Fern Fairies – A Summer Solstice Story

This story came about during our Summer Bush Playgroup session at Korowal School in Hazelbrook. The bushland that would become our regular adventure playground had recently been part of a local hazard reduction, which is an important part of preparing for bush fires in the Blue Mountains Area in the cooler months.

At the beginning of the term, fern fronds were just starting to push their way up through the black, sooty soil. The children and I watched them grow and unfurl over the 8-week program of Bush Playgroup. We played amongst them and measured ourselves against them as we witnessed our space become greener and bushier each week. By the end of our program, there were still some fern shoots waiting to unfurl when the weather got warmer. This story is inspired by these gorgeous little plants and is also heavily inspired by Susan Perrow’s ‘Frangipani Gift’  from her book Therapeutic Storytelling

The Fern Fairies – Written by Danielle Carey

All through the long winter the forest lay sleeping under a blanket of charcoal and soot.

The fire fairies had visited the bush during the colder months with some adult humans to tidy up the forest floor. They tended to small fires amongst the thick leaf litter to stop any big, raging bush fires from hurting the fairy folk, animals and humans during the hot, summer months.

When springtime arrived, the flower children began dancing in the bush. The bold waratah children appeared first and stood proudly, swaying in the breeze; next came the cheeky little mountain devils who frolicked across the forest floor; native iris children arrived one by one and wandered airily around the lomandra bushes; the bright yellow drumstick children laughed and played amongst the fallen bark; finally the timid tea tree flowers flitted gently beneath the big tall gum trees.

In this particular part of the burnt forest, there were some plant children who were still sleeping, curled up in a tight ball near the cool, soft dirt of the forest floor.

Every day, the flower children would dance around the sleeping ones calling:

Little Fern Fairies,

Come our today

Come out to dance with us

Come out to play

Spring time is here and the

world is bright and gay

Little fern fairies

Come out today

(to the tune of The Little Nut Tree)

But still the fern children kept sleeping and the wind would whisper to the flower children:

The Little Fern Fairies

Are waiting for today

They’re waiting for a golden light

to shine their way

Every day the bees would buzz around the sleeping ferns calling:

Little Fern Fairies,

Come our today

Come out to dance with us

Come out to play

Spring time is here and the

world is bright and gay

Little fern fairies

Come out today

But still the fern fairies kept sleeping and the wind would whisper to the busy buzzing bees:

The Little Fern Fairies

Are waiting for today

They’re waiting for a golden light

to shine their way

Everyday the butterflies would flutter around the sleeping fern fronds calling:

Little Fern Fairies,

Come our today

Come out to dance with us

Come out to play

Spring time is here and the

world is bright and gay

Little fern fairies

Come out today

But still the fern fairies kept sleeping and the wind would whisper to the fluttering butterflies:

The Little Fern Fairies

Are waiting for today

They’re waiting for a golden light

to shine their way

Summer finally came to the bush and many of the trees were now wearing a soft green dress and the forest was sprinkled with the subtle colours of the flower children.

Children from bush school came to play among the sleeping fern fronds. There was Stirling, Valentina, Zohara and Finn. Lucas, Cloe, Freya and Marlin. Oola, Haali, Elwood and Damien.

They dug in the mud, climbed trees, wandered through the forest, and crushed up charcoal into ink for painting. They played chasings, listened to the birds high in the trees and searched for foxes in the hollow logs. 

They ran and they jumped and they laughed. And they climbed and they crawled and they wandered. 

And they sang quietly to the fairies:

Little Fern Fairies,

Come our today

Come out to dance with us

Come out to play

Spring time is here and the

world is bright and gay

Little fern fairies

Come out today

But still the fern fairies kept sleeping and the wind whispered to the children playing:

The Little Fern Fairies

Are waiting for today

They’re waiting for a golden light

to shine their way

Finally that special time came, the time when Father sun stretched his light across the land for the longest day of summer. And as Father sun stretched his light past the sleeping fern fairies they woke up. 

Their hearts began to shine in a wonderful golden, green glow and they stretched out their green leaf arms to tickle the hands of the bush children as they ran past laughing and playing.

And they sung:

Little Fern Fairies

We’ve come out today

We came to dance

We came to play

And laugh the day away

Summer is here and the world is bright and gay

Little fern fairies

We love to play!

Copyright Danielle Carey 2018

Leave a Comment