The tales of Faylinn Forest

Chapter Two

If you ever find yourself within Faylinn Forest, happen to follow a certain stream and weave your way through the longest grass, you will find a very beautiful sight.

Hundreds of tiny, tiny little flowers, about the size of pins.

There you will find Rhoslyn; a fairy with black hair reaching her toes, woven with tiny red roses. Her job was to take care of all the little flowers which grew in her garden. The tiny roses, the little lilies, the minute forget-me-nots and the petite daises would always grow to be so beautiful and colourful with her looking after them.

Everyday she would wake up before the sunrise inside her home. She had woven together the thorned stems of one hundred roses to form a small cave beside the flowers. She would flutter around the garden, checking the quality of each one, before sprinkling dew onto them. She'd spend all day amongst them, watering them, picking them, sprinkling the seeds.

In fact, she spent so much time in her garden that she barely had anytime to spend with the other fairies! The only time she'd ever get to see anybody was when fairies would visit her garden for flowers. This made Rhoslyn very sad and very shy. She'd hide away in her home and watch those visiting her garden, wishing ever so hard that she could work up the courage to talk to them. She'd never had a friend…

So she decided that the flowers would be her friends. They provided company for her, were always there for her and would listen as she whispered her secrets and dreams to them in the dead of night.

Every night when the moon was high, Rhoslyn would walk carefully through the flowers, before kneeling amongst them and would whisper softly to them. If only the flowers could talk back…

That night, when the moon was full, Rhoslyn was knelt among her flowery friends. She checked around her, looked down at her lilies and whispered softly,

"Oh, my darlings, I had such a wonderful dream last night!" She told them, "In my dream I had so many good friends! They invited me out to pick berries with them and we danced all night long." She picked a tiny little flower up and sniffed it gently. It was so sweet and luscious, "But, alas, I have none… but oh well. I have you, my lovelies. My precious flower friends…"

She sighed, hiding her face within her knees and crying softly.

Rhoslyn was the loneliest fairy in all of Faylinn Forest.

The very next day started as any other. She awoke before the sun and fluttered around the garden, sprinkling her magic dew. As she worked, she was very unaware of who was watching her. Just behind a large rosebush was a creature of the forest, watching her work with beady little eyes. The creature, like Rhoslyn was very shy and very lonely, with nobody to call his friend. He had noticed Rhoslyn's beautiful garden, and also Rhoslyn herself. He had noticed how she never spoke to anybody except her flowers. Now, he knew it was very impolite to listen in on somebody, but he couldn't help himself. Everything she said to the flowers, about her dreams, her fears, her loneliness, he had felt it all himself. How he longed to approach her and talk to her, to become her friend, but he couldn't. He was too shy and too afraid. The poor creature wasn't a fairy, or an elf. He was a creature that fairies feared and hated, that elves would fight away with their bows and spears.

He was a rat.

But he wasn't like the other rats. He wasn't sneaky, he wasn't mean and he wasn't rude. He was sweet; he always kept his fur clean and never bit anybody. But it didn't seem to matter… everybody in the forest saw him as a rat and wanted nothing to do with him. What if Rhoslyn saw him the same way? The thought of her screaming and running away from him when all he wanted to do was talk made him very sad. So he would watch her from afar, dreaming of the day he would have the courage to simply say hello.

Little did he know, this was that day.

Rhoslyn found something much unexpected on her doorstep. She heard somebody shuffling around outside it, went to check it, but there was nobody there. Very disappointed and upset she went to go inside, when she noticed somebody had left a large, bright green grape just outside her home. She was very surprised; grapes were very tasty and rare in Faylinn Forest. She picked it up, it was very heavy, and brought it inside. It would be a while until anybody would visit her garden, so she decided she would enjoy her grape amongst the flowers. She placed it into a little wicker basket, with a grass woven blanket and a little knife. She stepped outside and began walking up and down the garden, looking for the right spot.

Eventually she spotted a lovely little patch of grass between the little roses and the tiny daisies. She laid out the blanket and the little knife, but as she reached out to take the grape, she knocked the basket over! The grape rolled away into the rose bush, where the rat was hiding!

"Oh, dear…" muttered Rhoslyn, hopping up, "I do hope it isn't bruised." She flew over to the bush, peaked inside, and found herself face to face with a very large rat!

Now, to you and me, rats are very small, but to a fairy they are very big indeed. Rhoslyn gave a scream and tried to run, but her foot tangled itself within the grass! She fell down, unable to move away. She was very, very frightened. But the rat simply looked at her with his large, beady eyes, and picked up the grape between his teeth. He walked slowly towards her, and placed the grape by her feet, before untangling the grass around her ankles with the tip of his tail.

Rhoslyn was very confused. Aren't rats evil, she thought, why is he being so nice?

She picked up the grape and fluttered up to her feet, looking at the creature before her. His fur was brown and very smooth, his eyes large and sad. She felt her heart ache a little for the creature. She knelt down before him, "… Thank you very much for helping me, kind sir."

The rat looked up at her, surprised. Nobody had ever called him 'kind' or 'sir' before, "… Y-you are welcomed, M-miss." He stammered, "I-I didn't mean t-to startle you!"

Rhoslyn smiled at him, "Its okay. I was just… a little surprised… you… are a rat."

The rat looked down sadly, "Yes… I am a rat. But I promise you, I'm not like the rest. I'm not a bad rat!"

Rhoslyn nodded, "I know you're not." She then had a thought, "Would you like to have some breakfast with me in my garden?"

Just then, the rat's eyes weren't sad anymore, "Thank you, miss, I'd love to."

Rhoslyn smiled and showed him to the blanket, taking the knife to cut the grape in half. She gave the larger half to her guest, which is the politest thing to do.

"My name is Rhoslyn." she told him.

"My name is… well…" the rat looked down, "I don't have one… none of us rats do."

Rhoslyn was very surprised, "Oh, my, well you must have a name!" She then had another idea, "I know, I will give you one!"

The rat's eyes lit up again, "Really? Oh, yes please!"

Rhoslyn thought for a moment, "Hmm… how about… Alvar?"

The rat smiled, "Yes, I like that name very much, thank you!"

"It's very nice to meet you, Alvar." Said Rhoslyn.

"It's very nice to meet you, too, Rhoslyn." Said Alvar.

So they sat and they ate the grape. It was sweet, juicy and delicious, but much tastier when enjoyed with another. By the time they had finished they were very full and a little sleepy. Rhoslyn invited him to come into her home. They sat inside the cave, talking together. She told him her secrets, fears and dreams as she would her flowers, and he told her his secrets, fears, and dreams as he always dreamed he could. They talked all day long, until the sun went down. And when it did she covered Alvar with a blanket, tucking him in gently.

"Rhoslyn?" Alvar said as he was tucked in.

"Yes, Alvar?"

"I… I've never had a friend before." He confessed.

Rhoslyn just smiled and said, "Me neither… until now. You are my friend, and I am yours."

The rat smiled, "I'd like that very much."

Rhoslyn then went over to her own bed and slid inside, "Alvar, would you like to hear a lullaby?"

Alvar looked over at her, "W-what's a lullaby?"

"Rats don't have lullabies?" She asked, "Well… it's a song that you sing to someone to help them sleep. My mother used to sing me one, would you like to hear it?"

The rat nodded, "Yes please, I'd like that a lot, thank you."

Rhoslyn smiled and begun to sing, very softly,

"Good night, my dearest prince

Good night, my darling one

Good night, my sweetest angel

Now another day is done

The sun has gone to rest, dear, now you must sleep too

The day has been so lovely, tomorrow we shall start anew

Good night, my little dreamboat

Good night, my stars and moon

Good night, my beautiful baby

Now sleep, a new day shall start soon."

Alvar's eyes had fluttered shut, "Thank you… my… friend." He whispered.

"Good night, my friend." Rhoslyn whispered back, gently falling asleep.

Suddenly, the two loneliest creatures in all of Faylinn Forest weren't so lonely anymore.