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I have three friends, sisters, named Lily, Ursula and Ida.

They have a garden in the far corner of their yard.

It is a small circular garden surrounded by a low stone wall,

which they built themselves out of rocks they have collected over the years.

The garden sits between a cherry tree and a tall pine, from which hangs an old swing.

Under the swing are buried all of the departed family pets.

Ida, to whom most of the pets belonged, particularly wanted to put the garden there.

Lily wanted it to be under the cherry tree, because she has fond memories

Lily's Bower, or, Lily and the Crystal Ball

of climbing the tree when she was a little girl and their family first moved to this house.

She used to sit in the tree for hours, reading

or just looking out over the cranberry bogs across the street.

So they compromised and put the garden between the two trees.

The garden is in a somewhat shady site,

so they could not plant all of the things they would have liked,

Ursula's Ocean, or, Ursula and the Mermaid

but there is foxglove and sweet woodruff and some mints.

Sometimes I go there at dusk,

and the four of us sit out in the garden and watch for fairies.

We talk about fairies and gardening and thunderstorms and other magical things.

Ida's Castle, or Ida and Ophelia


One summer night during a full moon, the three sisters and I were sitting in the garden drinking wine. I don't remember what we were talking about. Perhaps we weren't talking at all, just sitting and watching the sky. But suddenly Ida sat up very straight, as if she were listening to something the rest of us couldn't here. We tried to ask her what it was, but she put up her hand to quiet us. Then we heard it too. It was a faint, sparkly voice (you'd have to hear it to know what I mean) coming from the general area of the mint. Ida leaned forward to hear better, and Gwendolyn stepped out of the plants into the moonlight. She was the first fairy we ever met. If you'd like to meet her, too, follow the fairy below...


" Everything in Nature contains all the powers of Nature. Everything is made of hidden stuff."

Ralph Waldo Emerson


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Paintings of the Three Sisters by Waterhouse

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