Written by Jennifer McCormack, 
Autumn 2009

Once upon a time there was an old woman who lived alone in her little house. Her name was Cassia and she had lived a long life, good and kind and true. Each day she would work in her garden, tending her vegetables and her flowers. She had a beautiful flower garden! Her vegetables were cared for so tenderly that they grew so ripe and tasty. Cassia looked after herself and her home well but she was lonely. Her husband had died, her children had grown up and moved away to see the world and her neighbours were a long way away, and only came to visit every now and then.

One Autumn evening, after a day in the garden, the old woman ate her dinner and got ready for bed. That night she heard a sweet singing and gentle chiming music from her garden! She looked outside her window but there was only darkness. She took her candle outside but the moon was very dark and there was not enough light to see what was happening. When she stepped close to the garden the sweet singing and gentle chiming music stopped! So she went back to bed and decided to have a look in the morning. The sweet singing and gentle chiming music began again as soon as she was in bed and she was lulled to sleep with peaceful dreams.

In the morning there she noticed a plant growing in her garden that she had never seen before, a round sprawling bush with little round green leaves on it.

That evening she again heard the sweet singing and gentle chiming music, and every evening for a week or so, but each time she stepped outside the happy sounds would go quiet and there would be nothing to see. But as soon as she was back in bed the music would begin again and keep her company through her lonely evenings.

Cassia checked the new plant every day and after it had been there two weeks it had big round bright yellow blossom buds on it. Cassia was very excited to see what those flowers might look like. She also noticed that since this plant had appeared that other plants in her garden were starting to change. Some had different coloured leaves that were now turning delightful shades of orange and red and gold.

That night as usual she heard the sweet singing and gentle chiming music. Again she tip-toed outside to have a look and this time the moon was full and bright in the evening sky. She could see quite well without her candle. The old woman crept quietly towards the happy sounds, and there in the light of the full moon she saw some little people about the new bush with the yellow buds. “I think they might be fairies!” thought Cassia.

They were. The bush had blossomed and the big yellow buds had turned into beautiful yellow flowers, each shaped like a little cup. Inside the flowers were little fairy babies who were being rocked to sleep by their mothers who were singing fairy songs and playing their gentle chimes.

Cassia stayed to watch them for a while with such happiness in her heart.

The next morning she began to collect eggs from her chickens and painted them so beautifully, and then she left them under the bush with the golden cradle blossoms as gifts for the fairies who kept her company every evening. The little fairies would find them when they returned from their day’s work painting flowers and autumn leaves, and came back to the bush to put their babies to sleep.

For many years, Cassia would wait for the fairies to visit her garden in Autumn to paint flowers and leaves. The fairies would place their babies in the flowers at night and sing them to sleep. When the moon was full Cassia would leave little presents for the fairies to find in the evening, to thank them for their company and for bringing the beautiful colours of autumn.

The bush that grew in her garden is now known as the Golden Cassia, and you will notice that it blossoms beautifully every autumn, every year, and if you are good and kind and truthful perhaps the fairies may visit a cassia bush near you. What gift will you leave them?

1 comment:

  1. oh, how lovely, you've got a story tree too! I love what you have done with this blog - what a beautiful place for sharing and inspiration. I would love to add it as a link to my Story Tree at Honeybee :-)