Early one morning, Lily woke to the sound of birds chirping in the topmost branches of the Home Tree, the ancient maple where Never Land’s fairies live. Opening her eyes, she saw the walls of her room stretch ever so slightly as the great tree reached its branches toward the early-morning sun. Lily pushed back her fern-frond quilt and yawned, stretching her arms up into the air.
Excerpted from Lily's Pesky Plant (Disney Fairies) by Kirsten Larsen; illustrated by RH Disney Copyright © 2006 by Kirsten Larsen. Excerpted by permission of RH/Disney, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Lily climbed out of bed and opened the doors of her wardrobe, which was made from a dried gourd. She chose a thistledown shirt and knickers woven from dandelion fluff. Unlike some fairies, Lily didn’t like spider-silk gowns and shoes with heels as thin as pine needles. She liked simple, sturdy clothes.
In the tearoom, Lily had her usual breakfast, a cup of lemongrass tea and a slice of poppy seed cake. Some of the other garden-talent fairies at Lily’s table sat for a while at breakfast. They refilled their pots of tea and spread heaps of black cherry jam on their bread. But not Lily. The moment her plate and cup were empty, she pushed them aside and flew off to her garden.
Lily’s garden was just two frog’s leaps beyond the Home Tree, right in the heart of Pixie Hollow. All the fairies agreed that it was one of the nicest places in the entire fairy kingdom. On one side of her garden was a hedge of raspberry bushes. On the other side, a wild rosebush sweetly scented the air. Everywhere bright red and orange poppies sprang from the ground. Clusters of Queen Anne’s lace and lilac made pleasant groves where a fairy could sit and think. And throughout the garden, sweet clover sprouted in fairy-sized beds. They were perfect for taking naps in.
The garden was a favorite spot of many fairies, who were always dropping by. Harvest-talent fairies picked raspberries from the bushes. Healing-talent fairies collected herbs for their potions. Other fairies simply liked to walk among the beautiful flowers.
Lily welcomed them all. Next to working in her garden, Lily’s favorite thing was watching fairies enjoy the beautiful plants she grew. The fairies also enjoyed Lily’s company. With her friendly, direct smile and her sparkling dark eyes, she was as fresh and lovely as the flowers she grew.
As soon as Lily got to her garden, she called out, “Bumble!” At once, a large bee zipped out of the flowers and flew up to her. Bumble was yellow, round, and fuzzy all over. He wasn’t Lily’s pet, exactly. He had just showed up one day and never left. The two had become good friends.
Bumble always followed Lily as she took care of her plants. She watered them. She checked their leaves for spots. That morning Lily saw that some of the daffodils had been toppled by a breeze. She tied the stems to stakes to help them stand sturdy and strong again.
When she was done making the rounds in her garden, Lily lay down on a patch of soft moss to watch the grass grow. To you this might sound boring, but for her it was every bit as exciting as watching butterfly races (a favorite fairy pastime). Lily was certain that the blades of grass grew faster when they knew she was watching.
Unluckily for Lily, she was the only fairy in all of Pixie Hollow to have this hobby. When others saw her lying in the grass, they usually thought she was doing nothing at all. Often, they would start talking to her. This frustrated Lily, for it broke her concentration.
And that was exactly what happened that morning. Bumble was buzzing around the buttercups in the corner of her garden, and Lily was lying nearby, watching a (very slow) race between two blades of grass. One blade was winning, and Lily was urging the other one to catch up, when a voice broke through her thoughts.
“I say, what a funny thing!” The voice was loud and a bit shrill.
Lily didn’t move, except to lower her eyelids. She hoped whoever it was would think she was sleeping and go away.