lintu: a traditional fairy christmas story

Feeding The Birds In Winter by Hubert Salentin; image from I Am a Child

Lintu loves her loom. She weaves the silken threads of milkweed pods into shimmering, luminescent cloth. With scissors made of starlight beams and comet dust, she carefully cuts the fabric into rectangles. Each rectangle, reflecting the skyclouds and seawaves, carefully sewn with a gossamer thread spun from the fluff of dandelion parachutes and bulrush tops. The draw strings were fashioned from elven wire, twisted with fairy filaments.

These are very special bags; ones that Lintu treasures making. You see, at fairy christmas time (around winter solstice {2015: December 22nd} – a moveable feast), people exchange gifts that are gifts.

Lintu fills each bag with sunflower seeds, millet, wheat seeds, safflower seeds, chopped nuts and dried fruits. With a sprinkle of pixie dust, each bag is off to a friend, a relative, a neighbour, a homeless elf, a chronically ill imp, and her friends on fairibook and impster and wordpixiepress.

To receive a bag, radiant on dingedulliest days, or starmoonlessest nights, is certainly a wonderous event. Lintu’s bags gracefully flutter down on doorsteps, or slip into mailboxes, or tippietoe up walkways.

Just before the shifting of time between unchristmas and christmas, contents of the bags are scattered as near to home as possible (window ledges, back mushroom decks, lily-pads, flower boxes, or between the summer and winter doors so as to be sent spinning out with each foot fall in and out).

On fairy christmas morn, birds fly in to receive their gift of seeds. They sing songs of thankfulness and promise to wear their best dress in the spring in return.

With a huge mug of fairy absolute chocolatiest, creamiest, dreamiest coca between her hands, Lintu watches the birds through tickle-your-nose-fragrant steam and the front window. Colorful dance of cardinals, blue jays, rhythmic sparrow movements, curious chickadees, flight paths of titmice.

As Grandmother taught Lintu to weave, she told stories. Stories her Grandmother sang while she was learning to spin.

“Remember, Lintu, traditions have a place. Some need changing, rearranging, leaving go. But many fade into dust and woodsmoke if no one remembers and shares.”

Her Grandmother loved to tell of the gift of birdseed at christmas time. Lintu had made it her own.

Leaving food for the birds on Christmas morning is a northern European tradition. One I haven’t followed of late. One I need to start again.

Written for Tale Weaver 43: Christmas fairly tale and Tale Weaver 44: Traditions

 

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9 thoughts on “lintu: a traditional fairy christmas story

  1. Jael Aster December 21, 2015 / 3:16 am

    This is lovely–my neighbor cares for the birds, and the squirrels as well!

    Like

    • tale weaver/ing December 21, 2015 / 10:59 am

      Thanks.
      We’ve been feeding birds for years, and have multiple memo books full of what birds came to our yard that day.

      Like

      • Jael Aster December 21, 2015 / 5:51 pm

        I’ve been astounded at how much research my neighbor has done–I think this new care-giving bird hobby has done him good!

        Like

  2. Sheri December 17, 2015 / 1:46 pm

    This is so beautiful, your words paint a magical picture. You took a season that is very difficult for me and transformed it into something wonderful.

    Like

    • phylor December 18, 2015 / 8:42 pm

      So glad, Sheri, that my tale brought a little bit of magic into your holiday season.
      We all need a sprinkle or two of pixie dust at times.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. summerstommy2 December 17, 2015 / 2:01 am

    What beautiful tale of tradition and reason to maintain it…..I didn’t know about this tradition but I see it as embracing the spirit of Christmas well and truly…thank you for sharing this….excellent piece of writing….

    Like

    • phylor December 18, 2015 / 8:45 pm

      Thank you for the gift of your kind words.
      I like that gift giving can come from the heart, not the mall. I have donated to causes in other folks’ names — a kind of gift that’s a gift, I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

    • phylor December 18, 2015 / 8:45 pm

      Thank you for your nice words and for dropping by.

      Liked by 1 person

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