After lugging a heaping boxful of fragrant grapes back to the car, I went back for another box piled high with squash, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes. Amazingly, my Grandma just kept on finding another place to tuck another pepper onto the teetering pile. So when she exclaimed “Oh! And one more thing!”, I was sure she was going to try and sneak another unassuming zucchini to my fresh garden stash. Not so! She started plucking buds and flowers off the large Hollyhock bush by the front door, and was busily poking holes and assembling something.
“Now you take a pencil or something and poke one of these little holes bigger. I have a pen here, but a pencil is better. Then you stick this end in, and….there. Take this one.”
“Wow, Grandma, that’s awesome. So, um…what is this for?” I asked, not at all sure what I was praising. I thought maybe she was teaching me some Hollyhock grafting method that was somehow timely information.
“Why it’s a Hollyhock person!” she exclaimed, a little incredulous that I didn’t identify the little creature from the beginning.
Of course it was! And indeed she was the sweetest little Hollyhock person I had ever had the pleasure of meeting. She was the first, but my grandma quickly assembled a whole family to accompany her. I was told that one mother-daughter duo was for my daughter, and the other for my son. Since I suspected my 18- month-old son would not be as delighted with Mrs and Miss Hollyhock as would my daughter and I, I decided to keep one set just for me to enjoy. When I gifted my daughter the vibrant little fairies, she was in raptures, and although The Hollyhock folk did not live long after that, they can be satisfied that during their short life they were adored and loved—to pieces.