Short Stories

A Blueberry Fairy Tale

   One hot July day, Bluey ,the blueberry fairy and her firefly friends were resting in her favourite spot overlooking Lake 

Wahnapitae.  She and her friends had been busy all night turning white berries into tasty blueberries.  This was a very big task as they had a large area to cover in the Sudbury District.

  All around her were bushes and bushes of these big juicy blueberries.    She could see many people picking berries.

They would be making jams,pies,and jellies.  Some would be making wine to enjoy during the winter too.  In one valley there  there were several bears families eating to their hearts' content.

   Suddenly Bluey heard a lot of shouting and yelling.  Flying in the direction of the noise,she saw a small bear being chased by some people.  Bluey called to the bear,Come,follow me."  She lead the little bear to a safe place away from the people.

"What happened?" she asked the bear.

"Well, I love blueberries and was just sitting quietly eating them when these people found me and chased me away. I wasn't hurting anybody."explained the bear.

"Why weren't you down in Hidden Valley with the other bears?"inquired Bluey.

"The other bears chased me too.  I'm an orphan,so no one wants me." cried the little bear.

"Well, we must do something about this."said Bluey. "Perhaps the Queen Fairy will help out.

Bluey closed her eyes and chanted," Queen Fairy, please help me. Grant me this wish.  Change this little bear into a cute cuddly blue bear that everyone will love."

  She bowed her head and waited.   When she opened her eyes, she found a cute cuddly blue fuzzy bear standing there. "Now you'll be safe."she said."No one will be frightened if they see you."

When the little blue bear settled down, happy in a blueberry patch,Bluey had a great idea. :We should celebrate this season.We need to have a big party."  So Bluey flew down to the people who were picking in the area.  She recognized Peter Wong in the group.

Bluey flew up to him.  "Mayor Wong,I think this area should celebrate this great fruit that everybody loves.  Let us call it "The Blueberry Festival."

  Mr. Wong thought that was a splendid idea. but it needed a mascot- so Bluey brought forth the little blue bear "here's your mascot" - and that's how with Blueberry Festival came to be along with the Blueberry Bear.  

SS1 Adult

Sticks and Spouts

            My 15 year-old daughter was seated next to her mother on the couch, each of them with cell phones in hand, scrolling through social media as if their very lives depended on it.

            I stood at the kitchen sink filling a modern kettle for a well-deserved hot cocoa, plugged it in, and reached for cups from the cupboard.  “How about a hot chocolate?” I asked from afar.

            “Sure.” She could never resist a warm drink on a cool night – as long as dad is making it, of course. She paused a moment. “Can I ask a dumb question?”

            Uh-oh. Here we go.

            Over the years, I’ve fielded some tough questions about how to make S’mores, what happened to the power after a rainstorm’s lightning strike, and what the heck a butter-tart was when one was placed in her hand for the first time. I braced myself, “Ok, shoot.”

            “How do you get the water in the kettle?”

Tonight my not so little girl asked me something most people had already figured out by the age of six. I didn’t reply right away as I fought the urge to laugh, and even gave her mom ample time to answer; instead her mother sat in silent disbelief, still learning about whatever controversy was popular at the time.

            “The kettle is already filled at the store,” I began, “You take it home, boil your water, and fill your cup. Visit the store for a new kettle when it’s empty.” I half expected a chuckle, but nobody likes my jokes.

            “I’m not stupid. Mom, tell me how to get the water in the kettle.”

            She finally voiced what I had been thinking, “Are you for real?!”

            “Grandma’s kettle has a lid that opens, but ours’ doesn’t,” the teen explained. “I said it was a dumb question, so stop teasing.”

            “You’re not my daughter!” mommy exclaimed, “They must have switched bassinets at the hospital.” Our flesh and blood pooched out her bottom lip and managed a furrowed brow.

We had our fun, so I decided to clear the air. “You know that water comes out the spout, so why can’t water go in the same spout?”

Eyes brightened filling with understanding, and a smile appeared. Suddenly her world made sense again. “Oh, I get it now.”

Her mother wasn’t quite so ready to let it go. “Are you for real??”

And before she heard an answer to that, I suggested it may be for the best that mommy explain the birds & the bees to her lest the stick turn blue before she’s ready.

“What stick? What blue stick is he talking about?”

Uh-oh. Here we go again.

 The End

SS2 - Adult

 

The Donut Fairy
 
Once upon a time there was a fairy
who came and grew blueberries in 
our backyard.  
 
He went in a room and added a little
note and it was two notes and one 
butterfly.
 
Then he made a blueberry donut and
he invited friends over and they ate 
what he made.
 
They thinked it was good and yummy.

SS 3 - Child

THE BLUEBERRY BANDIT 

 

Once there were two little bunnies who wanted to pick the perfect blueberries.  Once they picked all the blueberries they needed, they washed them at their house and set them outside to dry.  When they came back to check on their blueberries, they were gone!  They thought to themselves, “who would do such a thing”? 

One of the little bunnies had a detective kit.  They decided to use the kit.  They searched for clues.  Later, they found a strand of hair that was the colour of salt and pepper, a blueberry, and a footprint. 

They put all the evidence together and started researching about animals that have salt and pepper coloured hair.  The only forest animals that have salt and pepper coloured hair would be a possum, a mouse, or themselves. 

They knew that they didn’t do it, so it was either the possum family or the mouse family.  The blueberry that they found had a fingerprint on it.  They couldn’t tell if it was a possum fingerprint, or a mouse fingerprint.  Their last clue that they had was a footprint.  It was a mouse print!  They just found their culprit! 

When they got to their house, they knocked on the mouse family door.  It was a small door that had beautiful blue flowers decorating their house.  Once the mouse family answered the door, they saw the smallest mouse with blue blueberries all over his face.  They asked if he did it, and he said he “was really sorry, and he didn’t know it was their blueberries”. 

He also said “is there anything I can do to make it up to you?”  The little bunnies were going to pick some more of their perfect blueberries, so they said “do you want to come and pick some blueberries with us?”.  The little mouse agreed.  When they got back, they had handfuls of blueberries that could last them the whole winter. 

After that, the mouse and the bunny family found out that they were neighbours, so they shared all their food with each other for the whole winter, and did that for each year that passed. 

SS4 - Child

 

Our Secret

Grandpa always knew the best spot to pick blueberries.

It was our little secret. If we walked down the trail to camp, combed through the trees to our left, and then took a sharp right turn, there it was in all its glory. The blueberries tasted fresher when they came from our spot. That’s what Grandpa always said.

The second we’d roll up to camp every summer, I’d unbuckle my seatbelt and shout, “Grandpa, let’s go berry picking!”

He’d always chuckle as he put the car in park. “Hold on sweetheart. Let us get settled first.”

“How long will it take?”

“Hmm. Let’s say half an hour.”

It was a reasonable timeframe, and we always stuck to it. We’d spend the whole afternoon in the simmering heat, plucking the berries from the branches and returning to camp with our bowls full. Sometimes, we’d make it a competition to see who could pick the most blueberries in twenty minutes. I usually won.

“You only won because I’m old and slow,” Grandpa would say, and I’d laugh. “If I was thirty years younger, I’d have you beat.”

“Nah. I’ll always win.”

As the years passed and we grew older, I began to appreciate our alone time together. Grandpa started to get sick more often, and the summer I was seventeen, he didn’t think he’d have the energy to go camping. But Mom and I insisted. “It’s tradition!” I said.

“I know it’s hard, but you won’t regret coming with us,” said Mom.

Grandpa sat up in his chair. “Fine. I guess I’ll come. But this will probably be my last camping trip.”

Mom and I gasped in unison. “Don’t say that!” I cried.

“I know it’s hard for you to hear, but my sickness won’t get better.”

I shrugged it off, and two weeks later, we were in the car bound for camp. The dirt road seemed to last forever as we kicked up great clouds of dust. Grandpa was napping in the passenger seat when we arrived, and I shook him awake. “So, what do you say we go blueberry picking?”

He grunted. “Right now?”

“Yes. We always go blueberry picking as soon as we get here.”

He sighed. “Okay. But we’ll have to be quick.”

The trail to our secret blueberry picking spot was a lot shorter than I remembered it being. We arrived in five minutes, buckets in hand, ready to take on the challenge of finding the tastiest blueberries. We were silent for a few moments as we focused on the task at hand, staining our fingers a dark purple. “Sweetheart, what I said earlier was true,” Grandpa said suddenly, his voice strained.

I paused, furrowing my brow. “What are you talking about?”

“My illness. It really won’t get better. I don’t have much time left. Even the simple action of picking blueberries is painful.”

My eyes watered. “But the doctors can take care of you. You don’t have to live in pain.”

“I wish it was that easy. But this is really my last camping trip. I’m too far gone.”

He reached down to the bushes and winced. A surge of sympathy coursed through me, and I bent down to help him. “Here. I’ll help you fill your bowl, and then we can head back to camp.”

We spent the next twenty minutes picking blueberries, and I filled Grandpa’s bowl with the biggest blueberries I could find. A part of me understood the truth in his words, but at the same time I didn’t want to believe they were real. I needed to soak in the moment while I was in it, because it was probably the last time we’d ever pick blueberries together.

When our bowls were full and the blazing summer sun became overwhelming, we decided to leave. We walked hand-in-hand down the narrow trail, and I reminded myself to take my time, to match Grandpa’s slowing pace. I held back a river of tears when the trail ended, and our favourite spot was out of sight. Grandpa turned to face me, and he patted me on the back. “Thank you,” he said.

“Thank you for what?”

“For making this day enjoyable. I’m really glad I decided to come to camp this weekend.”

I smiled. “Any time, Grandpa.”

Grandpa had been right. When the weekend was over and we returned home, he drew his final breath in his favourite living room recliner.

Grandpa always knew the best spot to pick blueberries.

It was our little secret. If we walked down the trail to camp, combed through the trees to our left, and then took a sharp right turn, there it was in all its glory. The blueberries tasted fresher when they came from our spot. That’s what Grandpa always said.

The second we’d roll up to camp every summer, I’d unbuckle my seatbelt and shout, “Grandpa, let’s go berry picking!”

He’d always chuckle as he put the car in park. “Hold on sweetheart. Let us get settled first.”

“How long will it take?”

“Hmm. Let’s say half an hour.”

It was a reasonable timeframe, and we always stuck to it. We’d spend the whole afternoon in the simmering heat, plucking the berries from the branches and returning to camp with our bowls full. Sometimes, we’d make it a competition to see who could pick the most blueberries in twenty minutes. I usually won.

“You only won because I’m old and slow,” Grandpa would say, and I’d laugh. “If I was thirty years younger, I’d have you beat.”

“Nah. I’ll always win.”

As the years passed and we grew older, I began to appreciate our alone time together. Grandpa started to get sick more often, and the summer I was seventeen, he didn’t think he’d have the energy to go camping. But Mom and I insisted. “It’s tradition!” I said.

“I know it’s hard, but you won’t regret coming with us,” said Mom.

Grandpa sat up in his chair. “Fine. I guess I’ll come. But this will probably be my last camping trip.”

Mom and I gasped in unison. “Don’t say that!” I cried.

“I know it’s hard for you to hear, but my sickness won’t get better.”

I shrugged it off, and two weeks later, we were in the car bound for camp. The dirt road seemed to last forever as we kicked up great clouds of dust. Grandpa was napping in the passenger seat when we arrived, and I shook him awake. “So, what do you say we go blueberry picking?”

He grunted. “Right now?”

“Yes. We always go blueberry picking as soon as we get here.”

He sighed. “Okay. But we’ll have to be quick.”

The trail to our secret blueberry picking spot was a lot shorter than I remembered it being. We arrived in five minutes, buckets in hand, ready to take on the challenge of finding the tastiest blueberries. We were silent for a few moments as we focused on the task at hand, staining our fingers a dark purple. “Sweetheart, what I said earlier was true,” Grandpa said suddenly, his voice strained.

I paused, furrowing my brow. “What are you talking about?”

“My illness. It really won’t get better. I don’t have much time left. Even the simple action of picking blueberries is painful.”

My eyes watered. “But the doctors can take care of you. You don’t have to live in pain.”

“I wish it was that easy. But this is really my last camping trip. I’m too far gone.”

He reached down to the bushes and winced. A surge of sympathy coursed through me, and I bent down to help him. “Here. I’ll help you fill your bowl, and then we can head back to camp.”

We spent the next twenty minutes picking blueberries, and I filled Grandpa’s bowl with the biggest blueberries I could find. A part of me understood the truth in his words, but at the same time I didn’t want to believe they were real. I needed to soak in the moment while I was in it, because it was probably the last time we’d ever pick blueberries together.

When our bowls were full and the blazing summer sun became overwhelming, we decided to leave. We walked hand-in-hand down the narrow trail, and I reminded myself to take my time, to match Grandpa’s slowing pace. I held back a river of tears when the trail ended, and our favourite spot was out of sight. Grandpa turned to face me, and he patted me on the back. “Thank you,” he said.

“Thank you for what?”

“For making this day enjoyable. I’m really glad I decided to come to camp this weekend.”

I smiled. “Any time, Grandpa.”

Grandpa had been right. When the weekend was over and we returned home, he drew his final breath in his favourite living room recliner.

SS 5 -Adult

SS 6  - Adult

 

SS7 Adult