by Susan Bruck
“Blessings on our good lunch!”
“Oh, no, not soup again.”
“Santiago, this is magic soup. It’s made from the vegetables from our garden.”
“Yuck! I don’t like it. Besides, there’s no such thing as magic.”
Mama just smiled and hummed a little tune as she went to get her bowl of soup.
Santi liked working at the community garden, well except for seeing old Mr. Kelly who always pinched his cheek. But he didn’t want soup. He watched the steam rise from the bowl. Then he looked again. Something else was moving. A fairy, orange with feathery green hair, sat on his spoon, fanning herself with her wings.
“Hi,” she said. “I’m a carrot fairy.”
“Do you know what kind of magic made your vegetables grow? It takes a whole community to make a garden.”
“I know all about that. We go to the community garden. There’s lots of people there.”
“True. It takes lots of people, but there are lots of other beings who helped your garden grow. Like me and some other fairies, and the gnomes, too, of course.”
“Come on, I’ll show you. We’ll go back to spring.”
“But my mom…” said Santi.
“She won’t even know we’re gone. We’ll go in fairy time and be back in the blink of an eye. Come on! It’ll be fun. I promise.”
“Um…ok….I guess,” said Santiago.
Then he was in the garden, but it wasn’t fall anymore. It was the end of winter. The lot where the gardens were now was filled with trash and bricks left from the hotel that had been torn down. He looked more closely and saw gnomes sitting around a fire and roasting marshmallows. They looked sad and dirty.
Then there were lots of people there. Santi and his mom weren’t there yet, but lots of others came. They picked up the bricks and trash. The gnomes cheered, although the people didn’t seem to notice. The gnomes ran helped loosen bricks that were stuck in the dirt and pushed pieces of trash so the people saw them. When the people left, the gnomes danced around the empty lot.
Next came two big trucks. One had a lot of dirt and the other had wood and other stuff to build the garden beds. The gnomes danced some more, then grabbed their shovels and started digging.
“Look more closely,” whispered the carrot fairy. Santi was startled. He had forgotten she was there. When he looked again, he saw that the gnomes putting their shovels into sacks and what looked like glitter was flew all over the garden.
“The magic is starting,” said Carrot Fairy.
Santi remembered the next part. He had helped build the garden beds. He even got to pound in some nails. He saw old Mr. Kelly winking at one of the gnomes who was sprinkling the glittery stuff on the dirt he was putting into his bed. It was right next to Santi’s. The gnome winked back. Santi had been right next to them, but never saw a gnome.
TO BE CONTINUED….
Strangely (or not) this story was inspired by a workshop I took at the SCBWI conference on writing non-fiction. When I started it, I thought it would be a story about all the vegetables in a pot of vegetable soup and where they came from. I may still try that, but this fairy wanted to be in the story, and I never could resist a good fairy. So here it is–at least the beginning of it.
In our EC classrooms, we make vegetable soup with the children every week. The children help chop/tear the veggies. It’s always delicious. Maybe it is magic!
Thanks for stopping by!