Maeve had been watching him for months, and knew the exact moment when he stepped into the cloistered woods. Unbeknownst to him, she followed his every move, for Maeve had fallen in love, and she wanted him, heart and soul.
Early on, she found out his name, which endeared him to her more than ever. His walk began as usual, but soon, it was obvious to Maeve that this day was different. His walk was slower, as if every step was an effort. He appeared to be deep in thought. All at once he stopped, pulled out a black notebook, wrote something down, and then moved on. This was how Maeve learned his name, for embossed on his notebook was Tiege Beeman. Later, when she returned home, she asked her king what Tiege meant, and he told her, ‘Why a poet, of course.’
To Maeve, Tiege is a beautiful man; hair the color of a fiery sunset, eyes as blue as the first cornflower of Summer. Long slender fingers that grasp his pencil with reverence, and legs that carry him with grace. His stroll is always down the same worn path and at times he sings as he moves deeper into the woods. His voice oozes with golden honey and soothes Maeve’s fairy soul. He sings one of her favorite ballads- ‘The Parting Glass’. Song birds in the forest swoop above his head as if they too, are mesmerized and cannot resist his mellow voice.
His daily journey always ends by the cold mountain stream, where he sits on a flat rock, and gazes into the flowing water. He pulls a clothsack of bread and cheese from his large coat pocket, along with a silver flask. He settles in, takes out his notebook and lead and begins to write. From time to time, he’ll stop and gaze up into the sky as if the words he wants are waiting there for him in the billowy clouds. Tearing off a bit of bread, he throws some of the crumbs to the waiting trout, takes a bite of cheese and goes back to his words.
When the sun is setting in the molten sky, he packs up his things, and walks back the way he came.
During all the months she has followed him, she has never been able to see what he writes. but she is certain it must be words of love or anguish, for his countenance reeks of sadness. She yearns to see him smile, for she knows it must be spectacular.
One day while deep in the forest, Tiege halts, shivers and turns around. He stares at the cluster of trees where Maeve is hiding. ‘Who’s there? I know you’re following me. Come out and show yourself.’ But to his dismay, no one appears.
After that incident, Maeve uses extra caution when she follows him. But she wonders, can he sense me, can he feel me, does he know I am here? Her mind wanders with delicious thoughts of him taking her into his arms, and kissing her. Would he enjoy it? Would she at last see him smile? Can a fairy and a man find happiness together?
One fateful afternoon the sun is sinking low, and yet Tiege is still sitting by the stream writing. The fireflies are twinkling throughout the shadowed forest and Maeve is apprehensive. Why isn’t he leaving?
At last, he arises from the rock by the stream, tears a page from his notebook and folds it into a paper airplane. Raising his arm high, he sends it soaring into the forest, where it lands at Maeve’s feet.
She picks it up and there, on the page is a drawing of her, with these words:
With gossamer wings she follows hidden deep in the dark forest
I pray someday she comes for me, takes me as her own and
I will live quite happily in her hidden glen
For love knows no boundaries between a fairy and mortal man
I will live in earnest, relinquish all I have both life and limb
to at last see the surreal fairy of my nightly dreams.