Frida Fairy Finds Her Sparkle
by Susan Bruck
It was a sunny day in fairyland. Fairies flitted here and there, singing to the flowers, riding on birds, splashing in the stream. Everyone was hard at play. Everyone, that is, except for Frida Fairy. She sat beneath a toad stool and the toad stool sat beneath a very grey cloud, hovering a few inches above it, from which fell a torrent of rain. The rest of the toad stools in the fairy ring were cool and dry in the shade of the big old trees.
Frida’s long dark hair was plastered to her head and shoulders. Her tiara, made of crystallized dewdrops attached to braided spider silk, covered her left eye. Her dress, made of bluebell flowers and decorated with golden celandine stars, was muddy and torn. On her lap was what looked like an orange stick with a little yellow ball on the end. She didn’t hear her friend Morrie Mouse calling to her from outside the rainstorm. She didn’t see her friend Sammy Snail creeping toward her through the rain. She didn’t even hear him calling her name as he stood at her feet, but snails don’t have very loud voices, even in fairyland.
Frida Fairy did notice when Sammy slid onto her shoulder. He had climbed the toad stool and sort of hopped over onto her shoulder to get her attention. She looked into his kind, shiny eyes which bobbed at the end of his antennae.
“I’m so sad, Sammy,” said Frida.
Sammy Snail, in a voice so soft only a fairy could hear it, asked her what was wrong. Morrrie Mouse crept through the rain and arrived, his fur plastered to his skin and rain running into his eyes, just in time to hear Frida’s answer.
“I’ve lost my sparkle,” she said, as she knocked her orange wand into the mud. She stepped on it with her foot on which she wore a muddy gym shoe which she had painted in all the colors of the rainbow on a happier day.
Sammy snail leaned his spiral shell against Frida’s neck in sympathy.
“Let’s go find it,” said Frida’s wet mouse friend. “Come on. It has to be somewhere. And we miss you. We wanted to play dandelion puffball badminton with you, today.”
That was a game that Frida had invented. They used a racket made of grass and spider string to hit a dandelion puff back and forth. They laughed when the seeds went flying through the air and the game was over when the seeds all flew away. Frida Fairy always made up good games to play.
“Or we could play mudslide,” said Sammy Snail. That was where you ran, or flew, as fast as you could and then slid through the mud. Morrie Mouse always carried Sammy on his back for that one, because Sammy’s fastest wasn’t fast enough to get a good slide going.
Frida Fairy didn’t say anything. Morrie Mouse put his soggy head and front paws on Frida’s lap. She rubbed the top of his head, between his ears. He liked that. Frida looked at her friends. They looked sweet and sincere. They really wanted to help her. She didn’t really think she could find her sparkle again, but she would try for their sake.
“Ok. Let’s try,” she said. And the rain cloud began to lighten and expand and soon there was just a gentle rain falling and then even that was gone.
Sammy slid onto Morrie’s back. Frida picked up her wand and sighed. She missed her sparkle. She picked a leaf of lamb’s ear and dried Morrie Mouse with it. Then she wiped the mud off of her wand. She looked at her soggy, ruined dress. It would have to do for now.
“Where did you last see it?” asked Morrie.
“Last night, the moon was full and all the fairies were dancing here in the fairy ring late into the night. I made some really fancy sparkles in the night. They looked like dragonflies dancing a waltz—one, two, three—one, two three—one, two three—. When I woke up this morning, my wand looked like this and I’ve been sitting in the rain ever since.”
Snail whispered something to Morrie Mouse.
“Yes, I think you’re right. Let’s give it a go,” said Morrie.
To Frida he said, “I’ll give you a ride. Hop on my back.”
Frida didn’t feel much like flitting, so she sat on mouse’s neck, with her legs sticking out to the sides and held on to his left ear. Sammy Snail sat in front of her, right between mouse’s ears, his antennae waving all around as though he was looking for something. Mouse kept his nose to the ground, his luxurious white whiskers twitching excitedly. They hadn’t gone far, although it was quite a long way for those three little creatures, when mouse stopped so suddenly that both Frida and Sammy slid right down his nose and landed on the ground with a thump.
“Yes, this is the spot,” said Sammy Snail, nudging Frida’s wand, which she had dropped when she fell, back toward her.
“Yes, this is it,” said Morrie Mouse, picking up her fallen tiara with his teeth and carefully putting it on his own head.
Frida Fairy looked around. She saw the leafy branches of trees way up above her and flowers all around and a big mossy rock not too far away. “It doesn’t look like anyplace special,” she said.
“Any place you are is special,” said Morrie Mouse
“Any place you are sparkles,” said Sammy Snail.
When she heard that, Frida Fairy found her eyes sparkling with tears of joy.
How lucky she was to have such good friends.
“Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back,” said Morrie. He pulled off Frida’s shoes and scampered into the underbrush with them.
Soon, a parade of leaf cutter ants came parading to where Sammy and Frida waited. But instead of their usual pieces of leaves, they carried flowers and little sparkly stones. They left them in two piles, one of flowers and one of stones. As the last little group of ants put down a bright red rose at Frida’s feet, one of them crawled up her leg. It tickled.
“Thank you for giving us a new game to play,” said the ant. “We love playing “I spy with my little nose.” I spied every color of green yesterday.”
Frida smiled at the rainbow of flowers in front of her. She let the little gems slide through her fingers and listened to the crunchy sound they made as they jumbled together.
“Here they are,” she heard Bessy Buzzy Bee say.
Bessy Buzzy Bee flew over to her, followed by Saralina Spider. Morrie Mouse followed not far behind them. But before he arrived, Bessy was already busy sewing flowers together and Saralina was stringing the little stones together, too.
Frida Fairy was so busy watching them that she forgot all about her lost sparkle. Bessie Buzzy Bee hummed as she worked and Frida started humming along with her. Soon her feet were tapping and before she knew it, she was dancing away. Morrie joined the dance, leaping and twirling and chasing his tail. Sammy waved his antennae to the beat and laughed out loud when Frida and Morrie circled around him.
Bessie Buzzy Bee stopped humming to say, “It’s done!”
Bessie and Saralina had made Frida Fairy a new dress with a rose petal tutu skirt and a top with a rainbow of petals. Frida put it on. She loved looking like a rainbow. Saralina had woven her a new cap with a fringe of sparkly stones hanging all around. When Frida put it on, she shook her head and it made that delightful crunchy sound.
“And last of all,” said Morrie, “Here are your shoes. I washed them in a puddle. All they need is a little sparkle.”
Frida’s face fell. She had forgotten about her sparkle for a minute.
“Frida,” said Morrie Mouse, “You always bring sparkle to everyone around you. You make up fun games, you make pretty lights for everyone to look at. But it’s ok to let your friends give you some sparkle sometimes, too. That way we can all sparkle.”
He picked up Frida’s wand in his mouth. Bessie Buzzy Bee started singing again and Saralina Spider pulled out the violin that Frida had made her and played a lively jig. Frida put her arm around Sammy Snail and watched her friends dance in the sunlight. She shook her head in time to the music so her hat made music, too. Then something amazing happened. As Morrie Mouse danced with the wand, it began to sparkle. The orange handle looked like it was covered with glitter and golden light flew out of the yellow ball at the end. Mouse held it straight up in the air between his front paws up rose a fountain of light. He waved it over Frida Fairy’s rainbow gym shoes and they began to sparkle. They danced over to her feet and she put them on. Morrie Mouse gave her the wand with a bow. She took it and the light got even brighter. She looked at Sammy Snail and smiled. He nodded. She touched him with her wand and he was all glittery, too.
Soon Bessie Buzzy Bee and Saralina Spider were covered with sparkles and Morrie Mouse looked like he was covered with sparkly frost.
“I got my sparkle back,” said Frida Fairy.
“Thank you, my dear friends. But how did you know where to find it?” she asked.
Sammy snail beckoned her to come closer.
“I could see your sparkle the whole time,” he said. “It just needed a little rest.”
“And a little extra love,” said Morrie Mouse.
Frida Fairy put her arms around her sparkly friends.
“Last one to the puff volleyball court is a rotten egg,” she said.
She picked up Sammy Snail and flew towards the court with her friends following close behind.
I went to see my doctor this week. I wasn’t feeling horrible, but I’ve been feeling not great for a long time. She’s been my doctor for about 20 years. She looked at me and said (more or less), “We need to get your sparkle back. It’s still there, but I’ll help you find it.”
Just hearing her say that made me feel better. I never knew I had a sparkle or that anyone else thought I did, but I liked that idea and felt like it summed up pretty well what I was feeling (along with a few more specific things that I won’t bore you with).
Anyhow, that was the inspiration for this story. I wrote it the way I told the nursery children stories at nap time. I started with my characters and a basic premise and started writing. It’s kind of exciting to start a story and not have any idea of how the characters will solve their problem–especially if you find a way to the end, which I had to do with the nappers, so that was good practice–and fun, too.
Anyhow, that’s all for now. I hope you enjoy the story.
Thanks for stopping by!