Baby Wave’s Saga

The waves of Atlantic are gigantic monsters! They butt together, fighting and roaring. They love to rear like wild horses and fall headlong into the water. And then they race across the sea, competing about who’s the biggest and the strongest of them all.

In this furious muscle wave’s chaos lived a kind and gentle wave called Baby Wave. Unfortunately for Babyface, the seagulls loved to sit on him and talk about this and that, as seagulls do.

”Yesterday I caught a crab like… this big!” one seagull might say and measure the catch with his wing.

”Ah, that is nothing!” an other seagull might say. ”I caught a crab twice as big the other day – but it got away!”

Baby Wave was crossed when the seagulls landed on him. The other waves teased him and called him Gullywave. He thought that one day he would be bigger and stronger than all of them – and then he will show them!

But also the jellyfish loved to gather around him, chit chatting, as jellyfish do.

”Oh! I met the most handsome lion’s mane the other day,” one jellyfish might say and wink coquettish with her long eyelashes. ”He had the most charming curls in his red tentacles.”

”Ah, that’s nothing!” an other jellyfish might say. ”Yesterday I saw a lion’s mane with dreadlocks.”

And then they both giggle, as jellyfish do when they talk about other jellyfishes.

Baby Wave didn’t liked being swarmed by a bunch of jellyfishes. The other waves teased him and called him the Jellywave.

Then one day the Great North Wind rose. He wanted do name the sea’s strongest wave. All the waves rushed roaring and snorting about, butting and fighting for the title.

Even Baby Wave got caught up in the general commotion. This might his chance to show what he’s made of. He started to splash about in the water, but then a big wave gave him a push, and he lost his flow.

”Move away, Babyface!” the wave shouted at him. ”I have a race to win!”

This made Baby Wave very angry. He had enough! Everybody was teasing him because he was small, but he would show them! He caught a great gust of wind, blew up like a sail and took of over the sea.

Woooaaaaa! What a speed! He was much lighter than the other waves and flew over the water. Soon he passed the wave that had pushed him. He dived into the water to catch his breath – and took of again, speeding like no wave ever sped before, ever, in any the seven seas.

He grew bigger and bigger and BIGGER. Nobody could tease him for being small now, and nobody dared call him babyface, because he was gigantious.

He dived into the water. And up again with his big sail. And down again to collect him self and back on top. He was so happy and joyously, laughing and singing. He didn’t even notice the coast approaching.

He thrust himself forward to dive down into the glorious water – but there was no water. With a SPLASH he landed right on the beach. All his plans and dreams of greatness fizzled out, turning into sand and nothing. He knew it would take some time before he tried something as daring as this again.

This fairy tale in Swedish: Sagan om vågen.

Lady Raindrop


A lady raindrop slowly fell through the air, an aristocrat, indeed; nourished by a fine lake in Switzerland and therefore particular about her landing.

With horror she recall landing on a dog. Had it been a pure breeding it had been okay – but an ordinary watchdog? No, that was really beneath her.

But she remembers with joy when she fell in a cup of tea at a garden party. She had arrived in perfect time and gave the tea just the right temperature. Those are the things a lady raindrop knows how to appreciate.

Not to mention the time when she was first on site and could warn a whole hunting party of a gathering storm. They all rode oh so hastily into safety before the mob came. Those are the things you could only learn in the finer lakes of Switzerland.

And to what deed was faith bringing her now? She saw somebody sitting in the garden, a sorry-looking character by the look of it, with one leg nonchalant cast over the other. He was writing in a book – a writer! No, she definitely didn’t want to end up there! But, augh! She seemed to land on his head…

Maybe, if she reached out, she could fly pass him? It was worth trying. She reeeaaached out as faaaar as she could and passed him by an inch – and fell flat on his copybook. The poor raindrop was besmeared with ink and got a black eye.

Oh, how quickly she dripped over the edge of the book and hide in the grass, shivering and spiting ink. This was the worst trip ever!

The poor raindrop. She didn’t know that the writer in the garden, that was me! That’s how I got the idea to write about her life. And mind you, there are worse things that can happen a raindrop from Switzerland…

Illustration by Cathrin Hesselstrand.

This fairy tale in Swedish: Den förnäma regndroppen från Schweiz.

Winter’s love 2008

Mariagrazia Orlandini

The trees where red and yellow and the air filled with funny birds when winter came to the forest. But as soon as they saw him the trees quiver and lost their leaves – and all the bird flew away. Nobody was glad when winter came, and everyone would be happy if he left.

I will show them what I’m capable of, winter thought and whirled snow over the land and blew frost over the trees. He iced the creek and dressed the spruce with glistening icicles. But no one seemed to appreciate it.

The roe deer kicked its hoofs in the snow saying the winter had frozen their food. The squirrel laughed and said he, indeed, had food hidden somewhere, although he could not remember where… The crows was croaking, the fox barking, the elk mooed and the owl rolled his eyes.

”Isn’t spring here soon, mother?” said the young hare and huddled close to her mother’s warm fur.

”Yes, my child,” said mother hare, and everybody turn to listen to her, even winter who hid in the shadows. ”Spring will soon be here”, she said, ”and with her come warmth. When spring walks the land flowers follow in her tracks, trees unfold their leaves and birds come flying from the other side of the world, just to sing her grace. Then we be set free from the grim winters hold. As long as winter is here, spring can’t come. But when she comes, winter most go away.”

Winter had never heard of spring before. This ended the wild and playful times of his youth. Gone was his will to frost and freeze, storm and blow. When the other winters played freeze-down and frost-bite or tried to make hundred kinds of snow, he preferred to thaw in his forest and think of spring. He wanted so much to see this woman whose beauty made the land bloom and birds sing. He would not leave then, no way. He would dress up with his finest snow garb and salute her as a queen.

That’s how winter began to long for spring, just as everybody else. The air got warmer and the sun lingered longer in the sky for each passing day. The inhabitant of the forest became more and more happy and energetic – all except winter who felt tired and worn down. It’s just typical that I will catch a cold now, he thought, when spring may arrive any minute.

In this moment a bird chirp:

”Spring is coming, spring is near.
Soon gone is the cold that winter bore.
Spring is coming, don’t you fear.
Soon the winter’s story is no more.”

it said.

Winter wanted to look beautiful when spring came, and he dressed the forest in its fairest robes. He combed over the bare spots with snow and threw frost on the mischievous creak. He busied himself with high and low and made everything white and crisp.

Then the animals started to complain.

”Why don’t the old gray wolf realize that his time is up?” muttered the old black bear who had crawled out of his lair and was freezing in a paw.

”He thinks he can stop spring!” squeal old Mrs. Mouse who had lit a pine needle fire to warm her self.

”That he cannot,” said the fox and shook snow out of his fur. ”He can only delay her, never stop her.”

The spring came closer and winter was nervous. The snow melted and the ground started to shine through like ugly wounds here and there. The icicles lost it grip and fell to the ground. It was itching and tickling everywhere. Winter felt old and tired. His tears fell heavy from the trees and made the ground sour.

And spring was close now. For each day that pass the sun stayed up a bit longer in hope of seeing her. Birds came flying in from all over the world. They sang that spring was on her way. All the animals who had been hibernating woke up. It was a marry delight, a joyful festival.

Everybody was happy but Winter. He was shabby and miserably. If spring came now I could not show my face, he thought and his tears fell heavy from trees and bushes, making the ground wet and soggy.

But finally she came, young and slender. The trees barely had enough leaves to cover her up. But there she was – and oh so beautiful! She came when day and night were of equal length, the last day before winter had to make his escape.

They stayed up all night talking and had only eyes for each other. When morning came, Winter was just a gust of wind flying home to his parents in the north. And spring was left all alone.

A year would pass before they could meet again. And from that day the two friends only have that one-day a year. That’s why spring, with all her splendour, brings with her a sense of melancholy. And every year the streams of spring sing about the love between winter and spring that last for one day only.

If you listen carefully you can hear it.

Illustration by Mariagrazia Orlandini.

This fairy tale in Swedish: Vinterns saga.

Buttercute’s story

Sagan om Smörblomma

In a glade in the forest lived a society of flowers in peace and prosperity. There was Bluebelly who recited poems during summer nights, and Prime-Rosa who was secretly in love with him. There was Gladiola the matchmaker. Holly-Chock to whom the flowers went when wanted to marry. Hya-Sprint who was always ready for games and sports. Lavendoris who was a real tell-tale. Forget-me-now who never hesitated to shared what was on his mind. Candel-Julia who always had a kind word to spare and many, many more.

One of the flower was little Buttercute. Her dream was to be as tall and beautiful as her idol, Sunpower. She swayed high abowe her and was as beautiful as – well, the sun. Sunpower was way above everybody else, and her golden curls lent their brilliance to the glade. Buttercute felt small and ugly in comparison, squatting in the shade of her idol.

‘Some people must always complain,’ muttered Sadiolus. ‘I have problems too, but you don’t hear me complain, do you?’

‘She should get married!’ sighed Gladiola . ‘I met Mistle-Joe the other night. Oh, he smelled good. He should suit her fine.’

‘She is great as she is allready,’ said Candel-Julia. ‘If she could only see her own beauty; then she wouldn’t try being somebody else.’

‘I will write a poem in her honour,’ exlaimed Bluebelly who believed great poetry could solve all problems. ‘And Corny-Flower can write the music,’ he said and Corny-Flower nodded her head excidedly.

Prime-Rosa gazed affectionately at her poet, sighed and had no idea what they were all talking about.

‘We will through a party for her,’ suggested A. Corny, and everyone said it was a splendid idea.

Gladiola arrenged the table settings and placed the sweet scented Mistle-Joe next to Buttercute. Bluebelly wrote a divine poem about beauty, and Corny-Flower sat next to him strumming the lute. Hya-Sprint prepared games and dancing, and Holly-Chock prepared speaches.

Finally, the big day was here. Everybody was invited, even the birds and the bees. Everybody came and and everybody was happy. It was laughter and merriment, games and dancing. There were food and beverage in abundance; both nectar and ambrosia was on the table. The only waited for the guest of honour to arrive, but she didn’t show up. She stood hidden behind a rock and weeping. She didn’t think they really wanted somebody as small and ugly at the party. Mr. Pontentilius had to sit alone, slouching his head.

Time passed and autumn came, and winter, and all the flowers slept under the snow. But Buttercute lay awake a long time brooding. She decided to stand up really early next spring and suck up as much sun as possible. That way she would be as tall and beautyiful as Sunpower, she thought.

When spring came she stuck her head up earlier than both Anymore and Early-Start. She did everything she could to be as tall as possible; even if she became thin as an osier and frail as a reed. When the flowers woke from hibernation she was tall and lanky, just as she wanted, but she was also wobbly and had a hard time standing up.

‘Oh, my dear child,’ said Candel-Julia. ‘This can’t end well,’ muttered Forget-me-now. Bluebelly exclaimed ‘Alas!’ before he fainted. Prime-Rosa squirted dew in his face and forgot everything else. Buttercute just continued to grow and grow and became taller and taller.

High above her Sunpower soared, and higher still – the sun, the most beautiful of them all. She forgot how the wind made her sway and roll, how her roots barely could keep her grounded and support her with the nourishment she needed; she forgot everything. Being tall was the only thing she cared about.

Soon I’m everything I dreamt about, she thought. Then the sun went behind the clouds. A big raindrop fell on her head. And another one. And another. And soon the rain was pouring down. Heavy raindrops fell upon her, and she looked to Sunpower for protection, as always, but Sunpower wasn’t there. Buttercute had grown pass her patroness and idol. She was on her own – without anyone to look up to or seek refugee at. Alone she had to endure the hard rain.

It was raining all day. Only when the evening came the rain stopped. And when the flower peeped out from under their leaves Buttecute lay dead on the ground with her long, thin stalk broken. She had not manage to fight of the hard raindrops on her own.

The flowers gathered for funeral. Mistle-Joe was present and mourned the friend he never met. Candel-Julia was there and Bluebelly, Primrosa, Lavendoris, Forget-me-now, Gladiola. Corny-Flower was there, Anymore, Early-Start, A. Corny and – well, everyone: Walter Lily, Per-Silly, Gaza-leah, Bitter-Teeth, Grassass, John-Quill, Mr. Pontentilius et cetera.

Holly-Chock made a speach and said: ‘Poor Buttercute. She didn’t understand that the sun shines on all of us, no matter how small and insignificant we may seem.’ And thus the flowers dropped their petals and burried their friend under the colour of the rainbow.

Her story could have ended here, but she was in luck. There was still some life in one of her roots, and next spring she popped up her head again, to everybody’s great joy. She came later than usual and was shorter than before, but who cares? She was alive and could feel the warmth of the sun again. And what is more important than that?

The flower throw a ginormous party. Everybody was invited, and they all came – even Buttercute this time. There she finally met Mistle-Joe, and he smelled really wonderful. But that is another story that have to wait to another time.

/With love to J.N.

Comment. This is my very first fairy-tale. I wrote it for a friend that suffered from anorexia. Today I understand better that anorexia isn’t all about beauty and ideal, but more about our need of control in a chaotic world, where self-dicipline sometimes is the only means of will at hand. But for we Buttercute will always symbolize our capacity to sacrifice ourself for an ideal or a dream that we cannot achive. About my friend; she is feeling better today, to my everlasting joy, and are a successful doctor.

Illustration by Liusa.

This fairy tale in Swedish: Sagan om Smörblomma