Bring on spring!
|“Thistles and burrs, why won’t these blasted seeds grow already?” Teldar pressed his lumpy head close to the ground and glared at the dirt. |
Teldar transferred his glare from the ground to the fairy that had appeared at his warty elbow. Pretty in pink and shining under the glow of the sun, he almost went blind from the sight of her.
“Thorns and briers!” He raised a hand the size of a large rock and shielded his eyes. “What are you doing here, Mindy? Thought you was on holiday.”
He squinted through fat fingers as the glittery being’s wings folded and she plopped to the ground next to him. Her dainty, bare toes dug into the dirt, her face tilted to look up into his eyes, and she grinned.
“Me? What are you doing here, Teldar? It’s not your job to bring in spring’s new birth. It’s mine.”
Teldar’s tongue felt thick and heavy, he avoided her gaze and stared, instead, at the tops of the trees waving in the wind. He waved back, pretending Mindy wasn’t staring at him with those innocent pixie eyes. He eventually grunted, realizing she would patiently wait for a day and an age until he gave an answer.
“Nettles and brambles! It gets rather boring, guarding the bridge all the long day. Started scratching out a bucket list of things I’d like to do before Ole Reaper catches me. Never taught anything to bloom before and all the flowers you set loose every year look mighty pretty, thought I’d try me hand at it…” he trailed off. Saying it all out loud, he realized the idea was rather foolish.
Mindy nodded slowly. Her lips puckered into a familiar gesture of thoughtfulness. A sense of unease flooded through Teldar. The wee brownie was brewing something in that teeny noggin’ of hers, he knew.
“I could teach you the ways of the spring fae, Teldar, if you’re truly interested.”
He couldn’t resist those twinkling blue eyes. Kicking a pebble with his massive foot, he nodded and shrugged.
“Barbs and –”
“Lesson one,” Mindy interrupted, jumping to her feet and placing her hands on her hips. “The seedlings are sensitive to speech. Shouting about nettles and briers scare the poor dears. You have to speak softly and kindly to encourage them to spring forth and blossom.”
Teldar fidgeted. He sifted through the thoughts in his rocky mind until a path formed past the bristles and prickles and settled on the sweet and flowery.
“Begonias and buttercups! Look at what a fine day it be, to poke your heads out of the ground!”
Mindy cocked her head and shook her tiny finger at him. “Don’t forget, calm and quiet, Teldar. You are much too used to shouting at intruders for a toll. These are delicate beings, you know.”
Carefully, Teldar knelt and placed his mouth close to the ground. The musty earth reached into his nostrils and he fought the urge to sneeze.
“Lilys and lilacs,” he whispered. “The clouds are eager to bathe you and the sun to dry your leaves. Stretch your arms to the sky and feel the breeze.”
He glanced at Mindy, feeling a rush of pride as she nodded in encouragement. When the tender plants responded to his call, Teldar’s joy was complete.
“Daisies and daffodils,” he said with a sigh of delight. “Look at them grow!”
The plants were bursting from the soil at alarming speeds. Green stems and colorful petals exploded across the meadow. Mindy giggled.
“I think they like you, Teldar. They don’t respond like this to just anyone, you know.”
Standing, Teldar marveled at the beauty surrounding him.
“Petunias and periwinkle, I think a body could live off the memory of this experience for a long age,” Teldar said, voice hushed. “Every time I’m under me stone bridge, ready to tear the arms off another intruder, I’ll be remembering this. You think next year I could help you out again, Mindy?”
The fairy’s grin was impish as she fluttered into the air and settled on Teldar’s shoulder.
“Sunflowers and snapdragons,” she tittered. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”