Thursday, December 25, 2008

Molly and the Snapdragon Fairy

Molly’s grandparents lived on a small farm in Massachusetts. They grew vegetables and flowers in their garden. They had a cat, and a barn, and a tire swing out back. They also grew berry bushes and fruit trees.

Molly loved visiting the farm! When she would go to stay with her grandparents she would wake up early. Warm cinnamon buns would be sitting on the kitchen table waiting for her. Grandma would pour her a glass of orange juice and then grandma and grandpa and Molly would sit and eat their delicious breakfast together.

On Saturday mornings, Grandpa would take Molly with him to the dump. They would unload the truck together. When they were done, they would look around for hidden treasures. Grandpa called the dump ‘The Exchange’. They might find a perfectly good shovel with a cracked handle there. Grandpa would take it home to his workshop. He would rummage around until he found a handle that he had rescued on another trip to “The Exchange”. Grandpa would put the handle on the shovel and they would have a “good-as-new” shovel to use on the farm! ‘The Exchange’ was a very interesting place!

After their morning adventure, Grandpa would go about doing his chores. Molly always wanted to help, so Grandpa assigned Molly the important chore of weeding Grandma’s flower bed. Grandma loved her flowers and Molly wanted to help Grandma and the flowers!

Molly found her gardening gloves and put them on. She then went over to the flowers and knelt down. One by one she pulled the weeds out and placed them in the bushel basket Grandpa had left for her. She was VERY careful not to disturb the beautiful flowers growing there. She listened to the birds sing and she basked in the warmth of the sunny morning as she began weeding Grandma’s flowers.

As Molly went from one row of flowers to the next, her basket filled with the weeds. When her basket was halfway filled, Grandma came out with a glass of lemonade and a homemade cookie. Grandma told Molly that she was doing a wonderful job weeding, and that the flowers already looked happier. Grandma then took a clothes basket full of wet laundry over to the clothesline and began hanging the clothes to dry in the fresh air.

Molly continued on with her chore when she was startled to hear a small whisper. At first she thought maybe it was the wind rustling the leaves of the nearby maple trees. Then she thought it might be Grandma, but Grandma had already gone back inside the house. She listened closer …and she heard a tiny delicate voice.

“Molly, can you come over here and weed by me?” the voice said.

Curious, Molly moved closer to where she thought the voice was coming from.

“Molly, I am over here.” said the voice.

Molly peered closely at the row of flowers directly in front of her. She saw one pale yellow flower swaying side to side. There was no breeze, so she moved closer to see what was making the flower sway. Carefully she knelt and began pulling the weeds from around this one tiny snapdragon.

When she was done, she heard a soft “Thank you” and she thought she saw the snapdragon smile at her!

“You are very welcome.” replied Molly.

“Are you a magical flower?” Molly asked.

“I am a snapdragon fairy.” said the flower. “My name is Jasmine.”

“How did you know my name?” asked Molly.

“I have heard your name many times. I hear you and your grandparents laughing and playing. I hear them call for you to come in when it starts to rain, or it is time for bed.” said Jasmine.

“Oh.” replied Molly.

“I am the only snapdragon fairy assigned to this garden and I am a little bit lonely. Can you stay a while and talk with me?”

“Sure! I have to keep weeding, but we can talk while I finish my chores.” said Molly.

All morning as Molly weeded in Grandma’s flowerbed she shared stories about school, and her dog, and her friends with Jasmine. All morning Jasmine told Molly about the life of a snapdragon fairy.

Molly learned that snapdragon fairies are very delicate and kind. They spring to life once every 7 years in gardens where flowers are loved and cared for. Grandma certainly loved her flowers. Molly loved them too.

A snapdragon fairy is sent to make sure there are always kind and loving people to care for the flowers. Jasmine said she had noticed how careful Molly was weeded around the flowers. Jasmine liked to hear Molly sing while she worked.

Molly learned that it is important for the flowers to have plenty of sunshine, plenty of water, and to be able to get plenty of nutrients from the surrounding soil.

Jasmine listened to stories about Molly’s dog, Molly’s family and friends and she learned that Molly loved to read!

“Maybe some afternoon, you can come and sit here by the flowers and read a story to us?” Jasmine mused.

“I certainly will!” replied Molly.

Soon the familiar voice of Grandma called for Molly and Grandpa to come and get washed up for lunch. Molly said her goodbye, picked up the heavy basket of weeds and went to find Grandpa for lunch.

Every day that summer, when Molly visited Grandma and Grandpa, she would eagerly go and weed the flowers in the mornings and chatter away with Jasmine. Every afternoon she would grab her favorite book and return to the garden and read aloud to the flowers.
That summer both Molly and the flowers thrived. Grandma was very proud of how lovely the flowers looked!

Soon it was fall and Molly had to spend more time at home and at school. Late in September, she went into the flowerbed to see Jasmine one last time. Molly knew that this season for the flowers was coming to an end. Soon the frost would come and the flower seeds would remain hidden in the earth waiting to grow again next spring. Molly also remembered that Jasmine was not like the other flowers. She was a snapdragon fairy and she would not be back for 7 years.

Jasmine greeted Molly with a smile. They chatted about school and Molly told Jasmine about a movie she had just seen. Soon it was time for Molly to go home. Molly knelt down and very, very gently kissed Jasmine goodbye. Jasmine smiled and reminded Molly that she would see her again in 7 years…and she asked Molly to please take very good care of the flowers each year for Grandma and Grandpa.

Every year, Molly tended the flowerbed at Grandma and Grandpa’s. There were Saturday treasure hunts at “The Exchange”…there were summer fairs to attend…there were books to read. Molly kept track every year waiting for Jasmine to return.

The spring Molly turned 13; she eagerly checked the flower bed each day for signs of Jasmine. Slowly she noticed a delicate pale yellow snapdragon emerge from the earth. The sun warmed the flower as it blossomed. Slowly Jasmine opened her eyes. Softly she shouted, “Molly !!!”.

Molly had taken care of the flowers just as she had promised Jasmine. That summer once again, Molly and Jasmine spent mornings catching up on life. Molly was playing the piano now. Her dog had puppies! She was talking about a special boy from school. Jasmine complimented Molly on how well she had taken care of all the flowers. Afternoons Molly would open the window and play songs for Jasmine to hear; or join Jasmine again in the gardens and read stories. Sometimes they would just look at the clouds passing overhead and dream.

Life continued in between Jasmines visits. Grandma and Grandpa got older; Molly grew up; and Jasmine returned every 7 years. The day came when Molly was 27 and was getting married. She would be moving away – too far to come and weed the flowerbed anymore for Grandma and too far to visit Jasmine on summer days. This would be their last summer together. In September that year, Molly went to the garden to see Jasmine one last time. They sat in silence for a while. Theirs had been a long friendship. The flowers in Grandma’s garden were even prettier this year than ever before.

Jasmine spoke first.

“I have a present to give you Molly. It is a going away present. Our friendship does not need to end.”

“How?” asked Molly.

Jasmine gently bent over and dropped 3 golden seeds on the ground.

“Take these with you to your new home. Plant them. Take good care of them and surround them with beautiful flowers of your own. They will grow; and every 7 years, my 3 children will whisper your name. You and your family can sing them songs and read them stories. Someday your own children will talk to the snapdragon fairies about their friends and their lives while they weed and nurture your flowerbed.”

Molly had tears in her eyes as she gently picked up the seeds. Once again she gently bent down to gently kiss Jasmine goodbye.

“Remember Molly, kindness, love and friendship can last forever. Nurture them. Share them. Carry them in your heart wherever you go in life.” Jasmine closed her eyes and prepared for the frost that would soon come.

Molly carefully packed away the 3 golden seeds to take to her new home.


written for, and dedicated to my niece: Molly

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