Wattle and Banksias Light up the Winter Garden
Written by Suzette Saint-Claire

There was once a beautiful garden, full of trees, flowers, sand, and a bush castle and many other special places. In the day time young children came to play games in the yard. They had many adventures climbing, hiding, digging great holes and finding all sorts of treasures.

Many other creatures lived in this beautiful garden too. There were the tiny creatures, the caterpillars, grasshoppers and snails, and some larger creatures too: the possums, birds and of course the fairies and elves who lived and worked and played in the garden.

Often when the children were in the garden all the other creatures would hide away. Some children who knew how to quietly creep through the garden could sometimes catch a glimpse of a grasshopper or a snail or even a possum or bird, and sometimes on very special days if they looked very closely they could see the fairies and elves.

But most of all these creatures loved to come out and play at the end of the day when the children had left to go home.

Now it happened that in the winter days Father Sun did not stay in the sky for very long at all and soon after all the children had left to go home the creatures did not have very long to run and play about before it was night time. So they huddled in their nests and burrows and homes in the trunks of the trees, missing their friends.

The fairies in the garden could see how sad the creatures were. One night when all the creatures were sleeping the fairies came out to dance and play in the soft light of the morning. They knew how sad the little creatures were without the bright light of the sun to light their garden. So the planned a special surprise. With their magic wands they lit all the wattle trees up with golden lights that the sunbeam dancers had given them, and they lit golden banksia lanterns to shine in the winter garden.

The next day when all the children came to play in the garden their faces beamed with joy to see the golden lights shining on the wattle and banksia tree. Some children took a branch of wattle home to show their mummies and daddies the gifts left behind from the fairies.

Later that day when all the children had gone home the garden creatures came out to play and now and then they could stay in the garden longer than before, for as the light of the sun dimmed in the afternoon winter sky, the lights of the wattle and banksia trees shone the way for all the creatures to see and play.

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