Whilst browsing online for garden ornaments, I found a site entirely devoted to creating “faerie” kingdoms in one’s own backyard. Its name? efairies.com, of course.
Being that I am the parent of two little girls, and I am recently obsessed with gardening, I perused their online catalog, which is astonishing in the breadth and depth of fairy products. I imagine some little old cat lady out there, dodging hanging crystals in her one-room cottage, doddering out to her full fairy village, complete with cottages, churches (I didn’t know Pan had a church!), outdoor stairs, fences, bridges, and, oh, hell, why not the 50-Piece Fairy Garden Set for only $1580?
And don’t get me started on the accessories, which run the gamut of post office boxes to teeny weeny galoshes for placing outside the fairy door. It’s like a feminine version of an HO train set, only the conductors have wings and the streetlamps are shaped like mushrooms.
I began to give up hope that I’d find anything at which my husband would not roll his eyes, when I landed upon this guy, the Old Cave Fairy Home (fairy not included).
It’s sweet, small, simple, and would fit in well with the hillside in our yard; in fact, it would fit perfectly into our newly built faux retaining wall. I could add some shade-loving ground cover, and presto! We have a sweet surprise for our more observant guests. With shipping, it cost about $35–not too bad for something that would surely bring the girls great delight.
It arrived last Friday, when we were in the backyard, and languished on our porch for hours, until I checked my email and read that it had been delivered. And yes, I, adult parent of two, got out of bed at midnight to run to the front door and tear open my package of fairy magic.
The next morning, before the girls got up, I removed one of the stones from the wall, replaced it with the fairy cave, and planted a little flowering ground cover over it.
I decided to let the girls discover it for themselves, but then after eight hours, couldn’t wait anymore, and pointed it out to Eliza.
“Look! What’s that?”
“A fairy house! How did that get there?”
“Maybe the fairies built it.”
“I think you builded it.”
“Maybe. Do you like it?”
“No. It’s weird.”
“Why do you say it’s weird?”
“Because I don’t love you anymore.”
She followed up that last bit with a big grin to show me she was just teasing, and I found the whole conversation far too adult for an almost four-year-old. How is it that I plant a damned fairy house for a kid, and I’m so transparent that she guesses that 1) I built it, not fairies; and 2) my feelings could be hurt if she didn’t like it; and 3) she could tease me about my feelings being hurt?
Yes, folks: since I planted the fairy house, there’s a little less magic in my world. Well, to hell with her. I think it’s super-cute and kind of magical. I’m tempted to make a little blue worm to put out front. At least he’ll invite me in for some tea and not poke fun at my craving for gratitude.