Magic Apple Tree

She was five years old and precocious as they come. 

Freckles, green eyes, walnut brown hair that had hints of red in the sun.

She blew the best bubbles, bigger than her plump cheeks. Bright, enormous pink ones that made her laugh when they burst against her tongue.

Her imagination was paired with curiosity, she had an old soul that would never stop investigating.

Being her mother was challenging.

Still, her mother had a few tricks up her sleeve, and she wasn’t going to let this daughter of hers win the year of five without giving her a run for her money.

It was fall, the apples were ready for harvesting.  Her mother went to the store and bought bundles of a thick blue string and prepared nearly every apple within her reach.

She created a magical setting that looked beautiful, full of round, red orbs hanging like ornaments in a Christmas tree.

The next morning her five-year-old ran out into the cold.  She was going to climb the tree and pluck all the apples that the fairies brought her. That’s the story she’d been telling everyone, she even wrote it down, detailed with illustrations made by her tiny hands.  

“Come and see! Come and see!” Her impatient voice was racing, giving away that something miraculous was happening.

Her mother grabbed a basket, ready to bring in their picking.  She prepared her face for the surprise her little girl was about to spring.

You could see the child midway up the tree, hanging herself out on the branches, she couldn’t manage words through all her giggling.

“Mommy look! The apples are on strings! I told you there were fairies around our tree!”

Her mother grabbed the apples, string by string, placing them in the basket, while her daughter climbed down to sit on the autumn grass next to it.

“I told you!”

“Yes, you did my dear darling girl.  Who knew fairy apples grew on strings?”

“I did.  I know everything. It’s exactly like the pictures in my book!” The little girl held the apples by their strings, laying on the ground with them above her head, dangling.

“Off the cold ground now young lady.” The mother laughed as she helped her daughter up, placing the apples back in the basket. 

They walked back into the house, peeled the apples, cooked them down, and made a cobbler fragrant with clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar of the deepest brown.

“Those fairies made delicious apples.” The little girl said, filling her stomach with the warm magical apples hung in the tree with blue thread.

“Yes, they most certainly did.” The little girl’s mother was quietly pleased, keeping her secret of blue strings and apple trees.

She kept it in her book of mother’s magic, filled with spells that grew her child’s imagination while going to great lengths to inspire her insatiable curiosity.

It wasn’t until many years later, still blowing pink bubbles, and knowing everything that this curious child was told the secret of her mother’s spell.

She cherishes that memory and raised her children similarly.  Casting her own mother’s magic, the kind that happens from generations of imagination being handed down.