Faeries in the Garden


image by my son
I saw the faeries again today.

Just the tips of their red slippers were

peeping out under the turnips.

Mum says I probably saw raspberries

knocked off the bushes by the 



But, no, these were faeries.

Smaller than gnomes by far,

and with wings.

I could hear them giggling

when I pricked my thumb on a bramble.

Only faeries would be so heartless.

Mum said that was bees droning in the meadow.


I stomped my foot and shouted, “FAERIES!”

She was not pleased at that; I am “Not. To. Shout.”

I had to skip my tea.

Which is what the faeries wanted of course.


Storybook faeries are made of moonlight

and angels’ feathers.

These are lies perpetuated by the real ones

to fool human mortals.

They are excellent at self-promotion.

Actual garden faeries bite. 

I was bitten once.

Mum said it was the biggest mosquito bite she’d ever seen.


It was a faery bite. 

Look closely and you can still see the mark.

Faery bites leave a pock.

Mum says stop picking at it and let it heal.

But, faery marks don’t heal. 

I think they’re permanent. 

An indelible reminder not to underestimate them.


Mum asked me to pick some broad beans on Thursday.

I refused. Those vines are just teeming with faeries.

Mum said faeries were no excuse to disobey.

She huffed out and picked them herself.

I had no dinner.

I think the faeries are trying to starve me.


The best I can do is be diligent.

Carry a fly swatter.

Don’t stick my hands where I can’t see.

Stay on the paths.

Stay off the wall.

And never, ever look under the shed.

Odds are there’ll be faeries there in the shadows.

Mum says that’s the hedgehog rooting around.

She’s wrong.

She’s wrong about a lot of things.

Especially about faeries.

©2020 Lisa Smith Nelson. All Rights Reserved

Linking to Writers' Pantry #45

Writers' Pantry




  1. LOL a charming write
    Happy Sunday

    Thank you for dropping by blog today


  2. I really enjoyed the speaker's voice. And I love, love, love how cleverly this poem tells us so much in what it doesn't say. Relationships between mothers and daughters are difficult, especially when trust is thin, especially when denial and condescension are thick...

    1. So true. I got along with my mother, but think I was more like my father, and got along better with him. That might just be the father/daughter thing though, them being closer.

  3. Oh my, a most delightful faery tale for adults ......

  4. Wheeee! If my Mum (who LOVED great poetry) was still around, I read this to her and she'd totally freak out! As it is, the best I could do was read it to myself and imagine that my Mum (who could always read my mind) could still read my mind, wherever she may be.

    1. Thank you. Yours is the nicest comment I have ever received. Hearing about your mother touched me.

  5. It's a good thing this child is so much more aware than her mother!

    1. These faeries leave the mother alone, so the mother believes her daughter is just being naughty, I think.

  6. I like this! The voice you write in is cute.

    1. Thank you! It just seemed to come out that way, in a little girl I can visualize stomping around!

  7. This was such a delight to read, thank you for that. When young the world is an adventure and imagination runs rife.

    1. Yes, we need more of that imagination in the adults sometimes. Thank you for your kind comments.


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