by Kathryn Dyer Copyright 1996
Once upon a time there was a little girl named Meagan. She lived with her Mommy and daddy, her big brother Corwin and her beautiful cat named Starweaver. It was a cool day. The leaves had started to change color. Meagan walked home looking at all the pretty colors. She was wearing the new sweater that her Nana had made for her. Meagan sighed. Her brother had gotten his cast off of his arm. But he still didn't seem to want to play with her. Meagan wished that things would go back to being the way they were before he broke his arm.
Suddenly Meagan saw a flash of color at the door to her house. She looked closer and started running. It was her best friend Cindy! "Hey!" she called out. Cindy turned around and grinned. "Guess what?" asked Cindy. Meagan stopped by her panting, "You haven't got a cold anymore." Cindy giggled, "Yeah, but that's not all. My mom said that I can go with you to pick apples at Jeremy and Sybil's farm!" "Yay!!" shrieked Meagan. She and Cindy started jumping up and down and dancing around. She had been looking forward to picking apples but it would be even more fun having Cindy with her. Especially since Corwin wasn't paying attention to her.
The two girls went inside the house. Meagan's father smiled as they walked past him chatting about how many apples they were going to pick. "My Nana said that she'd help teach me to make applesauce and apple butter," said Meagan, "Then we can have them for Mabon." Cindy frowned, "Which one is that?" They sat down on Meagan's bed. "Mabon is when we celebrate the second harvest." "Huh?" said Cindy, "I know that a harvest is when you bring the crops in on a farm but I didn't know that there was more than one." Meagan nodded, "Yeah, remember I told you how Lammas is the grain harvest?" Cindy nodded. "Well," continued Meagan, "Mabon is when you harvest the fruit, like apples. And then Samhain is when you harvest the meat if you eat meat. 'Cus you have to choose how many animals you can feed through the winter." Cindy looked puzzled, "But we don't have to do that anymore." Elizabeth appeared in the doorway, "That's right Cindy, but we still celebrate many of the holidays that our ancestors did. But Mabon is also one of the two equinoxes. That's a day when the sun is up just as long as it's down. But I didn't come in here to lecture. Would you two like to come help me make cookies for Mabon?"
The girls jumped off of the bed and went into the kitchen with Elizabeth. They laid out the ingredients and began making cookies. They rolled out the dough and used the special cookie cutters. They had a stag for the North, an eagle for the East, a lion for the South and a dragon for the West. They also had a star, a sun and a moon. Cindy looked through the rest of the cookie cutters. "Hey, here's an apple! Wouldn't that be good for Mabon too?" Elizabeth nodded, "Yes, you're right. And we have a pumpkin cutter you can use too." Everyone worked busily making the cookies. Soon Meagan looked at her mother, "Mom? How come Corwin is such a grouch lately?" Elizabeth set the timer and put a tray of cookies into the oven. "Well," she said, "your brother is going through some changes right now. His body is changing and so is his life. How he sees things. How he relates to people and what they expect of them. So he has lots of stuff to deal with right at the time his body is changing which makes it that much harder. You'll understand better when your body starts changing more. Try to give him some space. Once he works things out he'll be able to be your favorite brother again."
"He's my only brother!" laughed Meagan, "He'd better be my favorite!" Elizabeth smiled at her. "I remember my cousin Lisa getting really weird when her body started getting to be like a grown-ups," said Cindy, "I hope I don't get like that." Meagan nodded, "Me too!" she said. "Well," said her mother, "it helps if you know what is going on inside. And remember, you can always go talk to a grown-up, even if it isn't me or your father. You should never try to keep everything inside. If it's inside too long it might burn, like those cookies will if we don't get them out soon!"
Soon it was time to go to the farm to pick apples. Meagan and Cindy had a good time. They were made the official apple inspectors since they were still too young to climb the ladders. Sybil had even made them buttons to wear on their coats. They checked all the apples for worm holes. The apples that didn't pass inspection went into baskets that went to the animals on the farm. Some other apples had started to rot or had other damage. They put these into another basket to go to the compost pile. When all the apples had been picked they divided them up. Jeremy and Sybil got the most because it was their farm, but everyone got at least some apples to take home with them. When Meagan and Cindy got back home, Meagan's Nana was already there, ready to teach them to make applesauce and apple butter. They worked so long that Elizabeth called Anna and got permission for Cindy to spend the night.
The next day Meagan and Cindy carefully packed some jars of the applesauce and apple butter for Cindy to take home with her. Elizabeth also let her have some of the cookies that they had made. They were just finishing when they heard Anna's car in the driveway. The girls rushed outside to put the packages in the car. "Hold up!" said Anna, "I've got a few things in the car that need to go inside." In her car she had some pretty gourds. Meagan hadn't known that gourds could come in that many colors. She waved good-bye to her friend and went back inside with the gourds.
It wasn't very long before it was time for the Mabon celebration. Meagan put on warm clothes under her robe. She helped lay out gourds and grapes and apples on the Altar and around the Circle. She felt a little better after talking to her mother about Corwin and he wasn't acting so weird either. Someone lit the candles and the Coven members began chanting. After Circle was over Meagan wasn't very tired so she helped clean things up. But soon she began yawning. It was time to go to bed. She picked up Starweaver and went to her room. She got ready for bed and was just about to snuggle under the blankets when Corwin put his head in the room. "Hey Sis," he said, "sweet dreams." "You too," replied Meagan and she went to sleep. It had been a good day.