Spring Once Again
Written by Intricate Knot (exactly as was told to her)
By Intricate Knot
“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
If the day had been less fine and clear, I may have missed it. If it had rained that day, I would have hurried myself home to sit by the fire and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and a biscuit or two (perhaps even three). But though I could feel ice in the air the sun shone down prettily, it was a fine day and I didn’t miss a thing. There in my forest home, straight across the path to my house a lovely black-as-coal kitty and a precious white-as-whipped-cream bunny scampered together. Together, you say? I do, indeed. Together. The cat did not chase the rabbit. No. They skipped together, hand-in-hand across the path and through the woods.
I couldn’t let them go. I had to find out. What are they doing together? And where are they going in such a big hurry? And what are those colorful witches’s hats doing on their heads?? The cat wore a soft velvety purple with a chartreuse silky ribbon and the rabbit sported a rosy satin affair along with an eye-catching vest to match. Where did they acquire such fine fashions? I wondered.
Curiosity is something of which I always indulge and this day was no exception. Off the path and into the woods after them I ran.
I have to say, I was out of breath before too long. I’m mostly human, you see, and the human part of me tends to slow me down. My heart thundered in my chest so loudly, I was certain the two I barely kept in sight could hear it and at any moment they would turn and ask,
“What are you doing, clumsy human girl? You don’t really think you can keep up with the likes of us!” Then they’d laugh and run straight out of my view. That cannot happen, I told myself. And quite miraculously, it didn’t.
It was dark in this part of woods. The trees are amazingly tall and dignified. Beautiful, of course, but they do tend to block out the light. I’m not afraid. Of course not. However, I am a bit clumsy even in the best of light. Breathing hard now, I crossed my fingers that I wouldn’t trip. And quite miraculously, I didn’t.
At the clearing, they finally stopped those mischievous two (yes, true I did not know them all too well or even at all! But something sparked and crackled in the air around them. I knew this, because I ran straight through it). They sat as pretty as you like, on a smooth, large gray stone right next to the river.
I kept my distance. If they didn’t know I was there (though, I’m sure that they did), I did not wish to startle them. I too, sat on a large stone, but at the edge of the clearing under a great Noble Fir. I heard the two whispering and strained to hear what they said. I couldn’t make out their conversation, though. I don’t mind saying that disappointment began tapping on my shoulder just about then. What good had it been to follow them all this way, tear my stockings, rip my hem, and sit on this cold stone in the chill of the air, if I wasn’t going to find out anything about them? I was considering how to introduce myself, when something purely mystical-magickal happened!
Music began to play. I heard it play in the distance. It sounded like it was coming from the river and I could tell that it was getting closer. Now I sat quietly, smoothed back my hair and folded my hands firmly in my lap.
The cat, sleek and sweet, turned to his good friend (I could tell they were cherished friends, I felt it in the air along with the sparks and the crackles) and said with a smile,
“Aloysius, dear lad, I do believe it is time.”
“Right as always, Fiddler,” and with that the rabbit pulled out a wood flute.
‘Ah,’ I thought happily, ‘I’ve discovered their names!’ It was completely worth the flight through the woods just to know Aloysius Bunny and Fiddler-the-Cat. Marvelous. But more was in store!
Fiddler had brought out his namesake and the two began to play, adding their instrumental chorus to the oncoming music, which now grew closer still. That’s when I saw the small boats, made of pearly pink shells, filled with luminous petite faeries, each of whom sparkled with a different color: lavender, periwinkle, coral, lemon, and mint. And as sparkles go, these were very easy on the eyes.
As the tiny boats pulled up alongside Fiddler and Aloysius, I had a moment of panic. As delightful as faeries are, I am no stranger to their wily powers. Must I always be led by my (at times) regrettable curiosity? What had I possibly got myself into this time? As quietly as I could, I stood up and began to slowly back away. Perhaps if I reached the wood in time, the faeries might not notice me! But, that wasn’t the case. I knew that as soon as the most dazzling pink of the lot waved and then beckoned to me. Did I just swallow a bug? Or was that a lump of fear in my throat? Fear? Surely that was a bug. I silently apologized to the bug for eating it and gingerly made my way to group of magickal creatures.
After introductions were made between the Faerie Royalty and I (I’m sorry, but I was sworn to secrecy and I cannot reveal their names to you, if I did I’m sure I’d get into all sorts unfunny trouble), Fiddler told me,
“The faeries and us need assistance with Spring.”
Stunned that such beauteous creatures could want anything from me, I nodded eagerly,
“You’ve only to ask what you need and I’ll do my very best to comply.”
It was then Aloysius’ turn,
“It’s Spring, you see. It needs to be sprung.”
Huh. Who would have guessed that? Not I.
I’ve never helped spring Spring, before. This could be fun! And what an educational experience it could turn out to be. Not a bad item to list on your resume. Not that I’m looking for a job. Not that I need one. Sorceress-In-Training, First Class, at your service. I only hope they don’t think I know what I’m doing, because I certainly do not.
“Oh, it’s very simple just extremely complex,” grinned the cat.
“I’m afraid, yes, he’s correct,” Aloysius said and then gave a great sneeze.
Turning to see what the faeries made of all this, I noted that they appeared to be nodding in agreement. Though, I’d not a clue.
“If it were up, it would clearly be down,” began Fiddler.
“But if it were right, it would be equally as apparent to be left,” finished Aloysius.
“You’re confusing the poor girl. She is part human, you know,” and down swooped an Owly creature wearing a bright, swirly green and yellow witch’s hat.
“Hmm, I was wondering when you were going to turn up,” Fiddler said, still grinning, but now I could see a glint in his emerald eyes.
“Had to get the troops going, didn’t I? If someone doesn’t direct them, they’re bound to end up marching straight off a cliff.”
“Yes,” agreed the rabbit. “Wilbur’s quite right. No matter how many times we explain and no matter how many signs I post, they all seem to want to walk off cliffs. Bizarre behavior, even if they are lemmings.”
Somehow they all thought this was very funny. Everyone joined in on the laughter (even myself though I still hadn’t a clue what was what), everyone except Wilbur, who wore a dire expression on his Owly-Raven face. He addressed me,
“They’re lemmings, dear girl. That’s the joke.”
“Ah.” Though, I still felt a bit thick.
“As to Spring, we need your help calling out the Flora.”
“And the Fauna, don’t forget them,” Aloysius reminded, though it was apparent by the expression on Wilbur’s face a reminder was unnecessary.
Before another word could be exchanged between the two, Fiddler whisked Aloysius away to a new group of faeries that had just arrived and were gathering under a particularly striking pine,
“I do believe your attentions are required over here, Alo.”
“It’s a good deal Fiddler’s on the ball. We’re so very behind right now! If that one,” Wilbur rolled his eyes to the tall and elegant rabbit, “gets chocolate eggs to everyone on time this year without mixing them up with the jelly beans it really will be a miracle. And though our group excels at miracles, I still always have my doubts.”
“Yes, well, you never know.”
And then he gave me what I’m sure was a most rare occurrence, Wilbur smiled,
“Why yes. Exactly right.”
Feeling a bit like a star pupil in Miss Sally Sash’s Class, I smiled back.
Fiddler rejoined us,
“You can take care of the flowers, sweet lady.”
Please note: I’d rather my name didn’t get out, either (hence the “dear girl” and “sweet lady” etc etc). I still had no notion of what I would be doing I only hoped that they would eventually tell me. And tell me in a way that I would truly understand.
“It really is all very simple,” gruffed Wilbur with an eye roll to Fiddler.
“Yes, forgive me for teasing,” the cat said with a wink. “You only need to call the flowers. You know so many of them. It’s why we chose you for this task.”
“Yes. You’ll come with us underground. Just picture each flower in your mind,” Wilbur stated.
“When we pass by their roots, they’ll know that it’s time,” Fiddler continued.
Huh. While I looked at the ground I thought that somehow it really didn’t sound “simple” to me. I was I going to fit in their tunnels? I’m a big, gawky part-human girl. Perhaps they forgot?
“Of course we haven’t forgotten,” Fiddler looped his silky, kitty appendage through my arm.
“And you’re not ‘gawky,’” Wilbur added firmly while grasping my other arm, his black feathers tickling, just slightly.
We began walking together, alongside the river, strolling quite casually.
“The butterflies will be up soon and so will the bees. We’ll have to get going.” Fiddler said and with a nod Wilbur agreed. With that, no longer were we surrounded by blue sky and river and trees, nor even rocks and mushrooms and muck. We stood in a long, curvy cavern beneath all of that or at least this was my best guess. It was brown overhead, which I imagined was earth. Small tendrils, tender roots hung down here and there (mostly there). It was all rather weird, but in an odd way (which is always the best way), vaguely pretty, as well. ‘Ah,’ I thought, ‘so here are the roots we will talk to, while I picture them flowering.’
Under the ground, skipping through passages carved out in the dirt; through the remainder of that day and then through the night (though I really don’t know how long we took), all of us; Fiddler and Wilbur, Aloysius and the faeries and I worked very hard calling up plants and bees, butterflies, flowers, and brush. Letting them know it was time to get up.
“There are wondrous things to be seen and amazing adventures to be had! Wake up! Wake up!”
I like to sleep in, just as much as the next guy (or daisy), so I can’t say that I blamed those who gave the impression of being a bit reluctant to arise. But they did none-the-less.
Regardless that for a few sleepy bees and a couple of drowsy daisies it seemed like a chore, for most of the others it was truly a delight. Despite of or maybe because of their mood, even the sluggish ones all seemed to know it was time. The new and wondrous awaits and there are amazing adventures to be had, for it is Spring once again.
So…if ever you should be returning to your cottage in the forest and you happen to see a bunny, cat, or owl cross your path. Follow them into the woods. You won’t be disappointed.
Illustration “Calling Upon the Faeries” by Angelique Duncan.
Intricate Knot is proprietor of Cards For A Gloomy Day.Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for more adventures of Fiddler the cat.