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Series:
Herb Fairies
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Herb Fairies
Book One: Stellaria’s Big Find
Written by Kimberly Gallagher
Illustrated by Swapan Debnath

sure what
If you are not
or how it is
a word means
ry
eck the glossa
pronounced, ch
e book.
in the back of th

Produced by John M. Gallagher

Special Thanks to Maryann Agostin, Hailey Gallagher, Rowan Gallagher, Rosalee de la Forêt, and
the LearningHerbs.com community.
Special Thanks to my mom, Cheryl Delmonte, a fellow writer, who has always encouraged my love
for the craft of weaving stories for others to enjoy.
No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any
form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of
the publisher. For information regarding permission, contact LearningHerbs.com LLC at LearningHerbs.com.
The herbal and plant information in Herb Fairies is for educational purposes only. The information within the Herb
Fairies books and activities are not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other medical
professional. If you have or suspect that you have a serious health problem, promptly contact your health care provider.
Always consult with a health care practitioner before using any herbal remedy or food, especially if pregnant, nursing,
or have a medical condition.
ISBN: 978-1-938419-01-0
Text and Illustrations © 2012 LearningHerbs.com, LLC,. All rights reserved.
Published by LearningHerbs.com, LLC, Carnation, WA
LearningHerbs.com, Herb Fairies, and associated logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of
LearningHerbs.com, LLC. Herb Fairies is a registered trademark of LearningHerbs.com, LLC.
First digital edition, May 2012. Published in the U.S.A.
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

The Herb Fairies series is dedicated to the memory of James Joseph Gallagher Sr.,
who will always inspire us to do our best.
For Rowan and Hailey...

CHAPTER 1
Rowan’s Surprise Gift
“Race you to that cabin!” ten-year-old Rowan yelled, taking off do; wn
the gravel path.
Twelve-year-old Sarah took off after him, her long, dark legs taking
easy strides, keeping her beside him. Her tight, black curls bounced as
she ran.
Camie and Hailey started running too, laughing and shouting, “Hey,
wait up. You two are too fast.” Rowan had promised to show them the
original Butt Slide Hill and the girls could hardly wait. Camie and Hailey
1

Herb Fairies: Stellaria’s Big Find
loved their messy slides down the Butt Slide Hill at wilderness school, but
Rowan assured them that this one was even better.
“Oooooowwww!” Hailey’s screams made all the kids stop and look
back at her. She’d been running as fast as she could on her little five-yearold legs, but she couldn’t keep up with the older kids and had tripped and
fallen on the gravel. Everyone rushed back to her and helped her sit up.
“Aaaahhhhh, I’m bleeding, I’m bleeding!” she screamed. Hailey’s knees had
been scraped up on the rocks. “I want Mama!”
“Mama’s coming, Hailey,” Rowan said. “She’s just walking from the
playground with the little kids.”
When Hailey realized how far away her mom was, she started
screaming, “Plantain! Get me some plantain!”
Rowan began to look around in the grass nearby. He was searching for
the broad leaves with the parallel veins that both he and
Hailey knew so well. It was great for bee stings, and
would also stop the bleeding and clean out Hailey’s
scrapes. Unfortunately, it was still early March,
and there was no plantain to be found. Rowan
could hear Hailey crying even though Sarah
had pulled her onto her lap and sixyear-old Camie was singing Hailey’s
favorite silly songs. He hated it when
his little sister was hurt and wanted
to help, but he was about to give up.
Then he spied a patch of chickweed
growing beside one of the camping yurts, a
big canvas tent on a wooden deck.
2

Chapter 1: Rowan’s Surprise Gift
“I can’t find any plantain,” he called to Hailey, “but I’m bringing a bunch
of chickweed.” He ran over and picked a big handful, then went running
back to Hailey, holding out the pile of chickweed.
“Ewwww,” Sarah said when she saw the pile of chickweed in his hands.
“What are you guys going to do with that?”
Hailey, however, stopped crying completely and her eyes lit up.
“Rowan!” she shouted. “You found a fairy! You brought me a fairy!” Hailey
was so excited, she jumped up and ran to her brother, forgetting all about
her scraped knees.
“What?” said Rowan. “What are you
talking about?”
“Right there, riding on the
pile of chickweed! She must be the
chickweed fairy. Look at her sparkly
green dress. The bottom is even
shaped like chickweed leaves, and
she’s got a sparkly chickweed hair
clip in her hair. Oh, aren’t her shoes
cute! Camie, look. A fairy. A real fairy!”
Camie ran up beside her, smiling and
laughing too. “I love the golden, glittery patterns on her
wings,” she said.
Rowan and Sarah shook their heads and blinked their eyes. They did not
believe in fairies...until now. Rowan was so surprised to find the tiny being
sitting delicately on top of the pile of chickweed that he almost dropped her.
3

Herb Fairies: Stellaria’s Big Find
“Can I hold her? Can I?” Hailey asked Rowan.
“I believe that’s my choice,” said the chickweed fairy. She spread her
slender golden wings and flew lightly over to land on Hailey’s hand. The
chickweed fairy had thin arms and legs with sharp elbows and bony knees.
She had straight blond hair like Camie’s and captivating blue eyes. “My
name is Stellaria,” she said, “and I’m so
glad I found you.”
“You mean you were looking for us?”
Sarah asked. “I thought we found you.”
“Well, I was looking for some
children who care for plants, and you
four seem to fit that description. We’ve
all been looking, for quite a while now,
actually.”
“All?” said Camie. “You mean there are
more of you?”
“Oh, yes, lots! It’s the herb fairies that have been trying to find you,
though.”
“The herb fairies! My parents are herbalists!” Hailey was delighted.
“Why have you been trying to find us?”
“Maybe we should get that chickweed the boy found onto your scraped
knees and then I’ll tell you,” said Stellaria.
It was only then that the kids realized they had all forgotten about
Hailey’s scraped knees. Rowan handed Hailey the chickweed and she
4

Chapter 1: Rowan’s Surprise Gift
quickly chewed it up and put the poultice she’d made onto her knees. Sarah
grimaced a little when she saw what Hailey was doing. She didn’t feel like
it was the right time to protest about putting gooey green plant muck on a
scrape. The poultice took the sting away immediately and stopped the little
bit of bleeding.
“Now, why have you been searching for us?” asked Rowan.
“Well, ummmmm.” Stellaria looked like she wanted to run away and
hide rather than having all those big eyes looking down at her. She took a
deep breath and looked down at the table when she spoke. “You see,” she
said quietly, wrapping her arms around herself, “well...oh, why did it have
to be me who found you? I never thought it would be
me...”
“You’re a little shy,
aren’t you?” said Sarah kindly.
“Would it help if we close our
eyes?”
“Maybe,”
sheepishly.

Stellaria

admitted

The kids all closed their eyes to
listen.
“We’ve noticed,” Stellaria started tentatively, “we’ve noticed that lots
of people are forgetting about how useful the plants are. They are forgetting
about the magic that’s in them. For a long time we didn’t care. We loved
the plants so much we just hid among them, enjoying their magic and
their company. But now, it seems like our herb fairy magic is fading too.
5

Herb Fairies: Stellaria’s Big Find
We had a big meeting, the fairies and the plants. The plants are very sad
that humans have forgotten about how to use their
medicine. They think if something isn’t done even
their magic might fade from the world forever.”
“Oh no!” said Hailey, looking down at her
knees. She thought about how sad she would be
if she couldn’t look to the plants when she needed
healing help.
“What can we do?” said Rowan.
“You mean you want to help?” said
Stellaria, looking up, her starry eyes filled with
hope.
“Of course,” said all of the children together. “But
what should we do?”
“I really don’t know,” said the fairy. “We just thought it was important
to find some children who know that the plants have magic, like you. That’s
about as far as we got with our plan, and we’ve been looking ever since.”
Everyone was silent for a moment, thinking about what the fairy had
said.
“I wish I could ask some of my fairy friends,” said Stellaria quietly.
“I know Dandy would have an idea. He always seems to come up with
something.”
“Could you take us with you to fairyland?” Hailey asked eagerly.
6

Chapter 1: Rowan’s Surprise Gift
“We’d love to meet all the other fairies!” said
Camie.
Stellaria sat down and cradled
her face in her long, jointy fingers,
thinking the idea over.
“Well, I suppose I could take
you to the Fairy Herb Garden,” she
said finally. “Anyway, I’d love to show
you my special chickweed patch home.”
She glowed when she spoke of her home, and the
children guessed it must indeed be a pretty special place for her.
“Will you sprinkle us with fairy dust?” asked Hailey. She jumped up
and down, her eyes shining.
“Indeed!” said Stellaria, taking a sparkling handful of fairy dust from
her satchel. She flew over the top of the children and sprinkled them all.
As the dust settled gently atop their heads and on their skin the
children felt a tingling sensation wash over their bodies. Then a gentle wind
whirled around them and they found they were shrinking, but something
more than that was happening. When the wind settled and they looked
around, they were no longer anywhere near Butt Slide Hill.

7

Herb Fairies: Stellaria’s Big Find

Intentional blank page

8

CHAPTER 2
In the Fairy Herb Garden
All four children looked around in wonder. They were perched on
the stem of a chickweed plant. The stem had silky hairs which kept them
from sliding. They were surrounded by succulent, oval green leaves.
“You can really see how the hairs on the stems grow in a single row
when you’re this little,” said Rowan.
“Oh, look at the pretty starry flowers!” Camie exclaimed. The white
flowers were all around them, bringing a delicate, sweet beauty to
Stellaria’s chickweed home.
9

Herb Fairies: Stellaria’s Big Find
As the children looked around, they realized they were indeed in the
fairy’s home. There was a bed fashioned of twigs and lined with a mattress
of cottonwood fluff. Two little chairs with flower seat cushions were pulled
up to a carved wooden table. A cozy chickweed-stuffed couch faced out
through an opening to the Fairy Herb Garden.
“Welcome,” said Stellaria. “Would you like some elderberry juice?” Her
eyes sparkled. She was enjoying the children’s obvious delight.
“I’ve never had elderberry juice,” said Sarah a little doubtfully.
“I’ll have some,” said Hailey. “I love the elderberry syrup my mom
makes for our colds.”
“I’ll try some too,” said Camie, a daredevil known for her crazy kitchen
experiments.
“I’m afraid I don’t have
enough chairs for you all,”
Stellaria
apologized.
“Oh, but I do have a
picnic blanket!”
She spread a blanket
of woven grass out beside
the table and they all sat
down. She passed around
nutshell cups full of dark
purple liquid and gave
them each a chickweed leaf
to nibble on as well.
10

Chapter 2: In the Fairy Herb Garden
“This leaf is as big as my head,” Hailey laughed, taking a bite. “I love
chickweed,” she said. “It’s so delicious.”
“Yes,” agreed Stellaria, “and it’s really good for you. It’s full of vitamins
and minerals, and it helps you get the most from all the other foods you eat
as well.” Stellaria’s voice tinkled like gently ringing bells when she spoke
about her plant.
“Really?” said Camie. “I’ve never even tried it.”
“Me neither,” said Sarah.
“Oh, our mom makes pesto out of chickweed,
and we put it in our salads whenever we can
find it,” said Rowan. “It’s one of her favorite
plants, because both Hailey and I like it
and she’s always trying to get us to eat
our greens.”
“Wow,” said Sarah. “This is really
good, kind of juicy and a little bit sweet.
Can I have another leaf?”
Stellaria laughed her tinkling laugh
and waved her hand at the plant surrounding
them. “Help yourself,” she said. “The plants are
so happy when you pick them and use their medicine. Just be sure and
pick the leaves carefully. It’s easy when you’re small, but remember when
you become big again. Always leave some leaves on the stems when you’re
picking chickweed, and leave the roots in the ground. Then the plant will
continue to grow and you can come back and pick more another time.”
11

Herb Fairies: Stellaria’s Big Find
Sarah and Hailey carefully picked another
leaf for themselves. Hailey did one of her famous
silly dances and sang, “Elderberry, chickweeeeed,
elderberry chickweeeeeed, fairy, fairy, fairy.” She
hopped from foot to foot and wiggled her hips,
smiling a silly, happy smile. Her long brown hair
fell in front of her face as she tossed her head at
the end.
“Stellaria,” said Sarah, smiling at Hailey’s
antics, “can you take us to your fairy friends? I
hope we can find a way to help you.”
“Oh yes,” said Stellaria. “I didn’t know it
would be so fun to have children visit my house. I
almost forgot all about why I brought you here. Come
with me.” Stellaria led them out a little opening toward
the back of the room.
Looking around, the children noticed that they had emerged into the
shade of a weeping willow tree. Even though the leaves were enormous,
bigger than them, they recognized their familiar lance-like shape and
feathery veins. They loved playing fort under the weeping willow trees at
the park.
A fairy fluttered over to join them. The children knew immediately
that she must be the willow fairy. With her long, slender arms and legs
she looked like she would love dancing in the wind just like her tree. She
had Chinese facial features and dark, straight hair. She was definitely older
than Stellaria, and when she spoke her voice was gentle, wise and whispery.
“Why, Stellaria,” she said. “Who have you brought to our garden?”
12

Chapter 2: In the Fairy Herb Garden
“Children!” said Stellaria, excitement ringing in her voice. “They’ve
come to help us recover the magic.”
“Aaahhhhh,
beautiful,”
whispered Willow. “Welcome, children,
and thank you for coming.”
“You’re welcome,” said Sarah and
Rowan together.
“Look, Hailey, I think she’s a dancer.
Isn’t she beautiful?” Camie whispered
to Hailey. Both girls loved to dance and
they were often whispering together
about their upcoming ballet recital. They were so
excited about their sparkly new costumes.
“I thought we should look for Dandy. Maybe he’ll have an idea of what
to do now that we’ve found them,” said Stellaria.
“Good idea,” said Willow. “I saw him just a few minutes ago so I don’t
think he’ll be far away.”
The fairies and children stepped out from under the willow tree into
the bright sunshine. Once their eyes adjusted, they stared in wonder at
their surroundings. All sorts of herbs were beginning to emerge from the
soil. Violet and crocus flowers were mixed among the sea of green before
them. A few of the bolder and more curious fairies flew over right away
and began asking questions. “Who are you? Can you help? What’s your
name?...” They all shared the golden wings with glittery spiral patterns,
with one pair pointing upward and another downward, but the fairies were
13

Herb Fairies: Stellaria’s Big Find
all different shapes and sizes.
Their skin and hair and eyes
and clothes were all different
colors, and their body shapes
were as varied as the plants
surrounding them.
“I never thought about
fairies having different
colors of skin like humans,”
mused Sarah. Growing up
in a small town in Washington
state, most of her friends had white skin. It was fun to be around so much
diversity.
Stellaria smiled. “We often keep the skin color and some features from
the parts of the world our plants come from.”
It wasn’t long before Dandy himself joined the crowd. His bright yellow
hair reminded Hailey of a dandelion flower. His showy, yellow-gold wings
were rippled and sparkled in the sunshine.
“Oooooo. He’s cute!” whispered Sarah.
“I knew you would be the dandelion fairy,” said Hailey.
Dandy smiled at Hailey, and dimples appeared on his cheeks. His bright
blue eyes shone with joy and delight. “Children!” he exclaimed. “Who found
them? Was it you, Stellaria?”
Stellaria smiled shyly and nodded her head.
14

Chapter 2: In the Fairy Herb Garden
“Will you introduce us to your new friends?” Dandy asked gently.
More and more fairies were arriving as
Dandy spoke. There was a hum of
excitement in the crowd.
Stellaria let each child say
their name. “They say they would
like to help us,” she said excitedly.
“Yes,” said Rowan. “How can we
help? We love the plants!”
“We don’t want their magic to be
lost!” said Hailey, looking down at
her green, healing knees.
Suddenly, the ground
began to shake beneath their feet. The fairies took off in fright, completely
disappearing among the plants.
“Troll!” said Dandy, but he remained close to the children. Willow and
Stellaria also stayed, but they were trembling.
“Do I smell children?” roared the troll. “Children in the fairy garden?”
“Hide,” whispered Willow. “Quickly, back beneath my tree’s branches.”
The children followed her into the shade, hardly daring to breathe.
“Where are you, children?” said the troll in a pleading voice. “Please
come out. I won’t hurt you. I like children.”
15

Herb Fairies: Stellaria’s Big Find
“She probably likes them for lunch,” said Dandy. “The
trolls are horrible creatures, always stomping on our
plants. We have to run for our lives.”
Rowan bravely peeked from between the
willow leaves. Camie came to his side to peer
out too, but Hailey stayed well back. She was
trembling like the fairies, and Sarah put a
protective arm around her. The troll was
gigantic compared to them now. She had
green skin and bulging eyes. Her nose and
ears were huge, and the pointed tops of her
ears curled downward. Her gnarled fingers
clutched at her cane, which she leaned on
heavily.
“Please come out,” pled the troll in despair.
“I’ve been waiting so long to find you, and I really
do need your help.”

16

CHAPTER 3
Troll Riddle
“Don’t go out there, Rowan!” Hailey screamed.
But Rowan paid no attention. This troll would be no taller than his
knees if he was full size, and Dandy’s words had made him angry. Rowan
was tall and stocky and he was used to standing up for himself. He sprang
out, ready to punch and kick the troll and chase it away from the Fairy
Herb Garden.
Camie caught his arm. “Wait, Rowan,” she said. “Look at her. She is
scary looking, but she has a kind face. Maybe she really does need help.”
Camie was smaller than Rowan, but she held on tight.
17

Herb Fairies: Stellaria’s Big Find
The troll swung her head around, searching for the source of Camie’s
voice. “Where are you?” she asked. “I can’t see you.”
“Down here!” Rowan shouted,
his hands still curled into fists.
“Why, you’re so small,” said the
troll in amazement, rubbing her red,
bleary eyes.
“The fairy dust made us small
when we came to the fairy garden,”
Sarah explained, stepping forward.
“You said you needed our help?” she
ventured to ask.
“Just look at me,” said the troll. She
motioned toward her wart-covered body and ran her hand along an open
cut on her leg. “I think this is infected,” she said dismally.
Camie turned her eyes away from the ugly gash, wrinkling her nose in
disgust at the rotten smell of her. It was like the compost bucket at home
when it had been sitting out too long. “What makes you think we can help?”
she asked.
“You are the children, the ones who will help. The only ones who can
help.” The troll moved forward as she said this and reached out her hand.
“Look out, Camie!” Hailey screamed. “She’s going to grab you!”
The troll sat back on her heels. “Grab you?” she repeated. Her brow
wrinkled.
18

Chapter 3: Troll Riddle
“Get off of those violets!” Dandy shouted, rushing forward angrily.
“AHHHHHHH! A fairy! A fairy!” The troll hid her face in her warty
hands.
“Wait a minute,” said Camie.
“You are scared of them?”
“They are so mean. They yell
at me and chase me out of the
garden.”
“Why do you stomp on our
plants? You know our homes are in
them,” said Dandy. He glared at her, his
hands on his hips.
The troll looked down at her feet. She saw the bent violet leaves
and squashed purple flowers. Her eyes opened wide and she leaned over
slowly, painfully. She reached down to smooth out the leaves and petals
and straighten the little stems.
“Look,” said Sarah kindly. “Here’s a place where you can sit where
there are no plants growing.” She brought her into the shade of the willow
tree, and the troll sat down, smiling gratefully.
Both Willow and Stellaria flew away quickly, hiding among the leaves
of their respective plants. Willow, upset at having the troll in her special
place, flew high up into the tree, getting as far away as possible. Stellaria
was more curious and peeked out timidly from her chickweed home.

19

Herb Fairies: Stellaria’s Big Find
“I don’t think she means any harm,” said Camie.
“Did you see how she looked at that plant? I don’t
think she even knew she was stepping on it or that
you would be upset that she had.”
“Hmpf!” said Dandy. “I just don’t like trolls!”
he said. “I don’t trust them.” With that he flew
away, back out into the herb garden.
Now that Hailey could see the troll close up,
she wasn’t afraid anymore. She felt sorry for her,
and stepped forward confidently with some chickweed in her hands. “This
will help your leg,” she said. “It just healed some scrapes on my knees.”
Sarah and Camie looked in wonder at Hailey’s knees. There was already
fresh, pink skin over the scraped parts. “The chickweed did that?” Camie
asked.
Hailey smiled. “Yep.”
“Wow,” said Rowan, “I’ve never seen the plants work so fast. Maybe it
has to do with the magic of being in the Fairy Herb Garden.”
“It’s true,” came Stellaria’s tiny, tinkling voice. “The magic was stronger
before, but it’s still working, speeding up the healing.”
“Stellaria, can we use some of your chickweed to make a poultice for
the troll?” Hailey asked.
Stellaria forced herself to look at the cut, and when she did, her
healing, compassionate nature came forward. She forgot, for the moment,
her dislike of trolls. “Oh yes,” she said, and hurried over to her plant to pick
20

Chapter 3: Troll Riddle
some chickweed. She brought out her tiny mortar
and pestle from inside her house and ground
up the chickweed with a little water.
Hailey and Rowan stepped forward
and put the chickweed poultice gently
and carefully onto the troll’s wound.
Camie had to look away. Seeing them
tend the troll reminded her too much
of all those days when her mom and dad
were tending her sick sister. Even though the fever had finally
broken, those had been the scariest days of Camie’s life.
“Aaah,” sighed the troll. “That feels cool. My leg was burning up.”
When the poultice felt warm to the touch, Hailey took it off and
replaced it with a new poultice.
Sarah looked on in amazement. She would never have thought that
mashed-up plants could help heal wounds. At home her
mom always used Neosporin or Bactine when she had
a cut.
Camie dared to look over when she heard
the troll was feeling better, but she was still
thinking about her sister. “Hey,” she said, “we’ve
been gone a long time. I wonder if Lizzy is missing
me.”
Stellaria spoke up. “Don’t worry, Camie,
time passes differently here in the Fairy Herb
Garden. I can get you back before anyone misses
you.”
21

Herb Fairies: Stellaria’s Big Find
“What’s your name?” Hailey asked the troll as she helped Rowan put
the poultice on the wound.
The troll’s eyes opened wide at that question and she looked around
somewhat helplessly. “I don’t remember,” she said. Then as the chickweed
began to pull the infection from the wound, the troll’s head seemed to clear
and she said, “That’s it. That’s why I was looking for you. I remember part
of the riddle now.”
“Riddle?” said Camie, giggling.
“Yes, the children must answer the riddle to guess your name.” She
said it as if she were repeating something she’d been told long ago.
“I love riddles!” said Sarah. “What do you
remember?”
“Well, let’s see. Let’s see. My name is
five letters long and begins and ends with
the same letter.” The troll paused for a
moment and looked down at her leg. She
squealed with delight when she saw how
well it had healed.
“Is that it?” asked Sarah.
“No. No. There’s more,” said the troll
with certainty. “The letter sounds like the
name of a delicious, warm herbal drink.” She
closed her eyes and wrinkled her brow in concentration. “I know there’s
more, but that’s all I can remember for now.”
22

CHAPTER 4
Solving the Riddle
“Hmmmm,” said Hailey. “A warm herbal drink? Chai?” That was her
and Rowan’s favorite warm herbal drink.
“No,” said Rowan slowly. “That’s not a letter. Let’s see, A, B, C...”
All the children started going through the alphabet in their minds.
It was Sarah who got it. “T!” she said excitedly. “Tea is a warm herbal
drink and a letter of the alphabet!”
“You’re right!” said Rowan.
23

Herb Fairies: Stellaria’s Big Find
“So, her name begins and ends with T,” said Camie.
“You’re doing it. You’re doing it. You’re solving the riddle!” The excited
troll started doing a little jig, causing her ears to flop up and down.
“Wow, your leg must really be feeling better,” said Rowan, smiling. He
noticed that the troll looked around as she danced to make sure that she
didn’t trample any more plants.
“Oh, if only I could remember the next part,” she said. “But my eyes
are so itchy and sore. I can’t think straight.”
Sarah looked at the troll’s eyes. They were red and oozing a sort of
white, creamy substance. “I think she’s got pink eye,” she said. “I had that
once. It is miserable.” There was compassion in her voice.
“I know my chickweed will help with that,” said Stellaria in her
delightful, tinkling fairy voice.
“It’s a good thing you have such a huge patch of chickweed here,
Stellaria,” said Rowan. “We’re using it up fast.”
“There’s still plenty,” Stellaria assured him, and the children began
gathering more leaves to make poultices for the troll’s eyes. Soon they had
the troll lying down with green, chickweed poultices over each eye.
“You know,” said Rowan. “Chickweed poultices dissolve
warts too. I’ve used them for that before.”
While the troll rested, the children
made poultices for each of the troll’s
warts as well. “I can’t believe I’m doing
24

Chapter 4: Solving the Riddle
this,” Sarah commented, remembering
how disgusted she’d been when
Hailey had chewed up the chickweed
for her knees in the park.
“I know,” said Camie. She
didn’t use plant medicine at
home either. “It’s pretty weird,
but Hailey knows a lot about
healing with plants.”
“Yeah,” Rowan agreed. “She’s always
helping Mom gather the plants and make the medicine at home.”
The chickweed and fairy garden magic combined to shrink the warts
and heal the pink eye in record time.
“Oh my,” said the troll, sitting up. She blinked her eyes and looked
down at her body. She hadn’t been able to see anything clearly in so long,
and to find her body free of those ugly warts was quite a surprise. She
jumped straight to her feet and did her clumsy little dance of happiness.
The children all laughed with delight, watching her.
“I remember something else!” she said.
“What? What is it?”
“You and us are part of my name.”
“You and us? What does that mean?” said Hailey. “We’re part of your
name?”
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Herb Fairies: Stellaria’s Big Find
“HaileyRowanSarahCamie?” said Sarah, laughing.
“I think we need another clue,” said Rowan. “Can you remember
anything else?”
The troll thought for a while, but then shook her head sadly. “No,” she
said, “my muscles are so sore. My whole body aches. That’s all I can think
about.”
“We could make her a chickweed bath,” said Hailey. “Sometimes my
mom puts a chickweed infusion in my bath if my muscles are sore after one
of my gymnastics practices.”
“That’s a good idea, Hailey,” said Rowan, “but somehow I doubt she’s
going to fit in Stellaria’s bathtub.”
The children looked from Stellaria to the
troll and back again, and laughed at the
thought of that big troll trying to fit into a
fairy bathtub.
“I have a bathtub at my house,” said
the troll. “Could we bring the chickweed
there?”
“I knew it. I knew it!” Willow’s
voice came from the branches above.
“She’s trying to lure you to her house.
Don’t go with her,” she warned. “Trolls can’t
be trusted!”

26

Chapter 4: Solving the Riddle
Stellaria did look very frightened at the thought of going to a troll’s
house, especially after Willow’s warning.
“Oh, but we’re so close to solving the riddle!” exclaimed Rowan.
“Is there anywhere else we could give her a bath?” Sarah asked the
fairies.
Everyone thought hard, trying to think of a place where the troll could
soak.
“There’s the pond on the creek,” said Stellaria, “but I’m afraid mixing
the chickweed solution in a big pond would make it too weak to work.”
“Maybe we could build a tub,” said Rowan. He was always interested in
building things. “We could carve one in a tree stump.”
“That could take a long time,” said Sarah, looking at the troll rubbing
her arm and leg muscles.
Hailey looked into the now clear eyes
of the troll. “I think we should go to
her house!” she said. “Look at her.
Without her warts and that wound
and her eyes all healed, she’s kind
of pretty. I don’t think she wants to
hurt us.”
“Me either,” said Camie, coming
up close. “I like her.”
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Herb Fairies: Stellaria’s Big Find
Sarah and Rowan looked at the little girls in surprise. Usually, they
were scared of monsters. They too looked at the troll, and found that they
didn’t feel scared either. “That does seem like the easiest
solution,” said Rowan.
Stellaria gulped in alarm, but she helped
them prepare the chickweed infusion. As it
was steeping, Sarah noticed that Stellaria was
trembling. “You’re still scared about going to
the troll’s house, aren’t you, Stellaria?” she said.
Stellaria nodded shyly. “We’ve been afraid
of trolls for so long,” she explained, “and I never
go into the Enchanted Forest.”
“You don’t have to go, Stellaria,” said Rowan.
“We’ll go with her and figure out the riddle and
come back.”
“The troll did say it was the children who would solve the riddle,” Sarah
reminded them all.

28

CHAPTER 5
In the Troll’s House
So it was that the children set off with the troll, each carrying a jar
of chickweed infusion. As soon as they left the Fairy Herb Garden, the
landscape changed dramatically. When they entered the Enchanted Forest,
they noticed that the plants around them no longer looked lush and healthy.
Everything looked dry and wilted.
The children shuddered a bit. Since they were still fairy sized, the
forest trees towered above them, and the Oregon grape bushes reminded
them of holly trees at home. It was strange walking over fir needles that
were half their height. It was slow going, since they were so small, and the
hunched-over troll moved so slowly with her painful muscles.
29

Herb Fairies: Stellaria’s Big Find
As they moved further from the Fairy Herb Garden, something strange
began to happen. The children began to grow. Slowly, as they walked, they
found themselves becoming taller and taller, until they were about the same
height as the troll, about as tall as Rowan’s ten-year-old human knees. That
made the going much easier, and though they were still small, the forest
seemed more familiar at this size.
Sarah was still feeling uncertain though.
“Do you think we made the right choice?”
she whispered to Rowan, looking around
at the unhealthy forest. “I don’t want to
take the little ones into danger.”
“I think it’s going to be all right,”
Rowan said. “Hailey has really good
intuition about people. I trust her
judgment...”
“Come on, you guys!” called Camie over
her shoulder. She and Hailey were following close behind the
troll, holding hands and smiling.
It wasn’t far to the troll’s house. Soon they came to a small door built
into the side of a hill. It reminded Hailey of the dugout house where Laura
and Mary lived in the book On the Banks of Plum Creek. “Look, Rowan,” she
called. “It’s just like Laura’s house!”
Hailey’s cheerful voice eased Sarah’s fears. They all followed the troll
inside. “Ugh!” said Hailey, holding her nose. The troll’s house was not in
good shape. Dirty dishes littered the table and sink. Clothes were strewn
30

Chapter 5: In the Troll’s House
carelessly about the floor. A broken loom stood in one corner and colorful
yarn was strewn carelessly about the room. The curtain that separated the
bathtub from the rest of the room dangled at an odd angle, leaving the
dirty tub exposed.
The children left the door open to let
some of the stink escape.
The troll looked around,
obviously ashamed. “I’m sorry
it’s such a mess,” she said. “I just
haven’t been myself lately...” Her
voice trailed off and she pulled out
a chair and eased herself down into
it. As she did, her eyes began to close,
as if the day had been a bit too much
for her.
“Well,” said Rowan. “Let’s get this bath going.” He
went over and straightened the little curtain, and began to wash out the
tub. “The water is only cold,” he said. “We’ll have to heat some for the bath.”
Sarah began gathering the dirty dishes. She found a teapot, but
couldn’t figure out how to work the stove.
“I think we need to build a fire in here,” said Hailey, opening a door
in the stove. “I remember seeing one like this in a movie once.” The kids
worked together to get a fire going. Luckily, Rowan had his flint and steel
in his pocket. He’d taken it to the park that day in case they’d wanted to
make a fire by one of the yurts. Before long, they had water heating up on
31

Herb Fairies: Stellaria’s Big Find
the stove. Sarah used some of it to begin cleaning the dishes.
Camie and Hailey began
rolling up the yarn that was
scattered about and straightening
the clothes on the floor. Usually
they didn’t like cleaning up, but they
didn’t like sitting in that stinky, messy
place. In the end, they were rewarded for their
work, because over by the troll’s messy grass
bed, under a worn nightshirt, they found a
small, beautifully ornate golden chest. Unfortunately, it was tightly sealed and
they could see no way to open it.
“Look!” shouted Hailey. Sarah stopped doing dishes and Rowan
stopped preparing the bath to look over, and the troll woke up.
“Oh my,” the troll said. “Did I fall asleep? I’m so sorry.” She looked
around the house in amazement. “Why, you’ve cleaned it up.” Then her
eyes fell on the chest that the children had found. “Would you look at that!
I’d forgotten all about it. Isn’t it beautiful?”
“Do you have the key?” asked Camie.
“What’s in it?” asked Hailey.
“Well. I don’t rightly know,” said the troll, slowly rising to walk over to
the chest. “Perhaps we’ll find the key here somewhere.” She began to look
around aimlessly.
“Your bath is warm and ready now,” said Rowan. “Perhaps we can look
while you soak.”
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Chapter 5: In the Troll’s House
“Oh yes,” said the troll, a smile spreading across her face. She
disappeared behind the curtain and the children began to look around, but
try as they might, no key appeared.
When the troll emerged from the bath, the children gave a gasp of
amazement. She’d been completely transformed. She was no longer stooped
over, though she was still short and stocky. She had put on a new dress,
and without her sore muscles she moved easily and comfortably about her
home. She’d even brushed out her curly brown hair, and her hazel eyes
were clear and bright.
“I’ve remembered the last part of the riddle!” she announced.
“What is it?” Camie asked excitedly.
“I’m named after something all good friendships have at their core,
something that is absolutely essential when sharing a secret.”
“Hmmmm,” said Sarah. All the children sat down on the floor in a
circle to think. “It begins and ends with T,”
Sarah reminded them.
“And you and us are part of
the name,” said Rowan, still a bit
mystified by that clue.
“What begins and ends with
T?” said Hailey.
“T, T, Trot,” said Camie.
“Tent?”
33

Herb Fairies: Stellaria’s Big Find
“Those aren’t things that are part of friendship, though,” said Rowan.
“Love? Play?”
“Those don’t start with T,” said Hailey.
“I know! I know!” said Sarah.
“What is it?” asked Camie. “What?”
“Trust!” said Sarah. “You have to trust
someone if you’re going to tell a secret, and
it begins and ends with T and it has the
letter U and the word US in it!”
“You’re right!” said Rowan, with
excitement. “Is that it? Is your name
Trust?”
“Yes!” exclaimed the troll. “Yes it
is!” She did her little dance again. She was
so happy.

34

CHAPTER 6
Magic Returned
Camie turned when she heard a tiny tapping on the window of the
cottage. There was Stellaria, waving to her. Camie reached over and opened
the window so the fairy could fly through.
“I’m so glad you’re all okay,” Stellaria said in a rush. “I was so worried
about you. I had to come see...” Her voice trailed off as her eyes fell on the
healed troll. “Wow,” she said, “you look...you look beautiful.”
Trust smiled and looked down at herself a bit self-consciously.
“Stellaria,” said Rowan, “we’d like to introduce you to Trust. We solved
the riddle and now we know her name!”
35

Herb Fairies: Stellaria’s Big Find
“Trust,” repeated Stellaria quietly.
“And look what we found!” said Hailey, holding up the golden chest.
“We’ve been trying to find a key, but we don’t even really
see a keyhole.”
Stellaria ran her hand over the chest. “I
think my magic, the chickweed magic, is inside,”
she said excitedly. “Trust, do you know how to
open it?”
“I think perhaps we will all have to work
together to do that,” said the troll. “Yes, that’s
why you kids couldn’t find a key. The way into the
chest is through my weaving.”
“Your weaving?” asked Camie.
“Yes, we must weave together, all of us.” She was excited now, and
began pulling out some of the balls of yarn that Camie and Hailey had rolled
up for her. She also pulled out a small loom from inside a cabinet. Unlike
the larger broken loom, this one was in perfect condition.
“Um, I don’t know how to weave,” said Sarah. She frowned and bit her
lip.
“Oh, don’t worry about that,” said Trust. “This is a magic loom. You
need only think what you want to add to the picture, choose your color
and touch the loom. Here, I’ll begin.” She chose a beautiful blue, and as she
touched the yarn to the loom a lake appeared on the cloth. “Add something
that makes you happy,” Trust instructed.
36

Chapter 6: Magic Returned
Stellaria flew forward with white yarn, and chickweed flowers
appeared around the lake. Camie stepped forward with the yellow yarn, and
wildflowers joined the chickweed flowers. Rowan chose a brownish red, and
a hawk appeared in the sky above the lake. Sarah chose a yellow-orange so
that the sun spilled down over the lake. Hailey picked a multicolored yarn
and when she touched the loom fairies appeared among the wildflowers.

With that final touch the weaving shimmered and sparkled and disappeared
as it released its magic.
The chest sprang open, and the children watched in amazement as a
swirl of glittery green light whooshed from the box, spiraling in the air and
37

Herb Fairies: Stellaria’s Big Find
spreading the fresh scent of chickweed throughout the troll’s home. Then it
rushed in a great stream through the open door and
out into the world.
“The chickweed magic!” gasped Stellaria,
tears of joy in her eyes. “We’ve returned it
to the world.” The tiny fairy glowed with
glittering, green light. Her quiet, gentle
strength shone in her sparkling eyes.
The children all hugged one another
in delight, and before they knew it, more
fairies were fluttering through the door
and turning happy somersaults in the
air. The children recognized Dandy
and Willow among them.
When everyone settled down, they all looked at Trust and began
talking at once. Sarah formally introduced Trust to the fairies and they all
quieted to hear her story.
“But wait,” said Stellaria, “if I don’t get these children back to the park,
their parents are going to start missing them.”
“How long have we been gone in real time?” asked Rowan.
“Do we have to go?” asked Hailey.
“You better go at once,” said Dandy, “but don’t worry, we’ll come find
you again when we need more help in the Fairy Herb Garden.”
38

Chapter 6: Magic Returned
“Wait,” said Trust, looking down into the golden chest. From inside
she pulled out four copies of the weaving they had made together. She
presented one to each of the children.
Hailey had tears in her eyes as the
little chickweed fairy flew above
them, sprinkling fairy dust
over them all. She clutched her
weaving tightly. She had loved
her adventure in the Fairy Herb
Garden, and knew she would
miss her new fairy and troll
friends. But at least she knew
now that she would be coming
back to see them.
Back in the park, Hailey, Camie, Rowan, and Sarah looked around and
down at themselves and their magical weavings. They blinked and hugged
each other. Now it felt strange to be so big.
“Did that all really just happen?” Rowan asked.
The girls nodded at him, big smiles on their faces.
“It’s a good thing we were all there,” said Sarah, “or I’d never believe it
was real.”
“Rowan? Hailey? Where are you?” It was their mom,
calling from the path where Hailey had fallen.
The kids came out from behind the yurt and ran to rejoin
their parents, each carrying a magical reminder of their
adventure together.
39

Glossary
Infusion (in-FEW-shun) A medicinal plant material applied to the body to aid
strength tea, often prepared using one in healing.
ounce of dried herbs per quart of water
Stellaria (Stel-AR-ee-a) Name of the
and steeped for at least four hours.
chickweed fairy and also the scientific
Poultice (POLE-tis) A moist mass of genus name of the chickweed plant.

What’s Next?
Learn more about chickweed on HerbFairies.com!
After you complete the Magic Keeper’s Journal,
color Stellaria, make some recipes, and print out a
picture of her for your wall. Learn lots more about
chickweed in Herbal Roots Zine, which has recipes,
puzzles, activities, stories, songs and more!

Who’s next? Meet...

Viola is the Violet Fairy. Join her in
Book Two: Secrets in the Scotch Broom.