lived in a green valley filled with leafy trees, bushes covered with red
berries, and wildflowers of every kind. The valley was home to many
different animals and birds, but it was also where the ‘wee folk’, or
During the day Rosemary would play
with the animals. She’d find a soft patch of lavender heather and sit
down. Within minutes the mice would come to play with her. Soon the
lambs, geese and bluebirds would arrive. Rosemary told them stories and
fed them crumbs of shortbread and scones.
Early one morning a red-breasted
robin pecked on Rosemary’s bedroom window. She woke up, sprung out of
bed and opened the window. The robin chirped and flapped its wings.
Rosemary slipped on her pale green dress and ran outside to play with
the robin. It flew ahead, chirping for Rosemary to follow. She ran down
the dirt path towards the woods. The robin landed on a high branch of a
willow tree. It’s branches hung to the ground.
Rosemary reached the tree and saw
what the robin had wanted her to see. There were toadstools growing in a
ring. Each one had a creamy-colored stem and a big brown umbrella-shaped
cap with red spots on it. She’d never seen anything like this before.
"No wonder you wanted me to see this," she smiled up at the robin. "It’s
beautiful." She sat down in the center of the toadstool ring.
Tall oaks, ancient and gnarled,
grew around the willow tree. At the bottom of one, growing among its
fingered roots was a cluster of pretty daisies. Rosemary spotted them.
"Daisies," she cried. She jumped up and ran over to them, picking a
handful. She took them back to the center of the ring. The robin flew
down and landed on one of the toadstools and started to chirp. "Hello
again, robin. I’m going to make a daisy chain necklace for my head." It
bobbed its small head up and down. Rosemary strung the daisies together
into a circle and slipped it onto her head. It fit perfectly. "Do you
think I look pretty?" she asked the bird. It chirped.
An owl, brown with white speckles,
landed on the branch of an oak. It went "HOO! HOO!" Rosemary looked up.
"Come join us, owl," she called to it. It flew down and landed on one of
the large toadstools. "I’ve made a daisy necklace. Do you think I look
pretty?" she asked it. "HOO! HOO!" it said.
Several white geese walked out of
the woods and started to honk. "Hello, geese. Come and join us." The
geese waddled over to the toadstools and stood inside the circle with
Rosemary. "See my daisy necklace? Do you think I look pretty?" she
asked. "HONK! HONK! HONK! HONK!" they went.
Rosemary spent a long time sitting
in the grass, talking to the birds. She started to get sleepy and lay
down in the center of the ring. She quickly dozed off. Loud squeaky
noises woke her up. She rubbed her eyes in disbelief. "Wee folk!" she
shouted with glee. A dozen tiny fairies surrounded her. They were
dancing around her, holding hands, singing and laughing. "A bagpiper!"
she squealed at the fairy sitting on a toadstool playing the bagpipes.
Rosemary laughed and sat up. "Look at your kilts." Some of the fairy men
were wearing wee kilts and the women were wearing wee dresses that flew
out to the side as they danced about. She climbed out of the fairy ring
and lay down on her tummy among the tall grasses. The owl and the robin
had flown up to the branches to be out of the way. The geese looked on,
honking along to the music. Rosemary had a lovely time watching the
fairies sing and dance.
As night drew near, the fairies
had to leave. One of them approached Rosemary. "A daisy, for me?" she
asked, taking it from the fairy. "Thank you," she said softly. She
pulled the necklace off her head and added the new one to it.
Each day, in early afternoon,
Rosemary went back to the toadstool ring. The robin, the owl, and the
geese always showed up too. In fact, the birds told their animal friends
and soon a fawn, a mouse, a starling, a lamb, and a bluebird joined
them. The fairies would come and sing, dance, and play the bagpipes for
them. Each time they’d give her a new daisy. Her necklace never wilted.
The ring of toadstools was indeed a magical place.