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In the Garden with Hamlet and Horatio
One day when my granddaughter, Sarah, was five years old, the two of us were in my
backyard choosing a spot for the new whirligig I'd just bought.  I told her that it was
good to have wind chimes and whirligigs in the garden, because fairies were attracted
to things that moved and, if we had enough of them, maybe a fairy would come to visit.
She gave me a long look, trying to figure out if I was serious, before she asked the
question,  "Are there really fairies?"
I hesitated for a moment, torn between not wanting to tell her something that was
untrue and not wanting to deny her the belief in a bit of magic while she was still
young enough to enjoy it.
Finally, I made reference to Shakespeare's famous line from
Hamlet:  "There are more
things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of" (shortening it a little for her
benefit).  Then I went on to explain the scene from Hamlet and what the line meant.
I told her that, since Shakespeare was undoubtedly right and there are many things in
the universe that are unknown to us, why didn't we just pretend that fairies came to
admire the wind chimes and whirligigs once in awhile - because believing seemed like
a lot more fun than not believing.  And, after all, who really knew?  She agreed.
A couple of months later, when the Christmas season came along, Sarah told me one
day that a boy in her Kindergarten class said that Santa Claus wasn't real, but she had
set him straight.  I asked her what she told him and she said that she explained to him
about Hamlet and Horatio and told him that there were probably a lot of things in the
world he didn't know about.  He seemed to take it to heart, because he stopped talking
about Santa Claus altogether.  I have a feeling that may have been because he was
trying to avoid another Shakespearean lecture from Sarah, but as someone (probably
not Shakespeare) once said, "Whatever works."
Sarah's thirteen now and every once in awhile, she'll bring me a present of a wind
chime or a whirligig that she found and thinks I might like.  She doesn't believe in
fairies anymore, but I suspect that she thinks I might (or she's helping me pretend).
I haven't seen any garden fairies yet, but I still think believing is more fun than not.
And, besides, you can't have too many wind chimes and whirligigs.
-- Nancy
The fairies have never a penny to spend,
They haven't a thing put by,
But theirs is the dower of bird and of flower
And theirs are the earth and the sky.
And though you should live in a palace of gold
Or sleep in a dried-up ditch,
You could never be poor as the fairies are,
And you could never be as rich.

Since ever and ever the world began
They have danced like a ribbon of flame,
They have sung their song through the centuries long
And yet it is never the same.
And though you be foolish or though you be wise,
With hair of silver or gold,
You could never be young as the fairies are,
And you could never be as old.

-- Rose Fyleman
There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
They often have a dance on summer nights;
The butterflies and bees make a lovely little breeze,
And the rabbits stand about and hold the lights.

-- Rose Fyleman
I heard a singing in the sky,
And busy things went buzzing by;
And how it came I cannot tell,
But all the hedges sang as well.
Along the clover-field I ran
To where the little wood began,
And there I understood at last
Why I had come so far, so fast -
On every leaf of every tree
A fairy sat and smiled at me.

-- Rose Fyleman
There are fairies in my garden,
They wander everywhere;
If you believe in fairies,
You are sure to see them there.

Busy just like buzzy bees
And working hard like ants;
They dust the spider webs for me
And decorate my plants.

Mischievous just like little imps,
They'll play a trick on you;
They love butterflies and ladybugs,
And little children too.

I say good morning to them
And wish them a happy day;
They come and say goodnight to me
Before they hide away.

-- Jean Aked