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 Four – Pearly Girl and the Dwarves Stone Band
Pearly Girl and the Dwarves is a stone band that plays at all the fairy balls, weddings and birthday celebrations. To the human inhabitants of the villa, they were also playthings for the children who have grown up over the last fifty years and were loved by many.
Unfortunately, like many of the stoned rock bands of the past, the dwarves had not always behaved well. There were a couple of incidences when one or two of the band, who will remain nameless, sniffed a little too much of the pollen of the sneezeweed that grew at the bottom of the garden. They had been banned from playing at any of the fairy events in the fairy kingdom of Magia, beneath the old magnolia tree, for the last fifteen years.
The children of the house had also grown up and left and the band found themselves huddled on the windswept ledge on the back side of the house gathering moss and covered in swallow poop as the birds used them for target practice.
Finally in the late 90s the new owners discovered them in their isolated outcrop and decided to relocate the group to the top of the garden under a large shady tree where they could resume their musical endeavours without disturbing the household or the neighbours. The fairy queen, seeing that they had returned to human favour, decided to give them another chance with a dire warning of consequences should there be further unacceptable behaviour.
Although the band was tucked away in a quiet part of the garden, the abundant wildlife that had made a home in this serene spot soon began to move out. Unfortunately the dwarves were all a bit out of practice, particularly Thrifty with his kettle drum who had gone a bit deaf and drowned out the rest of the band and was asked to stand in the corner.
Shifty was on the fiddle but the others kept their eyes on the expenses. Nifty was on the saxophone, Hefty on the base drum and cymbals and Ditzy blows his own trumpet.
Wiffy tuned up his guitar and that just left Sniffy the male vocalist of the group who insisted on being accompanied by his best friend Buck the rabbit. Buck was okay as a backup singer but Sniffy failed to realise that his BFF was in fact the cause of his allergies. I know that I said that I would not reveal the names of the culprits behind the banishment from fairyland but you can probably guess that Sniffy was not blameless!
Anyway after a few weeks the band was in fine fettle and eagerly awaited the arrival of their lead singer Pearly Girl.
The fairies were holding a birthday party, and tonight was the band’s first performance of the summer and the first in fifteen years. Their future as a band and their chance of staying out in the garden instead of in exile on the poop covered ledge, was dependent on their performance and behaviour.
Buck, as he tended to move a lot faster than the rest of the band, went off in search of Pearly Girl.
He looked everywhere and even asked the resident hippie if he had seen her. The hippie had heard that Pearly Girl and Buck’s cousin Fizzy, had been on the town the night before, and might have got themselves arrested. This was not good news and Hippie and Buck hurried over to the garden’s naughty corner to see if he could find out more.
They found Fizzy almost immediately, obviously still plastered from the night before and they spent precious minutes trying to get some sense out of him. Even Hippie had a go and finally they were told that Pearly Girl was the other side of the holding area in a dreadful state.
Buck and Hippie had their work cut out for them if they were going to get Pearly Girl in shape in time for the performance. Buck got the rest of the fairy juice off her and Hippie raced around getting her clothes and make-up organised. With just minutes to go and as the audience and the photographers arrived they got their star act ready.
The stage was set, the sun shone and the band began to play their first song. ‘One Day my Prince will Come’ and Pearly Girl walked through the garden to join them. As she began to sing the audience broke into rounds of applause.
The fairy queen and her court were duly impressed with the two hour performance and signed a contract with the stoned band to perform at their mid-summer ball the following week.
Happy to be off the poop laden ledge for good, the band wandered off in search of the sneezeweed and a jug or two of organic rosewater laced with some fermented bee pollen.
©Sally Cronin Tales from the Garden 2015
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.