Summer Tales, By Suzanne Down

My brothers and I played outside most of our childhood, and were lucky to have an old huge honeysuckle bush along our fence. My dad showed us how to carefully suck the sweet honey nectar from the flowers, and we spent hours playing amongst the roots and leaves and flowers of that magical bush. I am sure this story is a true tale.

The Honeysuckle Cafe

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It is summer in the meadow, wildflowers grow and bloom along the edge of a softly flowing creek. Where the waters bubble up and sing you will find a giant honeysuckle bush with the sweetest smelling flowers you will ever smell.

If you look under the honeysuckle leaves you will be surprised to find a tidy and pleasant room full of wee little tables made of wooden stumps with mossy chairs. And if you were lucky enough to do so you would find the room full of bees, butterflies, and flower fairy folk sipping honeysuckle tea and laughing away the summer hours.

For this is the Honeysuckle Cafe, run by Mother Summer herself!

One hot summer afternoon, Mia and her grandmother went for a picnic in that very meadow. Mia brought along a basket of fresh raspberries she had just picked from the garden. After she helped Grandmother lay down their blanket in the meadow grasses, Mia went to the creek to wash the berries.

As she bent down by the water, she heard strange and beautiful tiny sounds. They were coming from under the honeysuckle bush. Mia quietly lay down on the ground and peeked under the leaves. She saw a great surprise, a most amazing sight!

She silently waved to grandma to come! Grandma tiptoed over and lay down next to Mia. Together they watched! Fairies, butterflies, bees, even ladybugs were all drinking honeysuckle tea, and laughing. Some were dancing to the tune from a grasshopper’s fiddle.

Grandma whispered, ‘I have never in my whole life seen such a wonderful sight! They watched for a long time, then ever so quietly backed away.

‘We should leave a little gift for them, ‘said Mia. She looked at her basket of raspberries and said, ‘let’s leave these! It does look just like a cafe, a fairy cafe!’ And Mia gently placed the raspberry basket near the opening under the honeysuckle bush.

They did not know that Mother Summer was hiding nearby, watching their kindness.

When they returned to their picnic blanket, there, sitting on rose petals were 2 tiny cups of honeysuckle tea from the honeysuckle cafe!

‘Mmmmm’, they sipped the glorious nectar, and both agreed it was the sweetest drink they had ever had. It tasted of sunshine and flowers, and happy summer days. ‘Thank you, thank you for the tea’, they called out hoping someone could hear them. Mother Summer did hear them, and was smiling from her hiding place.

They never again saw any sign of the honeysuckle cafe, but every time they went for a meadow picnic, they stopped to sip from a honeysuckle flower, and remembered that magical day. 

by Suzanne Down

Suzanne Down, is longtime Director of Juniper Tree School of Story and Puppetry Arts, early childhood puppetry specialists.  You can have fun exploring her blog which has lots of articles on puppetry and original stories you may use in your programs.  We also have a new online course series called Early Childhood Puppetry Made Easy, for simple and magical puppet tutorials and presentation guides you can check out too.  click on ‘All Courses’ near the top of the page.