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Love Makes the Flowers Grow

by | Parenting, Print Articles, Spring 2022

-a fairy story for young children 

At last the great day had arrived and the Chief Gnome was inspecting the first group of snowdrop fairies. Each fairy was wearing a beautiful, new, frilly, white dress and each had wings which (after many hours of polishing during the winter months) shone with all the colours of the rainbow. In a few minutes now, they would all venture back onto the earth plane to begin their work for spring. When they had all been inspected, the Chief Gnome announced that they could all fly away to the earth and begin their new duties. He was very pleased. Their new dresses, spun from finest spider webs, were even better than the previous year and their wings sparkled more brightly than ever before.

‘There certainly was a good harvest last year,’ thought the gnome. ‘My band of elfin workers gathered twice as many loving thoughts and nearly three times the number of good deeds. But if only mortals realised how important their thoughts and actions are.’ He sighed. ‘Every kind thought enables us to make more silken petals for the flowers and the little fairies to dress in even prettier costumes. But every critical or unkind thought destroys hours of hard work.’

“Goodbye Chief Gnome,” said every fairy. “We shall see you again next winter when our work for the flowers in finished.” Crystal, one of the youngest of the snowdrop fairies, flew as fast as she could to the earth plane. She had been instructed by the Fairy Queen to go to the garden where Jonothan and Julie Schutte lived in Somerset West. She was, however, rather anxious. For the Chief Gnome had told her that a basketful of good deeds and loving thoughts had been collected from these children, but the elves has also collected two baskets full of unkind thoughts. ‘All those unkind thoughts,’ she sighed. ‘Oh dear, it will be hard work trying to help the spring flowers grow up in this garden.’

For five whole days Crystal toiled, resting for a few seconds only each morning to drink her cup of dew. She was depressed – her poor snowdrops were far behind schedule. Jasmin’s, in Clanwilliam, were now in full bloom and hers were not even in bud. If only Jono and Julie would realise that their quarrelling and unkind thoughts were making the work of the fairies, gnomes and elves in the garden so very difficult. The four little gnomes who had to look after the oak trees at the bottom of the garden were also having a difficult time. They thought it would be lucky if the trees bore any leaves before September at the very earliest. Ruby Rose and Jemma, two daffodil fairies also working in the garden, were in tears. That very morning Julie had quarrelled with Jonothan. So many unkind thoughts had been dropped that the dresses they had worked so hard to make out of loving thoughts and dew drops during the winter months were shrivelling up and had turned brown around the edges.

Crystal decided that the only thing to do was to call a council meeting of all the gnomes, elves and fairies in the garden. She took a little blue bell from her spider silk pouch and called them all to the mossy bank under the oak trees. Perched on a little pink and silver spotted mushroom, she asked them all if they had any ideas about what they could possibly do.

A little primrose fairy suddenly started flying about in an excited way. “I know,” she squeaked in her little high-pitched voice: “Why don’t we try very hard to make Jonothan and Julie open their ‘inside’ eyes and see us? We’ll show them how hard we are working in the garden.” Crystal clapped her hands and pirouetted for joy on the mushroom. “Yes,” she said, “and we can tell them how they can help us.”

Busibee, the elf, exclaimed: “If Jonothan and Julie will try to be kind to one another and help their mother, we can help them make their garden the most beautiful in the country.” All the fairies, gnomes and elves began to chatter and make plans.

The next day was Saturday, so Jonothan and Julie would not be at school and they usually played in the garden. This was the very opportunity they needed. Saturday was a perfect morning; the dew drops on the grass looked like diamonds on a bed of green velvet and the sun made the fairies’ costumes into spun silver and gold and their wings into rainbows. Jonothan and Julie came into the garden looking very cross and unhappy, for they had just had a quarrel. Julie sat on the little log at the bottom of the garden, wondering what she could do and Jonothan sulkily kicked at a stone. The fairies, gnomes and elves formed a circle around the log and began to dance around them. The elves, in their little pointed caps and pointed shoes, turned somersaults and cartwheels, in the hope that Jonothan and Julie would see them and laugh and feel happy. The fairies pirouetted round the log and sang:

If you are kind, thoughtful and true, You will help yourself and the fairies too.

Just then their mother came into the garden and asked them if they would tidy away their toys. Julie was about to answer in a cross voice ‘Why should I? I don’t want to’. But Crystal flew against her head and whispered, “Say yes, say yes. Be happy and helpful”. Almost without thinking Julie found herself saying, “Yes, Mommy, of course I will.” And Jonothan joined her too. Then they looked down because they thought they heard something – and they saw them all for the first time. There, on Julie’s hand, was Crystal, as delicate and beautiful as a flower petal. The other fairies were like sunbeams and rainbows that had come to life on the grass at her feet and the comic little gnomes – they could not help laughing at their antics. The fairies sang again:

If you are kind, thoughtful and true, You will help yourself and the fairies too.

“You see,” explained Crystal, “your one kind, helpful thought towards your mother has enabled you to open your ‘inside’ eyes and see us.”

“Do you live in our garden? What do you do?” asked Jonothan and Julie, full of curiosity and amazement.

“We help the flowers and the plants and trees to grow,” said Crystal. “The more kind thoughts and good deeds we can garner from the human people around us, the easier our work becomes. Every unkind thought starts to destroy what we have done. It is rather difficult in your garden for you were often quarrelling with one another and not very helpful to your mother.”

“I did not realise that my thoughts could have any effect on anyone else,” said Julie.

“Oh, they do,” said Crystal. “Not only other people though; they affect yourself most of all. If you try to help people and think kind thoughts, you will find that it makes you happy yourself. But if you are unkind, you will feel cross and miserable inside.”

“Yes, I know that is true,” said Jonothan. “If I try to help Mommy and be kind to Julie, I do feel happy inside. I will go now and tidy my toys, but you won’t go away, will you?”

Crystal replied: “We only return to our home in the enchanted mountain in winter, to rest and prepare for the next spring. We shall be here all spring and summer, looking after the garden.”

A week later the fairies, gnomes and elves once more assembled round the pink and silver mushroom for a council meeting. The daffodil fairies were skipping for joy. “Our flowers are growing so quickly,” they exclaimed. “We have been able to feed them with more kind deeds and loving thoughts than ever before.”

“Yes,” chipped in the green gnome, “my tree has nine hundred and ninety-nine leaves already – more than ever before at this time of year.”

“Jonothan and Julie have changed such a lot since they talked to us,” said Crystal. “This has made their mother less tired and cross and they all seem much happier now.”

They were all thrilled at the success of their plan. Jonothan and Julie came to watch them working in the garden whenever they could. All through the spring and summer they worked and played together until the winter came and Jonothan and Julie had to say goodbye to their little fairy friends. But they did not forget what they had learned and they would always remember the fairies singing:

If you are kind, thoughtful and true, You will help yourself and the fairies too.

Odyssey Magazine

Vol. 5, No. 4

Printed with permission of the White Eagle Lodge and altered slightly for a South African setting.