A Modern Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, a little girl lived in a yellow cottage with her mother, father and brother.

The cottage was old - older than her mother, older even than her grandmother - but her father, a carpenter and woodworker, built many new things into the house. He built a porch across the front of the house and a special screen door that kept the bugs out (but not the sounds of the happy neighborhood). He built cabinets and tables in a workshop behind the house. He built shelves and drawers in his closet that were so beautiful her mother said they didn't need a door to hide the mess. He moved the kitchen from a small crowded room across the hall to a room that was once the dining room. Then he turned the old kitchen into a laundry room and installed a desk made from all sorts of wood where he could work at night.

One day, when she was old enough, the little girl crossed the road to go to school. Her mother was sad that the little girl had to go. The mother walked her across the street and into her classroom. It was hard to leave. The mother cried one small tear as she slowly walked back to their cottage.

As she sat on her porch swing, she felt very sad that her daughter was growing up and had gone to her first day of school - but as she watched the school she realized that she had a clear view of the playground beside the school. If she watched at a certain time of day perhaps she would see her daughter on the playground as she played with the other children. The mother thought that if she could see the little girl she would know she was happy and safe.

Still, she wished her daughter could stay home in their cottage, safe behind huge blooming oak leaf hydrangea. Surely everything a child could want was here in their garden. The little girl had always played happily in the spacious back yard on her wooden playset, wandering the brick paths that paved the way through perennial gardens and a grass lawn where she played with make-believe fairies and goblins under a massive and ancient tree.

That first day, every time she heard a child's voice from the playground the mother thought it was her daughter, running home to tell her something terrible had happened. The mother spent most of the day worrying about how the little girl might change while she was away at school. She worried that the teacher might not understand her, or that the other children would be mean to her. She had spent many years watching the little girl, protecting her, so she mostly just worried about all the things that could happen when she wasn't watching.

When the little girl finally did come home, her mother hugged her tight. They sat at the table in their large country kitchen eating cookies the mother had made and drinking milk. The little girl told her mother about her new teacher and all the friends she had made, then she went up to her cozy bedroom.

The mother eventually learned when the little girl would be outside on the playground, and would take a break from her work to sit on the porch swing and watch.

"I love you," she whispered, feeling special because of all the mothers in the world, surely less than a handful could take a break from work to sit on the porch swing and watch as her little girl grows up.


176 North Ashland


2120 square feet

3 bedrooms

One and one half baths

Fenced yard 50 x 200 feet

If you have a unique or interesting house for sale contact Lissa Sims at lsims@aceweekly.com.