpa tree, the last tree in the group to produce leaves.
Copyright © Jennifer P. Tanabe, 2015
For more of Naida’s story and other short stories, see my publication The Catalpa Tree Fairy and other Stories.