Once upon a time......
there was a little girl. She had a head of gold girls and big brown eyes and an imagination as wild as the hills.
She dreamt of faraway lands, talking woods and fairies that danced in the moonlight. She loved to chase frogs around the garden and pick dandelions amongst the weeds. A flower was a flower......it didn't matter what it looked like ! A flower was a potential fairy skirt, or a fairy umbrella or even shelter from the rain for extremely tiny fairies.
This little girl loved to play make believe.
She would take a matchbox, slide the lid off and make a bed for her imaginary fairy friends. A little ball of cotton wool for a mattress and a leaf for a blanket would be her favourite choice of bedding and then she would sit with a packet of coloured pencils and write little messages and draw little pictures for the fairies. She would leave the matchbox over night somewhere safe in the garden and hope to the heavens that a fairy would find the little bed that she had made. She would often leave a small lid off an old jar full of water for the fairy folk to drink from. Biscuit or cake crumbs were left for them to nibble on.
If it looked as if no fairy had shown up overnight, then snails would be stuffed into the matchbox (whether they wanted to or not!) and there they would stay until she saw fit to let them out ! In her innocent eyes she thought she was helping them out by finding them somewhere safe and warm to sleep. Alas the poor snails probably thought otherwise !
This child was inquisitive and one who would like to poke around holes in bricks to see if little insects by chance had come to rest there. She was happy to lie on the grass and watch ants make their way through the garden to their little nests. She would lie there for ages waiting to see if the Queen of the ants would come out to check on her little worker ants. If a larger ant than normal appeared she would immediately think to herself that she must indeed be the queen and her eyes would open wider with interest. She honestly believed that the queen of all ants had her own special room with a teensy gold throne and a table full of tasty crumbs that were laid before her by her ant subjects.
This little girl read far too many story books....that was for certain. Her little imagination would take her to places far and wide in her books and then she would transfer the images to her own home and recreate the story. One day an old scrap of pale pink chiffon turned up in the house and she immediately whisked it away and it became a wonderful scarf for the top of her genie hat that she made. She sticky taped the chiffon to a cardboard cone hat that she made and then she spent the afternoon sitting on the carpet in her bedroom pretending that she was flying to lush, foreign lands, with treasure boxes full of gold and ruby encrusted jewellery. Aladin and his magical lamp lived in her head and she would often ask him to take her on an adventure to some place brilliant and new. A place where magic happened and elves walked around in green coats and pointy shoes.
Her mind ran wild with scenarios and she needed no company of friends as she could go where ever she wanted to without any interruptions.
One fine day she was at her Grandmothers house. She was out in the beautiful garden that her Grandmother kept. She loved to search around the flower beds for things of interest. One of her favourite games was to run through a row of bushes. She would hold her breath and run as fast as she could up and around these bushes and see how fast a time she could do it in. Her Grandmother didn't like this game because she said that the little girl would snap flowers off the bush. The thought that this game was considered a "No No !" made it all the more fun. She would check to see if the coast was clear and ZOOM..........off she would go at a million miles an hour before she got caught.
It was on one of these days that she discovered something very amazing. It was a tiny silver shell. It sparkled in the sun and was hanging off a leaf.
She held her breath and sighed........FAIRIES !!!!!!!! Surely they had been here and left this beautiful treasure for her to keep. She had been asking for a gift from the fairies for so long that she had almost given up on the idea.
SO.....very carefully she pulled off the small branch of the bush. She sat down in the shade with her wonderful new treasure and her imagination soared......
Was there a fairy queen living withing this silver lining ?
Was it a baby fairy waiting to come out and play ?
Was it some kind of valuable fairy treasure ?
She sat there for sooo long deciding what to do.
Maybe she should have left in on the bush ? Oh dear oh dear , she just didn't know what to do !
A little while longer and inside her Grandmother's house, tea was being served. Her Grandmother was an excellent cook and the little girl adored sitting up on the big chair at the table and sipping out of a tiny china teacup. She also loved to eat the pretty butterfly cakes and deserts that her Grandmother would bake especially for her visit.
"Hello hello are you coming in for tea ?," came her Grandmother's voice.
The little girl was torn........she knew that she would be in big trouble if she answered. Her Grandmother would know that she had been playing in the bushes again when she saw the little girl sitting under the bush with her little treasure......AND to make matters worse she had pulled off a branch. She was a little scared at the outcome but just as scared as to what might happen if she walked away and left the little silver treasure.
She sat as quiet as a mouse and hoped that she wasn't seen. Surely this was her only option. Her heart was tearing in two between the thought of yummy cake and also her fairy treasure. It really was too hard a decision. She was a little sleepy too. Rubbing her eyes she heard footsteps and quickly saw that her Grandmother was approaching. She held her little treasure behind her back before her Grandmother saw it.
"What have you there my darling," asked Grandmother.
"Nothing," came the reply
"Please show me what you have there, I would really love to see,"replied Grandmother
Slowly the curly headed little miss pulled out her treasure.............
She closed her eyes, held her breath and waited for oncoming trouble.
"Oh how lovely, you have found a little cocoon!" said her Grandmother.
She wasn't in trouble at all !!! Her Grandmother sat down gently beside her and pointed to the cocoon. She sat for quite a while and explained what the silver shell held inside. She explained that a beautiful butterfly would some day soon emerge from this shell.
"Would you like to keep it and watch what happens?" asked Grandmother.
"Oh Yes Please," came a very excited reply.
So, for a few days they watched this little silver cocoon. The little girl had made it a little home in a shoebox that of course she had decorated ! She would sit for ages watching in hope that she would see the beautiful butterfly emerge.
One bright and sunny morning she woke up and ran out to the shoebox to see if there had been any developments.
Her Grandmother watched the little girl's face as she saw something exciting but sad all at the same time.
The cocoon had burst open sometime during the night or early morning and the beautiful butterfly had already emerged.
Disappointment was on her little face as she had truly wanted to see the marvellous event.
She sadly began to walk away.......when POP !!! Into her mind came a spectacular idea !
"Grandmother can we go to the shops today ?" she asked
"Why child, what do you need?" came the reply.
"I WOULD LIKE TO BUY A BUTTERFLY NET !" she said very excitedly.
Grandmother smiled and nodded her head.
Then, for the next couple of days the little girl was to be seen dodging and darting through the garden with her little net chasing butterflies, bees and indeed anything that had wings.
Her Grandmother looked down into the garden with amusement from the upstairs window of her house. The joy on her Granddaughters face warmed her heart and she knew that she would never....ever forget this fine day.......
and that is the story of the little girl with the curls and the big brown eyes.