For Twelfth Night 2019, Vadoma organized an artisans’ exchange. I immediately signed up and was assigned Mistress Greer. Knowing her love for frogs and later-than-my-time persona, I was struck by inspiration: a frog on a lily-pad!
The “lily-pad” is a Tudor-style wool flat cap, knitted and fulled. The “frog” is a needle-felted wool pincushion; his spots are black-headed pins. The “flower” is two sets of inkle-woven trim, one purple-pink-white and one yellow-white with beads.
We were also requested to write a story about our objects!
Once upon a time, somewhere in France, a maiden walked along the bank of a pond. The day was cool and clear, and the sound of birds and frogs filled the air.
One frog croaked loudly nearby. Then again, louder. Then, to the maiden’s surprise, the croak turned into a voice! “Maiden,” it said, “look down at me!”
She did as the voice commanded, looking down into the pond. Floating upon the surface was a lily-pad. Upon the lily-pad was a flower. And sitting within the flower—why, there was a frog! He was small and green, with a wide smile, and many black spots.
“We have been enchanted, for we are a gift for one who is unknown to you,” the frog croaked. “You, maiden, must take us on a journey, to break this enchantment and find the person to whom we belong!”
The maiden, knowing a command when she heard one, curtsied to the frog. “Of course, my lord Frog; I shall do as you command.”
The frog croaked once more (indeed, to the maiden, it sounded thankful), then went still.
Wading into the water, the maiden carefully cut the stem of the lily-pad. She slipped her arms beneath it and raised it out of the water, as delicately as if it were a newborn baby. Then, setting her sights south, she began walking.
She travelled many miles, enduring many hardships and trials that shall not be gone into here, until at last she landed in a far distant city, one that was warm and spicy, where men sang enchantingly from towers. There she wandered amongst the streets until she saw a woman, a pearl amongst others. She knew instantly that this was to whom the gift belonged.
Walking up, the maiden placed the lily-pad into the arms of its true recipient, whereupon it was transformed! The lily-pad turned into a hat; the flower turned into trim; and the frog turned into a pin-cushion! This delight and wonder had found its true home.