Flora Fairy’s First Day of School
By Susan Bruck
“Thanks for making rose petal soufflé, Mom,” said Flora Fairy.
Mom kissed Flora’s forehead. “It’s your favorite supper. And tomorrow is a big day.”
Tomorrow was going to be a horrible day.
“I’m not big enough to go to school.”
“You’re five years old. That’s when all the magical forest children start school.”
“But I’m just a tiny fairy.”
Mom put Flora’s favorite daisy petal dress on the chair by her walnut shell bed. She fluffed Flora’s rose petal pillow and pulled down her blanket, a white owl feather.
Flora fluttered into bed and Mama covered her.
“I don’t know anybody. I’ll be all alone.”
“You’ll make new friends.”
Flora had saved her best argument for last.
“What if there’s a giant at school and he squashes me?”
Flora was sure Mom didn’t want her to get squashed. But to her surprise, Mom laughed.
“Sweet child, there haven’t been giants in the enchanted woods for centuries. You’ll be fine.”
Mom made Flora’s favorite breakfast, a smoothie made with dew from honeysuckle flowers, a blueberry and a speck of honey.
Flora flew as slowly as she could, but all too soon, they arrived at Ceridwen school. To Flora, it looked like a giant’s castle. Elves, gnomes, nixies, pixies and fairies hopped, lumbered, flitted and flew into school. Flora hid behind her Mom.
Mom put her arm around Flora. “My school days here were so much fun.”
Flora’s Mom led her to a small building shaped like a toadstool and painted in bright colors.
A smile slipped onto Flora’s face. Here everyone was little, even the teacher, Miss Evergreen Elf, who was a lovely shade of green and had a big shiny smile. The children were playing tag under an old maple tree.
Mom said good-bye to Flora and Ms. Evvie, then flew away
A big tear slipped out of Flora’s eye. More followed.
Ms. Evvie led Flora to a garden filled with spring flowers, even though it was autumn. The scent was enchanting. Flora flitted from a purple hyacinth to a yellow daffodil and as she was about to perch on the lilac bush, she bumped into another little fairy. Soon they were giggling and dropping lilac petals onto Ms Evvie, whose laugh sounded like silver bells.
Maybe school would be alright after all. They played most of the morning. Then everyone sang together while Ms Evvie played the harp. They drew pictures of their families that Ms. Evvie put into a book. Ms. Evvie spread a green plaid picnic blanket in the spring garden and they ate lunch.
Then Principal Glenn Gnome came and spoke quietly to Ms Evvie.
He stayed with the children while Ms. Evvie went to greet a new student. Principal Glenn was a little scary to Flora, until he sung a silly song about little nuts like them growing into big oaks.
The earth shook. The children ran into the school room, except Flora. She flew into the maple tree. She felt safer up high.
There he was, just as she had feared. A giant! He had the face of a little boy, but he was huge. Ms. Evvie rode in his hand, which he held close to his ear. He stepped on the spring garden without even noticing and would have stepped on the classroom, too, if Ms. Evvie hadn’t told him in a very loud voice to stand still.
Flora wanted to flee, to fly home, although she wasn’t sure she knew the way. She bet Mom would be sorry she laughed now. From her perch in the tree, she was the same height as the giant boy’s head. She was afraid to move, in case he saw her and smashed her like a fly. Mom would be sorry if she got flattened like an acorn pancake. As she was trying to decide what to do, she heard a strange sound like a trumpet blowing and a cat crying all mixed together.
She realized it was coming from the giant boy. Huge tears flew into the air. Ms. Evvie pulled out an umbrella and patted the giant’s cheek as tears bounced off her umbrella.
When he had calmed down enough to talk, Ms. Evvie asked him what was wrong.
“I’m too big,” he said. “All the kids are scared of me. I don’t want to be scary. I can’t help it if I’m big. I want to go home. I want my Mommy.”
Flora couldn’t stand it. Before he started crying again, she flew right between his great big eyes.
“I’ll be your friend,” she said. “I’m a little afraid, but that’s ok. My name’s Flora. What’s yours?”
“I was scared to come to school, too. Because I am so small,” said Flora.
Ginormous swung his hand in front of his face. For a moment, Flora was afraid he was going to smash her. But he was reaching out to shake her hand. He gently took her tiny hand in his large one.
“Ok. Friends,” he said.
“Friend Ginormous,” she said. “I think I’m going to like school after all!”
This is a silly little story about something that can be really scary–starting something new! This is scary for young and old. I remember my daughter Gabi didn’t want to start pre-school. She told me that if I made her go to school she would “faint to death.” I’m happy to say that didn’t happen. When we got to school, she marched right into the classroom without even saying good-bye.
But for Flora, her worst fear came true. I think of all the things that I’ve imagined could go wrong with any given adventure. For years I had dreams that it was finals in college and I had a class that I had forgotten all about that I had to take the final for. Plus, I couldn’t find the right room.
As soon as I started teaching, I got to the next set of dreams–it was the first day of school and I was teaching the 2d grade or some other class that I had no idea what to do in. I wasn’t sure why I was there and what to do. I didn’t know any of the children and I couldn’t remember one single song or story–and I know a lot of both.
Anyhow, the things that went wrong usually weren’t what I imagined–for better or worse, and even if it was, what happened in real life was easier to deal with than what was in my imagination. Sigh….
I also tried a different technique for my illustration this week. I did a pencil sketch, then painted, then added ink lines. Before I did a sketch then the ink then the color. I also tried limiting my palette to four colors. I tried the painting first this weekend when I was doing an exercise in painting with 2 colors, a sketch for the Snow Bunny story
I liked the looseness of doing it this way, and I liked it again with this painting. Sometimes it’s fun to try something new.
I hope you enjoy this story.
Thanks for stopping by!