Adele was a bright and inquisitive child for only 8 years old. She loved to visit with her grandparents during the summer. Her grandfather would take her for long walks in the woods behind his house. He would explain to her the mysteries of the woods. Showing her how to identify trees by their leaves and bark. Where the mushrooms would, or more precisely might, grow in the woods. They found fossils in the limestone of the creek beds. Sometimes they would come across wild flowers, but told her to enjoy them where they were and not to pick them. That way they would come back again next year in another place.
On one such trek through the woods Adele was being her curious self about things she hadn't seen before.
“What's this?” she asked while squatting down and pointing to some leaves.
“Don't touch that!” her grandpa quickly responded. “That's Poison Ivy. If you touch it you get a terrible rash and itch. See the three leaves and how the two on either side look like you hand.”
“Are you certain Grandpa?” she asked.
Looking at her knowingly he said, “Yes, I'm sure. There's an old rule applies here, Leaves of three, leave it be.”
“Okay,” she responded and scamper off again down the path.
Further down the path she gave way to some brambles that had over grown over the path. Her grandpa came up behind her and quickly started trim a few branches off that using his pocket knife. “Don't get too far ahead Adele! I'll be just a moment.”
Adele stopped and turned to see what he was doing and waited. Soon she tired of waiting and went a bit further. She was just behind a huge oak tree and about 25 yards down the path. Suddenly she stopped and looked at the ground.
“Grandpa! Come Quick!” she yelled.
Her grandfather quickly stopped trimming the bramble. Leaving an incomplete job, he put his knife away and hurried to Adele's side.
“What's that?” she inquired pointing to the ground.
Slightly winded her grandfather smiled and said, “That's what is called a Fairy Ring. It's a fungus that grows in the ground. It will get larger during the summer.”
“Oh! I know all about Fairy Rings,” she said. “Mommy gave me a book on Fairies, Gnomes and Nymphs and other such creatures. They come out at dawn and dance in the woods around the rings.”
“I heard those stories too, but I've never seen any out here,” her grandfather said with a chuckle. “Besides those are just pretend stories. We'd better head back to the house. It's getting late and dinner will be ready by the time we get back.”
“But they are real!” Adele interjected as they walked back to her grandpa's house. “I read about them in the book.”
“Well, that could be, but I've never seen any,” her grandfather replied.
After dinner was finished they all sat done at the kitchen table and played several games of Sorry until it was Adele's bed time.
“Grandpa? Can we go out in the morning and see the Fairies?” Adele asked while being tucked in for the night.
“That's way to early for young girls to up and out in the woods. Now you go to sleep and maybe will go fishing tomorrow at the Donaldson's pond.”
"Well, . . . Okay,” Adele replied somewhat dejected. She was quickly went to sleep, but soon was dreaming about the Fairies. Early the next morning, way before her grandparents would be up, she woke. The sun was just beginning to break over the horizon. Looking around she got a marvelous idea. Quickly she jumped out bed, put on her housecoat and boots and was out the door. She was going to see the Fairies for sure.
Running through the woods and yet trying to be quiet on that dusky morning, she was certain she'd see some Fairies. Down the path she sped. Until her house coat got caught on the brambles grandpa hadn't finished trimming. Quickly she shed the coat and continued to the large oak tree. Stopping to catch her breath, she slowly peered out from behind the tree to the point where she has seen the ring.
A silent gasp came from her lips as she saw what she couldn't believe. Three Fairies were fluttering in the air above the ring as several little Gnomes and Wood Nymphs danced below. The dust from the Fairies was fluttering down all around the diminutive dancers. Wanting to get a closer look she slowly stepped out from around the tree.
A small twig cried out from under her boot. Immediately the all the woodland creatures stopped what they were doing and looked straight at Adele. The Gnomes and Nymphs ran away to the cover of the undergrowth, but the Fairies flew straight for the little girl intruder. Flying just above Adele, she could hear their tiny voices. “What are you doing here?” “This is our woods!” “Little girls should be in bed!” On and on they scolded Adele. Fairy dust was fluttering down all around her.
Lost in the moment Adele reached up through the dust toward the Fairies. “Eeeek!” they all cried and the three Fairies flew off into the woods. Little contrails of fairy dust corkscrewing in the air and between the trees was slowly settling down. Adele stood there frozen in awe at what she had just seen.
Collecting her thoughts she went to retrieve her house coat. She carefully took it off the thorny bush and put it back on. Slowly retracing her steps, she started to walk back to the house. Humph! she thought to herself, What do Grandpas know about fairies? They are real.....
Moral: Fairies are real. All you have to be is a child that is pure in heart and believe.