Sonja Nic Rafferty

Mum, is our house growing?

In a little town, in a little house, lived a little girl who was called Sarah. Sarah was too much alone, because her parents both worked until the evening. Sometimes her father went to his office on Sundays. “We want to live in such a big house like our neighbours, too”, he said. Except of their house there were just splendid houses in their street, with large gardens. “For that we have to earn and save much money”, he explained to little Sarah. She couldn’t understand that all, nevertheless it was nice here, and to her everything seemed to be big enough.
Sarah preferred to play outside in the garden and she talked to the animals that lived there. Yes, Sarah really talked to them, because often she had nobody else to whom she could talk.
In winter she missed the animals a lot. Some had flown to the South, others hibernated, and some never came back. But now it was summer and many little animals lived in the garden. They liked to come to Sarah, because they feel well in the gardens of the neighbours. There regularly rattled a lawn-mover over the blades of grass and cut everything that crossed it, so that they quickly had to take a flight. Especially the slow snails had become very carefully. Not just the fast lawn-mover was a danger for them. Also the human beings, who tried to trample them down. Just because they ate a bit verdure. Wasn’t it like that, that rather men senselessly destroyed plants? But snails just ate because of hunger.
Sarah never trampled down animals; indeed she wouldn’t have known why she should do this.
In her garden there was no lawn, therefore never a lawn-mover.
Not just the animals, the flowers too, felt well in Sarah’s garden. They blossomed colourfully and disorderly in plentiful splendour. Nobody squeezed them into borders, and besides there was space enough for the “weedies”. The colourful clover, the wild pansy and all the other herbs were beauty as cultivated species.
Like Sarah talked to the animals, she also talked to plants. In the morning she welcomed the sunflower: “Good morning, tallest of all. Did you sleep well?” It may have been just the wind, but now and then it looked like as the sunflower friendly inclined down to Sarah.
Best of all flowers Sarah liked the forget-me-not, which grew under a fir. It shone so brightly blue, its blossoms were tiny and numerous. Sarah liked everything that was little; in fact she herself was little. “I certainly don’t forget you. Bye-bye, see you this afternoon; she took leave of the sky-blue flower. A gentle rustling in the summer wind was the answer.
Sarah was just ready to walk on, but she yet saw a ladybird, which she let crawl on her hand. Because it couldn’t look at his back, she informed it about the number of its dots. She counted seven and the beetle thanked her for the information with a jolly wing stroke.
Soon after Sarah was late in school. This mostly happened, if one of her little animal friends was already awake. Sarah’s teacher admonished her to be punctual. Nevertheless she didn’t accomplish it always. She just was too busy.
Sarah was a good pupil. She liked to learn, of course everything about plants and animals she liked best.
One-day Sarah’s Dad brought her puppy, because she was much alone. He thought she would be delighted in it, and she did. And he also thought, that she might be anguished about a big dog and chose a little one. He was right with it, again.
The dog was so small, that he could lie in Sarah’s doll pram. He got it as his bed. Sarah’s didn’t play much with dolls.
Sarah’s new friend was a mongrel and was called “Rowdy”. He was very peaceful and even let alone cats. That means a lot for a dog. I wonder why he was called “Rowdy”. Perhaps he had romped with his brothers and sisters when he was a whelp.
Soon Sarah and her tousled dog were inseparable. They strolled without a lead, because he didn’t run away anyhow.
Sarah liked to sit with Rowdy among all the fragrant flowers. Together they watched the iridescent butterflies. In fact, those flew from blossom to blossom without getting tired. The same sight presented the buzzing bees. Sarah never felt bored. Playing inside she decided to do later.
Sarah’s parents took her to a villa. It looked left and in fact it was empty. Nobody lived in it. “Perhaps we could buy this house. Isn’t it beautiful?” Sarah’s Mum said. Then a gentleman appeared. He opened the front door and showed them all the plenty rooms. Sarah’s Mum was enthusiastic.
“Look, Sarah, you could have a big room on your own.” Sarah didn’t listen. Through the window she behold the garden, which looked like a park. It consisted of an endless lawn, bushes and a tidy cut hedge. There were flowers as well, but bound together or stuck into tubs. Sarah clasped Rowdy in her arms and whispered: “Do you want to live here, Rowdy” He shook his head and got a melancholy look. To this place surely wouldn’t come butterflies, dragonflies or grasshoppers? But Sarah wanted to go on listening the concerts, which were chirped wonderfully by the grasshoppers in the evenings.
“Sarah”, called Mum, “for the present we’ll have to go back to our little house. We still differ about the purchase price. A big house is quite expensive!
It has been one of those hot summer days, when dragonflies float in the air. In its wings reflected the colours of the rainbow. They had come in the night. Sarah couldn’t sleep because of the trouble about the new house. She just stood up and stole herself away into the garden. She took Rowdy with her and was going to tell the friend about her sorrows. It wasn’t totally dark, but very silent outside, when Sarah discovered three dragonflies, which crossed the garden. Where did they possibly want to fly? Suddenly she heard a buzzing directly close to her ear. Now a pretty dragonfly sat on a bluebell in front of her. She never had seen such a tiny one, and not such a glamorous one, too. She could recognize a real little face, which looked at her with a consoling smile. Sarah had a warm feeling, so she told this fairy everything. “My parents want a bigger house. What will I do in the new house without my plants and animals? Can’t you help me?” The dragonfly smiled again and buzzed low like dragonflies do. Sarah still asked: “What did you say, dragonfly?“ but it said already “Good bye” while it drummed with its tiny feet on the bluebell. Immediately it rang a melody with its bells. Then the dragonfly circled the little girl and was met by her three friends. Four little dragonflies hove into the summer night. Sarah looked behind it until she saw just points. “Did you hear that, Rowdy? She wanted to tell me something. Isn’t it?  But now let’s go to bed.”
The next day was a normal school day and before Sarah has been woken, the first sunbeams dipped her room in a warm light. She never drew the hangings, because she always wanted to see her garden. If it would be possible, even when she slept. Rowdy yawned in the doll’s pram. He sneezed; a sunbeam had tickled him at his nose. What happened? He pricked up his ears like he was harkening. Sarah wiped her eyes and listened She heard a soft melody, she did know before. That was …  . Sure, yes that was the melody, which rang the bluebell in the night. Sarah got up, opened the window and looked into the dawning dewy-fresh garden. Four points danced around the bluebell. flew in and out the bells and were happy. Sarah had to laugh although she felt sad. The points came nearer – no doubt. That was the dragonfly from yesterday. Three of them stayed at the windowsill. The smallest and prettiest one came inside. Sarah welcomed her closely. The dragonfly buzzed very quiet, but Sarah understood: “Look around you!” She let her eyes travel. The room seemed to be twice as big as before. She went to the entrance-hall. “What a big hall!” Was she still dreaming? ”Rowdy, just pinch me. – No, not in the heel!” In the bathroom she couldn’t jostle herself that big was it now.
Perplexed Sarah’s Mum prepared breakfast in the bigger kitchen and her Dad came excited wit a rule.
Sarah opened the front door. Did anything happen with the garden? Nothing seemed to be changed. That was really all right. The garden was a paradise like it was. Every flower was on the right place, even the “weedies” swayed satisfied in the fresh breeze.
Sarah went back to the house. Now it was big enough for the family, so they could stay here. “Thanks, dragon-fly!” Or had it been a little fairy?
Sarah’s parents sat already at the dining table. Obviously her mother had calmed down. “Come here, darling, hurry up, otherwise you’ll be late in school again.” Sarah said with a smart smile: “Mum, our house is growing!” Her Mum looked at her with a smart smile and answered: “You did dream again. Our house is like it always is.” “ Right, and we like it in that manner.”  “Does that mean, you don’t want to buy a villa?“ asked Sarah confused. “We would like to buy the villa, but we wouldn’t have enough money for all the things we need. We calculated again. In fact we keep our little house we’ll build a new room in the attics”, answered her Mum. “But a little while ago – Dad with the rule … “  “ Go to the bathroom“, interrupted her father and kindly nipped the cheek to wake up.
The window of the bathroom was open. So Sarah was visited again this morning. With her little hand she cautiously held the tiny dragonfly, which she called “Fairy”. She thanked her again from the depth of her heart. “Don’t mention it, little Sarah“, whispered “Fairy” and flew back to Sarah’s magic garden.
Do you think Sarah saw her ever again? After all that exciting adventures Sarah went to school. In the garden she called to the forget-me-not: “Good morning, prettiest of all, did you have a nice dream, too?” Again the mild rushing of the leaves and the colour of her tiny, soft blossoms were shining twice as sky-blue.
At a building-site was dredged. Sarah discovered a little earthworm on the rough ground. He looked for help. “I got lost and already feel the vibration from the earth by call all that vehicles. Get me out of the danger, please!” In her thoughts Sarah heard the voice of her teacher: “You must be punctual!” Oh, the adults make such a fuss. The day would be still long enough. It was aimed at her now to save life. Even if just a tiny life, but life. So she first took care of the earthworm and was late in school again, although she started punctually.
Sarah stayed with her parents and Rowdy in the little house with the flower garden until she has grown up. Meanwhile Rowdy has been very old in dog years, of course. You couldn’t see his age, because he has been a cheerful, lucky dog and lucky dogs grow older slower.
Do you think, Sarah ever learnt to be punctual? Perhaps she didn’t. Perhaps that wouldn’t be so serious, there-upon she is not an adult who don’t notice many things because of hectic and hurrying. Things that would please them.
Do you think, Sarah ever learnt not to mix up phantasm with reality?
Perhaps she learnt it. Perhaps she didn’t. But perhaps that wouldn’t be so serious, too. Because sometimes at the end dreams become true. If people believe very deep, or just have the right view for things – like little Sarah.
©  Sonja Nic Rafferty 1992   ~   translation  S N R  2002


All rights belong to its author. It was published on by demand of Sonja Nic Rafferty.
Published on on 13.06.2005.


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