The Boy Fairies

Flax and Rye were the bane of their younger sister Blu’s life.  She had just started her first semester at the Texas School of Fairies.  So far, all of her tutors had made some comment about her older brothers.   Sometimes they mentioned their academic achievements but often they referred to their love of Mischief and Magick…  “Just wait until I get home to tell Mom and Dad”, thought Blu.

Her mother and father were also alumni of the Texas School of Fairies.  Her father was a coastal fairy from Corpus Christi, on the south west Gulf of Mexico.  His hair was the color of the golden white sand and his blue eyes matched his pastel blue wings with honey tips.  Blu’s mother was the most beautiful Prairie Fairy from Oklahoma.  Her wavy wheaten hair glistened in the sun like the many grains and grasses of the prairie.  Father was smitten after one gentle kiss from her rosebud mouth that made their wings vibrate with excitement.  Mother’s wings were metallic hues of bronze and copper with just a hint of amber.  Their love was so great that Father left his beloved seaside abode to live with Mother and her family in the Prairie.  His sand and blue coloring made it easier for him to fit into the Prairie world but sometimes his blue eyes clouded over as he dreamed of the Gulf’s gentle waters.

Blu had inherited her mother’s glorious looks and was named for her beautiful eyes.  Her hair was a riot of golden curls and like all the Prairie fairy children she had light colored wings.  Hers were the color of seashells – it was her greatest hope that when she blossomed she might inherit her Father’s hues and live in a coastal community.  Mother and Father really didn’t want their baby girl to leave the Prairie but were happy for her to go to such a prestigious school. “They won’t be happy if Flax and Rye get suspended from school”, Blu shared with her new friend Ria from Brownsville.  Ria had never seen boys quite as handsome as Blu’s brothers and her dark brown eyes sparkled with delight when she saw them.  Blu noticed this and could not understand why anyone would like her horrible brothers!  Fairy families have very similar dynamics to Homo Sapiens…

Flax and Rye had a penchant for having insects for pets.  No pets were allowed at the Fairy School but the brothers tucked them into their hammocks at night.  The other fairy boys were driven to distraction by the endless ticks and chirrups that emanated from those hammocks.  At home on the prairie, Blu would often find an unwanted pet in her own hammock!  Her brothers loved to hear her scream but then Father would get out his Fairy Switch.  The Texas School of Fairies was conservative so each tutor had a switch, usually made from willow twigs, but a sharp comment usually did the trick.  Sometimes a strict tutor would cast a harmless spell on a miscreant youth turning them into a Cicada for a day creating much hilarity among their classmates.

Blu and Ria were trying to decide what classes to take.  Blu had signed up for Apothecary Arts because her beloved Grandfather was a Fairy Healer.  Despite a resemblance to humans, Fairy physiology is quite different – more akin to that of a dragonfly, with a pupation cycle before the Blossoming into adulthood.  Flax and Rye also took Apothecary Arts but only to finesse their skill of fermenting grasses and tree saps.  It was probably the only reason why their fellow bunk mates put up with all their nonsense – you can’t go to school in Austin without a libation or two.  On their first week Blu and Ria tried some tree sap but after two acorn cups they were dizzy, so they both sensibly decided to wait until they were older to enjoy the delights of the Fairy Bar.  Humans have those in Austin too.

When Blue returned to her dorm and stumbled into her hammock, she could hear some of the other fairies giggling.  She was mortified that they had seen her, especially as she was really so shy, and normally well behaved.  The next day one of the Red River fairies, with glorious auburn waves, pointed at Blu in the classroom and whispered to the girl next to her.  Blu blushed from head to foot; their tutor Miss Aloe just had to touch her willow switch and everyone quieted down.  After class, Blu rushed out to the forested recess area, tears welling in her big sad eyes.  She sat under a toadstool hoping to hide from everyone.  Blue jumped hearing a familiar voice, “What’s up little sis?” asked her oldest brother Flax.

To her own surprise, she tearfully told Flax everything from the Fairy Bar to the classroom.  When she started sobbing, her wrapped her up in his arms and wings, gently soothing her.  “Dry your eyes and come with me” said Flax.  He walked straight up to the mean Red River fairy who started fluttering her russet wings at the sight of the most handsome fairy boy.  Blu hung behind him, feeling miserable.  “Rose, I would like you to meet my sister Blu” gently pulling her to the front.  Rose looked shamefaced especially when Flax said, “I would be so grateful if you could help her feel at home in Austin.  It is so far from the Prairie”.  He smiled widely at Rose, who told him that it would be her pleasure to help Blu settle in.

Rose stuck to her word, making sure that Blu settled into her first semester.  In time they would become friends and eventually imbibed Tree Sap together after their blossoming.  For now, Blu thought she might just be grateful to have a thoughtful big brother to help her settle in at Fairy School.

The End

Postscript

Each of my fairy stories have been based on the lives of friends here in Texas.  I write them and give them as a gift.  They seem to give more pleasure than traditional gifts.

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The River Fairy

Ria was anxiously excited about her first year at the Texas Fairy School in Austin.  She wondered what language they would speak.  There is an ancient Færie language but it is only used for ceremonial events; weddings, births and contracts.  Fairy lawyers have to be fluent in Færie (lawyers aren’t liked in the fairy world either…)   Most fairies speak the same language that their human neighbors speak.  In Ria’s case, it was Spanish as she came from the Texas border town of Brownsville.  She could speak English, also, but loved the way Spanish rolled from her tongue.  “Mi amor” she whispered, blushing at the idea of future fairy liaisons.   Ria was twelve years old and a River Fairy.

Brownsville sits on the Rio Grande River which divides Mexico from Texas along the border.  The town is at the river’s estuary into the Gulf of Mexico.   Its river water is silty with brown sediment from hundreds of miles of river weaving through desert, mountains and plains.   Ria was presently a brown fairy, with hair and eyes the color of expresso, but knew that she could metamorphose into shades of blue, grey or brown or a tranquil combination of all three.

River fairies have to blend into their surroundings like all other fairies.   Ria was surrounded by bright blue skies, the blue grey of the Gulf and the soft brown of the Rio Grande.  Then there were dolphins, herons and catfish – all hues of grey.  Her Mother had sultry smoke grey eyes with platinum long wavy tresses.  Her wings were cerulean blue with taupe and charcoal accents.   Ria longed to look like her Mother when she was older but she could be just like her Father.  He was a most handsome, Latino fairy!  His deep mahogany eyes sparkled with humor and kindness.  His hair was chestnut, tipped with silver, as were his metallic wings dappled with chocolate and lilac.

“Mija, are you ready for big school?”   Ria’s Father broke into her reverie.   “Papi, I am a little scared about fitting in at Fairy School.  Will some of them speak Spanish?”   “Of course, Mija, the Texas School of Fairies in the most prestigious in the Occident.  There will Amazonian fairies that are brown just like you.  Then there will be all the Caribbean Azures.  Everyone has a special place in our world.  You will even meet some Red River Fairies from North Texas.”

“What color are they, Papi?”  Ria excitedly interrupted.  “They are a deep red to match their river, which meanders through red rocks and soil.  When I was at Fairy School I met a beautiful Red River Fairy with russet curls – her name was Roxanne.”  His warm brown eyes twinkled as Ria exclaimed, “Papi!  Does Mama know?” “Let’s keep this our little secret, Mija.”  Both giggled secretly when Ria’s Mother came into the room.  “What are you two up to?” said Mom. “There are bags to pack and a new school uniform to buy for our little girl.”

Ria clapped her hands with joy, her little chestnut colored wings vibrating with pleasure.  All the girl fairies attending school had to wear the same pinafore style but it could match their fairy hue.  Mother and Ria held hands while they flew to their fairy seamstress.  Her workshop was on the opposite side of the Rio Grande in Mexico.  Fairies don’t care about borders – their role is to bring happiness to all species wherever they may be.  Selina, the seamstress fairy, greeted Ria and her Mom like the old friends they were, chattering in Spanish and offering yellow Hibiscus tea.

Ria’s round eyes gleamed looking at the array of beautiful fairy fabrics spun from spider silk and cotton.  Every hue of their landscape hung gauzily in the workroom.  Silvery silk, ocean blue muslin and slate gossamer thread.  Endless shades of cream, fawn and cinnamon fabric for the many brown fairies.  She gently touched the reams of fabric that were as soft as thistledown they were weaved from.  Brownsville is at the very tip of Texas with a hot, tropical climate so all species feel the heat.  Austin is hot in the summer but can be cool with frost in the winter when the school session started.

“Honey, come try your uniform on,” her mother entreated holding up a chocolate brown velvet pinafore with an ivory thistledown blouse. “Ooh, it is so beautiful, Mama”.   Ria’s eyes filled with tears as she looked at herself in herself in the copper mirror.  Her mom and Selina choked back tears of their own looking at a beautiful little girl fairy growing up before their eyes.  All too soon Ria would blossom into an adult fairy with new colors and a chosen name.  Her Mom hugged her and held her tight, thinking how far it was to Austin.  She could see the anticipation in Ria’s eyes and kept her sadness to herself knowing all little creatures have to flee the nest.  One day she would return and live a River Fairy’s life.

The End

The Brown Fairy


Everyone thinks that fairies have a charmed life but it’s really not that different from Homo Sapiens or other species. This tale is about a brown fairy called Hazel. Like Dragonflies, fairies have an awkward pupa stage. They don’t develop from larva but when younger, they have short stubby wings, their coloring is muted and their flying skills need some work.  Hazel’s best friend Rosa is a typical example of the Roseate species and is the Barbie of the fairy world. Her little wings are perfectly formed with a faint translucent blush tone. Her hair is a glossy burgundy and her violet eyes sparkle. Hazel was so disappointed that her eyes were same as her name – neither green nor brown.

Rosa and Hazel met at their first year of the Texas School of Fairies. There, every color of Texas was represented from beautiful bluebonnet fairies to rather plain tumbleweed fairies whose thorny wings kept everyone at a distance. Texas has more brown fairies than most places as they have to be camouflaged in their surroundings. Some Texan Browns are Sandy blondes from the dusty west to Piney Wood fairies like Hazel, with a mix of brown and green.  Hazel wondered who would want to blend into the endless forests and sediment rich ponds. She thought enviously about rare Azure Fairies from the Caribbean to the Pacific Blue Fairies in California. They were only pictures in books but she was at the age where an exotic boy fairy made her pretty hazel eyes dreamy with longing. Her parents, unfortunately, were rather old school Texan Browns. “What’s wrong with a nice local boy such as Moss or Bark?” Hazel’s eyes rolled dismissively, out of her parents’ eye shot, because you dare not defy a fairy parent.

School was strict too, “Yes Ma’am!” Hazel revered Miss Centaury, who was a native to Romania just like the wildflower – her field of study was the art of camouflage. Her wings were a vivid shade of purple mixed with red; her hair and eyes completely black. Her accent delighted most of the students who were most used to the generic “Y’alls”. So what do fairies study? Everything that will help them achieve the goal of their species – bring joy and mystery to all the other species lives. When you see your cat pouncing on something invisible in the garden, they are likely playing with the Garden Fairies.  The fairy species works hard to keep their presence secret from most humans. Homo sapiens have lost many of original gifts. We don’t believe in Santa never mind the tooth fairy. There is no time to just sit and stare at the daisies so you miss the shimmer of the yellow and white Daisy fairies. Have you ever seen what looks like a fish jumping to the surface of a lake? There are concentric rings on the water with just a hint of a rainbow. Sometimes it is Lake Fairies who love to play Tag with the catfish.

In times long past many more humans could see the Fairies, especially those working the land. Some nations, most famously the Irish, have embraced their ancestors’ relationship with the Fairy species. Leprechaun is the Irish name for the male Meadow fairies that are as green as the old country. Hazel wondered if she would if she would ever travel to Ireland. Maybe it was possible because she was a brown fairy with green camouflage? She had met a visiting Irish History tutor at school. He was so handsome – tall and slender with bright green eyes that sparkled like emeralds. All the little fairies swooned and made rude jokes about his Shillelagh. Hazel didn’t quite understand what that meant but she thought it might be about S.E.X. Her conservative Texan parents refused to talk to her about the breeding habits of the fairy world. She had watched Dragonflies mating on the wing, vibrating with pleasure. This made Hazel blush furiously and her eyes darkened to mahogany with anticipation.

She and Rosa whispered quietly about future spouses. They were approaching their ‘Blossom Stage’. Humans have a similar time when little girls’ busts grow from 28 AA to 34 C and little boys’ voices change from squeaky to manly. Rosa and Hazel knew that they would retreat to their homes and sleep for a few weeks. During the Blossoming, a cocoon of silky fabric would envelop them for a period and when they emerged, Hazel and Rosa’s wings would be fully developed and their coloring would subtly change. It could be deeper, more intense or just different. Since Hazel was a Piney Woods fairy she would likely be shades of brown, green or copper. The little fairies were anxiously excited; Rosa was a little more confident about her blossoming but both girls were worried about such a metamorphosis.

Cocoon Day finally arrived and Hazel’s parents made her a comforting meal of Beauty Berries and Tree Sap before tucking her into her hammock. The fermented Tree Sap gently carried her into a dreamless sleep. The next time she opened her eyes, her parents were anxiously watching her. “Be careful, Honey. You need to get up slowly and let your new wings unfurl”. Hazel blinked the sleep from her eyes. To her surprise her body was much longer with slender long legs. She carefully put her feet on the earthen floor and was momentarily unsteady with the weight of her new wings. Her Pop held her steady and urged her to shake her new wings free of their cocoon. It was the strangest sensation as they unfurled. Her Mom gasped in pleasure and her Dad was smiling. They both took her hands and led her down to the forest pond so that she could see herself.


Tears started to roll down Hazel’s face as she saw her new visage. Her hair had lightened to a silvery brown color; wavy long tresses that framed her beautiful face. Hazel’s eyes were now a shade of Moss Agate, glistening with tears. She tentatively stretched out her wings so she could fully see them and now she gasped. Her top wings were a beautiful shade of creamy peach; those under were a light silvery green and the bottom wings were a pale pistachio. “Oh Hazel” said her Mom, “I think it is time to choose your Forever Fairy name. Doesn’t she look like a Carolina Linden, Pop, with gray and green foliage? What do you think Honey?”

Carolina Linden Fairy, formerly known as Hazel, quivered her wings with excitement, and delicately flew up above the pond to live her new adult life.

A Carolina Linden Tree also known as a Basswood. Rare but present in the Piney Woods area of Texas

 

A Pastor who walks in the footsteps of Christ

Bob, Andy Nessie

Teddy with his late mum and dad

I wanted to tell you about my mother in law’s funeral service and give thanks to the wonderful Pastor. In the UK we call them Reverend or Minister but Pastor feels more familiar here in Texas. When my father-in-law died almost four years ago, a new Minister, Reverend Lindsey Sanderson, was just being appointed to their church. Both my mother and father in law were faithful members of their church which was built in a new town, East Kilbride, which was developed in the late 1940s. As a result, a retired Minister who knew my father in law personally performed the service.

Later, I reached out to Lindsey, who is a lovely young woman, when we had a previous crisis with Mum to ask if she could visit and pray with her. We couldn’t get flights immediately and it is a two day journey back to Scotland. At that time Nessie, my mother in law, performed her Lazarus trick and completely recovered from the virus. Lindsey continued to visit regularly and would send emails with current photographs that she had taken. She sang familiar hymns to her and prayed with her. This was an immense comfort to both Teddy and I even though we are not religious. We knew that Nessie was and so it would be a comfort.

On January 2nd we got a call from mum’s care home to say that she was suddenly deteriorating and it seemed like end-stage symptoms. She was very comfortable on end of life medications. Despite all our knowledge and 18 years with Alzheimer’s disease, you are always shocked. It was two hours before we were due to have a little drinks party with friends at our house. We looked at each other and decided not to cancel the party; why not celebrate her very long life? As it is a two day journey to Scotland from Texas so we decided to wait a couple of days to see how things progressed. The staff said she was staying stable and then we got the call in the middle of the night (we are 6 hours behind Scotland) to say she had died peacefully in her sleep on the 4 January 2016. The staff had gone into her room to wake her up and she had passed onto the hereafter.

As soon as we heard that she was failing, I emailed Lindsey to ask if she could visit. She went after Sunday services on the 3rd January and blessed her. When she emailed me in return I knew that this was the end. It’s a small town and Lindsey worked with us and the funeral director to create the perfect service. I was astonished at how appropriate and well thought out the service and hymns were. We are so grateful that we had the opportunity to have a relationship with a Minister that truly did minister her flock with love and compassion. Thank you, Reverend Lindsey Sanderson, of The United Reform Church. This is their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/righeadurc

I know, I know – the irony of my previous post Facebook is the work of the devil! Clearly I was wrong and there are angels at work, too. I would also like to thank John Donnelly of Heritage Funeral Services http://www.heritagefuneralservices.co.uk/ (Thank the Good Lord they don’t have a Facebook page…) and all their wonderful staff. We arrived about a week after mum had died and had asked for a closed casket. Then I wanted to see her – I could see that this was unexpected for the staff but they went out of their way to accommodate me. They did whatever they do and she looked like a beautiful ageing fairy. At the last moment Teddy decided to view her too and was glad that we could see that her spirit was gone and all that was left was an exquisite death mask. Just before we left, they asked us if we would like music at the crematorium and Teddy said that she wasn’t really into music. I looked at him in astonishment and said, “She loved the Sound of Music”. As we entered the crematorium ‘Edelweiss’ was playing and as we left, ‘Climb Every Mountain’. During Lindsey’s shorter service there we sang ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’ – a perfect hymn.

This is a link to the beautiful service sheet and hymns Click here to see the service Please look at it, especially if you have a relative with Alzheimer’s because you might love the appropriateness of it. May she rest in peace.

Texas Renfest

viking Look at that cheeky Viking face! This delightful barbarian was part of the daily procession at Texas Renaissance Festival 2014. We go every year, sometimes twice, and have a wonderful time. It is always held during Fall time at Todd Mission, a remote rural location, about 50 miles north west of Houston. The weather can be very hot as it was on this day or sharply cold as the Canadian fronts inch forward. The festival goers were mostly white some years ago but as our area has expanded and grown so has the diversity of the attendees. Everyone was delighted about a young family who were all dressed up for Day of the Dead which is the Mexican festival held at the same time as Halloween. This weekend was the Halloween theme so I got out my cat ears and my other half wore his satyr horns. Although it is in the middle of nowhere the facilities are disability friendly and I love to see people racing around in their motorized wheelchairs, especially when they get dressed up. Most people wear some costume, even if it is only a faux fur tail. One year I had prosthetic elf ears applied by one of the merchants – I loved them! I wanted to wear them to ‘school’ the next day… This post is all about the photographs so click on the red link and enjoy! TEXAS RENFEST, click here