The Magical Forest at the Bottom of the Hill
Bally Rua is a very special town in the South-East of Ireland. It is the home to Clare Murphy, her next door neighbour and best friend Henry Ryan and the very magical Whitethorn Woods . . .
‘Do you see, Clare,’ said Nana, pointing at the fire. ‘Do you see the little fire sprites dancing?’
Clare felt a shiver run along her back. She knelt on the floor in front of the fire and concentrated. All she could see was the burning log and some soot on the chimney.
‘What’s a fire sprite?’ she whispered.
Nana leaned towards her. ‘Fire sprites are the spirits of the fire. Sprites exist in every natural thing. There are water sprites, plant sprites and tree sprites. They have different names around the world but they are all connected. You might know stone sprites as trolls. Air sprites are known as wind fairies or Sídhe Gaoth.’
Clare nodded. ‘I’ve heard of trolls.’ She looked out the window into her garden. There must be hundreds of sprites out there living side by side. Grass sprites, daisy sprites and dandelion sprites, a cherry tree sprite and several rose sprites. She rubbed absentmindedly at a scratch on her leg.
‘I have a little rhyme,’ said Nana. ‘Would you like to hear it?’
Clare nodded eagerly.
‘A sprite is a magical being,
a pixie, a fairy, an elf,
a thingamajig, a tiddlypush,
tiny or big as yourself.
They come in all shapes and sizes,
every colour, shade, and hue.
Some are radically different.
Some look very much like you.’
Nana’s eyes were twinkling and dancing in the firelight. She looked a little magical herself.
Copyright Nóra Skehan 2015