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A Magical Place

Amethyst Lane lies smack in the middle of a bustling metropolitan city. It is small and so easily overlooked that it might as well be invisible.  The  quiet, tree lined street holds a few gracious homes from decades ago.  It dead ends into a footpath that leads to a tiny shabby house with meandering, overgrown gardens.  This is the house we are most interested in. Oddly, what seems to thrive there now are ferns, mosses, and gourds.  Gourd vines cover broken down fences, rocks, shrubs;  growing profusely into the trees and reaching for the sky.  Gourds, in all stages of life, hang as if they are carefully tended.  For one who is still attune to magic, the space nearly pulsates with life and mystery.  Hidden by the overgrown trail, it’s a haven for lost and wild animals. The old couple who recently moved into the house delights in cultivating their haven, feeding all critters who stopped by.  On any given day one might see opossums, raccoons, deer, groundhogs, foxes, even feral cats and stray dogs sleeping or hunting in the dappled sunlight.  And the birds!  So many birds! Birds of all sorts; cardinals, wrens, swallows, blue jays, doves, finches, hummingbirds.  The list goes on.  The point is, all creatures are welcomed as friends by the old couple . 


Even though it was rumored to be haunted, the property beckoned to them and the decision was made to purchase it.  As they open their hearts to the assorted critters it took only a short time for trust to build between them.  Dede and Davey, as the humans are called, suspect other woodland creatures live in their “garden” too and find they discuss that possibility more and more frequently. "Do you think that's possible, Dede whispered to Davey as she brushed back the coarse gray hair from her eyes.  I used to hear stories as a child but not for many years now."  She wiped her glasses with her sleeve and, bending down, put them on to get a closer look at the gourds.  Davey replied "Not likely.  Just the wild critters, I'd say." And then he chuckled, perhaps they're little gourdlings, or elves or fairies, you know.  Could be.  If there are such things, they would find you for sure."  His weathered, tanned face crinkled up in a big smile.  His unruly beard nearly matched Dede's wild hair in color and texture.  They were quite the pair.  Free spirits, gentle people, trusting souls, who laughed their way through life.  "Best not to take life too seriously" was Davey's philosophy.  It's mighty important to find something to laugh about each day.  In today's world, filled with strife and uncertainty, there was nothing ordinary about them at all.

Maybe it was just their desire for magic, or maybe it was real, but odd things began happening in their little haven. Dry, cracked gourds are found nestled under bushes or old logs.  Upon closer inspection, they seemed to have door and window like openings. Some were simply empty but curiously some were hollowed out with smooth inner walls, carefully positioned in locations protected from the weather. Occasionally pieces of twigs and gourds were intertwined inside them, forming what looked like tiny tables and chairs.  Furniture? Or was it just their imaginations?   Odd bark pieces or old rags were seen stretched on the ground like rugs or strung together thru openings in the overgrowth, like walkways.  Often tiny flowers surrounded the gourds as if they were planted. But if there really are gourdlings, they are very clever and quick, for although the old couple has started a watch, so far there's been nothing to see. Still, they wondered….

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