All it takes is a closed door to set imagination on a whirling flight of fancy—-
One day, a few months ago, firmly fixed into the gnarled bark of an ancient Lime tree and partly sheltered by a stray sprig of sprouting Laurel, a little door appeared—-
Within days, one of the children using the footpath route alongside the parkland must have noticed it as they walked home from the village primary school, perhaps as they veered from the tarmac-ed path with their friends, enticed by the carpet of bronze and amber Autumn leaves inviting them to scuff their feet through Nature’s scrunchy fallen produce—
News of such magical occurrences travels fast and it has since become a three-thirty custom to see crowds of little ones, school bags slung across their shoulders, examining the tree trunk, tapping on the door, cocking their heads as they listen for sounds of fairies going about their business inside the tree’s chambers, while Mums wait patiently with prams—
Evidence that the fairy folk have chosen this site as their dwelling place has been apparent with the occassional sighting of their pretty dresses, freshly washed, fluttering on a clothes line in the breeze; tinkling bells adorning the Laurel’s dainty branches through the festive period; sprinklings of tiny glimmering stars at the tree trunk’s base.
Observing the children’s delight as they engross themselves in the mysteries of another kingdom, is pure enchantment—
Imagine then, my dismay yesterday morning as I watched a young girl, a little later than her comrades on the school-run, pull away from her mother so that she could check on the fairies’ activity and whose expression demonstrated that all was not well —- the door had disappeared—-!
She moved on to the next tree and circled its trunk, seeming to think she had made a mistake and checked the wrong tree—- but, no, she had been right, so back to Fairy Hollow and her foot struck something on the ground—
She stooped and picked it up— half a door!
It had been rent asunder and left lying as if a piece of trash —
She let it fall from her hand, her slumped posture an indication of her bitter disappointment—
I almost heard the Bubble burst—!
Back to Mum, then, to continue the few minutes’ heavy-hearted journey to school—
What to do—?
My initial thought was that I needed to get hold of some Police ticker tape and bind it around the tree with a bold ‘Crime Scene’ notice to attract the attention of the culprit who prised the little icon from its mooring—
In the meantime, I retrieved the fragments—
—-just in time—
—-a group of toddlers were now running towards the tree on their way to Nursery and their reaction was the same as the little schoolgirl’s—they checked the next tree in case they had the wrong address—-
Now I knew that my idea of sealing off the site with a cautionary notice would be the wrong thing to do—
I had to use the children’s imagination to my advantage—- so, off to source a replacement replica, install it and wait for half-past-three—-
All fairy tales have happy endings— the first child to come along the path after school, diverting to the location, was the one who witnessed the broken door—- The only words to describe her reaction now are ‘sheer glee’! Jumping up and down, arms flailing wildly, a beaming smile—-
Methinks she may have passed on the details of the dismal sight that morning to her friends who soon joined her and shared her excitement—-
More knuckles tapping on the door, more ears to the trunk just listening—
Oh, the simple pleasures of life which become real adventures when one only believes—– 😉