This is the prequel to Tales from the Irish garden and shares the stories of statues we inherited when we bought the house, and for the magic kingdom beneath the Magnolia Tree. The book is also available in Spanish translated by
Olga Nunez Miret
Chapter 1 – The Head Guardians of the Magic Garden
We have stood guard for fifty years over this house and the people who have lived here. Protecting the land and our masters against unwanted intrusions in scorching sunlight and bitter cold snow. The world has changed outside these walls with dictators passing on to make way for kings. But that is not our concern, as it is the safety of this place that is our responsibility.
Through many seasons we have watched young children play in front of us with their dog companions. We have observed the young humans mature and grow to adulthood before leaving through the black gate that leads to the outside world. And we have seen their canine companions grow stiff with age and sheltered them as they rested in the shade we cast.
For the last five decades we have observed the man who trims the evergreen hedge that surrounds us. We have watched him change from a vital young man to the weather-worn 82-year-old who still sweeps his brush around our feet. If we could see our own reflections we know we would also show the effects of all these years with our faces to the sun and wind.
We have not seen him this past hot summer. His weary bones could no longer hold him erect as he carried his tools and watered the expanse of grass. He decided one spring morning that he would retire to his nearby home and enjoy his plants on his balcony. As he left through the big black gate, he turned and looked at us as we stood with unseen stone tears upon our cheeks.
He saluted and smiled in acknowledgement and to remind us that we must continue to protect the garden on his behalf.
The gnarled branches of the green plinth that sits beneath us also bears the scars of time but each year it sustains its vigour. Determined, as we are, to stand firm against the elements. It too has sheltered our canine subordinates, who it should be recognised, have bravely defended the territory with us against postmen, undisciplined squirrels and disrespectful feral felines.
We rarely feel the touch of a human hand; although the lady of the house will occasionally rest hers upon our heads in passing. It is recognition enough and we are happy that our role as guardians of this house and its people is acknowledged and appreciated.
As well as the trees, plants and wildlife in this magic garden, we are the head guardians of all the other stone inhabitants who have important roles to play. Eagles, rabbits and monkeys have found their way here over hundreds of years as well as animals who have sought sanctuary within its surrounding hedges.
We are not however the rulers of the garden. Beneath the old magnolia tree, within the roots, is the fairy kingdom of Magia, which is home to the reigning King and Queen. It is our job to ensure that this realm is protected and that enemies, who seek to destroy the peace we enjoy, are dealt with swiftly.
The humans who have occupied the houses that have stood in these grounds see only statues and an old gnarled tree that blooms once a year. What they do not know is that when they lie asleep, sprinkled with fairy dust, the garden comes alive. Fairies fly out into the scented night air, statues come to life and dance in the dappled moonlight and we the guardians patrol the borders to ensure their secrets are kept from the outside world.
But, once every 500 years, some very special people are allowed a glimpse into our world. As your guides we will now tell you the stories of the inhabitants of this magic world. Close your eyes and climb upon our backs as we travel through time and imagination.
©Sally Cronin 2015 Tales from the Garden.
About Tales from the Garden
Tales from the Garden reveals the secrets that are hidden beneath hedges and trees. You will discover what really happens at night as you sleep unaware in your bed. Stone statues and those hidden worlds within the earth are about to share their stories. The guardians who have kept the sanctuary safe for over fifty years will allow you to peek behind the scenes of this magical place. They will take you on a journey through time and expand your horizons as they transport you to the land of fairies, butterflies and lost souls who have found a home here. Fairy Stories for children of all ages from five to ninety-five that will change the way you look at your garden forever.
One of the reviews for the collection.