Photo Linda Seccaspina
Louise and her Grandmother were in their sitting room gazing at the rushing river outside wondering what they were going to eat for dinner. They silently worried what would become of them, as the cupboard was as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s. Louise told her Grandmother that she would fill up the kettle and make her some tea. In the meantime she would make a wish that the faeries might come and bring them something to eat.
“Make the tea” her Grandmother said, “but do not depend on the faeries to help you as there is no such thing as faeries”. Louise was positive there was such a thing as faeries, but she dared not argue with her Grandmother, and took her pail and went into the woods on the other side of the Mississippi River. As she dropped her pail into the well she heard a voice after she drew up the water.
“Drop it again and see what happens” said the fairy sitting on the side of the well. Louise smiled at the tiny figure, but told her she did not need anymore water.
“But you do need bread,” replied the fairy who insisted she drop the pail into the well once more.
Lousie did as she was told, and when she brought up the pail there was a large loaf of bread and a piece of cheese in the bucket. She thanked the fairy and told her that she knew the faeries would help her. She ran across the bridge, back to the house, and set the table. Louise told her Grandmother that the faeries in the McArthur Island woods helped her but, the Grandmother still did not believe her even when she brought home a strip of bacon and more bread the next morning from the well in the woods.
The next morning the landlord told them that they must leave as he could not afford to have renters that did not pay and Louise and her Grandmother went to sit next to the well on the island. The Grandmother told Louise that if her faeries were real they would give them a comfortable home to live in. Like magic a small cottage appeared and the fairy told Louise that surely the Grandmother must believe in them now.
The Grandmother nodded her head and agreed that no one should ever give up on faeries as she had done. Always remember that through faeries a child’s imagination is stimulated, and sometimes good deeds will come from it if you really believe.
I wrote this small fictional tale because of something Kelly Bagg told me at her father’s wake. She told me how her late father Bill Bagg used to tell his children that there were faeries in the woods of McArthur Island. Sometimes in the afternoon, or after dinner, he would take his children over to the island so they could look for faeries.
Faeries are invisible and inaudible like angels, but their magic sparkles in nature. Bill Bagg remembered the words of Robert Louis Stevenson that: “every child must remember laying his head in the grass staring into the infinitesimal forest and watch it grow populous with faeries”.
Now each time I drive over the back bridge I remember Kelly’s tale and I stop and look for faeries. So to whomever develops this land in the future I beg you, please leave room in the woods so the faeries can dance.
And so they linked their hands and danced
Round in circles and in rows
And so the journey of the night descends
When all the shades are gone
Stories about Bill Bagg
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)
I have been writing about downtown Carleton Place Bridge Street for months and this is something I really want to do. Come join me in the Domino’s Parking lot- corner Lake Ave and Bridge, Carleton Place at 11 am Saturday September 16 (rain date September 17) for a free walkabout of Bridge Street. It’s history is way more than just stores. This walkabout is FREE BUT I will be carrying a pouch for donations to the Carleton Place Hospital as they have been so good to me. I don’t know if I will ever do another walking tour so come join me on something that has been on my bucket list since I began writing about Bridge Street. It’s always a good time–trust me.