Nutlidge ~ Chapter Four

Chapter Four

The Enchanted World of Nutlidge

Before they even got outside, a loud flap of wings was heard and a huge golden bird landed on the branch. Sky grinned with delight at the friendly creature. It too was created from a large seedpod with a coral gum head, a long beak and friendly eyes. It had large wings like an albatross, a long fluffy tail, and a topknot feather on its head, something like a peacock.
“Sky, this is one of our beloved Nirds. They help us get around the tree. Come on, up you get; hold on to the feathers here and I’ll sit behind you and Curley can sit in front,” said Malley Gum.
They clambered on as the bird nestled down to let them get seated comfortably. Once they were ready Malley Gum made a funny rattle noise, and the Nirds long wings lifted them up into the air and out through the glistening foliage. It called out letting other traffic know it was coming. It’s call was like a kind of ‘honk’ and it sounded very funny to Sky.
They took off and flew through the boughs and limbs of the tree until they came to the outside and flew around it. Up and up they went, Sky squealing with delight as the wind blew her hair into Malley’s face. Another Nird flew past carrying two more nut people who waved to them, and Sky spotted her first fairy, dressed in blue, ducking back into the foliage. Suddenly, they turned in towards the foliage themselves and headed inward. Up and over and in between branches and limbs they flew! Sky squealed as they went over a bough and under another with swiftness and precision. Curley was grinning from ear to ear as well, hair pushed back with the wind in his face and he laughed loudly too! The Nird slowed down, flying at a speed where they could see things better. Sky notice that there were many types of leaves in this tree, in fact nearly every eucalypt species she was familiar with!
More nutleys could be seen walking and doing things on different branches that criss-crossed their way around the massive tree trunk. Little house fronts were embedded into the trunk, even in between boughs, which consisted of a round-topped door and two large oval openings for windows. They had their own front yards made out of what seemed to be huge shelves of fungi. Great big natural ledges hosted beautiful and varied gardens overflowing like green waterfalls. It was obvious that they were all beautifully kept. There were also spaces for the Nirds to land.
On the first busy branch she saw male and female nutleys attending some tiny plants. They were all grown in large gumnuts and in the holes and crevices along the huge bough. There were many types of plants, some with flowers and some without. Sky supposed it was a nursery.
“This is the trees supply of herbs,” said Malley Gum waving to a friend of his. His friend, a pixie dressed in green, waved back as he watered an area by the tree trunk. “Every single type of herb imaginable is available here amongst these branches. We supply to many nut colonies around Australia, even around the world.”
They flew around the massive trunk, which gave Sky the opportunity to see it properly. It was huge! She also saw her grandmother’s property, and got more of an idea where the tree was situated. She became brave for a moment and put her arms out each side as if flying, and she laughed as she enjoyed the ride.
Sky then saw a few branches that had all different types of fruit growing from the trunk and along the lengthy boughs. The area was manned by a variety of tree folk and included fairies, pixies, birds, insects and gnomes. This was a larger area and they flew through the different branches seeing all tree orchards loaded with fruit. There was a variety of ground hugging fruits also, such as miniature melons and strawberries. All these foods and plants were nurtured from seeds until they were beautifully large and lush; some things such as flowers growing to enormous sizes.
Then they flew close to the tree and the bird settled on a massive bough that didn’t look like a bough at all. It was more like another huge park and right at the tree trunk was a waterfall and a large pool of fresh cold sparkling water. The area was dotted with various tree folk, walking their nutley babies in gumnut prams, feeding the duck folk and the birds that flew in to entertain them. They all hopped off and went wading in the waterfall. The water was cool and refreshing. Sky stood in a shallow section of it looking around herself, in wonder of it all. Frogs hopped their way through the shrubby park where many types of flowers grew; again some buds were springing open before her eyes! Smaller ponds were scattered along the branch, being fed by this main waterfall.
“Oh this is so beautiful,” she sighed, as she watched a huge indigo butterfly flutter above her head and two pale blue fairy children holding on to its wing tails, giggling as they went.
Curley went for a quick dip and then had fun swinging on the large vines around the water hole. Malley Gum washed his face in the chilly liquid and sat on a rock next to Sky. He pulled a tiny cocoon from his cocoon bag and offered her a sweet. She took one, thanking him. It looked just like a hard blob of honey, and was very unusual indeed. First it tasted like carob chocolate, and then honey, then it became fizzy in her mouth and then it melted. The flavour that encompassed her tastebuds was like a very sweet caramel. The look on her face told them she enjoyed every aspect of it.
“Mmm!” She nodded, the taste rolling around her mouth.
“Here, have another one,” offered Malley Gum, and handed one to Curley who threw it up and caught it in his mouth.
“Citridoria Pitt made these,” informed Malley Gum, popping one into his own mouth and taking off his specks for the first time. “She makes sweets and all sorts of lovely things and comes around once a week with her selection. She is well known in the tree for her talent.”
“I can see why,” said Sky, devouring the second one.
“Could I buy some to take home?” Then she realised that she didn’t have anything to buy them with. “Oh, wait, I don’t have any money anyway!”
“Ah, that is one of the things you don’t have to worry about here,” said Malley. “We don’t have a monetary system like you do. We have a share system. Everyone can get what they need and they barter and offer something in return. It is all on a trust basis. We only take what we need and no more. Everyone has something to give, whether it is goods or to help in some way. No one is any richer or poorer than anyone else.”
“That’s wonderful,” said Sky. “You mean I could go to one of these places and get something I would like and not have to pay for it?”
“Certainly, and it always works itself out fairly,” replied Malley. “Come on, let’s go and have a look at the next spot.”
“Yeah! Come on Sky,” said Curley, “let’s go and see some more!” And he hopped on to the Nird that was waiting patiently.
They flew further up the tree until they came to a bough that was busy with nutleys making things.
They had piles and piles of different gumnuts and discarded cocoons, all waiting to be made into something useful. To the left of the piles were bark shelves hosting the finished products. There were cups and plates, bowls and vases made from nuts and nut caps. Bottles of all shapes and sizes were lined up ready to be given away. Sky walked along the shelves and chose a beautiful little jug for her mother. It was a gorgeous shape made from dried gum leaves. She knew her mum would love it.
Up a few branches they went, catching rides with small birds and climbing ladders and steps, until they came to a smaller bough with a food table made from thick bark. On the sunny side of the branch were a number of nutleys and fairies preparing food for passers by. It was an incredible smorgasbord made from every type of edible nut and fruit available. Sky had never seen so many different foods on the one table!
“Are you hungry?” Asked Malley Gum, noticing the look on her face.
“Wow! Can I try some of those things?” She replied.
“Sure! Come on, let’s have a bite.” He said, and showed her where the bowls were. They looked at some different flavoured honeycomb and chose two flavours, and Malley Gum poured them a drink of mixed saps and juice.
Sky ate heartily, enjoying the different flavours of all the tempting dishes before her.
When they had finished they caught another Nird, who dropped them off at a branch that was decked out with chairs and small tables all made from bark and sticks.
Tree folk were flying in and out everywhere. This branch was more popular than the food one. Built into the tree trunk was a large serving window and a door that was closed.
Behind the busy counter was a young female nutley trying to keep up with her visitors.
“Is this a café or something Malley?” Said Sky, sitting down in a funny little chair.
“Well I’m not familiar with the term, but it is where folk come to rest and drink our herbal teas. This is my sister’s home, and she runs it. I help her make the teas and her friends and volunteers help her to serve. It keeps her very busy, but she loves it! We have also established our own nursery further up the branch, for the herbs and other items we need for them.”
“Pop! Can we go see Coral now?” Asked Curley eagerly.
They walked over to the serving bench and passed the crowd awaiting their teas and went through the door next to it.
Malley’s sister had someone relieve her post and came over to join them. The nutley woman was shorter and looked younger than Malley. She had long fluffy hair that drifted around her as she moved and a long ponytail of fluffy hair at the back. She looked at Sky intently, fascinated with this new type of visitor.
“Coral, I’d like you to meet a new friend of mine,” said Malley Gum touching her on the shoulder.
“This is our young human friend, Sky. Sky this is my sister, Coral.”
“Hi!” Said Sky, smiling widely.
“Hello Sky, pleased to meet you. Hi Curley!” She added.
“It looks like you are kept very busy here!” Said Sky.
“Oh yes,” replied Coral, “the teas are part of our day to day life, so we are kept on the ball most of the time.” Coral looked over to the counter to find yet another customer waiting. “Please excuse me, I will be back in a moment.”
“That’s okay,” said Sky, understanding that they were busy.
“I might just give them a hand, I won’t be long,” said Malley, and he left her with Curley, who was getting bored. He had seen all this before and wanted to do something different with Sky.
Suddenly he caught sight of a nutley girl looking for him through the large serving window.
“Oh, my friend Leffel is here. Would you like to meet her?” He said eagerly, and headed for the door, Sky followed him. They met up just outside.
“Hi Curley,” she said gaily. “Want to come to the vines?”
“Yes I’d love to! Leffel, this is our new friend Sky. Sky, this is Leffel.”
“Hi, pleased to meet you.” Said the young nutley.
“Hello.” Replied Sky, feeling rather shy all of a sudden.
“Why don’t you come with us?” Suggested Leffel.
“That would be fantastic!” Agreed Curley, “Come on Sky, we’ll show you where we like to play. It’s really good fun!”
“Well, what about Malley and Coral?”
“It’ll be okay. They’ll know you’re with us,” assured Curley. “C’mon let’s go!”
Sky took off after them, wondering what this playground would be like.
They ran up the bough and out of sight amongst the foliage. Past the large nursery that supplied the shop, they kept running, dodging the odd branch sticking up and jumping over rather large ant lines, they came to what Sky thought was the end of the bough. There were masses of branches laden with leaves and a huge mass of tangled vines hanging down from somewhere above. There wasn’t much sunlight in this area, but it did catch the entangled mass and it looked beautiful. The vines had huge heart shaped leaves and orange trumpet flowers and ripe purple berries hanging all over it.
Curley led the way through the lush vines to an opening where the vines were larger and looked fairly old, and they didn’t have much foliage. There were lots of young nutleys, playing all over them and having a wonderful time, swinging by their tails and flying through the air to the next available branch.
Sky spotted a few fairy children playing with them and three pixies were swinging on a long rope as they went. Amongst the playing children, dragonflies hovered and butterflies fluttered through, taking fairy babies with them. It was a magical picture.
Curley and Leffel took off up one large climbing plant and began to swing like monkeys, from one to another catching up with their friends along the way. Suddenly Sky felt a little inadequate and settled for watching them.
Curley noticed Sky sitting down, and realised that she wasn’t quite equipped to play like they were. He headed back. Leffel saw him and followed, calling her friends to join them.
Sky was suddenly surrounded by lots of little people smiling and looking curiously at the new face.
“Everyone, this is Sky! She’s a human being.”
“A human being what?” Pipped up a tiny fairy girl that stood at her feet.
“No, a human being. That is what they are. Beings that are human.” He tried to explain. “Sky, these are our friends and study buddies!”
“Hi!” She said shyly.
“Where are your wings?” Asked one young fairy boy, playing with his sleeve.
“I don’t have wings,” she replied, “I wish I did though!” She added.
“We can fix that!” Whispered a red haired fairy girl.
She looked about Sky’s age and had blue eyes too. From under one of her skirt petals she pulled out a pretty purple pouch and dug her hand in it. She pulled out a handful of sparkly dust and threw it over Sky.
“Wings for Sky, so she can fly!” Said the fairy girl a little louder, and before they knew it, wings appeared behind Sky’s shoulders. They were beautiful big blue transparent wings, with tiny dark blue tails at the bottom. Sky could hardly feel them but she knew just what to do! As she thought about it, her wings began to flutter until she lifted herself off the ground and flew gracefully into the air.

Nutlidge~ Chapter Six

Chapter Six

The Fairy Glen

Sky awoke the next morning at the crack of dawn.
Nobody had surfaced yet, so she quietly got dressed,
had a wash and ate breakfast. She wore her jeans again
for the climbing of the tree, but remembering the looks
from the nutleys the day before, she took a change of
clothing for when she got there. The old fairy outfit that
she used to dress her Barbie dolls would fit her
perfectly. She put her belongings into a shoulder bag,
cleared away her breakfast and headed for the garden.
It didn’t take her long as she ran most of the way. She
got to the creek and headed across the rocks until she
came to the entrance. Slipping through the vines, she
headed around the tree trunk till she came to the
clearing. Up she went, faster than last time,
remembering all the lumps and bumps of the tree to get
her up there. It took her about twenty minutes to get to
Malley’s bough. She knelt down just on the outskirts of
the garden, puffing from the quick climb. There was
movement inside, so she knocked quietly.
Curley opened the door yawning, but smiled happily
and swung himself around the place when he saw Sky
there.
“Mum! Pop! It’s Sky! She’s come back!” He ran out to
greet her, hopping excitedly all around her. Malley and
Florrel came to the edge of the garden to greet her also.
Florrel was the first one to speak. Dressed in feathers
and silk in a flowing dress and her hair tied up with a
beautiful scarf, she looked lovely.
“Greetings Sky, it is lovely to meet you, Curley
couldn’t stop talking about you last night.”
“Hello Florrel, it’s lovely to meet you too.” said Sky, as
she shook her hand very gently. “You have a beautiful
house, you’re very talented.”
“Oh, well thank you Sky,” replied the nutley lady
blushing. “Perhaps I can show you how to make some of
the things I have done?”
“Oh would you? That could be fun!”
Malley had popped back in quickly to get some
‘Changeabilitea’ for Sky to drink.
“There you go,” he said happily, “get that down you
and then, please, come in.” They left her there to change
her clothing.
Sky thanked them and said she wouldn’t be a
minute. She was careful to take out the fairy outfit from
her bag and place it on the floor as she didn’t want
these things to shrink smaller than what they were…
It didn’t take her long. She hid behind a few giant gum
leaves and with a quick change of size and clothing the
fairy outfit slipped on perfectly! It did fit her well. Once
inside, the family praised her fairy dress, telling her
they couldn’t tell the difference! They laughed their way
through a delicious berry pancake breakfast and had
plenty of gum juice, which was mixed with all sorts of
things.
“We’ll have to pop into the tea garden before we really
look around and go visiting.” said Malley. Coral will be
run off her feet this morning.”
Curley was swinging off everything there was to
swing from, happy as a monkey, with his new friend in
tow. They called in a Nird for their lift to Coral’s place
and off they flew dodging in and out of branches and
foliage and out around the humungous tree. They went
the long way to show Sky the views of the river and the
land around the area. They could see for miles and
miles. Sky was sure she saw her own house out in the
distance.
They passed more Nirds and the odd fairy. Heaps of
birds of all different kinds flew in and out of the tree.
Sky couldn’t see the top of the tree as it was in the
clouds. “Can’t humans see this tree?” she asked, as
they flew. Florrel was in front of her so she answered.
“They can only see what is real to them. Most
humans don’t see the magic, only the logic. Therefore
they can only see what they think they can see, which in
this case, is an average sized tree. Those who manage to
go beyond the logic can see and experience all sorts of
magical wonders. Just like you are Sky! Look where
your intuition has brought you! Enjoy it my dear!” she
said knowingly as they flew back swiftly into the tree.
They went through some hanging vines, across a
mossy edged creek, over a roadway of sorts. Many
different kinds of folk were using lots of different types
of transport. It was obviously a gathering place for
meeting up with family friends and acquaintances.
They landed near the main entrance to the tree
trunk. There was a large, round-topped gateway that
had a huge sign above it saying ‘Welcome to Nutlidge!’
The massive bough was like a huge park, lush and
colourful. Nutleys, fairies, gnomes and many others
who resided in the tree were flying in on birds, floating
in on fluffy seeds, walking or riding in. Some sat with
drinks at picnics, some played with friends, and some
talked to the birds and animals that helped them to get
around the tree. Florrel explained to her that inside the
trunk was the museum, the art gallery, and the peoples’
gathering chambers. Further up the trunk was the
home of Lord Nutwood and his beloved Lady Acacia
Nutley, the descendants of the founders of the tree,
which was some twenty thousand years ago.
Malley Gum picked up a large cocoon full of some
kind of yellow powder and hopped back on the bird.
They got to their tea garden just in time as Coral was
getting frightfully behind. Florrel and Malley chipped in
and Sky cleared the tables of used nut cups. Goblins
and witches, fairies and gnomes, frogs, grasshoppers,
birds, lizards and mice came to the store to get either a
cup of tea, or some tea to take home and brew. They
also had light snacks such as bottlebrush seeds,
crushed almonds and sesame seeds to munch on. A few
mixtures needed to be made up, so Malley Gum was
busy chopping while Coral and Florrel served the busy
crowd.
“A bag of Masculinitea, thank you.” said a doormouse
lady, to Florrel. Coral was bagging up some Popularitea
for a small feeble looking elf. An old frog, wearing a
brimmed hat with a feather sticking out came up with a
walking stick and asked for a cup of Flexabilitea. A
young nutley fellow bought Possibilitea, Invisibilitea,
Spontineitea and Posteritea, while another elf asked for
Availabilitea and Qualitea. They often left something on
the counter for Coral, whether it be flowers, fruit, or
gems. People bartered with whatever they had. One
fairy organised with Coral to do some work in the herb
garden in lieu of her goods.
Raw herbs were also greatly sought after. Things like
wild oat for strengthening intuition and trust, mamalis
for erasing fear, chicory for self-love, wild rose for inner
freedom and hornbeam for when one is feeling insecure.
Lavender was used for just about anything.
Sky was fascinated with all of this and remembered
as much as she could while she collected the cups and
wiped the tables. It was flat out for about an hour in
Sky’s estimation and then it quietened down. Florrel
insisted she take Sky around the tree to do some
shopping.
Now that was fun!
Florrel took Sky to where the best fairy clothing
shops were. “I just know you’ll love this Sky. I have a
friend just around the corner I’d like you to meet. Her
name is Yellow Flower, but I just wanted to show this to
you first.”
They walked down a lengthy path covered in moss.
Flowers were everywhere, as were little ponds with fish
and tadpoles. There were shrubs and grasses and
bonsai trees lining the way amongst the mushrooms
and butterfly flowers. They came to a large area full of
rock pools and mossy sitting areas. An array of food was
laid out on leaves, a grasshopper and a lizard played
music and there was a huge punch bowl amongst a
smorgasbord of delicious fruits, nuts and berries.
Fairies danced and flew about. Some sat and talked to
their fairy and pixie friends and played on swings
covered in vine. Birds were patted and butterflies came
in to chat and to drink from the ponds of crystal clear
water.
There were fairies of all shapes and sizes, dressed in
all types of flower, petal and feather dresses. Some
looked as though their skirts were almost luminous, as
they floated around them when they flew or just
fluttered around the place. The area was decorated with
huge blue bells hanging down over their ponds. It was
so beautiful!
“This is wonderful! I’m so glad I am dressed for this!”
she said, and patted her fairy skirt down and touched
her hair to make sure it wasn’t too messy.
They walked around taking in the festivities of all the
fairy folk, elves and pixies. It was so entertaining and
enchanting. Florrel said hello to a few people there,
introducing Sky to them. They mingled for a while
meeting more fairies and a pixie friend called Chinebie.
He was a tall lanky fellow with a floppy hat and a long
bowed pointy nose. He had a cheeky grin and Sky liked
him very much.
Another group of fairies and pixies were introduced to
Sky, and she didn’t know what to say at first. It was a
bit like a party but more casual. There was a lot of
chatter going on between them all, fairies talking about
things like herbs and fabrics, fairy babies and home
talk. This was a gathering place and they all had their
own little huts in the trees foliage. Florrel looked up and
high up above were what looked like hanging nests.
They were made from laced leaves, bark, and other
such things and they were decorated with spider web
nets and pretty things that they collected, that hung
down like droplets of jewels.
Sky was in awe of this. Fairy houses! Not in amongst
roots, but in their own little cocoon type clusters.
Fairies and pixies flew to and from their fairy glen to
check their fairy babies and other such things.
“I’ll arrange for you to visit one some time Sky.” said
Florrel, watching her friend’s delightful expression.
Florrel made her way through the garden and showed
her where the fairy’s clothing could be acquired. She
helped her to pick out two beautiful fairy dresses. One
was made from pink rose petals and the other from a
jacaranda flowers. They were both lavished with trails
of hand painted silk and magical fibres. Jewelled
bodices and touches of sparkly beads decorated the
already gorgeous outfits. Sky decided to wear the rose
dress. Florrel helped her with her hair and put some
flowers in it to match. She looked beautiful, and Sky
wished her mother could see her now! The next thing
they got was a pair of fairy slippers for her. They were
also beautiful, beaded with jewels and feathers.
The both of them walked around for a while looking
closely at all the wares that the fairies had on offer. The
jewelry was wide and varied, but all colourful and
unique. She chose herself a ring made from a curly vine.
The picture it created was a beautiful decorated heart,
and she chose another one for her mother. This one
looked like a flower with curly touches. She couldn’t
wait to give that to her mum when she saw her next.
Baize loved chokers, so Sky chose a stunning carved
Staurolite, which Florrel informed her was often called
the Fairy Stone, strengthening ones faith in the unseen,
it healed emotions and was worn to shield oneself from
fear. She had that wrapped in a piece of red paper bark
and tied with a curly length of vine.
Then they came across some coloured silk that was
also exquisitely hand painted. She thought of her
grandmother and the crystal ball she loved so much. It
would make the perfect bag for it. She chose a purple
one with bright orange curly, exquisitely patterned
vines with curly ends. A gumnut blossom was splashed
in the corner.
Her thoughts drifted off to her mother and Baize, and
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wondered how they were. Tommo went through her
mind also and she wondered how he was going. Was he
still alive? Sky went and chose a beautiful bunch of
mixed flowers for Florrel, who thought they were just
divine, and a new crystal pestle and mortar for Malley.
She had noticed earlier on at the café that his favourite
one had been broken, and she had them gift wrapped in
jacaranda flowers.
She watched quietly at the different age groups
chatting, from the elderly to the very young. They were
beautifully dressed no matter what age they were. Sky
found herself looking at some of the fairy males that
looked about her age.
There was one young fairy boy that had long blonde
hair and was dressed in a tight fitting purple outfit with
a pointy hat, and pointy laced boots that curled slightly
at the end. The fairy boy noticed that she was staring at
him and went bright red. His ears turned an even
brighter red and he looked like he didn’t know where to
put himself for a moment.
Florrel made a comment and took Sky’s attention
away, about a couple of fairies that looked sad.
“It’s very unusual for fairies to look sad you know. I
must tell Yellow Flower this when we get there, she
might know something about it. Come,” she said gently,
“we shall go and see Yellow Flower.”
Sky left the fairy glen with Florrel, and looked behind
her at the gathering of fairies and pixies once more. She
couldn’t help noticing the blonde fairy boy again, and as
they left a taller fairy male walked up to him and said
something. They both looked at Sky as she walked out
of the garden.

Nutlidge ~ Chapter Seven…

Nutlidge

Chapter Seven…

A Golden Meeting

They walked back down the path chatting about all they had seen and walked up another bough before they came to a garden. The garden was very quaint and magical looking. Crystals hanging from bushes caught her eye and chimes rang, leaving lovely sounds to follow them down the path.
There were sculptures everywhere in amongst the moss and flowers. Ponds trickled with small waterfalls attracting brightly colourful birds. The air was fragrant and the closer they got to the house in the tree trunk the more they heard music.
As they walked Sky could hear a piano playing softly.
“Is that Yellow Flower playing that music?” she asked Florrel.
“Yes it is. Isn’t it lovely? She plays all sorts of instruments. She sings and writes and is very artistic. Just wait until you see her house! I know you’ll just love her.”
They came to the fairy’s front door and rang the bells that hung outside the doorway. Sky thought they were the most magical bells she had ever heard! The music came to a stop quite nicely and the door opened.
A lovely fairy, bright and vibrant stepped out to greet her visitors. She was tall and wore a gorgeous dress made of silk threads, that were soft and flowing and she had tiny flowers in her bodice. The fairy’s golden locks floated around her as if weightless, moving like a slow river around her head. It was long and thick and glittered in the sun like spun gold.
“Florrel, how lovely! I was just about to put some juice in a jug and find a nice spot in the garden to have lunch.”
“Hello my friend, how are you?” replied Florrel, as she gave her a peck on the cheek and a warm hug.
“This is our new friend Sky. She has come all the way from ‘The Garden’ to visit us. Sky, this is my friend Yellow Flower.”
Sky and Yellow Flower’s eyes met and they shook hands warmly, instantly liking each other.
“Hello.” Sky said, feeling like she was meeting someone very special.
“Well Sky, it is lovely to meet you. Please, come in.” And the golden fairy showed the way into her beautiful house.
Sky’s breath was taken away when she saw all the pieces of art around the living room and the way Yellow Flower had decorated her house. The lounge chairs were made of beautiful golden silk cocoons, decorated with colourful silk hand painted cushions. The little tables alongside each one was a decorated gumnut with a stand and a polished piece of bark on top with all the patterns accentuated by beautifully painted outlines.
Her floor mats were discarded butterfly wings and her grand piano was covered with colourful picture frames with favourite people painted within them. Pictures on the walls were all unique, painted or made by Yellow Flower herself. She ushered them to sit for a moment in the chairs while she finished making the juice. This gave Sky more time to finish looking at all the treasures around the room. There were handmade spider webs in the corners hanging up and decorated with crystal beads. Herbs and flowers hung dry from the ceiling, ready to use, and curtains made from silk to match the chairs, flowed in the breeze.
There were beautiful things made from crystals hanging all over the place, trinkets and spiritual tools such as a crystal ball, magic wand with a diamond star and unique statues filled shelves. Everywhere you looked; there was something unique to look at.
She came flowing back in and suggested that they perhaps sit in the bay window. She led the way, and they sat in a very pretty area adorned with ferns and plants that looked out over the tree. The sun was trickling in and it made a lovely spot to chat. Yellow flower poured a juice for all of them.
Sky couldn’t wait to say what she felt.
“You have a beautiful house Yellow Flower. You must love living here amongst all this beautiful artwork. And your garden is so pretty!”
“Oh, why thank you Sky. That’s very kind of you. I do enjoy what I do and I get a lot of satisfaction seeing a painting go to a good home.” she replied, and held her hand out elegantly as if to be receiving something, and the tray of cookies she had made that were still in the food preparation area, came sailing through the door and gently into her hand. “So what brings you up this way my enchanted friend?” she said happily, and handed her a cookie.
Sky had watched the plate of cookies fly in slowly and had an expression of sheer delight as she took one. “Well, I was playing in my grandma’s cottage when a Raven began talking to me and I followed it to the tree. I couldn’t resist climbing it, and I met Malley Gum and his son Curley and of course Florrel. I just think it’s wild that you’ve all been here so long and no-one knows!”
Yellow Flower smiled. “Ah, one day, humans will be awake enough to see many things which for now avoid the sleeping eye. It is only people such as you, that allow themselves to see the beauty outside of logical reality. You are obviously a gifted child, I can see that.”
Sky beamed and felt her cheeks redden. She wondered if she was really awake or if she was going to wake up in her bed soon. She pinched herself again just to make sure. She jumped from the pain of it and decided it must be real.
Yellow Flower noticed and said, “You still think you are dreaming Sky? Why allow your logical thoughts to spoil such an adventure?”
Sky looked at her and smiled timidly. Yellow Flower looked deeply at her. Then she frowned, “Why Sky, you are very worried about something, is it someone close to you?”
Sky looked at her. Her mother and her grandmother did this a lot too. They always seemed to know what she was feeling.
“Well, yes actually, I am a little worried about my brother Baize. His best mate was hurt very badly in the bombing in Bali. I’m not sure how Tommo is, I haven’t heard anything.”
Yellow Flower stared into her face as though looking through her and then said, “The young man is still alive. He is very ill though, badly burned and has deep wounds. But it will be his emotional scars that haunt him. However, you have acquired a crystal. It is a carved Staurolite and it is to be passed onto this one who is sick.”
“But I got it for Baize.” said Sky, trying to understand.
“It shall pass through Baizes hands and he will pass it on. You may not have to say anything. This will help the man to heal. It will be activated by the love between the two friends. It is a very sad thing this human aggression. I was talking to Elm about it only yesterday. He had some things he wanted to discuss with me. He wants to talk about what is happening in the tree.”
Florrel remembered what she had seen in the fairy glen.
“Yes, there seems to be something happening. Two fairies in the glen were looking extremely sad.”
“That’s unusual,” said the gold fairy with a concerned look upon her face. “Oh I do hope Elm calls in soon.”
Trying to lift the energy a little, Florrel poured another drink.
“How’s your bathing room going?” she said, “Last time I was here, you had just decided to pull out your old bathing pod to put a new one in. Has it been done yet?”
“Oh it is going fine! A little slow, but fine. All the rest has been done. I’m just waiting on the new bathing pod from Queensland! Actually by my calculations, it should be here by this afternoon. I can’t wait to soak in a crystal and herb bath again; I’ve missed it terribly! Not to worry,” she stated, handing the cookie plate around again, “It will be here soon enough!” With that she stood up and went over to her writing desk. As she approached it, she seemed to stare at the wall for a moment before grabbing onto the writing desk to steady herself.
“Holy webs!” she said quietly.
“Are you alright dear?” said Florrel, standing up to catch her if she fell.
“Well I’m not sure.” she said, with an uncertain look on her face. It was as if I lacked energy for a moment there. I’m sure I’ll be alright,” she said, still holding on to the desk.
“By the way Florrel, Elm said he was popping in today if you would like to catch up with him.”
“That would be nice. Malley is at the tea garden. I could send for him to come when…”
Before she could finish what she was saying there was a knock at the door.
“Well, that must be Elm!” said Yellow Flower, and went to the door, to find, not Elm the wizard, but a very tall nut man. He wasn’t from around the tree; that was obvious. He was created from a huge blackbean seedpod, which was quite bulbous in two places and his head was a blackbean seed with a funny nose. He had strong, lanky legs, long arms and huge feet. His hair was floaty, and there was lots of it, and he had tied it into a ponytail at the back. He wore a pair of overalls made from brownish leaves and had a huge stick cocoon for a shoulder bag. His short tail curled up slightly, protruding from his overalls.
“G’day!” he said happily, his voice deep and friendly. “Me name’s Blacko!” And he shook her hand in a business like manner. “I do believe I have something you have been waiting patiently for, you being, Yellow Flower?”
“Yes! My bathing pod! Oh Blacko! Welcome! You must have had a long journey.” she replied, leading him to a place in the garden where he could sit comfortably. Florrel and Sky heard the conversation and came out to see the new pod and the man who was delivering it.
They were introduced and sat on the mushrooms around the garden table as Florrel poured Blacko a drink.
“Actually it was a much longer journey than I expected. All sorts of things went wrong on the way, hey! My transport Albatross got cut short. The poor old dear got crook on the way from New South Wales from the pollution! I had to get another one for all the gear I had to deliver. I had a large boat in amongst the load also and it took me a day, but I found some help and got it loaded again. Then there was a freak storm, and I lost one of the bathing pods!”
“No! You poor thing!” said Yellow Flower, sympathising with him.
“But it’s all right; it was only a sample anyway. I have yours right near the garden gate.”
Yellow Flower smiled at him in anticipation, but continued the conversation to allow Blacko to finish his drink.
“So how are things in your part of Australia Blacko?” she asked.
“Pretty good. Can’t complain, they keep me busy and that’s how I like it. Hey! I tell you what. Something big is happening in the forests in Queensland though! The energy has dropped considerably, nature folk are losing their powers, animals are getting sick and frogs are disappearing! So I guess things aren’t so good environmentally.”
“Oh how awful!” the three ladies all said together in horror.
“Yeah!” he said, casually nodding his head. “It’s not looking good. They’re chopping down the forests faster than we can move our people! It’s getting really difficult. There is a conference to talk about the situation if any of your folk want to join in. I guess we could do with as much help as we can get!”
He took a long well earned drink out of his large gumnut mug.
“Oh yes, well I would definitely be interested in that!” replied Yellow Flower, wide eyed. “Perhaps once we have the bathing pod inside, we can talk about the matter further.”
“No worries there. I’ll just go back and grab it, you make sure there’s a space for me to put it down and we’re right.” He got up and headed for the garden gate.
Yellow Flower was excited about her bathing pod, but more concerned with what was happening to the Nutleys and folk of the trees. She was hearing more and more things that weren’t really supposed to be happening, and she herself felt way out of whack. There was definitely something unusual going on.
Sky was horrified to hear what her fellow humans were doing all in the name of money. It was obviously hurting the people of the trees far more than even they realised. Not to mention the damage caused by the loss of forests everywhere! ‘It’s so silly,’ she thought as she looked at these magnificent creations of life, ‘to think that they are destroying the air that keeps us alive and yet they manage to allow it to happen. What happens when they’ve cut the last tree down? What then?’ She stared at the floor almost in shame, thinking about the consequences of people’s ignorant actions.
Before they took another step, a rumble was heard and they watched a cup on the table wobble slightly.
Suddenly, the whole place shook around them. Pots fell over, leaves and nuts showered them all and birds took off with fright from the foliage. They all fell about losing their balance, ending up on the floor. Then just as suddenly as it had begun, it stopped, leaving them all shaken and bewildered.