Library Brownies

In our small town library live two brownies. Their names are Tabitha and Josh. They are very shy, so rarely, if ever, are they seen. They love books and love to care for them. I am told that most, if not all libraries and bookstores – especially used bookstores – have at least two faerie folk in residence. These are mostly brownies, but are sometimes brees, occasionally gnomes and, even more rarely, elves.

By way of thanks to the faerie folk, all they ask is that you respect the libraries and bookstores. Do not misfile or mistreat the books. Be kind to the library and bookstore staff. The faerie folk also ask that if you should ever see them in a library or bookstore, please do not make a big deal of it. Just a cheery wave or a quiet hello is all the faeries ask.

The Visit

A gentleman came to visit me while I was sitting beneath a tree.  I was in a meditative state listening to a hidden bird’s exquisite song and gazing down at the golden carpet of autumn leaves at my feet when I noticed a man standing next to me.  He was a slender man wearing a dark derby hat and his best Sunday frayed dark suit.  The man took off his derby and wiped sweat from his forehead with a white handkerchief.  Replacing his derby upon his head, he asked, “Excuse me, but do you know where I might find Wilma?”

Looking at the man, I surmised he was a spirit due both to his clothing and to the fact that he looked like an old black and white photograph on a beautiful, colorful autumn day.  “She’s not here right now,” I answered, “but you can come back on Halloween night.  Perhaps she will be here then.”

The gentleman again removed his derby and wiped the sweat from his brow with his white handkerchief, before stuffing it into his pants pocket.  He seemed confused at my suggestion.  “Thank you kindly,” he replied, before vanishing.

A gnome man whispered to me, “Poor man.  He still thinks it is summer.  That is when he died so many years ago.”

“Which is why he kept wiping the sweat off his brow,” a gnome woman added.

Patting my shoulder, the gnome man continued, “‘Tis the season, lad, when the veils between the living and the spirit world get awful thin.”

That being said, I almost expected Wilma to appear at any moment.

 

 

Look Again

“Everything is not as it appears, you know.”

“What?” I mumble, somewhat hypnotized by the rippling sunlight reflecting off the churning waters of the stream as it rushes past me.

“Take this narrow stream, for example,” says Tom, a doll-sized Brownie man standing next to me.  “In our realm, this is not a narrow stream, but a wide, roaring river.”

I see then that the stream has become a wide, roaring river, with Brownie and Bree Folk and small Merpeople swimming in its fast moving waters.  Somehow the swimmers avoid being struck by small Faerie boats built of leaf and wood, some with wind-filled sails and others powered by oars, which move quickly in the fast current down the river.

Hearing creaking noises, I look up to see a Gnome family walking behind a two-wheeled cart drawn up the steep hill by a brown and white pony.  The cart is filled with orange pumpkins.  A Gnome man with dark hair and a long dark beard is leading the pony up the hill by reins attached to a collar around the pony’s neck.  I notice there is no bit in the pony’s mouth, but the pony calmly follows behind the Gnome man, moving up the hill with just a simple tug of the reins on its collar.

Behind the cart walk three small children, two blonde-haired little girls and a dark-haired little boy.  Their job appears to be to keep the pumpkins from tumbling out of the cart.  Walking behind the children, I see a beautiful, blonde-haired Gnome woman.  They seem to be aware of my attention, for they all turn and wave at me.  I wave back, and then they vanish.

I find the roaring river has again turned back into a narrow, sunlight-filled stream.  I feel a tug on my pants leg.  Looking down, I see Deirdre, Tom’s lovely wife, smiling up at me.  “I think your human realm is slowly fading away.  Soon, within the next few years, your world will be less real than ours, and humans will have to learn to be happy in our world.  With God’s help, they will manage somehow.”

The wind suddenly blew hard, swirling leaves around me, and Tom and Deirdre were gone.