A Fairy Tale
A Fairy Tale (download A Fairy Tale as
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by Elizabeth Pinckney
Once upon a time, there was a little girl fairy named
Lucinda. She lived in a tulip plant in a field next to a huge forest.
Lucinda was the youngest
in her family, and was a rather spoiled and self-absorbed little personage.
She was also very cute, which was to her advantage in most situations.
One day, a great spring breeze whipped down through the field where
Lucinda lived in the tulip with her family. Lucinda was picking berries
and had wandered into the flowers behind her tulip, so she had no one
at all to help her when the breeze suddenly became so strong that she
was whisked into the air. This is not an unusual happening. In fact,
this very thing had happened to Lucinda’s own father when he was
a young fairy. Lucinda’s mother had a habit of thanking her lucky
stars whenever anyone brought up this subject, because she would never
have met Lucinda’s father had he not dropped out of the air when
she was nineteen.
Lucinda had time to think about this as she blew along over the field.
Being somewhat confident in herself, she felt that, as long as she
landed somewhere in the field, she would either be able to find her
or, one of the many fairies who considered themselves her friend would
take her back where she belonged. Lucinda’s ease of mind began
to fade away suddenly however, as she saw that she was being swept
toward the far end of the field at an alarming speed.
As Lucinda got closer and closer to the field’s edge, she turned
around for one last look at the big wood and the place where she thought
was, just in case she never saw it again. It really was a lovely day, she
thought as a big tear rolled down her cheek. Of course, she had never
known how pretty
it was from this view before; but then she was only a little fairy and had
not done many very exciting things in her life anyway. One thing Lucinda
got more and more excited about as she lost all sight of her field
was that she
would definitely be doing a lot of new things soon. After all, everyone knew
that most fairies who blew away almost never came back home, except for visits
maybe when they were much older. She sure hoped that whatever she was doing
next would be really exciting.
The strong breeze eventually died down, over an area that Lucinda (of course)
had never seen before. Rushing along below her and to the left was what she
thought was a stream. She had heard about those, but to her previous disappointment,
had never seen any. She kind of liked the little yellow flowers that grew
on the bank above the stream. As Lucinda thought about how she’d like to
land in them, she dropped out of the wind onto the ground, but not on the flowers.
She landed with an “oof!” that made her stand up quickly to make
sure no one was looking.
To her dismay, a tall, stern-looking fairy guard had been looking, and stood
up from his post in the flowers and cleared his throat at her. She ventured
a throat-clearing back at him, just in case he hadn’t planned to be nice
to her. Then he said, “Little girl, come with me,” just like that,
without even asking her name. She told him, “I’m Lucinda,” just
as she decided to “come with him” after all, which she did mostly
because she suddenly felt like being agreeable to him.
The guard didn’t seem to be very impressed that her name was Lucinda,
but he smiled a little at her, just to be decent, she supposed, and told her
where she was. “You are in the realm of King Lucius, lord of hill and
stream. As a Foundfairy, you will be assigned the job of servant or maid in
his hall. That is your appropriate position until one: you are claimed, two:
you come of age and responsibility to be eligible for citizenship, or three:
you are needed elsewhere. You shall be assigned a room and a particular area
of work. If you are found suitable, you perhaps will serve the noblefairies
or even the king in due time.” As Lucinda listened in astonishment
and indignation, they walked and came to a hole in the ground where another
guard met them and let them pass.
Lucinda felt sure that she had never heard of anything like this before.
How rude—not even asking her how her ride was or where she came from,
before taking over her life for the next who-knows-how-long! She had hoped
least an offer of a nice family to stay with, as was the custom at home.
As she was thinking all this, the guard brought her down the tunnel (as it
turned out to be), and they entered a well-lit hall, where many fairies of
all sorts rushed about. The guard took her down the hall to the kitchen,
where Lucinda saw another Foundfairy (she assumed) bending over a huge tub
filled with dirty dishes. As they walked in, Lucinda continued to look at the fairy
boy doing the dishes, while a voice behind her talked with the guard. Lucinda
was filled with disgust. Surely they didn’t expect her to like doing
that! She turned around. The guard had left, and she stood next to a plump
fairy lady who was obviously in charge of the kitchen. The lady told her a
bunch of stuff about her new job. Lucinda realized with only a little satisfaction
that, as usual, she had been right—they didn’t expect her to
like doing that, but then she realized she had been wrong, too, because she
assumed they cared about what she liked. Lucinda was told that she would begin working
now, and that the aprons were right over there.
Lucinda got to work. The fairy boy turned out to be pretty nice. He showed
her how to scrub the dishes, and then he showed her how to rinse and dry
them. They talked some, and Lucinda was shocked to realize that he might
turn out to be a good friend, even though he was just a servant boy. Lucinda also
saw that he was happy, which didn’t make sense to her since he was still
just a servant boy. Even though she was glad that he could be her friend, she
didn’t feel comfortable because she didn’t think anybody doing
this kind of work should be happy. She would have to think about that, and
see what else he was like.
That night Lucinda was assigned a room, just like the guard had said. She
was a little irritated because it wasn’t near as airy as her tulip room had
been, but she saw that it wasn’t going to help if she said anything,
so she was quiet. She was so quiet that she didn’t even say thank-you,
like her mother always said to. Just before Lucinda finally got to sleep,
she thought a little more about being happy even when you have to wash lots
of dishes, and she even thought about maybe trying to be nicer to people.
In the morning (Lucinda thought it was night still), someone made such a
big banging noise on her door that she finally had to get up and stick her
head out to tell them to be quiet. The banging fairy was actually Robert, the
fairy who was nice to her about dishes. She told him to hush, but Robert
said that Lucinda had to get up now, and also that he had been banging a very long
time. He said it in a nice way, though, so she didn’t feel too embarrassed.
When Lucinda finally made it to the kitchen, the director lady gave her a look
that made Lucinda wish she had heard the banging earlier. After Lucinda ate
some gross food, she had to help Robert with dishes again. They did dishes
until lunchtime, when Lucinda was allowed to take a break. Lucinda had to go
to the bathroom really bad, too, so it was a good thing the break came when
it did. Before she left, though, Robert told her which way she could go to
get outside. He said he couldn’t come out, though, because he had to
go and mop up a spill. After lunch, they had to do dishes again, and Robert
told Lucinda that she was the only other Foundfairy in the whole hall since
he had gotten there, and that was two years ago. Lucinda thought that maybe
it was a good thing she came, because now she could be Robert’s friend.
Later on, Lucinda learned something that made her feel like she would definitely
start being nicer to people. Robert was gone helping somebody carry stuff,
and Lucinda overheard a cook talking about how “that new girl was supposed
to clean up the big spill, but she was outside and Robert did it instead.” Lucinda
knew that Robert was trying to make her work easier, and she realized that
he probably even knew that she had never worked like that before.
Lucinda slept well that night because she was more exhausted than she had
ever been in her life, and she planned to get up earlier to be ready on time.
She did not want anybody to have to knock on her door a lot. This time, just
before she fell asleep, Lucinda thought about her family. She missed her
mom. She missed her dad. She missed her little sister, and she even sort of missed
her older brother, whom she usually found exceedingly irritating. People
were usually nicer to him than her, even though she was a whole lot cuter than he was.
Recently, she had begun to think maybe it was because he was such a nice
guy. Then she fell asleep and stayed that way until early the next morning when there was
another big racket outside that got her up on time.
Instead of being happy that she was on time, though, she was in a grumpy
mood. Her back hurt. Her hands hurt. Her neck hurt. Lucinda was just plain
sick of washing dishes! How did Robert ever survive as long as he did?! Lucinda knew
that she was supposed to be being nice to people, especially Robert, who
was so nice to her, but she could hardly stand the thought of being nice
when she felt so bad. So, she was a snappy grump all morning. That day at lunchtime,
Robert was able to eat outside, and they talked some. Lucinda knew that Robert
was really good at being cheerful, so she asked him about it. And this is
what he said: “Lucinda, before I became a Foundfairy, I lived on a farm. I
had to do a lot of work there to help my family have food. When I came here,
I had to work a lot too, but I was used to it, so I didn’t mind so much.
But, the most important thing that helps me be happy is that I know a really
cool guy who changed my heart and lives inside it now. Now, because it makes
him happy, I am cheerful when I work. He helps me to be able to be cheerful.” Lucinda
wasn’t all the way sure about everything he said, but she told Robert
she thought she probably needed to talk to that guy because it looked like
she was going to be working in the hall for a long time. Then Robert showed
her how to pray, and she met him, and sure enough, her heart got changed
Lucinda was at the hall for a long time. She worked very hard every day,
and even after she got used to it, sometimes her back still hurt. Knowing
heart friend made it tons easier, though, because she knew it made him happy
when she was sweet to everybody. Lucinda was so sweet and such a good worker
that she sometimes didn’t just work in the kitchen, but she served
food to the noblefairies when they came to visit. Eventually Lucinda even
King Lucius, because she was so nice to be around. Everybody liked her. She
was such a good worker that when she was old enough, she was allowed to become
a citizen of the hill and stream country.
Even after such a long time, Lucinda still missed her family, so after she
became a citizen, King Lucius let her go home for a month. The trip was long
and hard because she had to walk back instead of floating like last time.
When Lucinda finally got home, her mother and sister cried, and she cried,
dad’s eyes were sparkly. She got to go visit her brother, who lived
in another plant with his wife and little boys. After a month of wonderful
Lucinda had to start back to her new home. After she had walked out of sight,
her mom told her dad that Lucinda sure had changed a lot. Her dad nodded,
and his eyes kept sparkling.
When Lucinda got back to the hall, she kept up her hard work and always tried
to be a friend to the people around her. Everybody was glad she was back,
but Robert was especially glad.
One day, Robert was eating lunch with Lucinda, and after a few minutes of
being quiet and looking at the sky, he looked at Lucinda and told her something
special. Robert said that he would be the happiest fairy ever if Lucinda
would marry him. Lucinda said she felt the same way about Robert. It was
They got married soon and they lived happily ever after.
Fairies are a lot like people.