How “Bert” Got His Name


by Cheryl


We lived in the picturesque Okanagan Valley in British Columbia Canada, surrounded by gorgeous mountains with lush forests, beautiful lakes, rivers, and streams.


When I was 5 years old I had the honor, and pleasure of receiving a visit from a "Tree Sprite" or "Tree Fairy" (these are different from the much larger "tree spirits" that are each a part of their own individual tree).  Sometimes the Fae (Fairies), Elves and Wee Folk take on a more humanized form so we humans can more easily relate to them, and that is what this little Tree Sprite did.


I was outside playing in our backyard which was near a wooded area next to the school grounds. When this tiny little fellow dressed in a green outfit appeared before me. He was wearing short knee length pants or capris, with a green shirt, and little vest that had pictures of trees, and a variety of leaves on it. A small hat like a Fedora style, and his socks matched his vest, and he wore little boots. At first I thought he was a leprechaun, but was politely corrected that he was not, but instead was a Tree Sprite. I apologized to him for my mistake. He laughed, and said that we humans often make that mistake because he often wears green.


He had rosy cheeks, dark green eyes that sparkled when smiled or laughed.  He had short brown hair.


He bowed politely, tipped his hat and said his name as he introduced himself.   Now, to me I could not understand what he said his name was.  It was pronounced in a dialect that I did not understand and which was quite foreign to me. His name was ancient and very long.  I smiled at him, and curtsied telling him what my name was. He had no trouble pronouncing my name. I asked him to repeat his name, because I wasn’t sure how to pronounce it.  Obliging he repeated his name.  Well, that didn’t help.  I tried to repeat his name, but could not say it correctly.  The first time I said it, he smiled sweetly, and repeated it again…but to no avail.  I tried again, but this time he started to laugh, and the harder I tried to say his name the harder he laughed.  Finally he was laughing so hard he sat on the grass holding his side rolling over.  To me he looked so funny like a green ball rolling around.  I too, started to laugh.  His eyes were full of tears he was laughing so hard which made me laugh even harder.


Finally after a few minutes we quit.  I still could not pronounce his name, so I just blurted out “Bert”.   I knew his name started with the letter “B” and ended in a “T” so, it kind of made sense to me as a shorter version of his actual name. “Bert” smiled, and said that would be fine for me to call him that - as he held his side trying to not laugh again.


So, “Bert” kept that name, and even today he is still called “Bert”.  He would not have it any other way.  He loves the name, and every time I say his name a smile spreads across his face as he remembers our first encounter.


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After reading the above stories, you might want to also check out the various books on Angels, Devas and Nature Spirits that are in our Recommended Reading List.


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