Herbert Makes a Daisy Chain

Everyone knows that Herbert loves clover. It his favorite thing next to ice-cream, warm bubble baths and the Guru. Even though Herbert loved clover and the clover kind of liked being nibbled, Herbert also liked daisies when he was in the mood for something slightly more adventurous. However, the daisies were not as receptive to Herbert’s munching and they were not very shy in telling him so.

One day, Herbert was strolling through the meadow on a very bright and shiny afternoon when he came upon a clump of the yellow and white flowers winking in the sunlight. He went in for a nibble only to be accosted by a loud bellowing from the flower below, “Nooooooooooo!” the flower sang out in what was (actually) a very healthy baritone. Herbert jumped with a start, nearly flattening the flower’s companions.

Herbert fell back toward the large copse of oak trees where the pixie-sprites lived. He knocked his little noggin and fell back in a swoon against the welcoming arms of the fatherly oak. When he awoke, he found the pixie-sprites in a circle around him. They seemed o be debating something of great importance to them. The red-haired pixie seemed particularly upset and kept spinning around in a circle, silver glitter flying everywhere.

Herbert slowly gathered his wits (very hard to do) and rose to his hooves to ask what was the matter. They told him in very distressed tones that someone had eaten the Queen of the Pixie’s floral crown. Without it, she would not be able to get the sun to go down and bring out the evening stars. Without the nighttime, the pixies would not get to rest and restore their magic. The stars would dry up and fall from the sky and the world would be lost. The beautiful, red-haired pixie sprite was beside herself with worry.

In an instant, Herbert realized what he had to do. He walked gingerly up to the hill where he had met the daisies just a little while before. He asked them if they would mind being part of the crown for the beautiful pixie. They thought about it for a while and then something wonderful happened (because something magical always happens when you talk to enchanted daisies.) They began to fly in a circle above the beautiful sprite’s head, weaving this way and that until they had completely encircled her head. The baritone decided his singing could weave them together for as long as the daisies survived. In a burst of joyful glitter, the beautiful, red-headed pixie-sprite enchanted the kind-hearted daisies, so that they would never wither. They spent the rest of their known days with her.

Herbert’s Blue Blanket

Once upon a time there lived a little fuzzy lamb who loved to walk in the meadow in the springtime. Herbert loved adventure and romping through the meadow with his friends in the cool, spring air. He loved to play tag with his friend, Raymond, the squirrel and then sit in the shade of the massive trees that dotted the meadow.

Romping is hard work for a little lamb, especially for Herbert who loved to race his friends back and forth along the wide expanse of ground. Herbert nearly always came in second, but he didn’t mind. He kept trying and got faster and faster as he practiced. He loved how the wind ruffled his fleece. However, even bouncy sheep get tired after a while. He sauntered off toward one of the large trees lining the field.

Herbert sat down under one of them. He looked up and saw a little caterpillar with bright yellow spots and wearing orange horn-rimmed glasses.

“What is your name?” Herbert asked.

“My name is Matilda, she said as she looked up from the lovely blue blanket she was making. Herbert liked the color and though how soft it must feel. He would like to take a nap underneath it because he was very tired from his playing.

“May I sleep under your blanket” Herbert asked politely. “It is a lovely color and it looks just like the clouds in the sky. “

Matilda blushed with pride and she gently tucked Herbert into his sleeping spot under the gently swaying tree. Herbert fell asleep almost instantly. He started to dream.

He was walking through a beautiful meadow with bright purple flowers everywhere he stepped. His friends the pixie sprites were dancing around his head as he ventured toward the forest. He went in and walked in the dark quiet for a bit until her heard a bird call out a morning song. Herbert followed the bird deeper into the forest.

Eventually they stopped right in front of a hollow tree. Herbert looked down. One glittering, silver leaf on the ground caught his attention. It had a message written on it in small neat letters. Herbert wished he had paid more attention to the Guru, when it was time for his lessons. He sounded out each word very slowly.

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

(Confucius, The Analects)

Herbert knew he shouldn’t take anything from nature. The Guru told him that it belongs to all people and to itself. Herbert really liked the smooth pink stone he found and he thought it must be magic. He picked it up and carried it as he journeyed through the forest.

As Herberts are wont to do he became hopelessly lost and it was beginning to get dark. When Herbert turned in the opposite direction the stone would sing directing him back on the path he needed to travel.

So they continued walking (and the stone sometimes singing) until Herbert was at the extreme edge of the thick of trees.

Hebert saw the sun again and was glad. When he awoke there was a beautiful pink stone near where he was resting his head. The blanket that gave him the beautiful dreams was nowhere to be found. He hoped someday he would see Matilda again.

Wishies

Herbert spent a lot of time looking out the window in spring time. He loved that season most of all, even more than autumn when the leaves did their before-winter dance. It was the season of his birthday and he remembered playing in the meadow when he was just a little lamb just after the Guru found him. He enjoyed chasing butterflies and bumblebees (that shouldn’t be able to fly, but still did!) He loved having fun in the lake with Alphonsus, the fish and his friend, Raymond, the squirrel. Herbert still enjoyed doing all these things, of course, but he was a bigger sheep now and tended to spend more time these days, just noticing things. On the breezy morning of this story, Herbert was doing just that.

The clouds were high in the sky and they looked nearly as fluffy as Herbert, only there was no tangle of hooves and beating. They just floated up in the sky’s blueness like peaceful legless sheep, which Herbert found a little appalling, but he tried to ignore it. It was certainly a beautiful day and Herbert kept looking up, heedless of where each hoof would fall. Herbert noticed some things, not all things and where his feet happened to be always seemed like the last of these.

He kicked the head off a snowy-hued dandelion and it floated up to him singing,

“A wish is a thing to be said,

When you’ve kicked off my head!

Don’t worry; it’s fine

It could have gone any time.

Make a wish. Make it good

Like you know that you should

And I’ll bring right back,

Anything that you lack.

Herbert didn’t know what to make of the singing dandelion, but he closed his little sheepie eyes and thought really hard. He couldn’t think of anything he lacked except maybe someone to play with in the meadow. All his friends had gone to visit the pixie sprites who lived in the big oak tree just at the edge of the Magic Meadow. Herbert knew the Guru was very busy putting flowers around the walk to the little hut the two shared. The Guru was very intent on finishing and the flowers were too little to talk to yet. (He could try, however)

Herbert asked the wishie for a friend so they could spend the afternoon together. Before he knew is there was a great gust of spring air and Herbert was caught up in a great swirling if movement that lifted him off his feet and carried him many miles away.

Before you could say, “clover” Herbert found himself at the foot of the large oak tree where the pixie-sprites lived right at the edge of the Magic Meadow. All Herbert’s friends were already there! Alphonsus had come in a glass of water, so he couldn’t stay long without magic. Raymond chattered about and Sally, the sheep was there with a purple flower in her hair. The orange kitten sat stately on the wooden fence pretending to ignore everyone. The marshmallow peeps were singing in barbershop along with the singing pickle. It was quite a party with all the sprites in attendance, especially the beautiful sprite with the emerald green dress and the beautiful auburn hair.

Herbert had a wonderful afternoon and even enjoyed the walk back home with his friends. He couldn’t wait to tell the flowers along the walk all about it.

Herbert Used to Love Popcorn

Herbert loved story-time.  Late in the evenings after the Guru had combed out Herbert’s fleece, he would sit in front of the fire while the Guru’s loving voice told stories of far-away lands. The Guru often made a big bowl of popcorn with butter and lots of salt; Herbert would munch away, feeling very safe and secure on the Guru’s lap.

 

One night as the Guru had started the third story of the evening; Herbert was feeling particularly drowsy as the Guru’s deep voice floated around the hut the two of them shared in the summertime.  Herbert stopped, mid-munch when he heard a high-pitched squeal.

 

“Hey, that tickles!”

 

Herbert thought he must have been dreaming.  Then he heard it again louder.  “Stop chewing on me, please.”   Herbert abruptly stopped chewing.  It was hard not to obey especially since whatever-it-was had asked so very nicely.  As Herbert gasped in amazement, his mouth flew open and out popped a small but spunky kernel of popcorn.  It did a back flip in the air and landed in the bowl in front of Herbert.

 

It sat in the bottom of the bowl swimming carefree in the pond of butter settling in the bottom.

 

“Ah, that’s better.” It crooned happily.

 

Herbert could not believe his eyes (or his ears).

 

“I thought you were just a delicious snack.  I had no idea I was munching on you and your friends.  A thousand apologies.”  Herbert gave an awkward little curtsey wondering if this was the appropriate way to address a snack-food.

 

Just when he thought he must be dreaming, every kernel of popcorn jumped out of the bowl and started dancing in geometric shapes.  They sang a little song and spelled out, “We love you, Herbert.”

Only they didn’t cross the “t”.  Herbert had been nibbling after all.

 

 

 

 

 

Herbert Dances up a Storm

Once upon a time, Herbert was playing in the meadow. It was very hot and Herbert hadn’t been shorn so he was very, very uncomfortable. He wondered what he could do because the Guru was off fishing and couldn’t help him. Herbert knew that it was too soon for him to be shorn and besides, he really worried about doing such a thing all by himself. The last time he tried the Guru was very upset for a very long time. Herbert had no idea why.

Herbert walked near the cold Crystal Lake. Although it helped just a bit, the more Herbert walked, the hotter he became. He tried climbing a tree, which took him several tries before he got a firm hoof-hold. Herbert had heard that above all the hot air near the warm earth, a cool breeze blew, especially in the mornings. (Herbert reminded himself to talk to whomever he had heard this from, because today, they were most assuredly wrong.) Herbert stomped along in a bad temper, which did nothing to alleviate his discomfort.

Just then, Herbert felt something buzz by his left ear. At first he thought it was a giant bumblebee and tried to dodge out of the way, but then the “bumble bee” started singing and laughing. At first Herbert was surprised that anything could sing and laugh on such a hot day and then he remembered his friends, the pixie-sprites.

This particular one was singing a fast, upbeat tune and harmonizing it with bells tied on to her feet with ankle bracelets. Herbert thought this was a wonderful idea and wondered where he could get a 2 sets of those beautiful bells. The pixie produced four of them that just happened to fit around Herbert’s wooly ankles. Herbert was so happy.

After a hilarious minute of trying to get into the ankle-bracelets, Herbert was ready to join in the dance. He danced and danced to the pixie’s singing. They were joined by a circle of pixies who lived in the large maple trees that bent in the increasing wind. Before they knew it, a strong wind had risen; the clouds looked grayer and large splattery raindrops began to fall. Herbert was having so much fun he barely noticed. He just kept singing (badly) and dancing (up a storm). He realized he was no longer uncomfortable or bored. When tge Guru returned, he would have a story to tell!

Herbert and the Sunshiney-Yellow Candle of Happiness

Herbert liked when the autumn came. Even though it meant the cold winter would soon come, the frozen ground clicking under his hooves. He liked the walking through the bright, fallen leaves and the crunching sound they made as he walked out front of the little house he shared with the Guru.

Herbert even tried to be happy when it rained and those leaves hung sullenly on the trees and in small wet heaps around his ankles. He didn’t like wet weather because he couldn’t run and play and feel the brisk air move through his thick fleece. Herbert simply loved to be outside. He was sad when the weather kept him in and he had to entertain himself away from his meadow friends.

Herbert was just sitting by the window watching the rain fall when an idea struck him…not hard…Herbert never seemed to have ideas that hurt him in any way, but they often got him into trouble! He thought he would light the pretty yellow candle the Guru brought home from one of his excursions far away beyond the meadow in the neighboring forest. Herbert had never been there himself, but he heard from his meadow friends that strange, magical animals lived there.

Herbert found a match and very carefully lit the candle. The flame blazed up and Herbert was afraid for a second. Usually he was not all that gifted with things that make fire, like stoves and such. He was glad to see that the flame that erupted had lessened to a small, glittery glow. The flame mesmerized Herbert and he stared into it for several minutes.

Suddenly, he heard a sound like a song and saw the petite form of a pixie-sprite. Her wings were of the finest gossamer and she wore a beautiful emerald green dress (with sparkles). Her hair was of the richest mahogany-red. Her name was Aria. She danced and sang her way from the candle to all four corners of the room. She spoke to Herbert in a light, melodious voice.

“I am a brightness-sprite. I am here to dispel shadow and bring happiness.”

Herbert wasn’t particularly sad, but just being around Aria, made him feel less sad about the nasty weather. He felt good to be inside with her. She taught him a little dance and then they had tea and the best muffins Herbert had ever tasted.

When the flame began to die, Aria thanked Herbert for the company and disappeared back into the candle…. She would return any time Herbert needed her. All he had to do was light the sunshiney-yellow candle.

Some people and fairies have a way of brightening up a room just by being there.