The Flightless Fairy

Deep in the forest there was a beautiful flowing stream, where the birds visited to play and to drink, where frogs floated on lily pads on the surface of the water, croaking with joy as they rode downstream, and where fish of many colours and sizes ducked and weaved through the water, surfacing only to catch the sun that would treacle down through the trees.
There, some fairies were enjoying the sun’s rays and they fluttered about, and their beautiful sheer wings glimmered in the light, all that is, accept just one, who sat quietly on the rock, watching the others fly about in their beautiful dance.
She had told herself long ago, that it did not matter that she could not fly. The ground was all she needed and that she was happy enough there.
“Come on!” all the other fairies chimed at once, one day and even tried to take her hand and help her, but like always she pulled away.
“Please leave me be,” she said. “I am hppy here, watching.”
They tried many times but like always, she would not give in. She just kept insisting on staying put, on the rocks. Soon, like always, they gave up and continued their merry dance with out her.
A small bird saw their fruitless attempts and on this day, landed beside her.
“You have such pretty wings, but you never use them. Why is that?” the bird asked.
“I like it here on the rocks,” she answered.
“But don’t you ever just want to see how they work?” the bird asked.
“They work just fine,” the fairy said, annoyed at this persistent creature, “but I don’t want to go up there.” She pointed to the air above her where the other fairies danced.
“They want you to join them,” the bird insisted. “I am sure you would be so much happier, dancing up there with them.”
The fairy shook her head. “No. Please leave me be.”
The bird reluctantly flew away and the fairy continued to sit and watch the scene in front of her.
Her wings sat limp down her back and they did not flinch, nor did they shimmer, like the rest.
She straightened her flower petal skirt over her knees as she hugged them to her, resting her head down.
A curious frog saw her and he leapt off his lily pad into the water and began to swim towards the rocks where she sat.
“What is the matter, pretty one?” he asked. “Why are you not fluttering about with your friends? Are your wings broken?”
“My wings are fine,” the fairy answered, and so am I. I just want to stay here on my rock and sleep.”
The frog studied her poor limp wings. “They look fine,” he said, “and I bet they would shimmer beautifully, so why don’t you show me?”
The fairy shook her head. “No. Please leave me be.”
The frog hopped away and with a PLOP, returned to the water and found another lily pad to continue his game, joining the other frogs again.
The fairy closed her eyes and tried to will every creature around her to disappear, but it was no use.
A fish that had popped his head out of the water, saw the frog leave the fairy’s side and suddenly he charged across the current until he was close to the edge and the rocks where the fairy sat.
“Yoo-hoo! Hello there!” He called to the fairy who reluctantly looked to where the fish floated, with his head popped out of the water. “Are you okay?” he asked.
Of course I am okay.” The fairy answered. “ Why do you ask?”
“Well, you are sitting all alone while your friends are flying about,” the fish answered. “Why do you not join them?”
“I told the bird and the frog and I am telling you now, I am happy here on my rock,” the fairy said. She was annoyed now at the way all the creatures persisted with convincing her to fly.
“But would you not rather be in the air with everyone else?” the fish insited.
The fairy lifted her head off her knees for a moment and the fish though he had convinced her to try.
The fairy shook her head. “No. Please leave me be.”
The fish knew it was no use but as he swam away he saw the tear that slipped from the fairy’s eye as she rested her head again and thought of a plan.
As she watched him swim away, the fairy hoped her tears were un-noticed. She wished she could tell the creatures her secret, for she knew they were only trying to help.
The real reason she did not want to flutter about with the other fairies was something not even the other fairies knew. The truth was the fairy had never used her wings before and she had never left the ground in her life. The fairy was too afraid to fly.
But one creature knew when he swam away that the fairy was not happy like said she was and he was determined to change that, but he needed help from the other creatures.
He met the frog in the middle of the stream and the bird, perched in a tree not far away, joined them also.
“It is time we help that poor fairy learn to use her wings,” the fish said.
“I know how I can help!” the frog said.
“Me too,” said the bird.
They huddled for a very long time while the fairy sat, oblivious, crying on the rocks.
Soon all three creatures joined her again, before she had time to see them coming, nor dry her tears.
“Come,” said the bird. “Sit on my back and I will show you what it’s like to fly.”
“But, I am scared,” the fairy said.
“That is okay,” The bird said. “I will keep you safe and the frog and the fish are here to help you also.
“Okay I will try,” said the fairy. She stood, drying her eyes, and climbed onto the bird’s back, closed her eyes and clung tight to her neck, burying her head in the soft feathers.
The bird flapped her wings and lifted swiftly off the ground. The frightened fairy screamed with fright. Her tears flowed harder as the bird took to the sky.
“You are doing okay, little one,” the bird said, but the bird’s soothing voice did nothing to calm the fairy’s fears.
“Please put me down!” The fairy cried, but the bird did not listen. “Please put me down,” she said again. Again the bird did not listen. “Put me down, Now!” the fairy screamed. This time the bird knew the fairy was indeed not ready to fly. The bird swiftly swooped and was soon safely on the rocks again.
The fairy opened her eyes and let go of the bird’s neck. Once standing on the ground, she faced the bird and asked, “Why did you do that?”
The bird looked back at the fairy and answered. “Sometimes, you have to face your fear in order to let it go.”
“But I was not ready to fly yet,” the fairy said.
“That is true,” said the bird, “or is it?”
“What do you mean?” the fairy asked.
“No one made you climb on my back. You did that yourself,” the bird explained.
The fairy thought about what the bird said and nodded. “When we were in the air though, I was scared.”
“What were you afraid of?” the bird asked.
“I was afraid to fall,” the fairy said.
The bird nodded. She understood what the fairy said. “You have wings do you not?” The fairy nodded. “They work, do they not?” The fairy shook her head. “How do you know this, if you do not try to use them?”
“I do not know how,” the fairy said.
“How did the other fairies learn to fly?” the bird asked.
The fairy thought about it. “It just happened, naturally.”
The bird was silent. The frog however, hopped excitedly on his lily pad.
“I can help you,” he said. “Step onto my lily pad.”
“Okay,” the fairy said. She dried her eyes and stepped onto the lily pad.
“Now hold on,” the frog said and the fairy stood behind him and clung to his slippery neck.
At lightening speed the Frog pushed his lily pad away from the edge with his foot and they were soon riding the river’s current. “Do you not feel free?” the frog asked as they sped along.
The fairy thought about it and realised she was not scared at all. “I do,” she said, “very much.”
Suddenly the lily pad picked up speed and she squealed, but this time it was a squeal of delight. She looked over the frog’s shoulder and saw the shimmering body of the fish beneath the water, pulling the lily pad along. The frog croaked with joy.
The fairy was not so afraid of this as she was of the air and let go of the frog’s neck and spread her arms out wide.
She did not realise the wind had lifted her wings and they were flapping on their own. She did not realise that she was soon lifting way from the lily pad. She did not realise that it was not the frog or the fish pulling her along anymore. It was all her doing now.
It was only when she was high above the rocks and the water that she realised that she was in fact flying, on her own, with her beautiful wings, shimmering in the sunlight, brighter than ever.
Her heart skipped a beat and she thought for a moment she would crash, but when she looked beside her she saw the bird flying beside her, her wings outstretched and on her other side were her fairy friends, all flying beside her.
“You are doing great! The all shouted.
”Keep going,” the bird said.
She giggled and her heart swelled with so much happiness, more than she had ever known.
The fairy was no longer afraid. She was flying now and she was free.

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