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The Fairy Cradles

This story was sparked by my childhood garden.  We had many old strong lilacs surrounding the patio outside the kitchen door, and we made forts under their fragrant flowers.  The sunlight filtered through the purple clusters and the aroma is still one of my favorites in the whole world of scents.  All around the lilacs, my father had planted tulip bulbs of every color and shape.  Spring was always a magical time for a child’s senses.  The ‘fairy cradle’ theme is found in many old legends.


                                                  The Fairy Cradles                                                                   From an old legend, adapted for puppetry by Suzanne Down


Grandma lived in a cottage covered with climbing roses, with a forest of sweet, sweet smelling lilacs outside her kitchen door.  Grandma loved flowers, and all around her cottage were gardens.  She had gardens for butterflies, spring pond gardens, even moon gardens so she could sit in her moon chair on full moon nights and enjoy the delicate night flowers.  She thought full moon nights were beautiful and had an outdoor tea party every full moon.  Even in the snow!

But now it was spring, which was one of grandma’s busiest times.  She was planting and caring for her spring flowers.  She loved her gardens almost as much as she loved her own grandchildren.

In the grass under her walnut tree was a fairy ring.  She knew it was a fairy ring because there was a large circle of darker grass growing, and the circle was full of tiny mushrooms.  Grandma said the fairies danced there on full moon nights.  And grandma, with her tea party in her moon garden would wait and hope to see them, or at least hear their song.

One year, in the spring woods near grandma’s cottage, the fairies had heard about grandma, and her loving care of the flowers.  Full moon was coming, and this is what the fairies did…

The fairies have their babies in spring, and when the full moon called them to come and dance, they brought their babies to grandma’s garden and

nestled them softly in the tulips, like cradles, and rocked them to sleep with a lullaby that sounded like tiny bells.  Then off the fairies went to dance in the ring, all through the night, in the light of the beautiful full moon’s light.

Grandma, in her moon garden was drinking a cup of tea.  All was quiet as she waited and hoped to see the fairies in their ring.  When all of a sudden she heard tiny sounds coming from her tulip patch.  She walked over and saw nothing.  But the tiny sounds seemed to be coming out of the tulips themselves!  Grandma tiptoed over to the tulips and looked inside.

 Oh my, there in the moonlight she could see the sweetest, smallest, most wonderful babies she had ever seen.  There were many of them, in all the tulips!  Why these are the fairy babies, she thought.  She just knew they were!  They must have been sleeping and now needed their mamas.

Grandma just sat down and started to sing.  She sang soft songs of rainbows and dewdrops and flower petals.  Each little fairy baby fell back asleep.  Grandma didn’t see the fairies dance in their ring that night, she saw something even better!

From that night on, grandma planted more tulip bulbs, and her tulip garden grew and grew.  Her tulips were the most beautiful in the land, they bloomed the longest, and started to smell as sweet as perfume.

 Though grandma never saw the fairy babies again, she often heard the song, like tiny bells, of the fairy lullaby.  Her garden smelled sweeter and sweeter.

 Some say if you have tulips in your garden, and they smell of a sweet perfume, then the fairies leave their babies there while they dance.  Many have planted more tulips just to welcome the fairy folk.


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Another wonderful Bulb Story and short puppetry course called Little Brown Bulb might be of interest to you for presenting to young children in Spring.


It is one of our Early Childhood Puppetry Made Easy courses and only $67. including tutorials on creating all characters, staging, puppet enlivening, and presentation ideas and video of the puppet story!   Click Here for Details