By The Mill
Updated: Feb 10
I wrote this poem when I was fourteen, inspired by Preussler’s The Little Water Sprite, which I read and loved as a child. I woke up one night with the poem fully formed in my head, and had to get up and write it down at once. I still have a copy of this book; its story and gorgeous illustrations charm me just as much now as they did back then.
When the sun is warm, And the grass is cool, Then I will sit by The old mill pool, And watch, and wait the while, until A movement parts the waters still.
The water sprites are again at play, To idly pass their time away. Their funny antics make me smile, And shake with laughter all the while, Until the noise brings their attention To this strange, large being beyond comprehension, Which to them must indeed be very frightening, For suddenly they scatter, Quick as lightning, And within seconds the pond is empty, Except for weeds, and fish in plenty.
Yet I can just imagine those little sprites, Cowering in their homes, Wide – eyed with fright, Until soon, the moon, herself shyly shows And the landscape with gentle silver light glows. Then out will creep those cautious sprites To dance and play in the soft moonlight, While I lie sleeping in my bed, Little silver people running through my head.
And when the next morning I awake, Myself to the mill-pond I will take, And watch, and wait the while, until A movement parts the waters still.