Once Upon a Time
Tell us about something that happened to you in real life last week — but write it in the style of a fairy tale.
Milly had always known there were fairies at the bottom of the garden. You know the ones – the Tooth Fairy, the Kitchen Elf, the Veggie Fairy who whipped off all the beans in Milly’s childhood, just before Mummy had a chance to pick them, cook them and serve them to Milly for dinner… But most intriguing of all was the Chirp Fairy, whose jaunty chirrup had led Milly on many a merry dance around the garden in a vain attempt to catch at least one glimpse of it before it took itself off, as fairies are wont to do.
One evening last week, as Milly was sitting in her favourite chair reading her book (it being the silly telly season, when TV channels go on holiday and leave their viewers to wall-to-wall coverage of the Australian Open Tennis Championships, sundry cricket matches and the 25th rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond – do they think our brains melt in the heat?) Anyway, one evening last week, a loud chirrup dragged Millie’s mind away from her book just in time to see the Chirp Fairy pop out from behind the clock and skitter down the wall to disappear behind the big desk in the corner, its dear little toes twinkling so fast they were all but a blur to her widening eyes (not helped by the fact that she was wearing her reading glasses).
‘Goodness me,’ she said. (Or possibly something stronger, but this is a fairy story after all.) Because while she had long yearned to see this elusive fairy, she had not – even in a senior moment – signed up to play host to someone with no housetraining, and a questionable sense of civilised behaviour. Who knew what it might get up to when she wasn’t looking? It might even decide to play Boo! at an inappropriate hour, and drop from the ceiling onto her sleeping face. And while this would have the benefit of rendering next week’s cardiology review superfluous – if that didn’t give her a heart attack, her heart was perfectly fine, thanks very much – it wasn’t an experience she could anticipate with unalloyed pleasure.
So what to do?
It took much thought on Milly’s part, and much skittering on the part of the Chirp Fairy, but in the end, they reached a compromise: if Milly would leave the screen door open and go to bed, the Chirp Fairy (now positioned behind the curtains that framed the balcony door) would sneak out while she slept and forgo the game of Boo! tempting as it was.
The implementation of this plan required mutual trust, so it is with added pleasure that I report its success: Milly enjoyed a night of unbroken sleep, the Chirp Fairy returned to the garden buoyed up by its adventure but secretly relieved to reach the sanctuary of the rock garden.
And they both lived happily ever after.