A Day of Play

A Day of PlayAsarum and Nymphaea decided to do a little fishing one fine afternoon at the pond near Asarum's cottage. They perched on an old wooden bridge over the channel that fed the pond, chatting and laughing in between checking their lines.

Just as Nymphaea was coming to the punch line of a very amusing story, an engine started up nearby, drowning out her voice. Asarum hopped up and peered through the bushes to see where it came from. He flew back the bridge. "It's those Big People," he said with a little exasperation. "They are always working. Their yard is already beautiful; why don't they just enjoy the day?"

"Maybe we can help them," his cousin replied. "Follow me!"

She flew to the Big People's garage, where they had all sorts of toys for their grandchildren's visits. Asarum came right behind her.

"Do you have some fairy dust on you?" she asked him. He handed her a pouch made from oak leaves. She dipped her hand and retrieved a pinch of sparkling red and gold powder. She whispered a few words to the dust, then blew it across all the toys. "Now let's wait by the pond again."

They had scarcely landed on the bridge once more before the mower was turned off. The fairies exchanged hopeful glances. "Hey, Ned! Catch!" the old woman called across the lawn to her husband. Asarum poked his head through the shrubs to see her tossing a frisbee. The startled old man let go of the mower he had been dragging back to the garage, and caught the disc effortlessly. Grinning, he tossed it back to her. It glided back and forth until it caught in a tree and they couldn't shake it out. "Ah, well," said Ursula. "Here, let me help you take the mower in."

Together they wheeled the machine back to the garage. When they re-emerged, Ned carried a badminton net while Ursula toted the rackets and shuttlecocks. Lickety split, the net was up and they batted the shuttlecocks back and forth until they were out of breath. Next came the croquet, and then the football. As twilight began to descend, Ursula murmured that she ought to start making dinner. "Nonsense," her husband replied. "There are plenty of restaurants in town. Which one should we eat at?"

She took his hand and smiled. "You choose." The two walked into the house and a few moments later strolled to town.


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