She first saw the well in her dreams. The house, although old, was new to them, and there had not been enough time to truly explore the surroundings. That day, on waking, Marla took her teddy bear and went to the back of her garden. Her favorite violet pajamas collected the water from the young green grass.
It seemed like a long journey. The day was surprisingly warm for early spring, and birds were singing in the trees. As a city child, Marla could not tell them apart, but she had already seen an array of beauty beyond her wildest dreams. Her sparkly blue eyes wandered from tree to bush to twig to leave, in search of birds and colorful insects. However, for insects it still was too early and too cold.
There truly was a well. Or rather a simple whole in the ground, surrounded by worn gray stones. Its shape was something between an oval, a circle and a real whole, Marla thought and clutched her teddy. Teddy looked at the well. He was not impressed.
In her dream, there had been frogs. Hundreds of frogs - or at least a dozen. Green and yellow and brown, with huge amber eyes and voices like rusty door hinges. Marla looked around, one hand playing with her long sleep-tousled hair. There, movement! As soon as she knew what she was looking for, she spotted them easily. More than she could count. How fascinating! She crouched down in the grass, her trousers soaked with dew, ready to grab a frog and bring it closer to her face for examination. Teddy dangled from her arm.
"Marla! Are you outside?" Her mother's voice carried far. Immediately, Marla jumped up, ran back to the house and told her mother of her marvelous discovery.
"You mustn't go there on your own. What if you had fallen into the well?" Marla's mother seemed rather worried than excited. She took her daughter inside and made some pancakes for breakfast, shimmering with maple syrup.
Later that day, a man came over and put heavy wooden boards over the well. There were no frogs to be seen. Marla played in the garden and in time forgot the well.
However, not completely. Sometimes she would dream of it, of things coming from the well, and in the morning would walk across the garden to examine reality. Once she dreamed of a river coming from the well, and the next day most of the garden was under water. Another time she found a swarm of lovely dragon flies hovering over the well, mirroring her dream. She was old enough not to mistake them for fairies, but it was a beautiful moment anyway.
There was no pattern to her dreams coming and going, and she never told her mother about them. The pendant she found lying next to it, one early morning when she was thirteen, remained a secret. Marla simply pushed the wooden boards - now looking almost as old and worn as the stones surrounding the well - back over the hole in the ground, took a deep breath and returned to the house. She hid the pendant in the back of her wardrobe and sometimes took it out to look at it. It's surface was uneven and looked ancient, part silver and part black, and at times she thought she could see the original picture, but she was never sure, and sometimes the lines seemed to move and change. Most times, she imagined seeing a lady and a cat and the moon, but it might also be a dragon, or a Celtic knot, or simply an accident during manufacturing.
Marla never wore the pendant, but she kept it close, her secret treasure, until it was too late.