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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Clover and Cricket

The buttercups sang as the gentle breeze caressed their lemony-yellow petals. Tiny purple violets joined in, as did the bright red tulips and maize-colored daffodils. Soon the meadow was filled with a symphony of music. Tall grasses, in a hundred different sizes and shades of green, bent from side to side, as if dancing to the music. The tall trees, surrounding and protecting the meadow, shook their leaves in rhythm. Tiny animals, such as mice, crickets, frogs, butterflies and grasshoppers ran or leapt through the meadow, brushing against the stones and leaves. A small stream trickled through the grasses; it bubbled and popped in melody and harmony with the flowers. Pink, yellow and white rosebuds, covered with morning dew, dripped their sparkling drops to the rich brown earth below. There was nowhere on earth more beautiful than Periwinkle Glen.

Clover, a small fairy dressed in a pale green dress with even paler green wings, sat under a fat mushroom. Her long, golden hair was braided down her back and tied at the end with a blade of grass. Sitting next to her on the ground was a black cricket. It was chirping and rubbing its wings together and Clover sang a song. "That was beautiful," she laughed, reaching over and softly patting the cricketís head. Its tiny antenna wrapped around Cloverís wrist, holding onto it affectionately for a few moments. "Cricket, what should we do today? Would you like to go with me down to the stream?" Cricket nodded her head up and down and hopped along behind Clover.

The stream was flowing quickly. Clover bent down and scooped a handful of water into her hands. She lifted it to her mouth and drank. Just then she heard a frantic call. CHIRP! CHIRP! CHIRP!

She looked around for Cricket. "Cricket! Where are you?" she called.

CHIRP! CHIRP! CHIRP! She saw the little black cricket in the middle of the stream. She was holding onto a small twig, struggling to stay above the water.

"Iíll help you," Clover said, but Cricket could hold no longer and lost her grip on the twig. She was swept along with the water. Clover lifted into the air by flapping her wings gently and flew just above the stream as it meandered through the meadow. She saw Cricket floundering in the water. Trying to reach her, Clover lowered her arms and called, "Grab my hands, Cricket."

Cricket couldnít do anything. The water was moving too quickly. Clover spotted a tree up ahead. It was growing next to the stream and its branches hung over, leaves dangling down. "If I can knock some of those leaves into the water, Cricket could grab hold of one." Clover flew quickly up the stream and came to the tree as Cricket swirled through the water. She grabbed a few leaves and pulled them off the branch. She flew back toward Cricket and dropped the leaves above her. "Catch them and climb onto one," Clover urged.

She watched as the leaves hit the water. Relieved, she saw Cricket catch one and slowly she climbed onto it. Exhausted, she lay down on her back. The leaf bobbed up and down on top of the stream but soon came to a small pool off to the side. Clover flew down and stood on the bank. She grabbed the tip of the leaf and pulled it to the side. "Hop onto the grass," she called to Cricket.

The cricket jumped off the leaf and landed next to the fairy. Clover smiled. She was so happy that Cricket was safe. Cricket was tired and lay down on the grass. Clover sat next to her and patted her head. She began to sing a song,

"Little Cricket, shiny and black,
Iím so glad that you are back.
Close your eyes and dream a dream.
The sun will send down a warming beam.
Little Cricket will soon be fine.
Iím so glad youíre a friend of mine."

Soon Cricket was asleep. Clover lay down on the grass and curled her gossamer wings around her body. She put her arm around Cricket and soon the meadow sang them both to sleep.

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