In late February, snowdrops slowly lifted their sleepy heads from their cold wet blankets. These flowered alone, waiting patiently for March and the great melting. When the weather began to warm, they greeted anemones and daffodils and watched as bright green shoots of tulips began to rise from their underground bulbs. As the days advanced past the equinox, roses awakened, and daisies, crocuses, bluebells, cornflowers; then foxglove, artemisia, vervain, poppies, forget-me-nots, all accompanied by a panoply of herbs and medicinals.
The tiny English garden behind the stone-and-thatch cottage in the middle of London was a living tapestry of flowers, wild and cultivated. Each morning brought new colors and new joys.
Daisy flitted, flitted, flitted from daisy to daisy to daisy, her tiny white wings fluttering like misplaced snowflakes in spring’s early dawn light, her tiny naked body glimmering with dew. She flitted, flitted, flitted from flower to flower to flower, now stopping to rest on the high stone wall, enjoying the cool morning air, wringing the dew from her silky white
Then back about her rounds, landing oh so gently on another daisy, spreading her shapely legs, soft and pale, and settling over a stamen, bending her knees, moving back and
forth, up and down, letting the anther tickle between her thighs; the wet petals of her own fleshy pistil opening, she slowly slid the bulbous furry organ inside. Daisy lifted her little nose and the greenish-yellow dots of her eyes to the sky and rubbed her small, perky breasts against the daisy’s smooth petals until her nipples rose and she felt the little white flower tremble in anticipation.
Then Daisy began to move, riding the erect, hairy stamen, smiling and rocking, feeling it inside her, feeling the smooth silky petals caressing her bottom and the sides of her thighs, knowing that the flower enjoyed it, too, until the stamen and anther, unable to resist, exploded pollen inside of her. Still rocking, she lifted her arms in the air in triumph,
She slowed, caught her breath, leaned back on the petal rising behind her, and kissed the petal directly in front of her, bending it to her lips.
Then she rose and shuffled around to each of that flower’s stamens, settling on each one, enjoying each one, until they had all come inside her and outside her, and her thighs and stomach and breasts were shimmering with pollen and her pistil dripping with it.
Then, flitting to another daisy, Daisy felt his own stamen now horny and rising. He fell to his knees, caressing and kissing this new flower until it opened to him, then gently guided his firm, feathered sex organ into that daisy’s pistil, stroking in and out with pleasure, the daisy gently swaying under him, responding to his thrusts, until, with a great grunt and a sigh, Daisy pumped some of his newly collected pollen into that flower.
On and on and on Daisy went, flitting, fluttering, futtering, from daisy to daisy to daisy, her legs spread, humping stamen and anther, then his silky stamen sliding in and out of soft daisy pistil. The dew misted off and the sun came up. The occasional bee had to be petted and kissed and brushed away. It was a hard morning’s work, but Daisy loved it, proud of all the daisies that had come up in the spring, confident that the covenant entrusted to each flower fairy, to ensure the pollination of that fairy’s species, would always be fulfilled for the daisies in Billy’s pretty little London garden.
She took in a nice big glob of pollen from a newly opened flower, a very young daisy, gently coaxing the stamen to release inside her, then rested on a nearby purple heather, the thin branch bobbing up and down under her tiny weight. Daisy looked across the garden, taking in the view, happily watching the other fairies pollinating this way and that, fluttering, futtering, from flower to flower, bouncing up and down . . . .
Until she saw that Mauve Gray Tulip was staring at her again. She shyly dropped her head and looked the other way. He had just pollinated one of his strange mauve gray tulips and was standing in the tulip’s cup, his arms on either side resting on the tops of the petals, his big stamen sticking out in front of him still tall and dripping.
Daisy gazed out of the corner of her eye. Why was he always looking at her like that? He was cute, but he was such a nuisance, and always causing arguments with the other fairies. Mauve Gray Tulip wanted to hybridize, but no one in Billy’s garden would dare crossbreed with another fairy’s flower. They had all been taught that hybridization was against nature, but yet, she knew that it happened sometimes.
Billy had planted the mauve gray tulip bulbs last fall. The mauve gray tulips came from overseas somewhere, and Mauve Gray Tulip, of course, came up with them in the spring. He spoke English with a strange accent. The new fairy was tall and purple-ish, and such a fop, always languorously downcast, always putting back of hand to forehead and complaining about the English rain, the English fog, the terrible smoke in the London air, and that the English fairies were backward and uncultured and that’s why they didn’t hybridize.
Evidently, where Mauve Gray Tulip came from was a paradise of sun, clean air, and crossbreeding orgies!
He was still looking at her. Daisy turned and stuck out her tongue. She saw his head reel back quite dramatically and a smile appear on his handsome face. He opened his mouth. Then, without taking his eyes from her, he took a full tulip stamen, bent it toward him, and put it in his mouth!
Daisy knew that this was also against nature, but again, she knew that it happened sometimes. On purpose, even.
She threw him an exaggerated sigh and frowned. Backward and uncultured; does he think she’s never heard of this? But her eyes got wide when he started to lick the pollen from the stamen and pollinate himself (himself! not herself!). And it seemed he wasn’t doing it just to shock her: his head was down now, totally engrossed in taking pollen from that stamen. Daisy couldn’t stop looking.
And that’s why she didn’t see the big hand coming up behind her.
Mauve Gray Tulip looked up and his wings fluttered. The human (humans weren’t supposed to even be able to see fairies!) held her gently and turned her toward him.
Oh, it was only Billy. Everybody knew that Billy could see fairies. Daisy relaxed. All the fairies had gotten used to Billy visiting them in the garden. He’d sit out on a wicker chair and talk to the fairies in his low, slow, rumbly, thumpy voice, or sing strange nonsense rhymes. He’d have pencils and stiff paper and he’d try to draw pictures of them and he’d grumble as they flitted and flickered and fluttered and futtered about.
Daisy smiled at Billy. Billy smiled at Daisy. He was on his back, without his clothes, holding her up above him. (Billy had taken to leaving his clothes in his house when he saw that none of the garden fairies wore clothes. Daisy approved of that decision, in spite of the fact that Billy’s big lumpy body, spiky with tangled gray hair like a large winter shrub, didn’t really appeal to her.)
He rose to his knees and stood, carrying Daisy up with him. Then he carefully walked across the garden to his back porch.
Daisy had never been through the door that led from the garden into the house. It led to a kitchen! A kitchen full of big black iron pots and piles of coal and a big iron stove. Iron made Daisy nervous. Some fairies were allergic to it; Daisy didn’t know if she was or not.
In any case, Billy took her through to the other end of the kitchen where there was a big wooden table set on trestles. The table had chisels and knives and big flat pieces of wood,
and there were wood shavings everywhere. Billy set her down on a low shelf by the table and said something in his rumbly thumpy voice that sounded to her like:
“Prithee . . . hold . . . still . . . for . . . just . . . a . . . second . . . canst . . . thee?”
So she did. Billy took out a pencil and some stiff paper. He looked at Daisy for a long time. She heard his low slow rumbly thumpy voice again:
“Such a . . . creature! . . . Little . . . Day’s Eye! . . . . Who . . . made thee? . . . Did He . . . who made me . . . make thee?”
Then Billy began to draw. She tried hard not to move. She examined his face, all ruddy and bumpy, and his gray locks of hair. She examined every little thing she could see in the kitchen. Then Billy grunted.
Kate had come in the room, so of course Daisy had jumped up and smiled and waved. She heard Billy again:
“Just . . . for . . . another . . . moment . . . prithee . . . hold . . . still. . . .”
Kate lived with Billy. It was Kate’s garden, too, but everyone called it Billy’s garden. Daisy tried to stay still again, but this was really exciting. Billy always had a stamen and anther, and Kate never did, she always had a pistil, so maybe for the first time Daisy would see them properly pollinate and switch! Daisy was curious about zoology as well as botany.
Although she suddenly wondered, for the first time, what did they pollinate?
Kate said: “You . . . should not be . . . out in the . . . garden like . . . that . . . my love. You have . . . already caught . . . chill . . . and are . . . quite feverish. . . .” She looked over his shoulder. “Are . . . you inventing . . . more . . . fairies . . . Billy . . .? Why . . . she’s . . . quite pretty!”
Daisy preened, moving her shoulders back and forth and kicking her legs. Billy grunted again. Suddenly a great loud banging came from the outside door! Billy put down his pencil
and paper and shook his head and sighed and threw on a nightshirt that had been sitting on a chair.
He went into the other room. Daisy heard a creak and a loud, very high voice, so she fluttered into the other room to see what it was. This was wonderful fun! A small human
stood in the door, his hands clasped in front of him. He recited very rapidly:
“Mr. Blake sir I’ve come on behalf of Mr. Linnell for he said some more Divine Comedy engravings he wants ’em.” The boy shook his head. “He said Mr. Blake Mr. Linnell up the
Daisy could understand this human much better than she could low, slow Billy.
Billy said to the small human at the door:
“I know . . . child. . . . I have more . . . engravings . . . for him. Wait . . . here . . . a moment. . . . They are . . . wrapped and . . . ready on . . . the work table. . . . Oh . . . Kate! . . . Could you . . . go with . . . the boy . . . and . . . see that . . . we . . . get . . . paid the . . . full . . . amount . . . this time?”
Kate came from the other room. She had put on a long dress that had patterns of green ivy and red flowers. She kissed Billy and went outside and shut the door.
Billy stood looking at the closed door for a while, then he motioned Daisy back into the other room. Daisy fluttered after him. Billy patted the big trestle table, and Daisy sat down on it cross-legged. Billy petted the bottoms of her feet with his index finger, and she realized that he was trying to get her to spread her legs. So she did. She tried to stay motionless as Billy retrieved his pencil and a new piece of paper.
While Billy drew a picture, her eyes glanced around the room, noting all the strange things humans collected for their burrows. Then she saw Mauve Gray Tulip. He was at
one of the windows at the side of the house, and he was watching them.
Mauve Gray Tulip banged on the window, a very small tap, tap, tap. Well, he’s just jealous, thought Daisy. Nobody would want to draw Mauve Gray Tulip. He’s too obnoxious.
Billy stood up and showed her the drawing. She had seen herself in pools of dew, so she knew pretty much what she looked like, but Billy’s drawing was so much better than that! It made her look beautiful! It made her want to go out and pollinate! And, she saw that Billy, too, was ready to pollinate, his stamen poking up inside his nightshirt.
Billy touched her legs again with his index finger. Then he pulled his stamen out from under his shirt. It was huge, bigger than a mushroom, bigger than a stalk of broccoli, thick like a healthy cucumber! It kind of reminded her of a gourd: a round sac at the bottom, then a long curving neck. The anther was a smaller bulb at the top, like a cherry. Now Billy was stroking his stamen with his hand.
Daisy thought, I’ll be able see what Billy’s going to pollinate! Then his stamen will disappear and he’ll have a pistil and she’ll get pollinated! I should pay very close attention. I don’t want to miss anything!
Daisy watched Billy’s stamen get wet and sticky as he stroked it. He came nearer to her, so she could see it better. It was all very interesting. He held it closer, almost over her head, so she had to look up at it. It got stiffer, as a stamen would. But what would he pollinate? She didn’t see anything living nearby. You couldn’t pollinate a table. Or a piece of paper.
Would he pollinate the magick pencil?
Billy moaned and jerked and his stamen released its pollen in great white goopy spurts all over Daisy’s little face and shoulders. It kept coming out in huge stringy rivers of pollen
that roped over her pert breasts and down her stomach and between her legs. It kept coming and coming as Daisy tried valiantly to clear her face so she could breathe. It was an
ocean of sticky white pollen glopped all over her, covering her legs, her stomach, her breasts, her hair, her face . . . she thought she might drown in it.
This was confusing.
This was much worse than hybridization. For one thing, she didn’t know what to call it. No one had ever told her that this happened sometimes, so she didn’t have a name for it. She couldn’t help but taste Billy’s salty pollen as she cleared it from her mouth and nose. She managed to smear some of it from her breasts and stomach, but there was so much of it!
Her arms kept getting stuck to her sides and her pistil and legs were stuck to the table.
She looked up to find Billy gone.
He came back with a little china cup full of water and a kitchen cloth. Daisy stared at him and furrowed her brow. She didn’t know if maybe she should be mad at him, or maybe he should be mad at her. He surely couldn’t have meant to pollinate her! She looked behind her to see what he must have been aiming at. Daisy hoped she hadn’t gotten in his way.
Billy gently extricated her from the table and placed her in the cup. The water was nice and warm. Billy’s stamen was now smaller and limp. She would have asked him what he was trying to pollinate, but everyone knew that Billy was quite deaf these days, at least to high, quick fairy-talk.
Daisy liked the water. She dunked her head under and let all of Billy’s stringy pollen float up to the surface. She wanted to see Billy’s stamen change to a pistil, so she broke her way up through Billy’s floating pollen—
Only to see Mauve Gray Tulip in Billy’s house!? Flying around Billy’s head!? With a pair of large angry bumblebees!?
Billy was ducking his head and trying to swat at the three of them, but she could tell he was also trying to not hurt Mauve Gray Tulip. Then Billy got up and ran through the door followed closely by the bees. Mauve Gray Tulip lifted Daisy by her arm and pulled her out of the little china cup. They followed Billy out the door. Daisy hoped he was all right!
But now Billy was asleep.
He was facedown on the flagstone walk in his garden and his nightshirt was rising and falling like an ocean. Billy’s behind was bare, and Daisy wondered if Billy had changed from himself to herself, but it would take every fairy in the garden, and then some hundreds more, to turn Billy over. She would just have to wait until Billy woke up.
What a lovely morning to have a nap in the garden! Daisy and Mauve Gray Tulip settled down on top of Billy’s nightshirt.
Mauve Gray Tulip took Daisy’s hand and gazed into her eyes. “Did he hurt you?” he asked.
“No! Why ever would our Billy hurt me? He’s one of our two garden humans. It was so interesting! I was watching him pollinating. Why did you chase him with bumblebees, Mauve Gray Tulip?”
“I thought . . . I thought that he might hurt you. He’s so big!”
“Oh, that’s sweet. But Billy would never hurt us.”
“Daisy . . . sometimes I think that you think that I would hurt you.” “Mauve Gray Tulip! No! I . . . do think that you maybe desire to hybridize with me. I . . .” She looked shyly down at where she sat on Billy’s nightshirt, which was still rising and falling with his breathing, making her just a little seasick. “Well, that’s not allowed . . . here. But after Billy just . . . on me . . . um . . . well . . .”
“I know, Daisy. I was watching from the window.”
“I’m just not so sure anymore.”
“About what, Daisy?”
“Crossbreeding. Maybe . . . I don’t know . . .”
Mauve Gray Tulip’s hand moved gently to caress her upper arm. “Daisy, let’s try this. You can stop me whenever you want. Whenever you feel . . . uncomfortable.” He took her other hand.
Daisy was nervous, but when he leaned in to kiss her, she leaned forward to meet him.
The kiss made her lips tingle and made her feel all warm inside. As Mauve Gray Tulip’s tongue joined hers, she began to feel a nice heat between her thighs. Then he tilted his head and let his forehead rest against hers.
“Was that all right, Daisy?”
She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him for a long time.
Soon, his hands were holding her shoulders, then squeezing her pale, pert breasts. She looked down and watched his purple-gray fingers playing with the soft greenish-yellow dots of her nipples, followed quickly by his mouth. His thick, soft, mauve gray hair felt so good in her hands. She began to feel dizzy, delirious, and now not because Billy’s nightshirt was moving up and down—because it wasn’t anymore, it was nice and calm and still—but because of what Mauve Gray Tulip was doing to her.
He lifted his head from her breasts. She smiled. He asked again if everything was all right. She answered that everything was fine, and let him gently lower her down into the folds of Billy’s nightshirt.
The shock of his mouth on her pistil made her gasp! Mauve Gray Tulip raised his head, as if to ask if everything was still all right. She nodded, and he returned to licking the pollen from her pistil. She had never heard of anyone doing this before. But now she wanted to tell all her friends about it!
Everything was certainly all right! It seemed her little London fairy ring could very well be mistaken about some things!
Unbeknownst to Daisy, her hips had started rocking against Mauve Gray Tulip’s face as if his face were a daisy stamen. When she realized that was happening, she tried to pull away, but he quickly grabbed her thighs and held her tight. Daisy started having feelings that she’d never had before, a current running deep like a river inside her body—a river that was about to become a giant waterfall—a waterfall that was about to sweep her away—
Her legs were trembling and she fought him, pushing him. She rolled on her side, jerking and twisting, the waves of pleasure swallowing her, too intense to bear.
When she caught her breath, she looked up to see Mauve Gray Tulip grinning at her. She felt a little embarrassed. Even a little annoyed. He kissed her pistil. Then he gently spread her legs again and placed his big dusky gray stamen on her pale white stomach. She opened her mouth in surprise. It was long and thick, and feathery like his tulips.
He whispered, “May I continue, my sweet English daisy?”
He bent over her and kissed her. Then she let him gently guide it inside her, feeling every tiny fraction of an inch as it slid past the lips of her pistil. It felt like a daisy’s stamen, only nimble, purposeful, as if she and he were both flower and fairy together.
It felt so good. Mauve Gray Tulip slowly rocked her hips, his handsome face smiling down at her. She wrapped her arms and legs around him and smiled back. She was no longer thinking at all about hybridization or cross-pollination. When he finally pollinated inside her, she had a vague memory that this was against nature, but now that she happened to be doing it, she thought that sometimes it might be a very nice thing to do.
As Mauve Gray Tulip lay breathing hard, Daisy let his stamen rise and felt for Mauve Gray Tulip’s breasts. They were lovely and soft and had wonderful purple nipples. He slid his hand down Mauve Gray Tulip’s stomach and down her thigh. Daisy tried to mimic what Mauve Gray Tulip had done to her, now that she was a he and he was a she. He got a little excited, though, nipping at Mauve Gray Tulip’s thighs and biting her pistil!
Daisy tasted Mauve Gray Tulip and found her pollen sweet and delicious! He started by following Mauve Gray Tulip’s actions exactly, but then found that he already somehow knew by heart how to do all this just by listening to her happily moaning, feeling her fingers caressing his shoulders.
Before he realized it was happening, Daisy felt Mauve Gray Tulip falling over the same lovely waterfall that had carried Daisy away. Daisy held her while she spasmed, marveling at how beautiful Mauve Gray Tulip truly was. He gently kissed Mauve Gray Tulip’s breasts and throat and lingered on her mouth.
Daisy’s stamen was firm and more than ready! Mauve Gray Tulip spread her legs and whispered, “I want you, Daisy . . . .” but Daisy decided to tease her friend a little, pretending to insert his stamen, but then withdrawing it, until Mauve Gray Tulip was banging her fists in the folds of Billy’s nightshirt. When Daisy did slide his stamen into Mauve Gray Tulip, it felt so good that he was momentarily breathless.
Afterwards, they lay on the soft nightshirt, Billy’s body underneath them, holding each other tight. The other fairies, Daisy saw, were ignoring them. Some must have seen what they had done.
Tudor Rose had, and now Tudor Rose was motioning them to join her. Daisy nudged Mauve Gray Tulip, and they flew off to the rosebush at the edge of Billy’s garden and nestled down inside a big red-and-white rose. Daisy knew that of all the fairies in the garden, Tudor Rose was the one most sympathetic to Mauve Gray Tulip’s arguments. (Rose insisted that roses were all hybrids anyway.) Tudor Rose kissed both Daisy and Mauve Gray Tulip, and she covered them with rose petals.
When Daisy and Mauve Gray Tulip woke up, the next morning, they went about their normal rounds, flitting, flitting, flitting from flower to flower to flower. At first, Daisy felt a little guilty, but then he caught Mauve Gray Tulip watching him, furtively, and she started to giggle, and Daisy started to giggle, and they shared a smile across Billy’s garden.
But where was Billy?
After pollinating his daisies, Daisy went to the window of Billy’s house. Inside Billy was sleeping on his back on the big work table. Kate was crying, for some reason. That made
Daisy sad. Some humans he had never seen before were gathered in the kitchen. They were dressed in black and had tall black hats. One of them put a shiny penny in Billy’s
mouth. Why would anyone want to eat a penny? Daisy asked himself. Then he asked Mauve Gray Tulip, who had joined him at the window.
“They do so much that we don’t understand,” she replied.
They went back to their flowers, but Daisy kept thinking of Kate and how Kate was crying.
One of the humans inside the house came outside and looked around the garden. He saw Mauve Gray Tulip’s mauve gray tulips and walked over to them. Mauve Gray Tulip stood on one and she smiled up at the human.
Then the human took a pair of shears and cut three mauve gray tulips! Cut them straight through the stem! And took them away!
Daisy flew right over to Mauve Gray Tulip, who was shaking and beginning to weep. He held her tight. The tulips would pop up again someday, of course, but it hurt so terribly when they were cut. It was awful when something like that happened to your flowers, but Daisy knew that it happened sometimes.
Mauve Gray Tulip got up and flew to the kitchen window, and Daisy followed. There, through the wavy glass, they saw the three mauve gray tulips resting on Billy’s chest.
Daisy spent the rest of the morning consoling Mauve Gray Tulip, holding her and, eventually, as Mauve Gray Tulip calmed down, pollinating her again.
The next morning, waking up alongside the dawn, Daisy got ready to pollinate her charges. She settled over a stamen, bent her knees, moved back and forth, up and down, letting the anther tickle between her thighs; the wet petals of her own fleshy pistil opening—and stopped.
The long thin white petal she was kneeling on had a curlicue of mauve gray running from the center of the flower to the edge.
In fact, she saw now that every petal had a mauve gray curlicue. Looking around in a panic, she saw that all her daisies now had delicate curling mauve gray lines.
She looked around to find Mauve Gray Tulip, who was examining his own flowers, each one decorated with a curlicue of white.
Then Tudor Rose shouted across the garden that both the tulips and the daisies looked particularly lovely this morning! And she meant it. Daisy could see that it was true: her daisies looked more beautiful than ever! And she would never have thought of that. A fine mauve gray curlicue!
She flew around them, proud as a mother with new seedlings. Some of the more conservative garden fairies were scowling at both her and Mauve Gray Tulip, but others smiled and nodded, like they knew what had happened.
The next morning, though, she found another change to her daisies, this one stranger: little pink mushrooms poking up from around the base of the stems. Odd little things. She stood on the grass and examined them. Each daisy had one or two. She had a vague feeling that she’d seen something like that before.
She had seen one before! She knelt down in front of a mushroom and petted it, and felt it getting stiffer and harder, its shape changing to something like a gourd. She petted it some more and, sure enough—the little mushroom squirted sticky pollen all over her, just like Billy did.
She sighed, wiping her hands on the grass. Clearly, this happens sometimes. She just didn’t have a name for it.