I got the idea for this post after reading about ways to find your voice as a writer. This one follows #4, except instead of a photo from my childhood, it’s a few funny memories. “Beatrice” and “Betty”, you know who you are…:)
I have never seen them, but I know they’re there: scattering, dancing across the yard, slipping through grass before human eyes can catch a glimpse. They scurry into mushroom homes. White, gray, yellow, thick trunks or slender stalks. The mushroom folk can find a home in any of these.
They build villages and towns, invisible to any but the most inquisitive eye. I’m certain that one village in the corner of my yard has a post office, a library, a cafe, and of course, houses. The little gray mushrooms under my window box are mostly houses but there’s a school and a museum too. I can tell because it’s big and looks old. And a little slimy.
Once, was walking in the woods behind our neighborhood, and I know I heard singing and music, faint as a wisp of wind. Of course, it was coming from a cluster of pretty red mushrooms. My mom said the music was from the house farther up the path, but she didn’t see the glow around the mushrooms. That’s a party glow and I’m one of the few who can see it.
My sister Beatrice and our friend Betty are the other ones who can see a party glow, and believe in Mushroom Folk at all. It is our job to watch over the villages that grow in our yards. The Mushroom Folk are extremely clever, of course, but sometimes they need our help. Whenever the three of us are at one of our houses, it’s our job to look for new villages so we can protect them. We have to be secretive, or our little brother and sister will follow us and squash the mushrooms. They clearly do not have an inquisitive eye. But they do have a clumsy foot. Maybe three clumsy feet between the two of them.
Sometimes we can’t be quiet, like when our dads are about to mow the grass. Then we must throw secrecy to the wind and run screaming through our yard, warning the Mushroom Folk to run for their lives! They are very fast. I don’t know how they survive; maybe they burrow into the ground like worms. But they are smart, because a few days after the lawn has been mowed, new mushrooms spring up, and the Mushroom Folk can start again.