I’ve been reading the older Pub journals this past week in the afternoon as I’ve taken a week off to be the caller for the series of contradances this week organized by Shut Up and Dance!, a meeting of dance enthusiasts who are staying in the yurts and having a grand time dancing, gossiping, eating, drinking, and skinny dipping in the river.
So I’d been reading a long comment from Lady Alexandra Margaret Quinn, Head Gardener here in the Reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, about a visitor from over The Border which separates here from the Faerie realm. She had been telling Sara, the Pub manager a century and half ago, that she’d had a visitor named Autumn, no other name that she’d would admit to, dressed in bright reds, yellows, and oranges even.
She came bearing an invitation to an event across The Border of an unknown nature that “We’d be delighted to put any member of your choosing — be it fiddling jack, Sidhe archivist, changeling, or whoever you choose, on the guest list plus one.” (Not sure they knew we had a changeling here as that individual has no desire to go across The Border ever again, as her journals said so. Repeatedly.) It was decided that the best being to represent us was none of the ones named but rather Lady Alexandra herself as she had just started growing Border strawberries here — the ones that start out red and turn white when they ripen.
So she went and arranged to meet her counterpart over The Border, a fey being who was, she said, what we call an apple tree man, and he loved tea, thick with honey, and could converse for hours on all matters botanical. When they weren’t off somewhere together, they were deep in conversation in the Conservatory that Lady Alexandra had convinced The Steward to build at no small cost.
According to her Journal, she was deeply, madly fascinated by him. And she never gave his name saying it was a True Name which held Great Power over him. After that first meeting, they met constantly for the next fifty years ending only when she died at well over a hundred. It is said in another Journal, that of the Librarian at that time, that he came to her burial under the Oaks she loved and wept green tears that later sprouted seedlings that the next Estate Gardener grew into Apple trees.
Until next time, your friend, Gus