Clover

Clover

It is a warm April morning and the sky is a pretty azure. 

“This is called peace”, I say reading a book on top of a tree.

I am on the highest branch, books next to me. Birds are tweeting, and sometimes, on warm and perfect days like this, I feel sleepy.

I open my eyes, and remove the book from my face. The sun looks at me and I close my eyes out of reflex. I hear a sound coming from beneath.

It makes me curious because I am sure I am on private property, and the stretches of land around is my family estate. 

I look down discreetly. I am surprised to find a little boy on all fours, looking for something hard on the ground. 

“Maybe he lost something.” I murmur to myself, and go back to my book.

It happens the next day and the day after as well.

It is already the fourth day, and he still comes looking for something. 

Now, I am greatly curious what he is looking for. 

I hang down from a lower branch.

“Ah!” He screams, takes a step back and closes his eyes all at once.

It makes me laugh.

“Don’t come closer!” He says, eyes still closed.

“What are you looking for?” I say with a smile. 

He doesn’t reply but opens his eyes now.

“Who are you?” He asks, eyes wide. He obviously did not expect to see another person. 

“I’m the holy guardian of the place,” I say and grin. “And you?”

He doesn’t say anything.

“Listen here”, I state, “I’ll have to throw you out if you don’t introduce yourself. The Fairy King will punish you.”

“Fairy King?” He repeats, and asks timidly, “Can I meet the Fairy King?”

“Now?”

“Yes.”

“Maybe,” I look at the sky, “You can’t though.”

“Why?”

“Because the Fairy King doesn’t like children who aren’t polite,” I jump down now.

“I’m Lucas,” He says and genuflects for a brief moment. “Can I meet the Fairy King now?”

I am amused.

I think and then I pretend to be listening to someone.

“His Majesty says that he is busy right now,” I say, “But if you continue to be a polite boy, he agrees to meet you.”

“How did you know?” He says, arms akimbo.

“Telepathy.” 

I sit down, cross legged.

“What are you looking for, Lucas?” I look at him and pat the grass next to me.

He sits down.

“I won’t tell you,” he smirks at me.

“Only the Fairy king?” I ask.

He nods, “you can’t help me anyway. Only the Fairy King can help me.”

“Oh?”

“Anyway,” Lucas continues, “what is your name?”

“I won’t tell you.” 

“Oh come on.”

“Just call me big brother or something,” I chuckle.

“It’s so unfair. I told you my name, uncle.”

I wince at being called uncle.

“Then you have to tell me what you are looking for,” I offer. 

“Okay. Deal.”

“It’s a man’s deal. Man to man, you can’t break it,” I say, offering my hand. 

He shakes it. “Yes.”

“I am looking for a four leaf clover.” He says nonchalantly.

Evidently, I think.

“Why?”

“I’m not telling,” He draws little circles with his fingers on the ground, “your turn, mister.”

“I’m Seb.” 

I smile, and look at my bare-feet. My shoes are still hanging on a branch.

“Seb? That’s a weird name,” he comments.

I laugh, “I’m the guardian of the Fairy Tree. Fairies doesn’t have names like humans.”

“Is it short for Sebastian?” He shakes his head, “because my brother’s name is Sebastian, too.”

I got caught, I think.

“And, aren’t you the ‘holy guardian of the place’? Not tree? And this is an apple tree, funny the Fairy Tree is an Apple tree.” He continues, wounding my adult sized pride.

“Sorry,” I laugh.

“Why?”

“You just sound so smart,”  I give a suave smile used for social gatherings. 

“I won’t fall for it, Seb”, he shakes his head again, “just allow me to meet the Fairy King.”

“You still believe that?”

“Why not? Did you lie to me?”

I smile and shake my head a ‘no.’

“Why do you want to find a four leaf clover?”

“It’s not for you to know,” he sticks his tongue out.

Now, I am dying to know. 

“I’ll help you look for it,” I say, “two pair of hands are better than one.”

“Okay.”

“Will you tell me what you want to wish if I find one?”

“If you find one.”

It is evening and we are still searching. He goes home later. As I am in the tub, relaxing, I think about Lucas. And why he wants a four leaf clover. 

Four leaf clovers are said to be able to grant wishes. Maybe he wants something like a new remote control car or plane, if only he told me in the afternoon.

“Cerim,” I call my father’s butler.

“Sir?” He enters my room. 

I look at my reflection on the glass that constitutes the wall of my room.

“Are there four leaf clovers in the estate?” I ask.

“A what– sir?”

He seems surprised.

“Four leaf clovers,” I say, dressing in an evening suit. 

“I am not certain sir. The hill, that you speak of is a Clover hill. But I dare say, there are only three leaf clovers.” He reports, “may I ask why, sir?”

“No, you may not”, I joke, and say, “Cerim?”

“Yes, sir?” 

“Send someone to go either find a four-leaf clover in our clover farm or get it from a shop from anywhere.” I say, “and I need it by twelve noon tomorrow.”

“Yes sir.”

I am resting on the highest branch, a box of four leaf clovers next to me.

Moments go by.

I distract myself with butterflies and falling leaves and the smell of spring fragrance and the warm spring wind.

Lucas reaches here. It is almost time for the sun to set.

He isn’t chatty or cheeky like yesterday.

“Hello!” I say, hanging from the tree, “I found several four leaf clovers.”

“I don’t want it anymore.” He says, and sits down by the trunk of the tree, head buried in his knees.

“What happened, Lucas?” I am concerned now.

“It’s too late.” 

“I have four leaf clovers.” I say, “boxes of it, if you want. Just tell me your wish, I’ll make it come true.”

“Are you the Fairy King?

“No?”

“Then you’re useless.”

I feel cut off for a moment.

“Just tell me,” I pursue.

“Hey, Seb, can the Fairy King bring back people to life?”

“What do- why?” I almost choke.

“He may not want to see me, but can you ask him to bring back Lily’s mother back to life?” He says, depressed, “then Lily will be happy again.”

“Umm, did Lily’s mother uh- um”, I can’t say it.

“Die? Yes, she was sick. And I thought a four leaf clover would make her better but I couldn’t find it.” 

He is crying now.

I don’t know what to do.

I feel shallow and petty, for reducing a child to be nothing but a child. 

I sit down next to him, and hold his hand. I don’t know whether that is the right thing to do, but I don’t have anything else I can do. 

I thought I would help when I would find what he wished for and now that I know it, I wish I didn’t. 


Niangthianmuang S Ngaihte
Niangthianmuang S Ngaihte

Niangthianmuang writes riveting poetry and captivating short stories.

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