Easter Bunnies.

The wood smelt of cinnamon. Breeze sniffed the air, like a dog would. “Hmm someone is baking, time to go visit.” He stood and stepped further out onto the branch of the tree, then smiled as it bent gracefully towards the ground. Then he stepped off and said “time to investigate such surprisingly delightfully promising smells.”

He placed one large foot on the soft forest floor and went to visit Tulip, the best baker he knew. However when he got to his friend Tulips house it was to discover she was not feeling happy.

“Did you steal my baking?” Tulip, the fairy, flew close to his face.

He shook his head and said, “It is gone? Ahh no who would do such a nasty thing?”

Tulip bit her bottom lip and considered who the thief might be. They decided to set a trap. Breeze helped by taking hold of two of the biggest hot cross buns and blew on them to cool them before eating them.

“Really? Tulip said. That is your idea of helping? Making them disappear?”

“But this time you know when and where they are disappearing. Last time it was some slinky thief who stole them.”

His fingers itched as Tulip placed the other ten cakes on her windowsill to cool.

“Now we hide. “She told him.

“Perhaps I should just sample one more to make sure they really are..” he was drooling as he spoke. “No, hide now.” Tulip stamped her feet and he knew it was a sign that a fairy with a lot of magic was getting madder by the second. And he did not want to make her angry.

Breeze climbed into a tree close to her house and waited. He didn’t see what was happening at first. He simply heard a “swish” “swash” sound and when he peered at the house there was now nine cakes left.

“Bother” Tulip said from her hiding place close to him. “did you see who that was?”

Breeze shook his head.

“Hmm, a little magic is needed.” With that she flew back to her window and threw what Breeze thought was icing sugar on the cakes.

When she arrived back beside Breeze, she put her finger to her lips. He nodded and settled down for a snooze, after all if magic was being used then he had time for a nap.

He woke to see a dancing hopping bright blue light. It made his head ache, the light was too bright. “Turn it off, please ” he asked Tulip.

“In a minute, come with me.”

Breeze looked at her and wondered if now was a good time to point out that she always insisted he said, “please and thank you,” but she often forgot to say it. He decided to be quiet.

They discovered in the middle of the hopping blue light a very angry dancing bunny.

“He looks strange.” Breeze said.

“Herbert is very strange”

But he is the, Easter bunny isn’t he?” Breeze tilted his head sideways to examine the huge basket of easter eggs beside Herbert. “You can’t harm him then.”

“Tulip maybe it would be best to let him go.” Breeze spoke softly.

Tulip thought about this and decided Breeze was right. But only after she made Herbert eat two dozen hot cross buns. When he left he kept saying, “I will never want to see one of them ever again.”

It took Breeze two days and a whole tin of gingerbread men before he forgave her for not letting him eat hot cross buns with the Easter Bunny.

 

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A Dragon named Frank with a hot problem

Breeze was smiling because he could smell his favorite smell – cakes baking. He slid off the branch and began to wander through the forest. He knew if he took his time he would miss the messy washing up bit and land at Tulips door in time for afternoon tea and cake.

His smile lasted for about ten seconds. It was the saddest looking dragon who took his happy smile away. The dragon was green and miserable.

“Hey, What is wrong with you buddy?” Breeze asked.

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“My life is ruined and all because of my hot breath.” The dragon mumbled.

Breeze frowned and sat down, a safe distance away, from the grumpy dragon.

“But, Frank even I know that your speciality is fire breathing” Breeze spoke softly not wishing to annoy the small dragon.

“Yes but not when you love flowers and want to be a botanist.”

“A what?” Breeze looked about him wondering if he had fallen on his head and was having a terrible nightmare, because not one bit of this conversation was making sense to him.

“I like studying and growing flowers but it won’t work cos often, much too often they end up looking like toast.”

Breeze opened  his mouth, closed it and opened it again. He was afraid to say what he was thinking.

The dragon spoke for him. “No burnt flowers do not taste like toast. They simply look burnt.”

“Okay I know what to do lets talk to Elegant witch.” Breeze stood, told Frank where to meet him and ran off to see Elegant.

Unfortunately for him she wasn’t baking, she was cleaning her house using a broom.

Breeze watched her work and frowned. The world is gone upside down, he thought, dragons who want to potter about in the garden and witches who use a broom for sweeping. 

Her chuckle startled him. “I heard that Breeze and no I am not crazy. I just like sweeping.” Putting down the broom she asked him, “What problem have you brought to me today?”

Breeze told her about Frank. It was Elegants turn to look worried. “If I stop his fiery breath, the others will not like it.” Elegant began to pace about the room. There was a bee dancing on the window ledge, very gently Elegant shooed it from the room. Then she turned to Breeze, “That is the answer.”

Breeze frowned. He didn’t think a bee on a window was an answer to anything but he knew Elegant to be a clever witch so he waited for her to return.

Frank arrived as Elegant finished her spell. When the dragon nervously asked her if she could help, she smiled and held out the hat for him. “It is smashing but won’t it go on fire too?”

beekeeper

Breeze moved out of the way and said, “Try it” then as fast as he could he ran to Tulips house. Afterall if the magical beekeepers helmet worked the dragon would be happy and if it didn’t then Breeze might have a lot of ashes to sweep up and Breeze hated sweeping.

 

The day when the forest played a trick on a tiny witch.

Every seven years a crazy day arrives in the wood. It is called Mayhem day. And as you would expect anything is possible on this day.

Breeze and the other Ogres keep records. This means, they know when to expect the madness to happen. Then they let everyone else know. This year it was delivered by the blackbirds. “Stay indoors, take care for today will be a crazy day.” They tweeted and sang.

Elegant witch received the message and told her sister. Lovisma laughed and said, “Last time the only thing that happened was we were stuck indoors and I had no fun.”

“But you were safe.” Elegant replied.

“Safe is boring.” Lovisma decided then and there, she would have some fun.

Though her notebook was full of fun ideas, for example:

  1. Paint the clouds with colourful spots.
  2.  Put crabs in the pond.
  3.  Replace the Ogres sugar with salt.
  4.  Make Mrs. Rabbits washing dance on the washing line so she cannot collect it.
  5.  Put glue on the elves shoes. When they finish work they will have to go home in their bare feet.

And the ideas went on filling the entire notebook. The problem was, she had tried them all.

“I need to think of a different way of making fun.”  She began by finding things to use. She found pots of paint and stacked them in Elegant’s gardening wheelbarrow, then she found some cobweb rope, a mound of mermaids slimy scales left by a visiting witch, and she chucked them into the barrow.

Just when she thought the barrow should be full to the brim she turned to look at it and frowned. Her collection was on the ground and her barrow was full of …

ellie wheelbarrow 2

dog. “I didn’t put you in it, shoooo…go away.”

The dog sat and stared at her.  It blinked, blinked again and then…. vanished!

“Cute” Lovisma said and felt sad. She would have loved to be the first witch with a magical dog. When she told Elegant, her sister said, “I told you stay indoors – today is a crazy day. That dog wasn’t magical ..it wasn’t really here at all.”

Lovisma ignored her. She had decided on a plan. She crept to the center of the wood and began to chant,

“I wish for these dreams to come true,

let the sky and grass swop color so I am standing on blue.” She clicked her fingers and began to laugh. The grass was bright blue. She looked to the sky. It was bright green.

Then she heard it … a low throaty growl. Lovisma immediately thought of the crazy dog.  “Come out magical pup so I may thank you.”

Instead the sky darkened and clouds ran away as the green turned to purple.

“I preferred my colors” she calmly muttered.

The growling was louder and it was coming from the ground. Lovisma looked about her and noticed mushrooms. Hundreds and hundreds of mushrooms of all sizes.  She flicked her wand at them and said, “You look a little sad, I think spots of many colours would make you feel less bad.” With a click of her fingers a paintbrush appeared in her hand. She began to flick paint about her. Spots of paint landed on the mushrooms and they grew and grew. As they grew, the growling became louder.

Lovisma decided she didn’t want to stay in such a noisy spot and she tried to move, but the mushrooms had her caged in.  They stretched and grew until they blocked out the sky. She stood shivering wondering how she could make them stop. Every spell she tried made them grow faster. Finally she prodded one with her wand. There was a loud hissing sound and it shrank faster than it had grown. It didn’t stop until it was a puddle of gunk at her feet.

Then one by one the same thing happened the other mushrooms, the air was angry, filled with hissing sounds. The smell of rotting mushrooms was horrible. Lovisma screwed up her tiny nose and wailed. “I didn’t as for this to happen.” Her crying stopped only when she realised the pool of gunk was rising higher by the second.

Her next shriek was loud. “Help.”

Elegant heard her and appeared on her broomstick high above her troublesome sister.

“Serves you right, what did I tell you to do?” Then the kind hearted witch relented. With a flick of her wand she sent the gunk where it belonged  in the middle of nowhere.  Next she swooped low and hovered close to Lovisma.

“Would you like a lift home? I made chocolate fudge cake and vanilla ice cream?”

Lovisma didn’t need to think about it. She hopped on Elegants broom, promising she would never step outside of the house on Mayhem day, ever again.

Do you think she kept her promise?

A note from Breeze.

Hi,

I understand some people are asking why is there a fishing line dangling down the side of a blog site about a wood?

The answer is simple. The worm – Hector and I have found a great use for this.

It happened by chance when I was taking a nap in my favourite tree after a morning spent fishing (I caught nothing!)

The rod slipped and the hook slid down to the ground where Mrs. Groundsel was laying out a picnic for her grand children. My hook caught on a berry pie. I woke found the rod lying across my feet and pulled the line up to discover – a nice warm berry pie.

So there you have it, – Hector hops on the hook, I lower him over those people below having a picnic and he finds a tasty snack for this ogre. In return I allow Hector’s family to live in the mossy mound outside my cave undisturbed, guaranteed never to be dug.

Flash Fiction; Children’s story for our friend Doogle the Dragon.

Doogle is a friend of Hamish and Breeze. He is a pink Dragon who wishes to be a dark Dragon the size of a mountain.

 

Doogle hated being the smallest dragon.

“If I can’t be big then I will be a famous magician.” Doogle thought.  He began to practise being a magician. Unfortunately he set his magician’s hat on fire.

Doogle tried hip-hop dancing. “I’m dizzy” he moaned bumping into his mum. The pot of potatoes she was carrying flew high into the air and landed on his dad’s foot.

Dad wrapped his foot in cotton wool pulled from a cloud.

Doogle tried singing. “He sounds like a fire alarm,” mum said. He stopped singing when the lollypop factory burned down because the fire men were having tea at Doogle’s house.

“I’ll be a champion swimmer,” he said jumping into the pond. However, the water splashed out leaving the pond dry.  Dilly duck gave out to him as he ran away.

“If I were the biggest dragon in the whole realm people wouldn’t laugh at me.”  He moaned.

“You can get bigger,” Granddad said but Doogle wasn’t listening.

Doogle ate more vegetables, and exercised everyday but he didn’t grow.

Granddad said, “I know how you can be as big as a house.”

Doogle asked, “If it is easy why doesn’t everyone do it?”

“Because their surname is not Nogard” Granddad said. He whispered the secret of how to become a large dragon to Doogle.

“I don’t think I could do it.” Doogle said.

“Don’t think Doogle – just do it.”

Doogle flew high into the blue sky searching for a cloud.  It was hard work beating his wings.  He remembered Granddad’s words,” keep going especially when you feel you can’t.”

Doogle found a white fluffy cloud.

He flew around it. Next he wrapped silver thread about the cloud. He counted as he went, “one, two, three, four…” On the thirty third circle a large rumble shook the sky, followed by a flash of lightening.

Doogle was thrown up to the waiting stars. “A dragon to play with,” they cried bouncing him about like a football.

The noise brought the other dragons out of their homes. “What is happening?” They asked.

“Doogle is gone,” sobbed mum.

“He will be back perhaps we have time for tea,” Granddad said.

Everyone agreed. Tea and cakes were eaten before they heard a light whooshing noise. It grew louder until it became a rumble like a jet plane.

High in the sky they spotted a swooping, diving spot growing bigger.

“It’s Doogle,” Granddad said. Everyone began to cheer as Doogle came to land.

Doogle smiled and spewed flames into the sky.

Looking at his mum he said, “sorry I will need a bigger house.”

She just squeezed his foot, “it’s nice to have you back, I’ll go make an extra large dinner.”

Granddad said, “You will go down in our village history as being the largest dragon in the realm.”

And this was only the beginning of Doogle’s fame, for he returned to the land where giants are made on many more occasions.

The Tree – Breeze’s Link to his tree.

breeze tree 2

 

Tulip sat beside Breeze. Her legs were swinging back and forth as she sat on a wide smooth branch.

“What is it with you and trees?” She scrunched up her nose against the strong sunlight as she stared up at him.

“I like trees. That is it.” he said with a dreamy smile.

“But…why?” She asked him.

He considered his answer for a while. “I suppose all of my family liked trees. My grandfather grew his own apple trees, the orchard is over there.” Breeze waved his right arm in the direction of Treacle Wood, many miles away.

“My dad loved to weave baskets from willow and he adored willow trees because he could sit in the shade and work all day long.”

Tulip said, “so trees have been a thing in your family for years.”

“Yes.” Breeze said. “Have you any more questions before I take a nap.”

“Just one. Why this tree?” She looked about them, there were many other giant trees in the wood but Breeze always went to this one.

“Because I grew it.”

His answer surprised her. “You grew it?” She looked at him closely.  She could not imagine him planting anything. She tried to picture it.

“You can’t be that old.”

“For an ogre I am not. But I am still many years older than this tree.” He smiled then said,  “I remember the day I planted it. I was mad at Mrs. Groundsel. She called me a lazy young ogre who couldn’t be bothered to do anything.” Breeze yawned. “So I decided to show her I could do something. I planted the seed. I  came back every day to water and talk to it. Trees like company. It became like a …” He tapped his head with his fingers searching for a word.

“Hobby?” Tulip suggested.

“Pet.” Breeze said. “I grew fond of it and that was that.”

“That was that.” Tulip repeated. “Did you plant many more?”

Breeze nodded his head. “Loads, there was only five trees here when I started, now look.”

Tulip looked at the many hundreds of trees.

“You really are a s ..” she began.

“Strange ogre?” Breeze said.

“Surprising ogre. I think you deserve a blueberry muffin after all that work. I will bring it by later.” She flew away and left Breeze to have a nap.

 

 

How the Ogre Breeze and Mudpile were discovered.

Maria’s  side of the story:

Chance and opportunity seldom knock at my door.

However, this one arrived through WordPress and I have grasped it with both hands.

While reading a post on “The Terrain of Symmetry” site, I was mesmerized by a picture of a tree. 

today 2013

(Click on the photo to go to the post)

This was an unusual occurrence in itself because the daughter of an Irish botanist, I have stared at many trees. But this one caught my eye because the angle of a branch reminded me of the best piece of equipment in the playground, a slide. That was it, a story was born.

My imagination was off at a running pace. An Ogre was created and his best friend sort of slid into place.  When I asked permission from Doris to use the picture to illustrate the story, she went one better and sent me an illustration of the characters, Breeze and Tulip.

From that moment on we were both hooked, stories and ideas fly out of my mind some land on paper and others are merely whisked away by being too mad or crazy. The result is I am jumping in at the deep end and we will publish our result in the form of a book.

I hope everyone enjoys and takes these stories for what they are a  childish venture into a world of make believe.

If there is anything you find beyond the realms of belief please let us know.