February 15, 2021

The Hedge Witch and the Fairies, By Lauren Mills

Editor’s note: It’s not often that EC gets a submission that includes the work of a professional artist and writer like Lauren Mills. That’s right. The adorable image, “Berry Harvest,” that goes with this delightful and unexpected poem is also by Lauren. You’re going to love this!

A fever led the witch to bed, 

Too weak to find a cure.

Her ragged breath, her aching head,

No more could she endure.

A healer she had been to all

Who dared to seek the crone;

But none would heed a witch’s call

She’d face her end alone. 

At dusk she spied a little light

Float by her garden wall.

She fancied that a fairy might

Be tucked inside, quite small.

She rose and stumbled out her door

To see what might be there, 

Then crawled across the leafy floor

With no one there to care.

Then, one by one, she watched them come

From out of mist and dew.

Her heart like rapid wings did hum

To glimpse them as they flew.

Their hair like tufts of milkweed down

Was lifted by the breeze.

Each gossamer and silky gown

As sheer as wings of bees.

They sang and played a lively reel.

Those dainty feet did dance

Upon the tufted chamomile,

A golden-fairy prance.

With fragrance as a sweet caress

Into a dream serene,

Her eyes half closed in drowsy bliss;

She saw the strangest scene.

A tiny, wounded mouse was laid

Across the blossomed-bed.

A mossy pillow, fairy-made,

Was set beneath his head.

One wrapped him in a petal shawl.

One kissed his tiny cheek.

With thorn removed, he stood up tall,

And thanked them with a squeak.

The next to come was old brown toad.

They set his broken toe.

His gratitude he shyly showed

By croaking rather low.

At last there came a chickadee,

Her feathers not quite right.

The fairies worked so carefully

To sew them back, snug tight.

And just when she began to think

Of taking slumber there 

The fairies turned and with a wink

Wove flowers in her hair.

What happened next, she could not say;

The tunes began to fade.

By dawn’s first light they flew away.

She hobbled from the glade.

When she awoke upon her bed,

The dew upon the lawn,

With fragrant herbs around her head-

Her fever? It was gone!


Bio: Lauren A. Mills has been a visiting art professor at the University of Hartford in Connecticut and Hollins University in Virginia. She is the author and illustrator of several books for children including, The Rag Coat, The Dog Prince, Tatterhood and the Hobgoblins, and Fairy Wings which she co-illustrated with her husband, Dennis Nolan, and which won the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) Golden Kite Award. She and her husband have a grown daughter. They live with their Italian Greyhound, Ollie, in Western Massachusetts at their homestead called Faun Hollow. Lauren, a self-proclaimed Hedge Witch, grows herbs that go into her Faerie Botanica of healing teas and body care products that she makes for her family and friends.


This story was underwritten by Marcia Sherman, whose generous support helps keep EC going. If you enjoyed this poem, please consider becoming a supporter of our Patreon program. EC needs your help to offer more writing opportunities and great content.


Sophiemom said...

I love entering Lauren’s world of fairies and forest creatures

Lauren Mills said...

Thanks, Sophiemom!!!

D. deGroat said...


Angelika said...

That is utterly enchanting. Thank you for sharing!

Kelly Jarvis said...

Beautiful! Love the happy end!

Ruth Sanderson said...

What a lovely poem! Lauren 's art and writing feels like going back to Victorian times. The kind of art and writing I love!

Micha Archer said...

That is a magical story poem and the picture so tender!
Beautiful work as always.
I love the pearls (or are they bells?) around the fairy's slippers.


Dixie said...

What a magical healing place Lauren has created. It makes me forget COVID!

Dixie said...

This poem is so healing it made me forget COVID.

Amy Gordon said...

Enchanting poem and illustration! What a talent!
Amy Gordon

Jeff Mack said...

Great poem with clever rhymes and an absolutely beautiful illustration! Love those pointy slippers. The world needs more work from Lauren Mills!

Lauren Mills said...

Thank you all for such kind comments! I am very excited about this platform for fairy tales, poem and fairy art... especially since it's been over 15 years that children's book publishers have shied away from fairy tales and poems... but we all know fairy tales aren't only for children! - Lauren

Anonymous said...

I love this so much! So comforting!

Nancy Carpenter said...

Oh Lauren, Your Poem so beautifully written! It could be a children's book! I so resonate as they are the same realms I visit! Lovely!

Elizabeth Caulfield Felt said...


jsideriadis said...

A beautiful marriage of image and word. I love it!

Victoria Dixon said...

The poem and art are a perfect combination. Well done.