“Fairies do belong –
In the magic of our hearts,”
It was my grandmother who first alerted me to the fairies in our garden. Grandmother cultivated ferns of all descriptions and amongst them lived the fern fairies.
My grandmother was always a curious and often times quaint lady. She spent a lot of time in the fernery and once I understood why it became my favourite haunt as well.
For each variety of fern there was a variety of fairy, Among the maiden hair lived the most delicate and fine featured fairies. They floated about, they moved with such grace and precision it was relaxing watching them go about their business.
Grandmother introduced me to them. It was a ritual as they didn’t make themselves known to anyone.
For as graceful as they were they were also very aloof and private. You had to be invited in and Grandmother had been among them that week and explained that her life was nearing its end and someone needed to be appointed as her successor. Our job was to preserve the fern garden and in doing so allow the fairies to maintain their presence.
Simple as it appeared it also required a lot of negotiation as the fairies could be demanding of their plants and demanding of what was needed to maintain their lifestyle.
I accepted after a ritual introduction, a process that reduced grandmother and I to their size and pledges to be both protector and guardian. A decision I never regretted.