The Hermit of the Gardens

Every year, the lovely ladies of our Scarecrow Committee create a scarecrow to put at the Fall Harvest Festival entrance to welcome guests.  This year, these wonderful ladies made a “Hermit of the Gardens” and this is his story.  Don’t miss The Hermit and his band of scarecrow friends on September 13th from 11am – 4pm at our 17th annual Fall Harvest Festival!

The Hermit of the Gardens

By: Libby Carter

The story of our “Hermit of the Gardens” is a rather curious tale. A tale the likes of you have probably never heard. Our story begins near Cobham in Surrey, located in England. Now, Cobham was a small town where nothing much happened. However, one thing that the folk there loved more than anything was a beautiful garden. Just outside of the city limits lived a lord, Charles Hamilton, who was very kind, but also very eccentric. His gardens were the largest gardens for 100 kilometers, and they drew guests from afar to “Ooh” and “Aah” at the splendor his lands provided.

One day, he had a grand idea! He thought to himself, regular scarecrows in my gardens are so boring. What can I do to make my gardens truly the best in the land? After thinking for quite some time, Charles stumbled upon the thought of putting a REAL person in his gardens. A scarecrow that could move and dance and entertain!  He searched for several months until he found the right man for the job. The man was to live in a small cottage on Charles’ lands, never cut his hair or fingernails, and never speak a word. In return, the man was paid handsomely, fed well, and was able to dance and entertain the many visitors that flocked to the gardens. He was to be called the Hermit of the Gardens. Charles’ Hermit was so popular that his number of visitors tripled in size! Charles had also started a trend – lords and ladies from all over England began to hire similar hermits for their gardens. Everyone was talking about Charles’ brilliance.

Years passed and Charles’ hermit continued to dance and entertain. He loved what he did so much that he never wanted to leave. He stayed and entertained until he was too old and feeble to dance. At that point, he sat down in a chair, as still as a picture, but the visitors still came to “Ooh” and “Aah” at him.  One night, a fairy of the garden visited the hermit.

She told him, “I have watched you for a long time, Hermit, and I can see that you love being a scarecrow and entertaining. If it were possible, would you like to stay this way forever?”. The Hermit, still unable to speak, quickly nodded his head yes. The fairy then placed a spell on the hermit, turning him into an actual scarecrow. Many visitors never noticed the difference, and the Hermit remained in that spot for years and years. In fact, he’s probably still there.

To this day, each scarecrow that you see carries the Hermit’s love for the beauty of the gardens and its visitors. Our Hermit of the Gardens that we created this year represents the original Hermit and his adoration for our gardens and for each of you. We hope you enjoy the rest of our 2015 Scarecrow Display, and may the spirit of the Hermit remain in your heart.

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