The Wooden Shoes

It was a warm day in the month of spring, and she skipped around in her wooden shoes through the daisies and tulips in the large garden. Then she took a rest, and plopped into the grass, where the flowers grew. A large blue sky, filled with clouds. It had been many months since she had looked at the sky fully. And what a sky it was. Her long white dress with a brown vest, flowed softly in the breeze of the late morning almost afternoon. Her long dark brown hair covered her face in its own bliss, as she avoided staring into the sun.

"Oh how these shoes hurt." said she, for she had worn the shoes for a very long time. Sooner than she realized it, many an hour came to pass.

Petunia carefully removed herself from the flowers. Between the flowers were large stones. Then she wondered what it would be like to touch her toes upon them. For it was a hot Spring day, and was almost curious to know if they would burn her feet. Fairies were not suppose to touch their toes on the rocks, according to her father. Though she never could tell whether her father was being serious. For now, her judgment was better than to poke them with her large toe. She grew out her translucent green wings, then flew along to her tree house than was no larger than a cocoon for some large large insult larger than a racing beetle.

When little Petunia O'Hara arrived in her little tree cottage by the small lake that to her looked more like a very large lake, she knocked on the door. Her father, who had been pinning his masterpiece, looked at her with a paradoxical mix of gentleness and sternness. Like some angry bird demon took over his spirit, and it was just beginning to bleed beyond the surface. "Where have you been Petunia, don't you realize how worried I was. I don't want to find myself flying to the rocks below myself, and find only your wooden shoes." Then as if the slight were only slight, he eased up his eyebrows. He walked over, retrieved her vest which she handed out to him. Then placed it on the coat hanger on the wall of the room where the wooden table was. "Your just like your mother," he chuckled, then hugged her tightly. "I'm not sure what I'd do if I lost you."

Petunia kissed her father on the cheek. 

It was the following evening that she finally took off her shoes. Her father called her Petunia, because of the Petunias painted on her little wooden shoes. When she first got them, her father wanted to paint flowers named after her mother, after she died. As she wore them in the fields, to help her father till the garden way, at first the shoes hurt. Her father suggested that she stuff little trimmed flower stalks in her shoes. They were much better afterword. As a reward for doing her chores, her father promised her a trip tomorrow. They were going to visit the large valley, where the White Night Flower grows. Thus she dreamed of swimming in the lake, and playing with the bumble bees. A utopian paradise.

But the following visit was much different then expected. When they arrived at the low sloped green mountains, they were ambushed by giant bees. Her father always carried around a large machete that chopped them in two. Eventually he was able to slash at them all, and that's when they arrived at the cliff of the valley. "So what do you think Petunia?" asked her father, starring at her Petunia painted wooden shoes to make sure they did not fall off her feet.

"I've never been to the Valley before." said Petunia. She hated heights, and that was why she placed her feet upon the ground, and then scooted backwards. After Petunia starred into the sky she asked her father.

"Didn't mother visit here?"

"A very long time ago honey." her father said.

Her father wanted her not to speak of it again.

"Let's go home," he said. "I'm making corn cakes."

It was a long walk, but it was worth it.

It was the next morning that she got up, for Petunia was smelling breakfast frying on the kitchen ware. How many a week it has been since she has gotten to have cedar twig cooked Ylfo bacon. How that sweet savory taste then filled her tongue, even before the meal was done for the cooking. Petunia did not like walking around the house sock footed, and then she wore her tulip painted wooden shoes through the cottage. At first her father would lecture her about this, but eventually he gave up as it being the lesser mischievous things she has done over the past few months. Moonlight was worried of what may happen when she would have her thirteenth birthday. After all he had no gift prepared. He always took a very long time decide on perfect gifts. It took a lot of money just to buy the pair of shoes Petunia was wearing. "Please don't break your shoes." he said, passive aggressively. After all he wasn't sure whether he could get the money for pay for a new pair. And one needed a pair of shoes to trek through the large stones through the early morning and evening. "I have trip to see your uncle, can you take care of the house while I'm gone?"

Petunia took it as an offer she could not refuse. "I sure can papa," said she, who placed her palms upon her cheeks.

"And don't mess up your room again." said moonlight.

And like the moon, as it become morning, he left without trace.

Petunia wasn't sure what had gotten into her father. After all she never tried to mess up her small little bedroom, with the hammock that hung in the corner of the ceiling. But she always wanted to collect various treasures that she found in her various adventures, while she ran through the meadow and forest green. There was once treasure she found, an old relic from years ago. To humans of our time, it would be compared to a screwdriver. But to her it was a giant ancient ruins. Here various mutations crawled from it's caverns, and tried to attack her. Back when her friends still lived near, she relied on them to hack away at the bugs with their sticks. But now that her friends were gone, she was simply to afraid to go looking for sticks. The treasures in her room were remnants of a bygone era, in both memory and ability to defend herself.

But she wanted a change. Petunia wanted to take care of herself. But she decided to wait to see how long her father would be gone to see her Uncle. He was a very strange Uncle, he who she knew not much of would sometimes send letters. The only thing she really knew was that her Uncle, at least according to her father, disliked the new fangled electronic ware that people read and write on these days. As he was a pen and paper man. Petunia wondered how he would be able to afford the paper. Thus she always ruled out contacting him. Even with all the evolutionary change of these new humans, there was still no telepathy. That will be another one hundred thousand years to go.

A day later, she wondered what she was going to eat.

A few days after that, she got a letter:

Dear Petunia,

Your father has been stung by a giant bee.

He will be home after hospital visit shortly.

I am coming to visit, and your will greet me.

I am the brown beard, shuffling axeman.

Make some coffee sub will you?

But Petunia has never met her Uncle. Petunia wasn't sure what an axeman meant, and the thought of this filled her with dread. Maybe he was simply a dwarf-fairy. After all dwarf-fairies were an odd bunch. The old nostalgia for the old life only being something that may come from them. After the mines were shut down for good (the switch to more modern tech being angering enough), his Uncle she heard were left out of work. Thus how would be able to take care of her, while checking on papa this she was not sure. With this thought in her head, she heard a doorbell ring.

She walked to the door, and opened.

And it was ... a dwarf-fairy.

"Are you Uncle coal-rose?" asked Petunia.

"That is me, hows it going? Now wheres is my coffee sub?" asked Coal-Rose.

"Right away Mr. Coal Rose." said Petunia. Man what jerk, she thought. I can't wait till he is gone and father comes back. Indeed, better a hack then a jerk. With this she went to the kitchen and made them both coffee sub. The rest of the evening was quiet. He read a book, she read her electronic reader. And this was only the beginning of the odd relationship with an ex coal miner who wants his job back.

Then Coal-Rose asked, "Want to go to the park?"

Petunia said with a lark, "I don't like the park."

"But your father is there, at hospital park."

Thus, she went to the park.

Petunia and her Uncle Coal Rose arrived at the floral city park, in order to visit her father, who was still in recovery from the bee sting. The nurse suggested they let him have his rest, and to perhaps take a walk in the park. For the park though dry and rock, had many stalks of grass. A forest of flexible stalks, that at the sky was covered in the petals painting the sky yellow, purple, and orange. Only the white clouds bled through them, as it shined upon her face. "I wonder how papa is faring." asked Petunia.

Her Uncle Coal-Rose had some regrets of not having other changes to bond with his niece. At first he wanted to savor the moment of silence that filled the air. Then after the short moments pause, "I'm sure your father is going to be OK." Although with this he was not certain. As when her father visited him, they tried to have a picnic in discussion of how he should transition to electronic reading and communication. As his text Moonlight could barely read, for he was used to the perfect straightness of the black characters that shone upon the screen of the ereader. It was then that they were attacked by large bees, who seemed to have been out for some sort of revenge when Moonlight (in walking to the cliff where his wife visited before she died in childbirth) hacked away at their friends. It was nothing personal to the bees, they just wanted to live. "But he'll need to rest for some time."

Her Uncle let her pack her stuff, and let her visit with him in his small cottage just down a few blocks from Moonlight's home. She wore her tulip painted wooden shoes, that was a gift from her father, as well as the few electronic books she owned. And that was how she spent the evening reading upon the second hammock of Coal-Rose's home. The meal was catch is catch can, thus while satisfying was nothing like the food her father would prepare for the morning, afternoon, and evening.

It was the following morning that she went with her Uncle to visit her father. There was bad news. Her father had died that night. It was when she remembered the song that he used to sing to her as a bed time song:


I have a handful o daisies / that smell of honey and rose,

That the flowers in my hand / tickle my fair skinned nose.

How the flowers scent fill me / with the greatest joy today.

Can you give this short moment / another rose today.


Her Uncle noted her singing with curiosity, then gently said that they should leave at that moment. As they flew to Coal-Rose's cottage he asked Petunia, "Where did you learn that song you sun?"

"Well I learned it from father." said Petunia.

"And do you know where he learned it?" said Coal-Rose.

"I don't know." said Petunia.

"It was your mother's song." said Coal-Rose.

The song continued to fill her mind:


I have a handful o daisies / that smell of honey and rose,

That the flowers in my hand / tickle my fair skinned nose.

How the flowers scent fill me / with the greatest joy today.

Can you give this short moment / another rose today.


That the flowers sing a song / of the wind today, nature's song.

A song of fair and bright / how it sings softly long.


With this she remembered the final line:

I am running through the fields / slowly requesting the winds ...


Embrace

Of the short

Time of ...

                  The meadow

                  Evening.


Come to the bright green meadows, that fill one with joy all year.

The joy of life.

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