Through the Fairy Door
Rowena and Mummy were waiting for Ruth to come out of school. Mummy was chatting to the other mummies but Rowena was bored. She wished she could go to choir rehearsals like Ruth but she wasn’t old enough yet. “Why don’t you run around with your friends?” asked Mummy. Lily and Lola were chasing Freddie round the playground and Rowena watched them for a while. Usually she loved playing with them but today she felt grumpy and didn’t want to join in. She was hot and tired and thirsty. “I want to go home” she complained. “In a minute” said Mummy. “You know we have to wait for Ruth.” Rowena went over to sit in the shade of the huge beech tree at the edge of the playground. It was cool there and she sat very still, watching a ladybird crawling along a blade of grass. She remembered the little nursery rhyme that Mummy had taught her and she recited it to the ladybird:-
“Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home, Your house is on fire and your children are gone. All save the youngest – her name is Anne And she’s hidden under the frying pan!”
Suddenly the ladybird spread its wings and flew away. “That’s not very nice!” said a little voice. Rowena turned round and saw a tiny fairy, no bigger than a mouse, peeping out of a little door in the tree trunk. “You’ve scared her. She’s gone to make sure her children are safe.” “Oh, I’m very sorry” said Rowena. “I love ladybirds. I didn’t mean to scare her. Can she understand me?” “Of course she can understand you” said the fairy. “Are you real?” Rowena asked the fairy. “You do ask some strange questions” replied the fairy. “Are you real?” “Of course I am” said Rowena. “Well then!” said the fairy. “That’s that!” Rowena stared at the fairy. She had never seen anything so lovely. The fairy had black hair, tied in thick stubby plaits which hung over her shoulders. She had twinkling green eyes and rosy cheeks and on the bridge of her little turned-up nose was a dusting of freckles. She wore a red velvet waistcoat and soft red pointed boots and her skirt was like a ballet tutu made of white flower petals. On her head was a little red pointed cap like a flower. But best of all were the two gossamer wings that shimmered behind her. “It’s rude to stare” said the fairy. “And close your mouth. You’ll get a fly in it if you gawp like that!” Rowena closed her mouth quickly. This afternoon was starting to get interesting!