The Legend of the Bed of Tulips

Bed Tulips

image credit: dreamstime – altered with love by the pixies!

Have you heard the story of the Bed of Tulips on Dartmoor?  Near the middle of Dartmoor, close to a small village, there used to be a lovely little thatched cottage. In this cottage lived an old woman all on her own.  The village children all visited the old woman, who felt blessed with their company. She never felt lonely and loved the small animals and birds that visited her love-filled sanctuary. She shared her food with them on numerous occasions.

The old woman had a lovely garden, which she tended every day. It was full of beautiful flowers, plants and shrubs that attracted many bees, birds and butterflies. One night, just as she was nodding off to sleep, she heard the enchanting sound of music outside her bedroom window. Much to the old lady’s amazement, a band of pixies were dancing upon her lawn with joyful abandonment.

Out of the corner of her eye she also noticed that her tulips seem to be swaying in time to the music. Quietly slipping on her dressing gown and slippers, she crept out of the house for a closer look. A baby pixie was curled up in the cup of each tulip, being rocked by the swaying of the colourful tulips. The old lady was overjoyed to think that the pixies trusted her garden with their little ones and vowed to grow tulips every year.  She lived there for many years and kept her promise.

One of the villagers bought the lovely cottage after her death, but didn’t like the garden or flowers.  He dug over the lawn, and the flower beds, planting vegetables instead. He didn’t like the birds and insects as he thought they would eat his vegetables, so built a fence around his vegetable garden, aiming to keep them out. The pixies were very upset to lose their lovely garden, and especially the tulips that cradled their young every year.  They put a spell on the garden, vowing that nothing would grow there again.

Despite his best efforts, the vegetables all died, year after year, no matter how hard the new occupant tried.  The garden eventually became a bare plot of earth, but the pixies did not forget the kind old woman. Soon after that, a beautiful crop of flowers started to grow on her grave and continue to grow to this day.  A mark of love and affection from the fairies.

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About the Author: Carole Langman works behind the scenes at Bowerland Cottage Holidays and Devon Dogs as the Business Manager. Her office is always a hive of activity, and with the vast amounts of work Carole has, we never really know how she gets through it all! To unwind, she loves gardening, hikes around Bowerland, travelling and writing.

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