Illustration by Guinevere von Sneeden

A path where she’s quite certain there was no path before.

A delicious bright orange ruffled mushroom that is savory and delicious when cooked.*

Deer, birds, squirrels, and other forest creatures. (She steps as quietly as she can through the woods, not wanting to disturb the animals who call it home.)

A source of clean, fresh water right at the moment she grows thirsty.

Hagstones, acorns, pinecones, and other items for her altar. (She always leaves small biodegradable tokens of gratitude wherever she may forage.)

The middle of a very good story. Don’t so many fairy tales involve a witch in the woods?

Nettles that sting when she touches them but heal when she adds them to stews or tea.**

The perfect besom handle, fallen from a tree the night before.

Portals to Faerie. (She doesn’t go through. There’s too much left to do back at her cottage.)

Twigs to shape into runes, sigils, and other potent patterns.

One or two especially special trees who become dear friends and give exquisitely comforting hugs.

Pine needles to dry and wrap in bundles to burn in magical rituals.

Her joy, her hope, and a restoration of her belief in wonder.

*Chicken of the woods is a unique-looking mushroom that is highly prized by foragers as it’s edible.

Please verify with a knowledgeable source before eating any mushrooms you may find in the forest!

**Stinging nettles can be used to treat arthritis, anemia, and other ailments.

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Grace Nuth is a writer, artist, and model living in central Ohio with her husband, black cat, and a garden full of fairies. She also co-wrote The Faerie Handbook, out in November 2017 from Harper Design. To follow her projects, please visit