Chapter 3: Fairy stories
Sofire took Flashter up the wooden stairs to her bedroom and sat him firmly on his bed. She told him that he couldn’t just fly about whenever he felt like it and he had to start respecting other people’s things.His face hung low in disappointment and he looked gloomy.After she saw that her firm chat had the right effect, she told him to cheer up, drink his dewberry juice and she would tell him the stories of the fairy folk.His eyes sparkled as he sipped his delicious juice as instructed by Sofire.
The fairy folk had been living in the British Isles for longer than the humans. They arrived just after the last Dinosaur went to sleep for the final time and just before the world thawed after the big frost.The first fairy was an ice fairy and using her magic she helped bring the islands back to the green places they are now.Sometime after the Ice Fairy brought all the plants back to life and more and more animals came, some humans arrived on the shores.To begin with, they all lived in harmony.The Ice Fairy taught the humans how to grow food as well as hunt, even though she didn’t eat animals herself.As the humans and the Ice Fairy became better and better friends, other fairies kept appearing by magic.Puzzled the Ice Fairy and the humans wondered where they came from and slowly they realised it was as more humans believed in fairies and magic, a new fairy would appear next to the Ice Fairy, who was always with them.
The humans helped the fairies make their own little town. They carried the heavier branches across the plains and helped lift them to make a big house.The fairy town wasn’t far from the human town so they could continue to help each other and learn from one another.For hundreds of years the fairies and the humans lived together like this.When the animals that the humans had brought into their towns and fenced in escaped, the fairies would help bring them back.If a bad storm broke and some of the fairies roofs leaked or fell through, the humans helped rebuild them.They were all happy for a very, very, long time.
Then one day a new human arrived on the shores of the British Isles. He was a big, burly stranger with lots of men with him.The seaside fairy folk saw them arrive in their big boats with curled ends and animal heads at the front.The men had big arms from rowing and pictures painted on their skin that made them look fierce and scary to the fairies.One of the scout fairies was sent across to the Ice Fairy and the fairy folk of the town to warn them of the new arrivals.The Ice Fairy in turn, flew straight to the humans and warned them of the newcomers.The new human leader laughed at the Ice Fairy.He said that they could deal with any invader and she should not worry herself about the human troubles.
The Ice Fairy flew back to her town, disappointed and with a terrible feeling of doom. She asked the fairy town population if they would come with her and hide in the woods until the invaders had gone.All of the town fairies knew the Ice Fairy to be old and wise so they packed up and left with her as soon as they could.They all flew like lightning flashes straight to the nearby woods to hide in the bushes and brambles.Sometime after, they heard the first clash of steel and the loud cries of war and pain.The Ice Fairy cried cold tears while the other fairies hid with wide eyes in the leaves and darkness of the wood.Finally, when the noise had calmed, the Ice Fairy flew to the human town to see if her friends were still there.What she found was so upsetting and distressing.Her friends had not beaten the invaders and there was not much of the human town left behind.
As she flew about fallen huts and burning outbuildings, she soon realised that there was nothing left to save here. She wished so hard that someone had taken her seriously.Maybe they too could have hidden in the woods with her and the fairy folk.She sat quietly on a rock in front of a broken down animal pen and cried her tiny fairy eyes out.Then suddenly a human appeared, he was a small human with muddy smudges across his face and big, red, wide, eyes from crying.He stood in front of the Ice Fairy with his hands on his hips and stared at her in silence.Finally she broke the silence by asking him what was wrong.
“What’s wrong?” shouted the human. “For hundreds of years my people have helped your people grow and helped build your town.Then when we need you, where are you?You left us to get beaten by these invaders.”
“But I warned the leader” cried the desperate Ice Fairy.“What else could I have done?”
“You could have stayed and helped us.”
“Your leader told me not to worry about human matters. I warned him and he told me not to concern myself.”
“I don’t care, you should have stayed.” Then the human picked up a pot and stuck it straight over the Ice Fairy so that she was trapped in a tiny black room.“And now you won’t leave me ever again!” he screamed.
The poor Ice Fairy had only ever seen dark at night time. At night time the stars shone and the moon lit the way.In the tiny pot that the human had imprisoned her in, she couldn’t see anything.Her magic wouldn’t work in the pitch dark so she couldn’t even make her finger tips glow.She was frightened, cold and felt like she couldn’t breathe.She didn’t know how long she was trapped there because she couldn’t count the sunrise and the moon’s appearances.For what felt like a very, very, long time the Ice Fairy was stuck in this horrible place. Then one day it suddenly got very, very, bright, she hid her eyes behind her hand and squinted hard into the light.After a couple of minutes she could focus and she saw that she was outside.She looked around her and saw that the human now had white hair and was lying on his side with the empty pot in his outstretched hand.
She quickly tested her silver wings to see if they still worked. They felt weak and ached but they flapped enough to get her into the sky and she flew as best she could back to the woods where her fairy town had hidden all that time before.The closer she got, the more her wings felt tired and she had to walk the last bit as they couldn’t hold her anymore.She scratched her knees on the brambles because she was so tired but she carried on climbing over the wood’s flooring until she finally saw a familiar face.
“Where have you been?” cried her friend Karmy.“You’ve been gone nearly 30 human years.”
At that information, the poor Ice Fairy collapsed onto a mushroom and held her head in her hands.
“I didn’t know how long I’ve been gone. I was trapped by a human under a cup or pot or something.I couldn’t use my magic because there was no sunlight, stars or moon beams.Everything was pitch-black for such a long time.I’ve been so scared.”
Karmy picked up the Ice Fairy who was feeling very weak, shaky and aching by now and flew her to the gathering where the other fairies were. They laid the Ice Fairy down on a comforting bed made of leaves and clovers then covered her with feathers that a kindly sparrow shed especially for them.The Ice Fairy laid like that for days and they were all very worried that she would never ever recover.After nearly a week, the Ice Fairy’s eyes blinked wide open and her little face glowed a warm silvery gold again.Karmy jumped with joy, told them they needed to celebrate the Ice Fairy’s return to them and to health.They spent the next couple of days making decorations and collecting dew from all their favourite fruit plants for drinks.When the Ice Fairy was well enough to enjoy the celebrations, the fairies called a festival in her honour.
After the festivities had been enjoyed and they all went back to their ordinary lives. Karmy proclaimed the festivities to be celebrated each and every human year for ever more.It was also decreed at the festivities that no fairy should ever show themselves to a human again.The Ice Fairy was terrified that what had befallen her could happen to any of the fairy folk she had nurtured and helped grow all these years.The Ice Fairy was never really the same after the end of her friendship with the humans and the shock of her imprisonment.She carried on as best she could for some time after but then one day, Karmy went to visit her and she told him that her little silver light had started fading.
She told him it was time for her to go to the other world now and he should take charge of their fairy town and become the Wise One. Karmy pleaded with her to stay and offered to get her some dewberry juice or something to eat that might make her stronger.She patted his hand with her weak, cold one and thanked him but said she really had to go now.Karmy was so upset at losing his oldest friend but could see that she was ready to leave them.He kissed her cheek and watched her light fade away until she went see-thru.Then she rose up off her bed and floated like a shadow out of the doorway and off to the clouds above.
“Since then all the fairy folk have kept hidden away in wooded areas and overgrown gardens. Anywhere they feel safe and hidden, behind leaves, ferns, bramble and bracken.We still try to help the humans in tiny little ways, we still pick up things they think they have lost and put them somewhere they will find them.As time has gone on, fewer and fewer people even believe in fairies anymore.The problem with that is, if humans do not believe in fairies then no new ones will appear to us.So Karmy said we have to do little things to make humans wonder if we exist or not.We can’t be seen, we can’t leave footprints or fairy dust anywhere but we have to make them wonder.So that is why we return things they’ve lost and water their plants they have left to dry out.
“There is one human that knows about us fairies and his name is Albert. Albert used to live in the big house which is where you first appeared.Albert lived there as a little boy and as he grew up, he left the house and had a family.Over time, his family grew up and moved back to his old house where Albert visits to read stories to his grandson, Daniel.Albert was telling Daniel of when he first saw a fairy and Daniel must have believed so strongly that you appeared to me, as I was the closest fairy to them.This was very bad of me and you must never ever do what I did.You must always stick to the code that fairies should not be in the same room or space as a human ever, just in case a fresh fairy appears to them.
“Albert can see fairies because when he was a little boy, he chased his dog Deputy into the back of the garden. Albert slipped and fell into some leaves or something and as he hit the ground, a big puff of fairy dust blew up in his face.From that moment onwards he could always see us.Karmy had to speak to him and make sure that he would never ever put us in a dangerous position.This all happened over 70 human years ago and Albert never has got us in trouble.Karmy doesn’t like that Albert does know about us because he is still upset about what happened to the Ice Fairy.But sometimes Albert has helped us out and in turn, when Deputy got old, Karmy sprinkled him with fairy dust so he could become a fairy pet ladybird. Our fairy pets live a lot longer than human pets.So Karmy and Albert do have an understanding, but we must be careful not to need too many favours from him.
“Albert knows you were created in his grandson’s bedroom because he covered for me so that Daniel didn’t see you. Karmy isn’t happy about that so we have to make sure you’re trained up to be a good fairy and not keep getting in trouble.You need to only fly when it’s absolutely necessary, not all the time because you could get seen.When you have been good for 50 human years you can then go into wand training but not before.Mine keeps getting pushed back because I have accidents but I am trying my best not to do that anymore.You need to help me do Mum’s chores without falling into the stream or getting us muddy, or flying into the ceiling herbs, you need to work hard and be polite.If you do those things, you can go into wand training and then one day you could be the Wise One, like Karmy.”
At this, Flashter’s orange wings twinkled and twitched but just as they did, he realised what they were doing and stopped them dead still before he left the ground. Sofire smiled and him and said that was the right thing to do.
“I want to be a good fairy” were Flashter’s very first words to her.