It is over two years since I share the stories from Tales from The Garden that I wrote in tribute to our home in the mountains to the north of Madrid from 1999 to 2016. I went back and forth from Ireland for the first three years as I had my diet advisory clinic here, but finally sold our house, put the dog in the car and ferried and drove across the UK and Europe to live permanently. We inherited a number of statues from the previous owners that were too big to take with them, and I also found some discarded around the garden. Perfect characters for stories, some of whom moved on with us to Ireland and appeared in Tales from the Irish Garden. I hope that you will enjoy.
Chapter Seven – Little Girl Lost
I am a long way from home and find myself in a strange place listening to a language I do not understand. The winter nights are colder than I am used to and the wind is harsh as it brings snow and ice to fill my basket and numb my bare toes. Now the searing sun is blazing down and although I have been placed in a shady place, it is not like the green and mild garden of my home.
I was given to an old lady many years ago to stand in an alcove on a bed of lobelia that frothed around my feet with soft blue. She would look out of her window from her high backed chair and each day she would fill my basket with water for the blackbird to drink from after he had eaten his sultanas for breakfast.
As the seasons passed many people would come and go along the path beside me. I would hear them say such things as ‘Isn’t she sweet? and ‘Such a pretty little girl’. I felt that I was special and cared for. Each new season the blue ceramic pot in front of me would hold new flowers. Geraniums in the summer and wintering flowering pansies for the winter. I loved to watch the old lady spend her afternoon carefully placing the new blooms around the rim.
As the years went by my friend became frailer, and I was moved closer to the window for her to see me, but I still kept watch over the garden and the creatures that visited. On warm days she would venture outside with her stick and touch the top of my head with her frail hand.
‘How are you today my fairy princess?’
Other creatures popped into amuse us at dusk. The hedgehog who stole any sultanas left by the blackbird and the fox and her cubs. I could hear the old lady laughing as she stood by the window watching them at play.
Then one day there was no more laughter behind the window. People came and went and the garden seemed to wait with bated breath. Suddenly it went dark as I was covered by many layers of popping material and I could not see. I was packed tight between boxes and for many days I was bounced between them.
When my eyes were uncovered I found myself alone on a balcony without friend or foxes. And I was sad. But then one morning I woke to find that with the sun, had come new friends, and in my basket were special stones from around the world that had been given to me to safeguard.
I had been placed on a step with a view over the garden and mountains and strong companions stood beside me to keep me safe.
I am happy now and whilst I miss the old lady I have my friends and a place by the front door where all that come and go can see and talk to me. My new mistress whispered to me as she placed another stone in my basket. ” Wherever we go; you will go with us little fairy princess”.
©Sally Cronin Tales from the Garden 2015
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