The Kingdom of Avalon

Author: Anouk Pollet

The kingdom of Avalon rejoiced the arrival of spring. Flower fairies emerged from their nests and the frost fairies disappeared. Nightingales sang and babies, human and animal alike, were born. But still Spring was sad. In the week that she had seen Winter she had realised just how alone they both were. They had no one in the entire world who could understand them. They didn’t even understand themselves. Not that it stopped them being friends. Opposites attract, or so the humans said. Spring almost smiled at this unexpected piece of human wisdom. Spring played with the animals and braided flowers into her long, moss green hair but she still felt that something was missing. Her friend, an otter called Tee, noticed something was wrong and tried to comfort her. “Oh Tee. Why do I feel like this?” Spring said as she lay down next to a river to sleep. The moss was soft and the willows rustled gently above. The sound of the river laughing as she flowed down the hill lulled Spring into a deep sleep.

Summer followed the playful otter down the stream. He often had to duck, as the willows branches loved hitting him and would go out of their way to. The otter led him to a beautiful willow with pink flowers drifting in the water near it and covering the branches. He looked underneath and saw a girl. She was lithe and willowy, with moss green hair and tanned skin. Flowers wove themselves into her hair and animals played around her. “Wow,” he gasped. This seemed to wake her. She gave a stirred and her eyelashes fluttered. Summer’s friend, a squirrel called Mateo, climbed him like an oak. “So? What do you think?” Mateo chattered away in his squirrel language and Summer nodded. He looked down again and saw her grass green eyes looking up at him. “I’m Spring,” she said and he swore his heart burst with happiness.

Autumn came, with his fox and red hair. He and Summer got on well and Avalon started preparing for Winter. Autumn danced on the wind that blew and the falling leaves covered him in reds, golds, yellows and browns. He couldn’t help thinking of his beloved Winter, with her cold skin and long hair. He couldn’t wait for her icy breath to blow on his cheek and her fun loving spirit to chase him onto new adventures. Flame, his faithful fox, felt the same about her black wolf, Nyx. The ground became carpeted with flame coloured leaves that crackled under Autumn’s feet as winter approached. One day he felt a cold breath on his cheek and a voice whispered in his ear “want to go on an adventure?” Autumn turned around, breathless with excitement, and saw Winter standing there. Her black hair, edged with white hung to her waist and her ice blue eyes seemed to pierce his soul. “Well? Are you coming?” Winter said and held out her hand.

Winter missed Autumn, but unlike her friend Spring, she did not spend every waking hour thinking about him. Instead she ice- skated, danced with the winter fairies and ran lightly across the top of the freshly fallen snow with Nyx. Sometimes, when Winter watched the humans attempt to ice- skate, she felt an uncharacteristic stab of fondness. Humans were so sweet (most of the time) and they were always so determined! More than twice she helped some young teenagers learn how to ice- skate without too many bruises, but of course they never saw her. Nyx laughed at her for liking humans and in revenge Winter and the fairies waged a snowball war against the wolves. The owls stayed on the side- lines, cautioning them, until a snowball hit one in the face. Now the owls joined in as well, bombarding both sides with snow. Finally, two days later, Winter and the fairies won. Tired but grinning, all teams declared a truce and lay down in the snow to cool off. Winter started noticing buds poking up through the snow and smiled secretly. “Spring!” She called. Out of the trees Spring ran. “Winter! It’s so good to see you! What did you do to occupy yourself?” Winter started a tale that would take up the whole of two days and during which they would laugh constantly.

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